Characterised by blue waters and schools of fish; surreal weather and delicious food, Maldives has always been the choicest holiday destination for beach lovers and travellers. It is believed that this archipelagic nation has no counterpart in the entire world in terms of exceptional topography and geography. Replete with nature’s bounty that’s lit with plenty of sunshine; this white sand beach haven has a plethora of activities to offer to travellers who love outdoors. While most activities entail being in the warm waters, there are various other tropical marvels to explore in this breezy and magical destination.
Recently, the governments of India and Maldives agreed to launch a passenger-cum-cargo ferry service from Kochi in Kerala to Maldives’ capital Male. With this impetus, we bring you 4 things you can do on your next trip to the Maldives.
Book a luxury hideaway
Maldives is famous for resort islands that offer intimacy and peace. The villas are idyllic and extraordinary really. Every high-end hotel brand has something on offer for patrons. For example, you can choose the Shangri-La's Villingili Resort & Spa. This mammoth resort with a breathtaking view offers 132 villas with private pools, a 9-hole golf course, three lakes and enough palm trees to make you love your tropical holiday.
Eat like a local
In the Maldives, eating local can be tough if you aren’t a fish-eater. With fresh tuna eaten in for every meal, the quality of fish found in the islands is extraordinarily good. Be prepared to eat mangoes, yams, coconuts, pineapples, and of course a lot of seafood. Try the mas huni (tuna, onion, coconut, chilli) with roshi (bread) for breakfast; hedhikaa for snacks (fish with chilli, fried dough balls with fish and spices, batter-fried fish rolls, spicy fish cakes), and heaps of spicy fish curries with rice. While your resort will of course offer restaurant quality food, don’t forget to try local eateries and tea shops.
For an adventurous minded traveller, the Maldivian underwater world will bring complete joy. There’s the usual jet skiing, kite surfing, kayaking and glass-bottom boat activities but you must go snorkelling here. Maldives is one of the best snorkelling destinations in the world. Teeming with marine life, just a short swim away will bring you face-to-face with colourful fish and stunning corals. If you are a diver, the waterworld is your playground. There are plenty of PADI certified dive centres, even your resort should have one. Enrol in classes if you’re a beginner or head out for a dive with your instructor. Some unusual dives you can go for can be at night or near wrecks.
Explore one of the world’s smallest capitals
Male is densely populated and is one of the smallest capital’s in the world, compressed onto an island about 2 sq km. While other resort islands and local islands are favoured by tourists, spending some time to explore Male would prove interesting. With mosques, markets, museums and colourful people, the tiny capital is vivacious. The National Museum and National Art Gallery are must-visit spots, so is the Grand Mosque and the historic Old Friday Mosque dating back to the 17 th century. Once can even do a quick island hop from Male to Villimale and learn about eco-tourism.