The Perfect Trip to the Maldives
Collected by Tamara Elliott , AFAR Local Expert
The Maldives brings together timeless tradition and decadent luxury, and sprinkles both with island culture. Travelers will enjoy fine dining, exceptional excursions, and the type of comfort that's only found in fantasies. Choose a resort (or a few!) and work your way through our list of the essential must-sees of this enchanted island nation.
Medhuziyaarai Magu, Malé, Maldives
Few people think of history or architecture when it comes to the Maldives, what with the pristine beaches and luxurious overwater bungalows typically getting all the glory. So it might come as a surprise that Male’s crown jewel is the Islamic...
Makunufushi, South Malé Atoll 20109, Maldives
There aren’t many places on Earth where amateur anglers can throw a rod into the water and pull out an enormous grouper or red snapper. But that’s why big-game fishing is a popular pastime in the Maldives. Resorts likethe W Retreat & Spa offer...
Vihamanaafushi, North Male Atoll 08340, Maldives
Tourists will have to step off the resort for a full immersion in Maldivian culture. But one night a week, most hotels feature a traditional performance called bodu beru. The Dhihevi words for "big drums," bodu beru involves about a dozen...
Olhuveli, Kudahuvadhoo Dhaalu Atoll, 13080, Maldives
Aptly named Subsix sits six meters (almost 20 feet) below the water’s surface at Per Aquum’s Niyama resort, reached by speedboat (and then a three-tier staircase that descends into the sea). The ocean-inspired decor complements the...
Conrad Rangali Island 20077, Maldives
Most restaurants build their reputations on their culinary creations, but Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island earns its high praise for another reason: its unique location. Sittingmore than 16 feet below the surface of...
The Maldives is home to an underwater nightclub, underwater restaurants, and an underwater wine cellar, so it only makes sense that it would be home to the world’s first underwater spa too. Guests at Per Aquum’s Huvafen Fushi resort can unwind at...
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