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Published On: Tue, Aug 3rd, 2021

Enjoy a vacation of a lifetime in the Maldives

The Maldives islands in South Asia are the perfect choice for anyone looking for unrivalled luxury and affordable lodging, along with gorgeous beaches, crystal-clear waters and a colorful underwater world. What makes this paradise one of the best destinations in the world? Read on to find out more about the islands’ beaches, beautiful resorts, some of the best diving and snorkelling in the Maldives and delicious local cuisine.

Perfect Beaches

It is fair to say that the Maldives hosts the best beaches anywhere in the world. In fact, every one of the South Asian country’s almost 1,200 islands features white powder sand beaches, the obligatory waving palm trees, crystal-clear, warm blue waters and an amazing underwater world for diving enthusiasts. Its beaches alone are enough to attract more than a million travelers each year to this remote Indian Ocean paradise.

photo/ Asad Photo Maldive

Resorts to suit all

Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic getaway, a single looking for romance, or a family looking for fun with the kids, there is a Maldives resort to suit everyone. Even better, each Maldives resort is its own private island and there are more than 100 to choose from.

At the top end of the scale, the most exclusive hotel brands in the world compete with each other to offer the best in luxurious accommodations, including private lap pools, personal butlers, pillow menus and in-room massages. In fact, the Maldives has long been a magnet for honeymooners looking for the perfect, glamorous tropical getaway.

However, there is also plenty of choice away from the five- and six-star luxury resorts, with family and budget-friendly accommodation available for everyone. Things have changed over the last ten years, with inhabited islands opening up to tourism. This has resulted in locals being permitted to build their own guesthouses, which give visitors a chance to live like a Maldivian on the islands.

Visitors can enjoy island hopping, using public ferries, domestic flights and speedboats, which has opened up the country to people on almost any budget. This is especially so on a number of islands in the Male and Ari atolls that have become big centers in the booming guesthouse industry and offer many options.

Diving and snorkeling in the Maldives

The Maldives are the perfect location for anyone who loves the underwater world. In fact, these Indian Ocean islands offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. The clear waters, as well as the richness and variety of marine life are quite simply astonishing. Here, divers can enjoy dazzling coral walls, schools of brightly colored tropical fish and magnificent caves to explore. In the deeper waters, divers can spot sharks, turtles, manta rays and even the largest fish in the world, the whale shark. What makes the destination even better is that the water is so warm divers rarely bother to wear a wetsuit.

Dining in the Maldives

Each resort offers a range of dining options and even the more humble guesthouses have a choice of local cuisine. What makes dining great is that everything on offer is locally grown, including coconuts, mangoes, yams, pineapples and papayas. Freshly caught fish and seafood are an integral part of the dining experience. However, with the Maldives trading with India, Arabia, Africa and the Far East, Maldivian food is often hot and spicy. 

For breakfast, Maldivians serve mas huni, a healthy mix of tuna, coconut, onion and chili, eaten cold with roshi (unleavened bread) and tea. Among the snacks and light meals on the islands, hedhikaa stands out – a selection of finger food that are placed on the table for everyone to share. These include items like fihunu mas (fish pieces with chili coating), keemia (fried fish rolls in batter), gulha (fried dough balls filled with fish and spices) and kuli boakiba (spicy fish cakes). 

Main dishes include fish, soups, curries, vegetables, spicy sauces and pickles served with rice or roshi. One of the common meals is mas riha, a fish dish, mixed on the plate with curry and condiments and eaten with the fingers. Desserts include bowls of bondi bai (rice pudding), and tiny bananas and zileybee (sugared, fried batter).

Take a trip to the exotic Maldives this year to enjoy the best of beaches, incredible diving, accommodation options for the whole family and delicious cuisine.

Author: Anne Sewell

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