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Best Activities to do in the Maldives

Many people’s idea of things to do in the Maldives involves lying on a beautiful white sand beach sipping cocktails. However, there are so many activities to do in the Maldives, mainly water activities and marine adventures! Here is my list of the best activities to do in the Maldives followed by some tourists’ favourite experiences here in paradise islands. 

  1. Snorkel with turtles
  2. Scuba dive with sharks (in Fuvahmulah island)
  3. Swim in crystal clear water (check out Gulhi island‘s top beach)
  4. Explore local islands
  5. Wreck diving
  6. Freedive with manta rays
  7. See wild dolphins on a dolphin cruise
  8. Go on a liveaboard boat
  9. Stay at a luxury resort (even if you’re on a budget!)
  10. Visit a sandbank
  11. Eat local Maldivian food – kottu roshi is my favourite!
  12. Go on an excursion, usually includes several snorkelling trips and a sandbank visit
  13. Experience a resort spa
  14. Jet ski
  15. Kite surf
  16. See bioluminescence plankton lighting up
  17. Kayak around islands
  18. Watch boduberu – a Maldivian drum and dance show
  19. Fly on a seaplane
  20. Have a drink on a party boat
  21. Snorkel with whale sharks
  22. Take photos with graffiti art
  23. Buy lacquerware souvenirs made in the traditional Maldivian way
  24. Go surfing (Thulusdhoo island has one of the best surfing spots in the Maldives)
  25. Go fishing (all fishing is done in a sustainable way in the Maldives)
  26. Stroll or cycle around the whole island
  27. Smoke sheisha on the beach
  28. Do Stand Up Paddle Boarding
  29.  Fly a drone and take amazing photos
  30. Try parasailing

Cal from Mar Pages loved his manta ray experience

Soneva Fushi is known to be one of the top barefoot luxe hotels in the Maldives. Situated on the mostly untouched and jungle-esque Kunfunadhoo island, it’s a locally owned hotel chain with a focus on exploring the uniqueness of the area – over any glitz and glam. After flying in the Maldivian seaplane, you’re welcomed to a world of luxury among the foliage. Water-based experiences are second-to-none at Soneva Fushi, as it’s based in the UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve Baa Atoll, which is in close proximity to some of the country’s most epic dive sites. It also has one of the most popular manta areas, where you can jump in the water and swim with the soaring creatures in season. As Soneva has its own dive centre with freediving lessons, you’re almost guaranteed a perfect experience. Personally, it was sensational to be surrounded by these gentle giants who seemed to want to get closer and closer. I had to make sure not to stretch out my legs and arms to avoid touching them and really enjoyed seeing them dance around in the ocean. Even if you’re not a swimmer, there are tons of dry water-based activities at Soneva Fushi. The most extravagant is hopping aboard the Soneva in Aqua Luxury Chartered Yacht which includes a glass-bottomed spa bath. There are day experiences or even surfaris available to Goidhoo, one of the country’s most premium breaks.

best activities to do in the Maldives

Suzanna from Meandering Wild loved Wreck Diving in Addu Atoll

When you think about diving in the Maldives, wreck diving is not the first thing to come to mind.  However, in Addu Atoll it is possible to dive on a fairly intact shipwreck.  In the Second World War, Addu Atoll was a secret British naval base. It is the most southerly of the Maldivian Atolls and is over 500 miles from Malé. The British Loyalty was an oil tanker that was hit by a torpedo in 1944 and spent the rest of the war in the atoll.  In 1946 when the British Navy withdrew they scuttled her (intentionally made holes to make her sink).  She sank on her starboard side into 33 metres of water just offshore inside Addu Atoll. 

The dive is gentle and if you are not qualified to dive to 33metres the port side is a beautiful coral garden at 16metres.  Dropping over the edge of the port side you can find the hole where the torpedo struck which allows you into the hold and engine rooms to explore.  It is also possible to find the stern section with the propeller still in place, covered in black coral and surrounded by elegant batfish.

To dive the British Loyalty you will need to book onto a dive boat.  The easiest to use is Aquaventure based out of Maradhoo.  They are not linked to a resort and can provide all the kit and training you need. 

For more about wreck diving in Addu read Suzanne’s post here

Wreck Diving in the Maldives
 

 

Claudia from My Adventures Across the World  loved her sandbank visit

One of the most unique things to do in the Maldives is visiting a sand bank. These can be found scattered in the archipelago, there are various of different dimensions, and they are nothing more than just a line of incredibly white sand surrounded by the clearest waters you can imagine. Close to the sand bank you will also find a coral reef, which is perfect for snorkeling.

In order to reach a sand bank you need to hire a boat – most islands (local or privately owned by luxury resorts) will be able to provide this service and a captain that knows where to find the closest sand bank.

As the sand is bright white and there is absolutely no shade, you will need to apply a lot of sun block and preferably wear a t-shirt for the duration of your stay. Most boats will provide umbrellas or other forms of shelter from the sun. Some boats are too big to be able to get directly on the sand bank, so you may have to walk in the water to make your way there.

Best activities to do in the Maldives
Visiting sandbanks

Best activities to do in the Maldives

 

Jacs from Flashpacking Family loved seeing turtles

Our family holiday to the Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa in the Maldives is, hands down, one of the best holidays we’ve ever had. Not ones for sitting around on a beach all day, particularly our adventurous boys, we were slightly concerned about whether we would get bored, but as it turned out, those fears were completely unfounded.

On arrival, we were given a run-through of all the activities on offer and suddenly realised that we may not have enough time to do all of them. We decided that we absolutely had to go on a snorkelling trip and try some diving as the Maldives is one of the best destinations in the world to do this. If you have never been diving before, the Centara Grand offers dive courses ranging from introductory to full PADI courses. 

Thankfully, the resort had the best kids’ club which the kids loved going to, so we were able to take a few trips. Although the corals are mostly bleached, we saw so much marine life, but a turtle gliding by within a metre of us was a big tick on our bucket list.  They are the most graceful and ancient creatures and to have one swim by us of its own choice and in its own home, was mesmerising.

Best activities to do in the Maldives
Snorkelling with turtles in the Maldives

For more about the Maldives read my other blog posts to discover more about this amazing country!

To explore local islands

For a suggested Maldives itinerary

For a Maldives packing list on what to wear and bring to the Maldives

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