When it comes to luxury destinations around the globe, it doesn’t come much better than the Maldives. This tropical hotspot in the Indian Ocean is made up of more than 1,000 beautiful coral islands and 26 ring-shaped atolls. It’s here that people come to enjoy their honeymoon or other romantic vacation or simply escape from the world and take some time to rest and recharge.
If you’re counting down the weeks or months until you can jet off for a memorable Maldives trip, keep yourself busy by looking into some of the many activities you can do once you get there.
If you’re vacationing in the Maldives, you’re likely there to spend as much time enjoying the sun and sand as you can. As such, no matter which luxurious Maldives resort you base yourself from, you should find yourself close to beautiful beaches to relax at.
The water here is crystal-clear and a brilliant turquoise color that you’ll remember forever. Plus, the sand is fine as flour. Choose from private beaches specifically for resort residents through to those popular with honeymooners, families, solo travelers, or as a base for divers.
The Maldives is a nation perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who like staying busy in and on the water. During your vacation, you can test out a multitude of water sports and related activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, kitesurfing, jet skiing, sailing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, and surfing. Many hotels offer the equipment and lessons for these pursuits on-site or can arrange excursions for you.
If diving is a passion of yours, or you want to scuba dive for the first time, the Maldives is one of the best places in the world to live out your dreams. The water boasts high visibility and a pleasant temperature. Many people like to explore the Maldives Victory shipwreck, which sits below the surface of the Hulhule House Reef, between the capital, Male, and Hulhule. The ship sunk in the early 1980s and today is a spot where you can see an abundance of sea creatures that have made the wreck their home.
National Art Gallery
Once you’ve had enough sun, head to the National Art Gallery to get a culture fix. This is an ideal attraction for learning more about the culture of this Indian Ocean country. Found within the Museum Building, in a corner of Sultan’s Park, the Gallery highlights local Maldivian art.
Exhibition spaces showcase photography, painting, drawings, conceptual works, and more. Individual and group shows are held regularly, via short-term collections. While you’re in the Museum Building, it’s also worthwhile taking a look at the National Library.
Old Friday Mosque
Old Friday Mosque, officially called Hukuru Miskiiy, is another place to add to your itinerary. It’s the oldest mosque in the Maldives and has stood in Male since 1656. The ornate mosque is built from coral stone and, internally, features impressive craftsmanship that includes intricate woodwork and inlays plus Quranic script, amongst other decorations.
Admission to Old Friday Mosque is free for visitors, but non-Muslims need to obtain permission before entering. You can get this from an official of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. Helpfully, though, many of the mosque staff are such officials, so they often grant permission on the spot to tourists dressed and behaving respectfully.
While you’re at Hukuru Miskiiy, take note of the cemetery to the side of the mosque, too. You can walk around this space freely, permission or not, as long as you’re dressed appropriately. The cemetery is home to many interesting, elaborately-carved tombstones. Rounded tops on the memorials indicate a female grave, while men are buried in graves with pointy-topped tombstones. If you see gold-plated lettering on some resting places, this is a sign that former sultans lie below the ground at those spots.
Another must-visit destination while you’re in the Maldives is the National Museum. The site boasts a comprehensive and well-labeled collection of local historical artifacts. For instance, here you can see examples of iconic Maldivian lacquer-work boxes, antique technological items, and a broad marine selection.
Plus, there are galleries devoted to ancient and medieval periods of the country’s history. Check out religious pieces, weaponry, household goods, and numerous carved Thaana- and Arabic-engraved wooden pieces commemorating the conversion of the nation to Islam in the mid-1100s.
The Maldives is a great spot to have a relaxing vacation. Still, many visitors are surprised by the fascinating array of activities and sights on offer within the nation. Give yourself enough time in the island paradise to explore it all.