The 11 must-do things to do in the Maldives

Are you going to visit the Maldives, a large archipelago off the coast of southern India? Here are the essential things to do in the Maldives!


  • 1. Small
  • 2. Mudhdhoo Island
  • 3. Veligandu Atoll
  • 4. Alimatha Island
  • 5. The atoll of Ari
  • 6. Ukulhas Island
  • 7. Kuramathi Island
  • 8. Go diving and snorkeling
  • 9. Night fishing
  • 10. Swim with sharks
  • 11. Fly over atolls and islets?

What to do in the Maldives? Famous for the beauty of its beaches and seabed, the Maldives draw a paradise on the sea: calm lagoons with translucent and warm waters, multicolored fish, heavenly beaches, coral reefs, attracting nearly 800,000 tourists each year. The Maldives consist of 1,199 islands, the capital of which – Male – is 600 kilometers from India and 755 kilometers from Sri Lanka. In 2017, the Maldives were populated by 436,330 inhabitants for 298 km². A true tropical Eldorado, the Maldives are however regularly criticized for their low religious tolerance and for their violations of Human Rights.

If you decide to visit the Maldives and are wondering what to do in this island country, here are some tips we have compiled: our 11 ideas of essential things to do and see when visiting the Maldives.

1. Small

Male, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Nattu

Need a non-tax evasion? Despite an often-lamented regression in social rights, the Maldives attract large numbers of Western travelers in search of beauty, idyllic beaches and tropical sunshine. The capital is the most populous city in the country, with 142,909 inhabitants (2017) spread over – even crowded – 5.8 km², with a population density of more than 17,884 inhab./km². Malé is located on an island of the same name, in the atoll of Kaafu and represents the political, cultural, economic and financial center of the country. Located at a latitude of 4° north, the climate of the city is equatorial.

In the city of Malé, the National Museum , in the Sultan’s Park, is a must visit. It houses collections from the country’s Buddhist and Islamic period, with clothing and jewelry, weapons and drums. The city has many hotels in which to sleep and is dotted, between the mosques, with green spaces in which to stroll. For a memorial visit, head southwest to the Tsunami Monument (2004).

2. Mudhdhoo Island

Stingrays, Mudhdhoo Island, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Abllo™

There is a rare phenomenon, unique in the world, which can be found in the Maldives, north of Malé, on Mudhdhoo Island : at nightfall, due to a bioluminescent organ activated as a defense strategy by thousands of tiny crustaceans present on the sand, the beach lights up at dusk. So what to do in the Maldives? Seeing the beaches of Mudhdhoo Island is an unmissable activity in the Maldives, and quite unusual! It has become a major tourist attraction on the archipelago due to its uniqueness. While swimming, take advantage of the exceptional marine fauna which promises a magical spectacle.

3. Veligandu Atoll

Veligandu Atoll, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Pedro Plassen Lopes

What to do in the Maldives if not bask on the sublime beaches of the equatorial and tropical islands? Turquoise waters, warm all year round, wetting fine sand and at the foot of lush tropical vegetation: the Maldives are an invitation to travel. To enjoy the best beaches in the Maldives, go to Véligandu , the emblematic beach of the Maldives, with bungalows built on stilts where you can sleep with your feet in a peaceful blue lagoon.

4. Alimatha Island

Alimatha Island, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Trip & Travel Blog

Magnificent island if you appreciate tranquility, beauty, swimming in warm waters and sunbathing on very fine sand. You can go scuba diving or simply… relax. The hotels where to stay in Alimatha will seduce all audiences: families, children, adults, couples, enjoying a succulent cuisine.

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5. The atoll of Ari

Ari Atoll, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Neville Wootton

The Ari atoll , made up of 82 islets, is a huge lagoon of 2,271.75 km². There are also 26 island-hotels where luxury, calm and voluptuousness are the key words! If you have scoured the entire surface, go to Meerufenfushi , located 40 kilometers northeast of Male: it is a sublime uninhabited island hotel.

6. Ukulhas Island

Ukulhas Island, Maldives

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons – Rappey

Located to the west of Rasdu and connected by boat to the latter, the island of Ukulhas offers several dozen hotels where to stay, restaurants and the Bikini beach, where tourists and locals mingle. It is also a very good spot for snorkeling, with snorkel, mask and flippers.

7. Kuramathi Island

Kuramathi Island, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Mac Qin

A little last atoll for the road? Kuramathi Island is located in the center of the Maldives, west of the inhabited island of Rasdu. Beaches here again sublime in all respects, a few hotels to sleep in and the same credo: enjoy, in complete peace of mind.

8. Go diving and snorkeling

Snorkeling, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Ed Ralph

Aren’t diving and snorkeling the essential activities of a country made up of atolls and blue lagoons? If you come to visit the Maldives, try the experience . For you, the beauty and clarity of the water, the lagoons protected from the waves by the coral reefs, and the multicolored fish. Lhaviyani Atoll or Baa Atoll – a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ideal for snorkeling – and Hanifaru Bay , are among the top destinations in the Maldives. You can even rest on the pontoons in the sun or in the shade, in the wooden and thatched bungalows: be careful, it’s hard work!

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9. Night fishing

Night fishing, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Mohamed Malik

It is often hotels and resorts that organize night fishing parties. If you don’t know what to do in the Maldives, fishing after dark will be a great idea for activity after a lazy day on the beach. Why ? Because bigger fish are easier to catch in the evening, when they go out to feed, than during the day. Would you like a barbecue in paradise?

10. Swim with sharks

Swim with sharks, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Ed Ralph

Visiting the Maldives without seeing whale sharks and manta rays would be a shame. In the Maldives, diving with these marine animals is a widespread practice among the tourist activities sold by beach resorts. An extraordinary aquatic universe awaits you, in an element that we do not control: the ocean. There will be an abundant population of manta rays, multicolored tropical fish and between November and April, the impressive whale shark. Diving into the ocean at a depth of 15-20 meters allows you to cross the corals, approach the reefs to find yourself close to moray eels, parrotfish, rays and groupers: a gigantic aquarium except that here, it’s are you the stranger…

11. Fly over atolls and islets

Seaplane tour, Maldives

Photo credit: Flickr – Nattu

To those who ask what to do in the Maldives, Generation Voyage answers them: a seaplane ride! Why not fly over the atolls in a seaplane and come back with an image almost unique in the world: from the air, enjoy the transparency of the water and the colors of the lagoons, contrasting with the deep blue of the ocean, wetting quasi-deserted islands!

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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