3 EXCURSIONS NOT TO BE MISSED IN MALDIVES
The Maldives, made up of more than 1,000 coral islands and 26 ring-shaped atolls, is a veritable paradise on earth. Take part in one of the many excursions offered in the Maldives to learn more about the country and truly appreciate its beauty, culture and underwater treasures.
City life in Malé
The capital of Maldives, Malé, is a popular excursion for tourists. Known for its mosques and colourful buildings, its small-town feel is welcoming to visitors. One of the most impressive structures is the Hukuru Miskiy Mosque (Grand Friday Mosque), constructed in the 17th century using white coral blocks and coral shavings. Hukuru Miskiy is a UNESCO World Heritage site, declared in 2008 for its distinctive architecture. The city also has a museum located in a magnificent garden park that features ancient interiors from the days of the Sultanate. Don’t miss the handwritten Qur’an engraved on the walls.
Explore the city beats of Malé and immerse yourself in Maldivian culture by visiting the Malé fish market. Watching the workers filet and clean the fish is a sight to behold. Large tuna, octopus and other kinds of seafood are on sale to locals and suppliers. Next to the fish market, is the only fruit market in the country selling the fresh produce of Maldivian agriculture. Mango, papaya, guava, bananas, watermelon and, yes, coconuts, are all bought here. For some retail therapy, visit the nearby shops to see the work of local artisans. They use raw materials such as palm leaves, reeds, coral, shells and wood to make pots, vases, ornaments and jewellery.
The rustic charm of Maafushi
If you are planning to visit the Maldives and want to explore the beauty of the place, then Maafushi is an ideal choice. This small island is approximately 1.27 kilometres long and 260 meters wide, making it an easy access point for both the capital Malé and other tourist sites.
Visit one of Maafushi’s restaurants serving local cuisine and browse through shops and various stalls to soak up its rustic charm. Maafushi also has several diving centres suitable for both amateur and experienced divers. Diving in Maafushi is a diver’s paradise with a warm ocean and colourful and exotic marine life. Scuba dive among whale sharks, manta rays and sea turtles to experience the surreal beauty of the coral reefs around this island.
Taking a traditional Maldivian wooden boat, or “Dhoni,” for a tour of the Maldives is one of the most popular and cost-effective options. A Dhoni is perfect for a slow sunset sail or a dolphin-watching excursion and is a scenic way to get around. Although more costly, speedboats explore the islands too. They are more luxurious and faster than Dhonis and can access even the remotest islands.
The fastest way to traverse between the islands is with a seaplane. Also known as the ‘air taxi’, a seaplane is the most luxurious way to crisscross over the islands. A view from the top of Maldives is a pinch-me moment with its breathtaking crystal-clear sea and colourful coral reefs.
Whichever excursions you decide to take in the Maldives you are bound to have enriched your soul with its beauty and charm.