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Male International Departures

Sparkling sands, warm, deep blue oceans, swaying palm trees and sun all the time - it’s easy to see why the Maldives are often described as paradise. If you want to do nothing more strenuous than sunbathe on holiday, this is the perfect place.

The Maldives are excellent for diving - the waters around the islands are home to more than 3,000 coral reefs, and more than 1,000 species of fish and other underwater creatures. Visibility in the warm, clear seas is excellent all year round – sometimes divers can see fish up to 50 metres away.

Top 5 Maldives activities

  1. Watersports are very popular in the Maldives - try surfing, parasailing, kayaking, kite-surfing, water-skiing or jet-skiing
  2. Visit one of the other islands and admire the brightly-painted houses and traditional wooden holhuashi – huts where the islanders meet after work to talk, play cards and listen to the radio. Or visit one of the uninhabited islands – the ultimate in getting away from it all
  3. Take a night reef-fishing trip. You’ll set off in your boat just before sunset; the crew will show you how to use the equipment, and then you’re free to catch your dinner
  4. Visit a spa. You’ll be able to get all the usual treatments, but spas will often incorporate traditional Maldivian healing methods too –gandhakolhi leaf is used to treat minor aches, while a traditional Maldivian sand massage is used to relieve muscle and joint pains
  5. The Sea Explorers Dive School runs courses and trips for visitors – or if you don’t dive, take a trip in the Whale Submarine (nothing to do with whales) to admire the underwater wildlife

Top 5 Maldives restaurants

  1. Symphony - Very popular with locals, and has one of the best vegetarian selections in town
  2. Irudhashu Hotaa - Perennially busy, especially after prayers at the next door mosque. Try the spicy fish curries and hedhikaa
  3. Royal Garden Cafe - This charming restaurant, which has a garden and a stylish dark-wood interior, is housed in a rare surviving example of a ganduvaru, a noble’s house. The menu is a combination of Italian, Indonesian, American and Indian cuisine
  4. Aioli - Malé’s sleekest eaterie is decked out in dark wood and cream and feels like an upmarket hotel
  5. The Seagull - Come to the gelateria here for arguably the best ice cream on the island