Ever thought about dining in an undersea restaurant or coming face-to-face with colossal whale sharks? Some of these experiences are so special you won’t find them anywhere else in the world. We’ve spent many years travelling to these stunning islands so here are a few of our favourite things to do in the Maldives.
Swim with ocean giants at Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort
The South Ari Atoll is one of the only places on our planet where you can encounter the world’s biggest fish, whale sharks, all throughout the year. Small and romantic Outrigger Maldives Maafushivaru Resort offers marine biologist-led trips to observe these magnificent creatures, along with manta ray quests and turtle snorkelling safaris..
Dine around the globe at Kuramathi Maldives
Kuramathi, our most beloved Maldives resort, is a firm foodie favourite with nine à la carte restaurants, delicious, themed buffets and six bars to enjoy during your stay. From Thai, Indian, fresh seafood, Mediterranean and Teppanyaki dining to a menu of over 100 cocktails, it would be a shame not to sample as much as possible. Thankfully, the island has a flexible all-inclusive dine-around option, so you can switch the scene (and cuisine) every night.
Live the water villa dream at Milaidhoo Maldives
If you want nothing short of extravagant luxury on your Maldives holiday, the Water Pool Villas at Milaidhoo Maldives are in a league of their own. These enormous, 245 square metre villas sit on stilts above the crystal-clear waters with jaw-dropping 180-degree views. Inside, you'll find custom-made furnishings and exquisite artwork, while the sun deck has a spacious freshwater infinity pool and direct access to the lagoon. Milaidhoo moments are the cherry on the top: sip Champagne on a traditional Dhoni boat, wake up to a floating breakfast in your private pool or spend the night beneath the stars in a four-poster bed on a secluded sandbank.
Chase sunsets at Dhigali Maldives
Dhigali Maldives is a golden hour dream with numerous vantage points to witness nature’s dazzling display. Watch the sky blaze into colour during a romantic sandbank stroll or while sipping sparkling wine on a sunset cruise, complimentary as part of your all-inclusive stay. But our favourite spot is the two-storey Haali bar, resembling a giant bird's nest, perched at the island's western tip. Head there around 6 pm and toast vanilla berry cocktails as the sun dips below the horizon.
Explore the Maldives' best house reef at Kandolhu Maldives
While many islands talk about having the best house reef, the tiny island of Kandolhu Maldives, a hotspot for honeymooners, rightfully stakes its claim. The reef encircles the island, doubling its size, and the table corals attract diverse marine life such as turtles, baby sharks and eagle rays. The experience becomes even more extraordinary when snorkelling – equipment is free to use and all rooms come with a GoPro, so you can film the marine life around you.
Sleep under the stars at Seaside Finolhu Baa Atoll Maldives
Drift off under the stars in Finolhu's distinctive beach bubble tent, a spherical sleeping pod nestled on the island's secluded sandbank. Under ideal conditions, you'll marvel at constellations, planets, and even the arc of the Milky Way as you cosy up under the transparent dome. Your experience starts with a private beach barbecue and ends with a delectable breakfast by the shore.
Groove under a giant glitter ball: The Standard, Huruvalhi Island
This hip and happening island, owned by the unconventional Standard brand, offers a unique twist on the classic Maldives experience. We love the whimsical dining settings, rejuvenating wellness activities and the colour-popped villas featuring infinity plunge pools and activity walls. If you love a good party, you can dance the night away at the overwater Beru Bar, home to the Maldives' largest disco ball and an expansive glass-floored dance club.
Fly over the waves at Adaaran Club Rannalhi
It's no surprise the Maldives is a water activity paradise, considering its aquatic surroundings. The wonderfully natural resort of Adaaran Club Rannalhi is a top choice if you love the thrill of water sports. With the fantastic value all-inclusive package, you can enjoy snorkelling, windsurfing, canoeing and paddle boarding at no extra cost. And if you're up for some high-octane fun, consider trying out motorised sports like jet skiing, fun tubing and the newest sensation, flyboarding, available at extra cost.
Deep sea dining at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
This extraordinary dining experience at Ithaa on Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is found five metres below sea level. Surrounded by views of marine life through glass walls, you can tuck into a six-course set dinner menu with reef lobster as the showstopper. It’s a good idea to make a reservation about in advance as tables book up fast here.