You don’t know dreamy until you’ve experienced, in person, the spectacular beauty of the Maldives. Each of its 1,190 coral islands is postcard-perfect, but it’s the water that’s the true game-changer. Every other sea and beach pales in comparison. The epic diving might leave you too jaded to ever strap on the oxygen tank anywhere else. From the rest of the world’s point of view, it’s almost unfair.
From above, before landing at Malé airport, travelers get a taste of the intense blues and greens that mix like food coloring in a glass of water. But there’s nothing like getting in it, and on it. Simply swimming in this part of the Indian Ocean – always the perfect temperature, always crystalline clear – is an almost heavenly act. And then there are the private sandbank islands, constantly shifting shape and size, and often available for intimate picnics or standout sunrise yoga sessions (as at One&Only Reethi Rah). But there are so many other ways to make once-in-a-lifetime Maldivean memories – here are six.
Stand-up paddleboarding and surfing
If you’re more of an observer, grab a stand-up paddleboard from the shore of any resort and set out for some intimate aquatic wildlife spotting. From your perch just on top of the surface, you can see everything, whether you’re gliding over a ray chilling half-buried in the sand, or spotting a crazily colourful species of fish you’ll swear you’re the first to discover. Those fueled by adrenaline will want to rent (or bring their own) surfboard to carve up the breaks in the southern atolls such as Yin Yang, where waves break biggest from June to September. On Thaa Atoll, Como Maalifushi is perfectly situated near several popular waves.
Fishing in the Maldives is not your standard rod-and-tackle experience. Here, they do it old-school. The only technique allowed in the country is line fishing, and it’s illegal to fish on the house reefs that surround most islands. Virtually every resort – including Constance Halaveli and Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa – has its own boat to take guests on spectacularly scenic private trips at sunrise or sunset, but the real treat comes back at the resort when the chef creates a culinary masterpiece out of your catch, or even teaches you how to prepare it yourself. Catch-and-release game fishing for big guys like barracuda, tuna and marlin is also widely available for those into the sport of the hunt.
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