The Maldives has made a name for itself as one of the most coveted honeymoon destinations in the world, with its picture-perfect beaches and romantic beachside-dining options making it a haven for loved-up couples. But this cluster of islands in the Indian Ocean has much more to offer than candle-lit dinners and rom-com backdrops, so we’ve pulled together a list of our favourite reasons to give the Maldives a try!
The Maldives is the perfect choice for those really looking to get away from it all. Only one resort is permitted per island, ensuring the islands don’t become over-populated with visitors, and most high-end hotels have private beaches ensuring guests can while away their days in almost complete solitude.
With each resort and major city offering such a wide range of fine dining options, visitors could be forgiven for leaving the Maldives having not even sampled the local cuisine. But this would be a huge missed opportunity; local food is remarkably cheap and provides a window into Maldivian culture. Local dishes revolve mainly around fresh fish, and are usually flavoured with coconut and delicious spices.
The Maldives is home to a spectacular phenomenon. The ocean is home to microbes called phytoplankton that glow blue in the water when washed up on shore, transforming the water into a sea of stars. A stretch of beach on Vaadhoo Island is one of the best places to witness this natural wonder, and is a must-see on any Maldives holiday!
The scuba diving opportunities in the Maldives are second-to-none; the ocean is populated with coral reefs and a range of marine life, and the clarity of the water allows visibility of up to 50 metres. Keen divers will love the dive safaris, where you can spend a week or a fortnight living aboard a boat and getting underwater whenever the mood takes you!
The Maldives is one of the most beautiful destinations on earth, drawing thousands of visitors every year to its sandy shores. Responsible development has ensured the natural beauty of the islands has been preserved, keeping the sand white and the water clear. The sunsets are particularly spectacular, casting a spectrum of colour onto the ocean below.
The Maldivian culture is a true melting pot, with evident influence from South India, Arabia, and Southeast Asia. The locals are fiercely proud of their roots, with a distinctive identity being communicated through music, dance, food and the numerous festivals that take place throughout the year.
The Maldives is famous for offering fabulous all inclusive stays and sumptuous facilities in the most enviable locations. The overwater accommodation is particularly impressive; those who can afford to splash out can stay in a luxurious wooden bungalow with steps leading right into the ocean…
The Maldives is made up of over 1000 islands, around 200 of which are inhabited. There isn’t yet an established network of transport between the islands, but many of the main resorts offer organised tours, or if you are determined to go it alone you can catch ferries from Malé.
The Maldivian capital is a hub of activity and well worth a visit. Its mass of colourful skyscrapers make it an eye-catching city even from a distance, and up-close visitors love its great shopping opportunities, historical sights and infectious buzz. Highlights include the National Museum, Presidential Palace and the exquisite Friday Mosque.
Layovers are common from the UK en route to the Maldives, some of the most popular stopover destinations being Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Instead of resigning yourself to a tedious wait in an airport, push back your connecting flight and grab the chance to experience another city on an overnight stay.
Discover your perfect holiday in the Maldives!
By Kate Moxon – Content and Social Media Executive at icelolly.com