10 BEST Things To Do In Maldives

by Crissandra Ayroso
woman on bicycle by overwater bungalow

There’s no place like the Maldives. With some of the most beautiful, secluded beaches and decked out overwater bungalows in the world, one-of-a-kind underwater experiences, a UNESCO world biosphere, world-class diving, snorkelling and surf breaks all in one chain of islands off the Indian Ocean, the endless sea of things to do in the Maldives tops one after the other

From the warm kiss of the waves and marine life to the world’s largest underwater restaurant and an underwater spa, you’ve never seen the Maldives like this. Here are the top 10 things to do in the Maldives:

1. Huvafen Fushi Underwater Spa


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Step inside the world’s first and only underwater spa for an experience you won’t find anywhere else under the sun! Immersed in a private courtyard, Huvafen Fushi Spa is a luxury retreat submerged below a traditional Maldivian dhoni or overwater hut.

With panoramic views of pristine reef and coral, you can relax and take in the surroundings while a kaleidoscope of technicolour clownfish, stingrays and marine life swim past you by. Sign up for a single or a couple’s treatment in the underwater treatment room or in one of the overwater dhonis, and have a hot and cold water therapy session in the relaxation area.

2. Malé, the Capital


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So many people miss out on Malé. While people fly in and out of this hub, Malé is quickly overlooked as a worthwhile experience, and miss out on this not-so-hidden gem. All of the locals live on Malé, a densely populated island, brimming with city life, culture, tea shops, centuries-old mosques made out of coral, and a lively early morning fish market. All of Malé’s sights can be seen in one day. For an authentic Maldivian experience, spend a day or two in Malé.

3. Parasail


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Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to fly through the air without having to jump out of an airplane? Try parasailing, a more calming thrill but not any less adrenaline-pumping. Glide through the air and watch the water below your feet gradually change from a vibrant pale turquoise to a deep navy blue as you’re lifted higher and higher above the Indian Ocean.

4. The 5.8 Undersea Restaurant


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Be seated at one of 10 tables in the world’s largest, all-glass underwater restaurant. Walk down a spiral staircase, 5.8 metres below the sea and enjoy a world-class tasting menu and a selection of fine wines for a spectacular, one-of-a-kind dinner show. 5.8 Undersea has 10 tables to accommodate no more than 10 couples at a time, so be sure to make reservations as far in advance as possible.

5. Snorkel


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When you’re in an archipelago with almost 1,200 islands, surrounded with pure, crystal clear water, there is no shortage of pristine snorkelling and diving sites to enjoy year-round in the Maldives.

Let’s just get that out of the way. With that being said, while there are many spectacular sites to choose from, we chose a handful of our favourite snorkel and dive spots near some of the best resorts in the Maldives. (Read more about scuba diving in the Maldives, here.)

Veligandu Island Beach, North Ari Atoll

Ukulhas Thila, North Ari Atoll

Broken Rock, South Ari Atoll

Angsana Ihru, North Malé Atoll

Kandooma Thila, South Malé Atoll

Alimatha Island, Vaavu Atoll

6. Surf

Surf season in the Maldives is from March to October, with some of the best breaks between June and September. Avid surfers flock to the eastern reef of the North and South Malé Atolls for some of the best surf that’s easy to get to. The surf generally ranges in size from 3 to 8 ft. or higher, with a great variety of reef breaks from mellow to intense, so there’s something for everyone.

Expert surfers may be tempted to charter a vessel to the outer atolls. About 475 km to the south, you’ll find at least a dozen world-class reef breaks that are rarely surfed. There are only two narrow windows of the year where the winds are right, generally from February to April and September to November, and the zone itself is fickle.

7. Traditional dhoni sunset cruise


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Watch a spectacular Maldivian sunset on a traditional Maldivian boat and maybe even spot a school of dolphins.

8. Dance to the Boduberu


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Literally meaning “big drums,” boduberu is a traditional Maldivian song and dance with African roots. It’s performed to celebrate just about every special event, from weddings and Eid celebrations to the end of Ramadan.

Bands consist of about 15 to 20 performers with at least three drummers, and singers who perform songs, also called lava. Just about every island in the Maldives has its own band, so be sure to find your way to one, if you can.

9. Party on Finolhu


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For a day club and nightlife beach vibe, head to the chic, retro luxury resort on Finolhu, in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO world biosphere reserve dedicated to protecting the rich diversity of marine life.

On Finolhu, the chances of spotting a celebrity are about the same as spotting a whale shark – pretty high (Leonardo DiCaprio has been spotted enjoying his time here). When the sun sets, everyone heads to 1 OAK (1 Of A Kind), a nightclub that started in New York, and has since spread to Las Vegas, Tokyo, Dubai, and Los Angeles, featuring internationally renowned DJs. Finolhu is a 30-minute seaplane ride from Malé International Airport.

10. Venture to one of the “locals’ islands”


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Islands that aren’t marketed for tourists are known as locals islands. While they’re more difficult to get to, the best way to access these islands is by chartering a speedboat or a seaplane directly in. They’re away from the big resorts and off-the-beaten-track and will ensure that your visit to this beautiful nation is as authentic as possible.

When you get there, check out the unique inhabitants of the island’s reef, and try the Mas Huni, a traditional Maldivian breakfast dish consisting of finely chopped tuna, onion, coconut and chilli, served with freshly baked roti. Depending on which island(s) you’ve chosen, travel time can be between 30 minutes to 3 hours by speedboat, or 15 to 60 minutes by seaplane.


Whether you’re eager to fly high or dive deep, the most beautiful, remote islands of the Maldives await. Learn more about the Maldives from our Travel Experts. 

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