Top Things To Do In Maldives (Don’t Miss Out)
So you want to go on a Holiday in the Maldives? What are the top things to do in the Maldives other than swimming in crystal blue water and sipping cocktails on the beach?
In the last few decades, the tourist industry has been booming in this island nation in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the entire world thanks to its abundance of resort islands and exotic locale.
International travelers and domestic tourists can’t wait to relax in the overwater bungalows or beach villas in the famous resorts in the Maldives.
You can find all kinds of world-class luxury resorts from big 5 star hotels to a luxurious stay in a water villa, or a camping trip under the stars on your own private island. Spend the day on a guided excursion to an uninhabited island or relax in an underwater spa.
When planning a trip to this tropical locale, you may not be sure of all the fun things to do. This article will help you decide how to make the most of your time in the Maldives. Check out these things to do in the area.
Whether you and your crew are on land, in the sea, on a boat, indoors, or hopping to local islands, the Maldives is a place where you can stay busy anytime or just relax.
Of course, nothing is wrong with simply chilling on the white sand beaches under the palm trees! Visit the Maldives to relax or have a blast.
Things To Do In Maldives On Land
Visiting the Maldives does not mean there is nothing to do beyond the beautiful beaches. Choose from an exciting array of land adventures to experience while on holiday in the Maldives. You can go hiking, visit historical landmarks, or even take a relaxing stroll along the beach.
If you are looking for something more adventurous, consider taking day trips to other islands like the Capital city of Male for some shopping and to get a feel of the culture.
Enjoy White Sand Beaches
It is no secret that the Maldives beaches on the resort islands are stunning. In between more intense water activities, you can simply stretch out on the beach, play in the sand, go running, read a book or sunbathe. Just remember to wear sunscreen – it’s hot there!
Dry Land Sports
Most resorts offer a variety of land sports activities, particularly golf and tennis (the resort supplies rackets and balls). Many resorts also have basketball and volleyball courts, and some even provide lessons.
The Maldives has its own unique culture expressed through dances, songs, and traditional customs. Cultural shows are an excellent way to learn more about this fascinating island nation’s history.
Dancers perform the local Maldivian styles of dance accompanied by live music or other forms of entertainment.
Look for three primary types of traditional music and dance. Hopefully, you will enjoy the sound of the Boduberu, along with the Bandiyaa Jehun and Thaara dances performed by women and men respectively.
Things To Do In Maldives In Water
If you are unfamiliar with the Maldives or have never ventured underwater before then water sports are for you. The crystal blue waters of the Indian Ocean offer some vibrant opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Not only will you get to view some of the world’s most amazing sea life, but you will also get to see some of the Maldives’ unique submarine topography.
Note: Depending on where you are staying, you can enquire ahead of time to see which activities are available at your destination.
If you are looking for an extreme water sport with plenty of thrills then you need to try jet skiing. This is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are looking for speed and excitement then this is your opportunity.
Banana Boat Ride
A banana boat ride is an excellent water sport for families. The Banana Boat Ride gives you the chance to feel like a kid again while speeding along and dropping into waves and making big splashes.
You can take one of these boats out for between 30 minutes to an hour. Just remember that if you want to go faster, then you should look for a bigger banana boat.
Snorkeling is a great way to experience the underwater beauty of the Maldives. All equipment is included in most resorts ( usually for a fee) and a short morning or afternoon session can show you why this is considered one of the world’s best places to snorkel.
The most popular spot for snorkeling is around the coral reefs right next to many resorts, but you can also take a boat to other parts of the Maldives to snorkel in deeper water. Enjoying the underwater world is exciting and fun for all ages
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hanifaru for guided snorkeling ( and to see the feeding of the Manta Rays).
This is by far the most popular activity among tourists and locals of Maldives. You may ask how this differs from regular snorkeling. The Snorkel Safari is a one-hour snorkeling trip customized for experienced snorkelers.
A local expert will lead you to some of the finest sites where you’re most likely to encounter the most unusual marine life to swim alongside.
Get certification in scuba diving while on vacation in the Maldives. Best certifications are at dive clubs. Please note one can only dive 12 meters with no license. Of the 85 resorts on the islands, about 70 have diving sites.
The Maldive Islands contain excellent diving options such as world-renowned liveaboard dive boats or more affordable reef cruises. The mixing of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean waters brings a diverse mix of marine life to the islands.
The Maldives is famous for its warm, crystal clear waters and thriving coral reefs. Scuba divers can expect to see tropical fish, sharks, turtles, and even whales in their natural underwater habitat.
You can explore by renting a local boat or joining a group on an organized tour. The BEST way to see many different species of fish is to dive down under the water’s surface, whether off the beach or by boat. FYI- boat diving is the best option to see more fish species.
Snorkeling and diving are both available for various levels of experience. Whenever you dive, be careful of the coral reef.
- Eco Dive Club in Maafushi Island
- Arena Dive Club
The most popular surfing spot in the Maldives is located at Hulhumalé next to the artificial reef. There are beginner waves in the area, along with excellent waves for intermediate surfers. Surf schools are available for novices.
Maintain a safe distance from the reef, since if you are too far out, it can be quite dangerous. The best time for Maldives surfing is from April to June. Monsoon season is around July to October – not the best time for surfers.
Tubing is a water sport that involves floating down a river on an inflatable tube. The activity is also known as River Rafting, lazy rafting, or even Floaters/Rio Recreation. No experience is required to enjoy the fun of tubing, so it’s perfect for people of all ages! Grab your family and friends and go tubing in the Maldives.
Parasailing has also become increasingly popular amongst tourists who are looking for exciting water sports activities. Parasailing offers a different perspective of the Maldives and watersports, as it allows you to ride over the water on a parachute. This is a trip highlight for many tourists looking for an adrenaline rush.
Kitesurfing is an extreme water sport that allows participants to surf above the water. For those looking for some entertainment, kiteboarding is a thrilling activity that will never get old. With its sparkling waters and pristine beaches, the Maldives is perfect for kitesurfing.
The best time to go kitesurfing in the Maldives is between May and October when the south-westerly winds arrive.
It is also popular among locals and visitors. The islands are lined with different types of windsurfing locations, aimed at regular tourists as well as professional riders. Windsurfing equipment is available for rent.
The Maldives offers a great variety of water sports activities for tourists and locals to enjoy, including diving, snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, tubing, kiteboarding, etc. You can bring your kite sailing or wind sailing equipment, but resorts will usually have basic items available.
Certain airlines will transport necessary equipment for free as long as you correctly and securely pack it. It should not be more than 9.84 feet long and must be part of your checked baggage allowance.
If you are willing to explore the world beneath the ocean surface or above it through water activities, then the Maldives is the right destination.
Between the stunning beaches and historic sites on Male, there are plenty of camera-worthy shots to capture on land. However, the extensive unique marine animals under the sea were born to be a photographer’s subject. Avant-garde underwater photography can be done by hiring a specialist in the area.
Scuba divers are encouraged to bring their underwater cameras with them on their vacation. Coral, sea turtles, fish, reef sharks, whales, manta rays are just some of the sea life you will want to do a visual journal of.
Things To Do In Maldives On A Boat
Private Boat Charter and Cruises
Get out of the water villa and explore the area waters in style when you take a private boat charter. Private boat charters allow you to select your departure point and destination. So you can discover the best islands for snorkeling or historical landmarks that are well off the resort’s beaten track.
Charters in the Maldives come in a wide range of types and sizes, but Catamarans and Luxury Yachts are two of the most popular. Honeymoon Yacht Charters are also popular with newly married spouses.
Don’t restrict yourself to one resort island when you can go island hopping. After all, you are on an archipelago of 1100 islands, so you might as well see a few of them.
However, there is no public transportation link between the islands, making transportation across them difficult. In addition to chartering a private boat mentioned above, you may arrange a speedboat transfer through the resort as well.
Visit fun places like the local islands and fishing villages to get a feel for how the Maldivian locals live. Check with your resort for excursion options to these spots.
Take a group of up to 15 people on a 2-day private Iruvai cruise tour with meals. Go shopping, BBQ on a private island, and later immerse yourself in culture on a local island.
If you have the time, opt for a seven-night cruise followed by a seven-night stay at a 4-star resort. Enjoy freshly prepared meals, scuba diving, and snorkeling.
Or you can always take a shorter 4-hour trip that ends in the evening. This sunset cruise ride allows you to watch dolphins and learn how to snorkel.
The Maldivian islands are a fantastic place to take up fishing, with its clear waters and abundant marine life. Fishing has been a part of the country’s culture for centuries, and it remains an important industry today. If you want to try your hand at fishing, you can choose from a variety of options.
Enjoy The Animals
If you are a nature lover, the Maldives provides an ambulance of exotic animals, coral, colorful fish, and other natural wonders to enjoy. Go on a dolphin-watching cruise or photograph the sleeping fruit bats in the evening before they fly off at night.
The Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, and Hawksbill Turtles all thrive in miles of friendly seawater, giving them ample opportunity to breed. You can also pay a visit to the turtles’ rescue facility. Come within sight of whale sharks and reef sharks.
You can see the Dwarf Sperm Whale, False Killer Whale, Deraniyagala’s Whale, Pilot Whale, Bryde’s Whales, and Melon-headed Whales, among other exotic Maldivian animals.
Explore Male Capital City
What is the most popular activity that people do when they visit tourist destinations? Of course, it’s sightseeing and excursions. There is plenty to see in the island capital.
A Male Walking Tour allows you to explore the city with a guide for 3 to 8 hours. The culture tours may provide an introduction to the language, visit local cafes, pay respect at a local mosque, and indulge your senses at the local fish market.
Here are some well-rated tours:
- 4 Hour Highlights of Male Walking Tour
- Multi-Day Maldives Island Hopping Tour
- Full-Day Male’ Walking Tour
This important Muslim holiday is celebrated with a massive festive meal, ending the day’s fast. The capital city will be at its liveliest during this time of year. You can enjoy a traditional meal with a local Muslim family. There are many restaurants all across the city that will be open during this time.
The Maldivian culture has a unique blend of Islamic and South Asian traditions. You can learn about this through visiting mosques, shrines, and other cultural sites.
Be respectful if you visit Muslim homes since you cannot enter with your shoes on, as per their customary tradition.
Speak The Language
While you can use English on your resorts, why not take the time to learn the language of the locals. Local people speak Dhivehi, and it is the most spoken language in the Maldives.
What Is The Top Attraction In The Maldives?
As you can see, there are tons of things to do on the various islands in the archipelago. With that said, there are loads of life and culture beyond the sea. These are some of the top attractions that you may want to make time for once outside of the water:
- Male Fish Market
- Male Local Market
- Grand Friday Mosque
- Hukuru Miskiiy (Old Friday Mosque)
- National Museum
- Artificial Beach – the only man-made beach in Maldives
- Hulhumale Mosque
Male is a city full of mosques and other important buildings such as the hospital, an educational center, and many more. One of its attractions is The Old Friday Mosque, also known as Hukuru Miskiiy which was built in 1653.
Also, the museum of the Maldives is a must-see for history buffs. The National Museum has a collection of historical artifacts and items about the culture and traditions of the natives of Maldives.
You will feel like you are in another country when you visit Male because this city is full of mixed architecture from all over Asia. In this city, you can find the world’s tallest minaret of an active mosque, the most important government institutions, and even a Buddhist temple.
Male is certainly one of the places that you cannot miss when in the Maldives; it has so many things to see and learn with its rich history.
Male Fish Market
A visit to Male is not complete without a trip to the malé fish market. Fish are loaded at the market via boat every night, so you can easily find fresh seafood for dinner. The fish are then cleaned and cooked by hundreds of locals who stand beside their stalls all day until closing time.
Local Fruit and vegetable market
The local fruit and vegetables are just as enticing as the seafood. Every day, vendors arrive at the market with baskets full of colorful and exotic fruits and veggies. These local goods will make any trip to the Maldives all the more memorable.
What good is a vacation without going shopping? When you shop in the Maldives, you may want to bring back handicrafts items like mats, lacquerware, and wood carvings. The Maldives offer plenty of places to shop for handmade and high-end items to fit various budgets.
Most Popular Stores/Malls/areas
Majeedhee Magu in Male is the most popular shopping destination in the Maldives. It is a one-stop shopping destination where many global brands are offering different products at affordable prices. Other popular outlets include:
- Centro Mall – Full Of Glamorous Brands
- STO Trade Centre – A Bustling Shopping Hub
- Chaandhanee Magu – Local And Imported Goods
- Nala Boutique – A Fashion Store In Maldives
- Oevaali Art Shop – For Art Enthusiasts
- Island Bazaar – A European Style Boutique
Depending on your resort, you may have good shopping options right at your fingertips. Smaller resorts will usually sell basic souvenirs, while large resorts may have high-end boutiques.
What Things To Do In Maldives At Night?
If you want to party a bit once the sun goes down, head for the open-air bars. These are usually located on water villas or a small boat along the shoreline. Sometimes, one can also find them in remote parts of islands that are privately owned by resorts.
Nightclubs can be found either in Male or at your resort.
Your nighttime fun island options vary by island and can include a jungle cinema, karaoke, crab racing, nighttime fishing, clubbing, or live music.
What Things To Do In Maldives When It Is Raining?
So the rain may make it hard to lay on the beach or go scuba diving, but there are still fun things to do – especially if you are at inclusive resorts. If you are looking for indoor activities, you can go shopping or take a yoga or cooking class.
This is the perfect time to take advantage of the many spa services on the island. Do romantic things like couples’ massages or a romantic dinner in a bungalow.
Relax At The Best Spas
Ayada is one of the best spas on the islands. Visitors come from all over to experience these spa treatments. A multiple award-winning AySpa make Ayada Maldives an excellent choice.Come here for a romantic massage if the southwest monsoon is pouring outside.
Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru is another great place for relaxation, providing a full range of beauty treatments, herbal pedicures, facials, massages, and more! Enjoy the nourishing balm of locally grown coconuts used in therapies to soothe Ayour body.
Baglioni Maldives The Baglioni SPA is a truly authentic Maldives experience. It’s a tranquil oasis in the middle of the unspoilt natural landscape. Let the peace and tranquility of this serene setting relax you. The SPA boasts 4 treatment rooms, including one for couples. There is also a Yoga Pavilion where you can practice yoga, meditation, and breathing, and a fitness area to help you stay fit while on vacation.
Visit An Underwater Spa
Huvafen spa is the world’s first underwater spa and is located in the North Malé Atoll. It provides a relaxing, full-service spa experience to weary travelers.
Take A Cooking Class
Check your specific resort for possible classes with the specialty chef.
Learn the secret techniques of Maldivian cuisine, including how to combine different herbs and spices with meats and fish. Make your own tasty dishes, such as Dhon Riha (A Maldivian Tuna Curry).
Beach House Iruveli and The Park Hyatt Maldives are local cooking schools that even have classes for kids. A family cooking class session sounds like a fun event for everyone involved!
Best Things To Do In Maldives With Children
Cocoa Island by COMO offers family-friendly activities like sand art, treasure hunts, and other fun games. You can also go snorkeling or book a children’s buffet.
Emerald Maldives helps you make memories with your kids at their Kids Club, which is open for all ages. Their spacious kids club will surely delight your kids as it boasts tons of activities for children.
Cocoon Maldives is a wonderful spot for younger children to climb upon. While you are visiting this island, be sure to enjoy lunch here as well.
Manta Point is another amazing place to visit when in the Maldives. This is where you can watch large manta rays glide through the water with ease.
On Gan, children will love watching the dolphins play in the lagoon or playing on one of their playgrounds.
Of course, the kids will most likely enjoy swimming and other safer water sports like snorkeling.
Check out our article “Is the Maldives a good place for a family holiday” to learn more about things you do with kids in the Maldives.
Things To Do In Maldives Are Endless
The Maldives is a wonderful holiday destination with fun things for both adults and children. Participate in water sports, learn the local language, take a tour, or photograph the exotic wildlife.
Take a break from the overwater villas and cruise Maldives for a few hours or a few days.
Don’t neglect to take some time to go shopping for mementos from your trip. You and your group will not be at a loss for things to do on these breathtaking islands. Be sure to check out our full Maldives Packing List article to ensure you are covered for the activities.