A recent travel report revealed that around 10,000 holidaymakers from the UK made their way to the Maldives in November 2017 (7.9% of the total travellers to the island). The number, which is 20% higher for the travellers visiting the Maldives in 2016 in the same month, not only reflects the fondness for the stunning island nation amongst the Britons but also speaks volumes about the Maldives’ ability to charm the world travellers with its pristine beaches, cerulean waters and incredible resorts.
If you too are looking for some inspiration to jet off to this breathtakingly beautiful place, here’s our guide on what makes the Maldives so irresistible for travellers:
Malé, the vibrant capital city
Lying on the Kaafu Atoll, Malé is the heart of the island nation. It is here that you can get the true taste of life as lived by locals in the Maldives. Differentiated from the rest of the serene islands by its pulsating life, most clearly visible in its local markets, lively restaurants and alcohol-free bars, Malé is ideal for a change of pace in the Maldives. While there’s plenty that you can do here, don’t miss the chance to visit the beautiful Old Friday Mosque, Grand Friday Mosque & Islamic Centre as well as the National Museum.
Sun Island, the haven of luxury resorts
Nalaguraidhoo Island in South Ari Atoll, popularly known as the Sun Island, is where you will find some of the best beaches in the Maldives, lined with some of the most luxurious resorts in the world. Perfect for a close encounter with nature vis-à-vis its verdant surroundings boasting tropical abundance, the Sun Island also remains known for its excellent diving, windsurfing and snorkelling opportunities.
Banana Reef, one of the best diving sites in the world
Borrowing its name from the way it’s shaped, the Banana Reef in the North Malé Atoll is at the centre of most trips to the Maldives. Characterised by giant cliffs, caves, stunning corals and an impressive marine life including sharks, barracuda, prolific reef fish, including jackfish and morays, the reef is a diver’s dream come true. The first diving spot in Maldives to get recognition for licensed diving and training, the Banana Reef is also perfect for snorkelling and jet skiing.
Fihalhohi Island, the romance-seekers’ paradise
Located in the South Kaafu Atoll in Malé, the Fihalhohi Island is for those looking to get away from the crowds in the Maldives and take refuge into the nature’ lap. Boasting some of the most serene beaches, tall palm trees as well as turquoise-blue waters, free from the sight of heaps of people struggling to take on an adventure, a sight commonplace everywhere else in the Maldives; the Fihalhohi Island is naturally a perfect choice for honeymooners and romance-seekers.
Utheemu, where history awaits at every corner
Utheemu, in the north Maldives, is a small island of a great historical importance to the Maldives and its people. The place where the Maldivian national hero Mohammed Thakurufaanu spent most of his childhood, Utheemu’s most popular attraction remains a small palace made of wood – Utheemu Ganduvaru-which is now a heritage house. The other popular places of tourist interest in the Maldives include an ancient cemetery as well as a quaint mosque.