They are many things to do in Maldives, that are perfect for all kinds of travelers. Whether looking for a relaxing holiday or for a bit of adventure, the Maldives are an incredible place to visit.
I bet you have been dreaming to go to the Maldives for years. You must be attracted by the pictures of white sand beaches, palm trees, clear waters and incredible sunsets. Call it the power of internet!
Known to be the perfect holiday and honeymoon spot, relaxing is certainly what to do in Maldives. I surely did a lot of that when I visited. However, this paradise on earth has a lot more to offer, and it really is suitable to any kind of traveler.
In this post, I summarize all the things to do in Maldives that anybody can enjoy: adventure seekers and honeymooners will find plenty of inspiration for their trip here, but also those who are looking for a more local experience.
Before moving on, let me sum up here the best day trips and activities in the Maldives that can be booked online:
- Half day walking tour of Male
- Maafushi: wavesurfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing
- Snorkeling safari
- Sandbank snorkeling and sunset cruise
15 Incredible Things To Do In Maldives
One of the reasons I love swimming is that there’s no talking to be done. It’s just me, and the noise of water in my ears, its taste in my mouth. Besides, I grew up by the sea, in Sardinia, and not a weekend in the summer goes by without going to the beach. Snorkeling is one of my favorite things to do, and rumor had it that it reaches a whole different level in the Maldives.
I guess that rumor was right. One of the biggest Maldives attractions is its marine life, and one of the nicest things to do in Maldives is snorkeling. Within moments of getting in the water, you will spot an incredible variety of colored fish and corals. It can’t get any better than that.
These are the best snorkeling tours of Maldives:
Resorts such as as Adaaran Hudhuranfushi offer activities such as water flying. It is one of the most fun things to do in Maldives and I recommend giving it a try – even if chances are you won’t be able to stand for a long time.
Water flying requires a lot of strength in the legs and abs, which you may or may not have. It honestly is a blast. It definitely is what to do in Maldives for a good laugh.
One of the coolest things to do in Maldives is fun tubing. I had tried it in Eilat in Israel, and let me tell you it is one adrenaline filled experience.
It is an intense 8 minutes of laughter and screaming. Fun tubing has to be one of the craziest things to do in the Maldives. It’s a million miles away from the romantic picture that most people have of this paradise archipelago, and yet so much part of it!
Even if you think you are not afraid of heights (I didn’t think I was, after having been zip lining in Argentina) parasailing is bound to take your breath away. Literally.
A quick boat ride and the sail will be spread for you, and you will be up, going in the air. It is a breathtaking 15 minutes. You will likely spend the first minute thinking it is rather cool. Then realize the boat down there is way too small. Chances are you wish you didn’t look that way, and you will need to close your eyes and take some very deep breaths.
I promise you it is an incredible thing to do – seeing the Maldives from above is a must! It really is one of the nicest things to do in Maldives.
You can book your parasailing tour here.
Diving is by far a must when visiting the Maldives. If you don’t have a license, you will only be able to go 12 meters deep but even then the marine life is absolutely stunning – you will be able to see sharks, eagle ray and many other species.
TIP: Make sure to remain calm and take slow breaths when in the water, this way the experience will last longer!
Surfing and SUP
The Maldives have some of the best waves in the world. I didn’t try surfing myself, because apparently the waves are for quite advanced surfers. But a lot of people go there specifically in search of waves.
If surfing is not your thing, you can still try stand up paddle (SUP) though: it’s fun. The water is very smooth, and you get to see the corals and fish below! SUP is what to do in Maldives for a fun, chilled and easy (well, sort of!) sport and great water views.
You can book your surf, kitesurf or windsurf experience online here.
Fishing trips are organized by resorts and local islands usually around sunset time. You will head out a bit before the sun is about to set and will admire the most incredible views from the water. You will then be provided all the necessary equipment to fish, and it’s a great experience as the waters are packed with fish and you are bound to capture a lot.
Doing a SPA treatment
Among the things to do in Maldives, there’s having a spa treatment. Resorts such as Adaaran Prestige Vadoo have a SPA where you can enjoy many treatments, including a Balinese massage. Other treatments include facial and manicures.
Admiring a splendid sunset (or sunrise)
Nothing sounds more quintessentially romantic than watching the sunset or the sunrise. And it is well known that one of the nicest things to do in Maldives is admiring that special light towards the end of the day.
For perfect results, I suggest doing so from the plunge pool of an overwater bungalow – most resorts in Maldives have them. The effect is fantastic. This is what to do in Maldives for a quintessential local experience. Alternatively, head out by boat and watch it directly from the water!
Going to a sand bank
Sand banks are scattered everywhere in the Maldives. They are truly unique places – literally a tiny island entirely made of the whitest sand you can imagine, surrounded by pristine, clear waters and coral reefs.
You need to get a boat ride there – captains usually know where to find them. They are fun places to spend a few hours. You really can’t stand longer than that as the sun is fierce and there is hardly anything to protect yourself from it.
Boats usually carry umbrellas or gazebos that can be placed on the beach to create some shade. Make sure to hang out there any time you are not in the water; cover your head with a hat; wear lots of high protecting factor sunblock and possibly a t-shirt – your shoulders will thank you.
If there’s one thing that is not missing in the Maldives, that is good food. Cuisine in the Maldives tends to be quite similar to that of Sri Lanka, but you will also have an incredible variety of international food. Local cuisine tends to have a high focus on fish, which is literally served also for breakfast. There are lots of mild curries too.
From fresh tropical fruit to delicious fish; from barbecued meat to Japanese or Italian cuisine; one of the greatest things to do in Maldives is eating.
Having lunch right on the water
Speaking of eating – there is one thing that you can only do when there is no wind and the tide allows it. But if you manage, it’s a great experience. You can literally eat with your feet and legs in the water, as a table (and an umbrella to create some much needed shade) will be mounted on the shallow shores. You will be served a delicious lunch in a fantastic setting.
Visiting a local island
Not many people who venture to the Maldives visit the islands where the locals live. It’s a shame, really. These are lovely places to explore, with nice beaches (often separate for tourists and locals, who are Muslim and won’t wear swimsuits); small local cafés; mosques; schools and friendly people hanging around. Make it a point to go!
The capital of the Maldives hardly is a popular tourist destination, but if you are in search for a truly local experience, make it a point to go. The most interesting places to visit are the local fruit and vegetable market, and the nearby fish market – you will be able to catch lots of action there and to take a glimpse of the main products of local cuisine. I was particularly intrigued by the incredible skills fishermen show at cutting fish!
This is a good guided tour of Male that can be booked online: Half day walking tour of Male.
Enjoying a gorgeous villa
Among the things the Maldives are known for are the overwater villas that have direct access to the sea. All I can say is that staying in one is an incredible experience, and definitely one of the top things to do in Maldives.
Rooms are incredibly large, with the most comfortable beds; there’s a plunge pool and a deck for sunbathing; as well as a jacuzzi at the back. The only noise one can hear is that of the breeze and of the sea. And the view is simply spectacular.
The best resorts in Maldives
As I mentioned staying in overwater bungalows and beautiful rooms as one of the things to do in Maldives, I suppose it is good to point out the best resorts in Maldives.
Here’s a selection of the nicest places to stay:
- Adaaran Select Huduranfushi is suitable for all sorts of budgets and also for sports junkies, as it offer cheaper packages and is located on an island that gets excellent waves. Click here for the best rates and here for reviews.
- Adaaran Prestige Vadoo is located on a tiny island, and perfect for a romantic or relaxing getaway. There is a spa and a diving center that offers dives directly from the shore. Click here for the best rates and here for reviews.
- Bandos is located in Kaafu Atoll and offers all the nicest things to do in Maldives at really competitive prices. Click here for the best rates and here for reviews.
- Constance Halaveli is possibly the most luxurious all all the best resorts in Maldives. Click here for the best rates and here for reviews.
- Zest Cabana, in Maafushi, is a lovely place suitable for people traveling on a budget. Staying is what to do in Maldives for those who want a bit more of a local experience. Click here for the best rates.
For more accommodation options check out my post “The Best Maldives Accommodation Guide For All Budgets.”
Practical Information To Plan Your Trip To The Maldives
Best time to visit Maldives
The weather in the Maldives is hot and sunny throughout the year. The best time to visit is between November and April, with December being the peak season. The monsoon goes from May to October. I went in September, and I can say the weather was absolutely perfect: hot, with a touch of breeze that made it actually pleasant and never suffocating, and good enough to enjoy all the things to do in Maldives.
Guided tours of the Maldives
Love traveling but you have little time for planning? Leave the difficult bits to the experts and book a guided tour. These are the best ones around:
- Maldives Dhoni Cruise – a fantastic, budget friendly 7-days G Adventures cruise that takes you around the best places in the archipelago.
- Maldives Dhoni Explorer – a 7-days G Adventures cruise for the most active travelers.
- Maldives Island Hopping – a very budget friendly 8-days G Adventures tour of the Maldives with accommodation in local guest houses and lots of activities.
How to get to the Maldives
Being a major tourist destination, the Maldives are very well connected to the rest of the world. There’s direct flights from Sri Lanka, Dubai, Qatar and Abu Dhabi. Once there, moving around by boat is what to do in Maldives. Resorts are typically able to take around their guests offering water taxi services.
There are many more things to do in Maldives than I had expected, and any kind of traveler can have a good time there: singles and couples are both bound to relax; those looking for adventures and those looking to relax will enjoy it.
If you have the budget to splurge, you will love it. And even if you don’t have that budget, you will be able to enjoy it, as staying in a local community is what to do in Maldives to visit them on a budget. Find out more about that here.
Are you thinking of going to the Maldives? What are the things to do in Maldives that you are most looking forward to?
Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, Adaaran Prestige Vadoo and Maldives TV during my stay in Maldives. All the views and opinions expressed are my own and based on my personal experience. The views expressed are honest and factual without any bias.