In the heart of the brilliant blue Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a group of more than 1,000 pristine coral islands. Known as one of the most luxurious destinations on the planet, Maldives adventure holidays also provide the best activities in paradise.
Wonderful weather, beautiful beaches, amazing accommodation and fabulous food make the Maldives the luxury destination of choice. But combine this with watersports, exploration and cultural highlights, and a Maldives trip becomes an exciting adventure holiday.
Best activities in paradise
Here’s our guide to the top ten activities to try during Maldives adventure holidays.
The Maldives is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world, with an excellent choice of PADI centres. Along with general reef life expect to see rays, sharks, sailfish and turtles. Manta rays and whale sharks also visit plus there are a number of wrecks to explore.
With a large number of reefs, crystal clear waters and temperatures so warm you don’t even need a wetsuit, it’s all pretty inviting. Top sites include the Maaya Thila and Sun Island in the South Ari Atoll. Also Banana Reef in the North Male Atoll and Fish Head in the North Ari Atoll.
If scuba is not your thing, then why not just strap on a snorkel and mask? The reefs are so pristine in the Maldives that you don’t have to go deep to see a whole lot.
Spend a couple of hours snorkelling and chances are you’ll spot turtles, rays and reef sharks among the plentiful marine life. Along with scuba diving easily one of the best activities in paradise.
The surf season runs from March to November and the Maldives are one of the world’s most desirable surf destinations. With resorts located near top breaks, it’s pretty convenient too. Many great breaks, like the Cinnamon Dhonveli, have relatively crowd-free waters.
The Maldives often hosts international surf competitions. But even if you aren’t a pro, there are plenty of smaller waves where you can learn the basics and for intermediates to improve. Whatever your level, surfing is a classic part of Maldives holidays.
With flat water and wave spots, the Maldives is a superb windsurfing destination. The Olhuveli Sommer spot is a launch in a kilometre long, standing depth lagoon. There are plenty of others like it but make sure that the water is deep enough for fins and watch out for shallow reefs.
Other top spots include Dhidhoofinolhu and Nalaguraidhoo. There are also available windsurfing boat trips from the capital, Male.
There are also dedicated kitesurfing centres dotted around the islands with a good variety of conditions. From the calmer, flatter waters of the lagoons to some chop and surfable waves for serious riders.
Although winds are not huge here, from the months of May to October, the conditions can be very good. And as ever, the warm and shallow waters are lovely, meaning kitesurfing is well worth including in Maldives adventure holidays.
Stand up paddleboarding
If the extreme element of other watersports is not for you, then a great way to get out on the water is SUP. Plenty of the islands are surrounded by calm shallow waters, with great visibility giving you another perspective on the reefs and abundant marine life.
As you paddle along you’ll see schools of fish swimming alongside. And with guiding available plus sunset paddle tours, it’s one of the best places in the world to try SUP. The turquoise lagoon at Meeru is a real highlight and paddle boarding here is one of the best activities in paradise.
Meeru is also a great spot for kayaking. But there are also plenty of other sea kayaking routes around many of the other islands. These include kayaking in the Kaafu Atoll, Laamu, Northern Ari, Vaavu and hundreds of others. Or make up your own route and get padding.
If you want to explore the islands but don’t fancy getting wet (or too wet), then set off on a sailing cruise aboard a traditional dhoni fishing boat. Explore atolls, discover deserted beaches and put your sailing skills to the test. You’ll also have the pleasure of spotting dolphins as they come out to play towards sunset.
And if you’re going to be spending some time out on the water, why not take a rod or two and see if you can land the catch of the day? You can fish with a simple baited line or get a bit more serious with some deep sea or big game action.
Hi tech equipment such as radars and echo sounders are also available to help. Fishing is year round, with sailfish, jackfish, blue and black marlin, barracuda, rays, sharks and much more possible.
Maldives adventure holidays: Island hopping
With more than 1,190 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls, there is plenty to explore around the Maldives. What’s more, only around 192 are inhabited. So if you’ve ever dreamed of having a desert island all to yourself, then this is the perfect opportunity.
Hire a speedboat, kayak or swim (after checking conditions) around a choice of islands. Discover deserted beaches straight from the pages of a magazine.
There are many ways to get around and see the islands, both on foot and on the water. But what about from the air? Hop on board a twin-engine float plane for a scenic flight and the best view of the Maldives.
Trying any of the above activities on your Maldives adventure holidays will give you a glimpse of another side of the islands. There will still be plenty of time to sit and relax, soaking up some sun and kicking back on the beach. But you can really feel like you’ve earned it after a day or two of excitement and exertion.
If the best activities in paradise has inspired you to visit the Maldives then check out our other articles: www.awe365.com/destination/maldives