Published: 28 January 2019 by: Emily Russ
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From kayaking to swimming with whale sharks, there's plenty to do in this tropical paradise

Sugar-white beaches, crystalline waters, secluded isles and towering palms – the heavenly Maldives certainly boasts its fair share of charms. But there's more to do here than just relax by the pool, sipping on a cocktail (believe it or not). A wonderland for adventure-seekers and romantics alike, this postcard-perfect destination is brimming with unforgettable experiences...

Related article: Room for two: Club Med Kani

Discover the Maldives' incredible marinelifeSwim with turtles, manta rays and whale sharks

There's no denying that a getaway in the Maldives is all about hitting the water. And it seems couples aren't the only ones hanging out below the surface. 

Five of the world's seven species of turtles call the Maldives home, along with fascinating manta rays and whale sharks. Naturally, seeing them for yourselves is a real must-do, but if you want to make some really amazing memories, join a local snorkel group and swim right beside the magnificent creatures – it's a truly humbling experience that'll have you on a holiday-high.

Watch a beach glitter with gatherings of bioluminescent planktonSee glittering plankton at night

Of course, the sunsets in the Maldives are mandatory viewing, but there's still plenty to see when night falls. 

Creating a spectacle that looks straight out of an adventure-fantasy film, gatherings of bioluminescent plankton descend on the islands' shores and seem to sparkle along the coastline. Thanks to a natural defence mechanism, the plankton send off tiny flashes of glittering light – a sight that's utterly magical.

Up the romance with a sunset cruise aboard a dhoni boatSail aboard a traditional dhoni boat

There's something undeniably romantic about sailing at sunset and the Maldives offers plenty opportunity for doing just that. 

Primarily used for fishing, traditional Maldivian dhoni boats also regularly ferry travellers and locals alike around the islands, passing breathtaking sights along the way – keep an eye out for inquisitive dolphins pods! Many resorts offer their own dhoni cruises, but you can also hitch a ride with an array of local tour groups.

Fuvahmulah in the southern atoll is home to spectacular sceneryDiscover the islands' inland regions

You'd be forgiven for wanting to spend your whole stay enjoying the Maldives' coastline, but the islands' inland regions are also well worth exploring – think emerald groves of coconut palms, pristine landscapes and isolated villages.

If you're in the southern atoll, fit in time for visiting the Maldives' inland lakes. Some of the best can be found on the island of Fuvahmulah, with the captivating Bandaara Kilhi ('State Lake') and Dhadimagi Kilhi freshwater lakes providing another enchanting swimming spot for your Maldives escape.

The Maldives' local communities are definitely worth adding to your itineraryVisit a local community

Don't miss visiting one of the islands' local communities if you get the chance (many resorts and local tour groups offer village excursions). 

For beautifully colourful architecture, enticing street-food (try the super-fresh seafood before you leave) and picture-perfect beaches, make your way to Maafushi. Or, check out the capital of Malé for bustling markets, historic sites and quirky dining spots. Make sure you observe the local dressing customs and wear something respectfully modest. 

It's easy to see why watersports are big in this gorgeous destinationGet (water) sporty

You know those almost-too-pretty-to-be-real images from Insta of a couple kayaking above turquoise waters? That's a reality in the Maldives. 

Kayaking, SUP-ing, kitesurfing, surfing, snorkelling, catamaran sailing, jet skiing, diving – the list of watersports on offer from resorts and local hire groups in the Maldives is almost endless. And its no wonder – with some of the world's clearest water surrounding the islands, you'll want to enjoy as much of it as humanly possible. 

Dreaming of escaping to the Maldives? Find romantic accommodation here...

 

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