The Maldives are well known for their stunning beauty and unique experiences.
With so much to see and do it can be hard to know what will truly constitute an unforgettable holiday, and when surrounded by so much natural beauty indolence can feel remarkably guilt-free. So how does one decided what experiences are worth leaving your sunbed for? Well, we’ve done our research, and compiled what we believe to be the top ten once in a lifetime Maldives’ moments.
1) Perseid meteor shower
The annual Perseid meteor shower is one of the brightest, most beautiful astronomical events that can be viewed from Earth. This glittering, hours-long cascade of twinkling meteors streaking across the sky generally falls between the 16 July and the 23 August with peak viewing occurring before dawn on the 13 August. There is perhaps nowhere better in the world to view it than from the Maldives, and specifically Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas’ overwater observatory. Surrounded by nothing but open skies and the ocean waves below it’s the only observatory in the Maldives to feature a research specification telescope which opens up a whole new world of wonder.
2) Submarine excursions
Travelling from the night’s sky to the ocean’s depths, the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru has become the first venue to launch submarine excursions. With a professional pilot at the controls, up to two passengers can skim over coral formations of Landaa Giraavaru’s Baa Atoll, fly through shoals of brightly coloured fish, encounter turtles, sharks, dolphins and manta rays and explore the Maldivian waters down to a depth of 40 metres. The pilot narrates each 60 minute flight. The submarine is just the latest in some once in a lifetime underwater moments.
3) Sea of stars
From June to October visitors may be treated to a natural phenomenon that turns the night-time ocean into a field of glowing blue stars. The bright blue light is the result of a natural chemical reaction that occurs when plankton, abundant in the Indian Ocean’s warm waters, is disturbed by oxygen. This starry look on the ocean bed and shorelines is one of the most unique things to witness in the Maldives and is particularly noticeable at Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Velassaru Maldives, Kuredu Island Resort & Spa, Hurawhali Island Resort and Meeru Island Resort & Spa.
4) Ultraviolet night dives
Much of the marine life of the Maldives, including the corals, contain tiny pigments that reflect UV light in their tissue. Ultraviolet night dives feature divers equipped with UV LED light wands which, when shone over the creatures and corals, lights them up brilliantly in fluorescent greens, yellows and reds. Octopus, moray eels, and sharks are also more active at night. The maldives offers some of the best diving and snorkelling opportunities in the world, and this is a whole new way to experience the beauty that exists beneath the waves of the Indian Ocean.
5) Underwater experiences
For a unique romantic dinner for two, or a special family celebration, underwater restaurants add a certain wow factor. Conrad Hotel Rangali Island features the world’s first undersea restaurant, Ithaa, located five metres below the sea and offering panoramic views of marine life and coral gardens. Other options include SEA at Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas and SUBSIX at Niyama Private Islands Maldives. Try a champagne brunch or leisurely lunch, when there’s less reflection from the glass.
Restaurants are not the only underwater spots in the Maldives. Niyama Private Islands Maldives boasts an underwater club attracting international DJs. Huvafen Fushi Maldives has underwater spa treatment rooms and Conrad Hotel Rangali Island an underwear master suite.
6) Tree Top Experiences
Above the ocean the Maldives’ most captivating tree top experiences include dining at Nest at Niyama Private Islands Maldives, the elevated Fresh at Soneva Fushi and, complete with 15 metres wingspan, the Manta Ray Tree House at Joali.
7) Party scene
The Maldives isn’t known for its party scene, but W Maldives is the exception to prove the rule. One of the country’s most upbeat resorts, it boasts pool-party charm, with the chance to dine ankle-deep in water or rock out at DJ nights.
8) Private Islands
If, by contrast, you’re feeling in need of utter seclusion, the answer is to hire a private island. Handily, also part of W Maldives is Gaathafushi Island which guests can have entirely to themselves. Opt for a barefoot barbecue including lobster tail and spiced squid, or choose the overnight Robinson Crusoe experience. Sleep in your luxurious bed beneath the stars and enjoy an unforgettable sunrise champagne breakfast.
9) Beach bubble dome
Stay in a transparent beach bubble dome room on a private sandbank surrounded by the ocean and beneath the starlit night sky. Stays last from sunset until sunrise and as well as star-gazing opportunities there’s a private chef to prepare a barbecue meal on the beach, and your own personal Bubble Butler on-hand for any additional requests. Inside the Beach Bubble, guests can expect all the comforts of a hotel suite, including a double bed and bathroom. Guests staying at Finolhu Baa Atoll for three or more nights can book the Beach Bubble experience.
10) Sky diving
Try an awe-inspiring tandem sky-dive. Following a-minute long free-fall at the extreme speed of 200 km per hour, the parachute opens and a five-minute descent later, guests land safely at a secluded beach at Kandima Maldives. Take off from Dhaalu Airport on board a specially modified Cessna seaplane and after a 20 minute flight launch into the sky, accompanied by an experienced skydiving instructor at an altitude of around 12,000 feet.