Home to some of the best beaches in the world, unrivalled luxury and a stunning landscape make Maldives the dream destination for millions across the world. And why wouldn’t it be? The turquoise blue water, pristine sands, rich marine life and of course, non-stop flights from Singapore that are as short as 4 hours cement its place on one’s itinerary.
This Indian Ocean paradise welcomes over a million tourists each year, and each one of them goes back with memories that last a lifetime. After all, Maldives has the perfect concoction of everything you need to have a great vacation, from the perfect weather to a plethora of activities on offer. If you thought a vacation in Maldives means lazing around on the beach all day, think again. Here are 5 tourist attractions you must visit while in Maldives:
You don’t have to be an undersea adventurer to witness the glorious marine life in Maldives. Just head to one of the many restaurants that offer underwater dining. Yes, you read that right! Enjoy a lavish six-course meal at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, or put your dancing shoes on and head to Subsix, the deep sea club that makes a night out even more fun! Meanwhile, guests at Anantara Kihavah can head to the world’s first underwater wine cellar and enjoy the international gourmet cuisine on offer while witnessing the dazzling flora and fauna underwater.
If you don’t want to be submerged, Maldives still has a variety of unique dining options for you – Fresh in the Garden is a treetop restaurant with a view to die for, the Taj Exotica Resort lets you dine under the stars by the shore, and Tribal is a popular African-themed restaurant that brings the continent’s finest food to the Indian Ocean!
Embark on a diving or snorkelling expedition in the lagoon and discover an all new world underwater. Revel in the beauty of the coral reefs, which will make you want to shun land forever, or be wowed by the turtles, manta rays, sharks and other aquatic animals that you will inevitably cross paths with. Many resorts also offer photo dives, night snorkelling trips and the chance to observe glorious species like dolphins in their natural habitat!
The best part? You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the beauty. Maldives has some of the clearest waters in the world which boasts of great visibility all year round, ensuring that no one misses out. Beginners, children and the elderly can also make the most of this experience, since most resorts offer snorkelling right by the shore, which means that one can simply put their mask and goggles on, stand at the shore and bend down to experience the wonder!
Advanced scuba divers who are up to the challenge can also explore the Maldives Victory, a ship that sunk in 1981, but whose wreckage now serves as a popular diving site, owing to the strong currents and the biodiversity.
A lot of people stick to the beach during their Maldives vacation, and it’s safe to say that they’re missing out. Every inch of the country is drenched in a history and culture that is just waiting to be discovered.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the Male Fish and Local Market, where visitors can get a chance to mingle with the locals, sample fresh food and learn about the culture and rituals that shape the country. Also on the must-visit list are Hukuru Miskiy (Old Friday Mosque) and the Grand Friday Mosque, both of which are more than just religious sites- they’re also architectural wonders.
Meanwhile, The National Museum in Male is the perfect place to learn about the history of Maldives, and view some interesting artefacts; including – but not limited to – appliances from colonial times, historical stamps, ancient copperware and porcelain works, and the national flag that flew to the moon and back! While in Male, you must also see the Tsunami Monument, the memorial that serves as a testament to the power of Mother Nature.
A vacation to Maldives isn’t complete until you go back feeling completely rejuvenated. And with the beauty and tranquility that cover every inch of this magnificent country, it’s hard not to.
Kick back and relax at one of the many spas that have glass floors, through which you can observe the beauty and activity in the ocean during your massage. Take this a step further and treat yourself to an underwater treatment at Lime Spa, or indulge in Ayurveda-influenced Indian spa treatments at the Jiva Grande Spa. If lying on a sun deck is your idea of relaxation, Away Spa has just what you need; and One&Only Spa has treatments that use marine algae to eliminate toxins from your body.
But these are far from your only options when it comes to relaxing in Maldives, since almost every hotel and resort has a dedicated spa. If your accommodation doesn’t, it’s still a safe bet to say that you’re about a stone’s throw away from one. And if all else fails, is there anything quite as relaxing as taking in the picturesque environs of Maldives? We don’t think so!