Crystal-blue waters surrounding the Maldives harbor extraordinary marine wildlife and underwater seascapes dominated by vibrant coral gardens, reefs and caves; one would be hard-pressed to find better diving spots anywhere else in the world. Countless Dive Centers scattered around the islands provide the necessary training and gear. Qualified instructors follow divers every step of the way to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Prodivers Pvt. Ltd:
One of the best ways to grasp how truly stunning the islands are is by looking on from above, while on board a seaplane. Seaplanes are commonly used as a local means of transport, and provide the perfect angle for memorable photographs of the iconic archipelago and its endless white beaches. The two largest companies in operation are: Maldivian Air Taxi +960 331 52 01 www.maldivianairtaxi.com Trans Maldivian Airways +960 3315 201 www.transmaldivian.com
The Maldives are known as a hub of tranquility and relaxation, but active travelers will surely not find themselves at a loss. Some of the available pastime options include water-skiing, wind- and kite-surfing, wake-boarding and parasailing. You can even try out one of the latest X-Jetpacks and feel like a real-life action hero soaring above the water. Extreme Maldives Private:
For experienced divers, the Manta Reef (also referred to as Madivaru) is a must-visit diving spot not to be missed. Once underwater, divers will find themselves at arm's length from the majestic Manta rays, some reaching 3 meters in size. Visitors to the area must carefully follow instruction given to them, so as to minimize the damage done to the reef.
Connoisseurs and beginners alike will thoroughly enjoy engaging in the noble sport of golf at one of the many Maldivian golf courses. Several resorts provide guests with access to golf courses and facilities located in scenic locations swarming with palm trees. Kuredu Island Resort and Spa:
Located at the Kurumba resort on Vihamanafushi island, this restaurant offers some of the most iconic dining experiences in the Maldives. Enjoy an exquisite champagne breakfast or a dinner featuring excellent Maldivian seafood while seated on deck hovering over the crystal clear waters.
Maldivian cuisine is (naturally) all about seafood, but vegans and vegetarians will enjoy a wonderful dining experience at this restaurant that serves a vast selection of plant-based dishes. Meat-eaters will be pleasantly surprised by the masterfully crafted animal-free dishes served in a breathtaking waterfront setting.
This restaurant offers a high-end dining experience, with an open kitchen where dishes are crafted right before the patrons' eyes. The setting is majestic, with waterfront seating and glass walls providing unobstructed views of the ocean. The menu is varied, with an emphasis on seafood.
A restaurant unlike any other, Edge is located on an artificial island out in the ocean, with access by boat only. Most tables are outdoors, so that diners can enjoy the fresh evening breeze and watch the stars slowly light up above. Cuisine served is international, with an emphasis on seafood.
This classy cafe is adjacent to the Kurumba Resort on Vihamanafushi Island. The establishment caters to resort guests and not only, serves a variety of meals and light foods, and offers seating on a covered deck hovering over the ocean. Come for (champagne) breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Shell Beans can be found at two locations around Male and another one on neighboring Hulhumale. The cafe is a locals' favorite that mainly serves Western-style foods, including (but not limited to) sandwiches and shakes. Late working hours of the chain are a pleasant added bonus.
Sea House boasts a great location right next to the ferry terminal, and enjoys popularity among locals. Unobstructed views of the Indian Ocean might be the establishment's main attraction, but reasonable prices and a buffet breakfast has secured the Sea House many a return customer. Local and international cuisine on offer.
Inconspicuous from the outside, the Royal Garden Cafe is a venue not to be missed. Housed inside an old residential home, this cafe's stylish interior and quality service draws repeat customers from nearby governmental institutions and upscale hotels. The main culinary emphasis here is on Indian and Sri Lankan flavors, but international foods such as pastas and grill are readily available.
The world's first underwater nightclub was recently renovated to provide party-goers with an even more luxurious nightlife experience. With its location underneath the ocean surface, the establishment's glass walls allow visitors to observe marine creatures while sipping on elegant drinks and socializing.
Male, the Maldivian capital, is the nation's commercial center - and Majeedhee Magu is its busiest shopping street. Lined with small stores, gift shops and boutiqes, the city's main artery is not to be missed when on the island. Prices are reasonable, and haggling is often welcome.
Also known as Male International Airport, this air hub is the largest in the archipelago and serves multiple locations worldwide. The airport is located on Hulhule island and is the main point of entry to most Maldives' visitors. Most travelers will switch to connecting flights to reach further locations in the Maldives or use private transfer services. Speedboat and seaplane (Trans Maldivian Airways, Maldivian Air Taxi) transfers are available from the airport to nearby and far-lying islands and resorts. The airport ferry connects the airport to Male City. The ferry runs at regular intervals from early in the morning till late into the night.
The fastest, but most pricey way of getting around the Maldives is on board a seaplane (which comes with an added bonus of enjoying birds-eye views of the archipelago). Seaplanes operate during daylight hours only. The two largest companies in operation are: Trans Maldivian Air Taxi +960 3315 201 www.transmaldivian.com [email protected] A cheaper means of transport is speedboat - some are used as public transport and connect the airport to the inhabited islands, but run very infrequently. Speedboats are available for hire, so prior arrangements of your transfer by the hotel may be beneficial.