Maldives is a by-word for luxury, romance and tropical bliss; a beautiful string of low-lying coral islands in the Indian Ocean, and a paradise for diving enthusiasts and sun seekers alike
A sunset boat cruise aboard a dhoni, the wooden boat that is the Maldives’ standard mode of transport, is a blissful way to end the day. You’ll cruise around uninhabited islands, where you’ll be served drinks and snacks while local musicians play their traditional bodu beru drums to attract dolphins.
From Malé take a ferry trip to the nearby man-made island of Hulhumalé, a utopian town that looks set to become the new hub of the country in decades to come as sea levels rise – Hulhumalé is 2m above sea level, which is mountainous by local standards.
For an unforgettable underwater experience, dive to the Maldives Victory Wreck (which sank in 1981), lying on the western side of Hulhule. This is a dive for experienced divers.
The tiny, crowded capital city of the Maldives is a fantastic place to visit for a day as it gives you the chance to see real life away from your resort, meet Maldivians on an equal footing, and take in a slice of south Asian island life
The whole of Malé is a hive of economic activity – everybody seems to be buying or selling something, but this is nowhere more the case than at the busy fish market on the waterfront, where produce fresh from the sea is gutted right before your eyes
Non-divers will love this alternative way to get underwater and see the busy life on a coral reef a short a short distance away from Malé. The submarine is pressurised, so you can also do this before flying.