Swimming with sea turtles, basking on sugar-white beaches and swimming in turquoise lagoons are just some of the idyllic experiences on offer in the Maldives. With more than 1,000 islands to explore, this Indian Ocean archipelago is a paradise just waiting to be explored.
Things to do
The Maldives is synonymous with luxury and boasts some of the most beautiful beach resorts in the world. Most resorts are set on their own private islands and treat you to unparalleled luxury from the moment you step off the boat. You can treat yourself to poolside cocktails, heavenly massages and a bounty of freshly caught seafood.
Gleaming white sand and crystalline water make the Maldives one of the finest beach destinations on the planet. There are beaches for every occasion, whether you’re seeking a crescent-shaped stretch of sand of a secluded cove. Scenic flights unlock postcard-perfect views of the archipelago and its gorgeous beaches.
With a mask and snorkel, you can discover a whole different side to the Maldives. Underwater you’ll find kaleidoscopic corals, rainbow-coloured tropical fish and lush kelp forests. Scuba diving trips offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to swim with manta rays and whale sharks.
Travelling on a budget? Staying in locally run guesthouses is a great way to experience the Maldives through a local lens and stay on budget. You’ll find some of the best options on the atolls of Ari and Male. The island of Dhigurah is a firm favourite and boasts stunning white beaches, colourful cafes, world-class diving and friendly locals.
Male is the country’s lively capital and it’s worth spending a day or two exploring this tropical city. Visit historic sights like 17th-century Old Friday Mosque and learn about local culture at the excellent National Museum.
Water transport is often the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to explore the Maldives. The archipelago is well serviced by public ferries, as well as privately operated speedboats. Velana International Airport on Hulhulé Island in the North Malé atoll is the archipelago’s main airport. From here, most luxury resorts offer private boat or plane transfers.