6 must-do experiences in the Maldives
Sun, sand and surf, what more could a vacation need? If an island getaway is what you crave, look no further than the island nation of the Maldives. We want to showcase the best of what the Maldives has to offer, enticing visitors with their luxury accommodations perched atop the crystal clear waters and white sands of a UNESCO biosphere. The Maldives are an archipelago of 1.192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. Which means, choosing which one to visit can be a pretty tough decision. Blue lagoons, extensive reefs and an amazing underwater world, you really can’t go wrong with any single island. While visiting this earthly paradise, you’ll never be lacking in exciting activities to participate in between all of that much-needed downtime. If relaxing is your main objective though, be sure to at least squeeze in these six must-do experiences in the Maldives:
Stay in an Overwater Villa
There’s nothing quite like waking up to a pristine, endless ocean view every morning. Staying in an overwater villa is an experience unlike any other; you become one with nature without sacrificing any of your essential amenities. In an overwater villa, you can watch the fish dart beneath you before jumping into the ocean yourself to join them. At the end of another adventure filled-day, you have the luxury of retreating back to a comfortable private space where you can fully relax and rejuvenate. Check it out the luxury villas of Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, located on the exotic Emboodhu Finolhu Island, in the middle of one of the largest natural lagoons in the world, just 15 minutes by luxury speedboat from Malé International Airport (picture above). This tropical isle, once known as the ‘Three Coconut Island’ is surrounded by crystal blue waters and covered with lush tropical flora. With endless views of the Indian Ocean, this private retreat makes for a complete and exclusive destination holiday. With 64 impeccably designed villas and suites, Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives is luxury redefined. Step in to your own private haven steeped in opulence at one of these spectacular tropical villas. Experience paradise on earth. The resort boasts the Jiva Grande Spa, the first authentic Indian spa outside of India, which offers Ayurveda therapies and a unique Indian bathing pavilion. There is a wealth of water sports and dining experiences available. Dress up for dinner in the exotic 24 Degrees Restaurant, enjoy a moonlit Champagne cruise or pamper yourself with an ultimate romantic getaway in the Ocean Pavilion, nestled in the middle of the lagoon, which starts with a couples aromatherapy treatment followed by sunset cocktail or champagne, and indulge with mouthwatering selection of local and international specialties for dinner.
Snorkel with Whale Sharks and Manta Rays
Hanifaru Bay, conveniently located within the Baa Atoll, is renowned for being the place where the world’s largest gatherings of manta rays can be found during the right season. This area is also home to a score of whale sharks, who flock to the warm waters in search of schools of krill from June to November each year. In addition to spotting many of these gentle giants, visitors lucky enough to snorkel in these waters will have the opportunity to swim amongst one of the richest coral reef systems on earth, which houses a variety of marine creatures.
Take a Private Sunset Cruise With Dolphins
The beauty of the Maldives is even more majestic at sunset. Taking a private cruise around the islands will give you an even greater appreciation of the breathtaking views surrounding you. The best part about this excursion is the company you’ll be keeping. Spinner Dolphins are particularly common around the atolls and love nothing more than playfully jumping alongside boats creating waves.
Enjoy a Spice Shopping
Opposite the Male fish market is a real local’s market: walk past the fishing boats and dhoni along the harbour wall till you come across boxes and boxes of ripe papayas, chillis and enormous bunches of green bananas slung around a rough building. Must-buy items include local spice mixes for heart-warming curries and proto-Golden Roughs: coconut and palm sugar rolled up in dried leaves like cigars for a quick pick-me-up if you’re flagging in the midday heat.
Find your new Screensaver Scenery
You know that picture that comes pre-loaded on your new laptop? Yes, the one with the palm trees and toothpaste-white beaches. It’s probably photographed in the Maldives. Add a hammock, umbrella and icy drink and you’ll know why the little country is high up on the world’s must-visit list. The Maldives straddles the Equator, so temps don’t fluctuate much from the annual average of 30 degrees.
Unique Private Dining
At Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, they offer private dining in mesmeric settings, with handcrafted menus and impeccable service. Their finely curated dining experiences play up the exquisite resort ambience, beachfront and sea view, ultimately romantic!