Major Tourist Attractions: Thilafushi, Hulhule Island, Villingili, Hulhumale, Male Friday Mosque
Famous for its white sandy beaches, clear turquoise waters, and its over-water bungalows, the Maldives is the physical synonym of paradise, romance, and luxury. But don’t worry, while luxury has been its trademark for years, Maldives recently opened its doors to budget travel by introducing culturally-focused tourism.
The country’s 26 natural atolls and over 1000 islands are a paradise for diving enthusiasts as well as snorkelers. From shallow reefs to deep corals, Maldives offers a plethora of sea life that is incomparable to any other.
The Maldives is a strict practicing Muslim country, so pork and alcohol are prohibited, and bikinis are not allowed in public areas. But don’t worry, you can still sunbathe and drink in any of the private islands, resorts, and tourism dedicated islands.
Naturally, accommodation ranges from luxury over-water bungalows in private islands to guesthouses in the capital city of Malé or smaller populated islands.
Food is mostly based on seafood such as tuna, grouper, octopus, and swordfish. Kavaabu is a delicious popular deep-fried snack made of rice, tuna, coconut, lentils, and spices. And, if you’re not into seafood, curries of chicken or beef can be found cheaply in several restaurants.
With so many islands to explore, here are some of the top places and things you should look forward to do in the Maldives:
- Dive in Addu Atoll, which is considered to have some of the best corals in the entire country
- Visit Picnic Island for a day of fun watersports (like banana boating, windsurfing, jet skiing, and more), snorkeling, and even dolphin sighting
- Take a sunset boat cruise aboard a dhoni, a typical Maldivian boat
- Go fishing at night to catch snappers, groupers, squirrelfish, and barracudas. Enjoy barbecuing them on your next meal!
- If you’re an experienced diver, dive in the Maldives Victory Wreck, which sank in 1981 and sits on the western side of Hulhule
- Walk along the capital, Malé, and learn about the history and culture of the country
- Visit the 17th-century coral stone Hukuru, also known as Friday Mosque, in Malé
- Take the ferry to Villigili to enjoy the beach, picnics, and relaxation
- Visit an uninhabited island or go to a fishing village in smaller, less developed islands
- Stay in an over-water bungalow resort, or visit on a day trip
- Fly over the islands to get a glimpse of their natural beauty and crystalline waters
Address: 210, Galle Rd,
Colombo 00300, Sri Lanka
Phone: 94 11 2 498500