Ah, the Maldives. Just the word alone is enough to fill your mind with images of paradise lagoons, frozen cocktails and private luxury yachts. Many of us spend our days dreaming of the day our toes touch the talcum white sand of those sought-after islands. But once you reach those coveted shores, what do you actually do there? Check out our list of the most jaw-dropping things to do in the Maldives.
Stay in an Over-Water Bungalow
No trip to the Maldives is complete without spending the night at a luxurious bungalow floating over a turquoise lagoon. In addition to providing direct access to the ocean, many overwater villas also feature a private swimming pool. We love the retro glam design of Finolhu’s ocean pool villas. And then there are the Water Retreat villas at Soneva Jani, where a waterslide takes you straight to the lagoon from your villa’s roof. Only in the Maldives, folks!
Swim with Manta Rays
One of the best things to do in the Maldives is to explore the amazing marine life surrounding the islands. Finolhu resort is located on the UNESCO protected Baa Atoll and looks after the ecosystem with the help of resident marine biologists. One of the most spectacular experiences is to swim with the majestic manta rays. Finolhu offers Hanifaru Manta Snorkeling expeditions during manta season (peak is between June and October). You can also place your name on the “Manta On Call” list, which means staff will notify you as soon as the gentle giants are sighted.
Have a Movie Night on the Beach
Sand beneath your feet, the sea breeze in your – and your favourite movie playing on the big screen. Soneva Fushi’s Cinema Paradiso allows guests to indulge in a movie night right on the resort island’s picture perfect beach. Recline back on the plush lounger, dip you hand to the complimentary popcorn bowl and allow movie magic to wash over you as the stars light up the skies above.
Party with Acrobats and Fire Dancers
A holiday in the Maldives doesn’t have to be just about snorkelling and laying on the beach. The groovy and glamorous Finolhu resort promises to bring back the glitz and glam of classic travel and hosts epic beach parties that would make the Great Gatsby green with envy. The nightly entertainment at the resort features everything from acrobats to fire dancers and from world-class DJs to five-star mixologists. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a celebrity: In 2017, Finolhu’s Summer Lovin’ beach festival is headlined by Robin Thicke.
Dine at an Underwater Restaurant
One of the most iconic things to do in the Maldives is to have dinner beneath the waves. Diners get to enjoy direct views of life under the sea in these unique, glass-domed dining venues. There are a few restaurants offering underwater dining in the Maldives. Perhaps the most famous one is the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at Conrad Resort, which boasts status as the first and so far the only all-glass underwater restaurant in the world.
Photo via Conrad Hotels and Resorts
Go Glamping on the Sand
Live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies in the most luxurious style imaginable. Soneva Fushi offers a Private Sandbank Overnight Experience, where guests get to camp outside on a private sandbank. And we’re not talking about just any old tent here. Soneva Fushi’s luxury tents offer Bedouin-style romance and even include a private toilet! The overnight experience includes a candlelight dinner on the beach and drifting to sleep beneath the starry skies of the Maldives. The night of island romance is of course followed by a royal breakfast spread. Definitely one of the most romantic things to do in the Maldives.
Stargazing at the Observatory
Thanks to the island’s remote location far away from city lights, Maldives offers the ideal setting for some epic star gazing. Soneva Jani is home to the first overwater observatory in the Maldives. You can learn about the constellation from Soneva Jani’s astronomer. If you’re after a more romantic experience, you can also enjoy a “So Starstruck Astronomy Dinner” at the observatory, with a 16” telescope offering front row seats to the best show in town.
Sail on a Full Moon Cruise
What is an island getaway without some time spent exploring the surrounding waters? We can’t think of a better time to do just that than in the soft glow of a full moon. Once a month, Finolhu offers a full moon cruise. Climb aboard the authentic dhoni vessel and marvel as the sea comes to life in the moonlight. Next to the magical views and ambiance, guests enjoy champagne and canapes. C’est magnifique!
Discover a Sea of Stars
If you though Maldives were stunning in daylight, you’ll be blown away by the islands after nightfall. Vaadhoo Island in particular is a sight to behold after sunset. The island’s beaches are transformed into what is often referred to as a “Sea of Stars” and indeed, it does look like stars glowing in the waters. The magical looking phenomena is called bioluminescence and it’s caused by a species of plankton defending themselves against predators. Witnessing the Sea of Stars is of the most spell binding things to do in the Maldives – or anywhere on the planet, for that matter.
Star in Your Own Private Photoshoot
We’ll just come out and admit it: one of the best parts about going on holiday in such a stunning place as the Maldives are the bragging rights. Thanks to the Shutterfish Photography Studio at Amilla Fushi and sister resort Finolhu, you get to show of high-quality holiday snaps that are bound to leave your friends green with envy. Guests at Amilla Fushi and Finolhu are treated to a complimentary 45-60-minute portrait session, which allows you to be immortalised at some of the most iconic locations at the resorts. No need to pack a selfie stick here – the pros have got it covered.