Why I love the Maldives
“I first came to the Maldives with no idea how different it was to the rest of the world, how fragile or challenging life seems here at the mercy of the sea, with so few resources locally available. I instantly formed a bond of respect and friendship with the people who make these inhospitable coral islands home. It's such a contradiction that this is also where to find some of the world's most luxurious hotel...” Read More
Top experiences in Maldives
Maldives Dining Experience with a Local Family
We’ll start our Maldives tour with some shopping, gathering the ingredients we’ll need for our delicious lunch. You’ll be taken to the local market and a fish market, where you’ll be able to browse and taste fruits and vegetables typical of this 1,200-island nation. From there, walk along the harbor jetties to the Hulhumale Ferry Terminal, where we’ll board a ferry to Hulhumale, an artificial island settled in 2004 to meet the booming housing, industrial, and commercial development demands of the Male region. We’ll gather on board with locals making their daily trips — you can start up a conversation with some, or just take in the awesome view (you might even be lucky enough to spot some dolphins!). The ferry ride will take about 20 minutes, after which point we’ll disembark at Hulhumale Island, the sixth district of Malé. From here, we’ll take a local bus to the family home where we’ll be hosted for lunch. Along the route, you’ll see a bit of local life in a residential neighbourhood away from the resorts, passing by the Hulhumale hospital, local shops, small cafés, a youth centre, and a mosque. Once we arrive at our hosts’ home, you’ll be asked to leave your shoes at the door, and your guide will teach you the traditional greeting to be made before entering a local home. You’ll meet some of the family members, and even though there may be people there who are unable to communicate with you in English, you’ll see how local hospitality transcends language barriers Together, we’ll pull out the ingredients we picked up the market, and you’ll be invited to participate in lunch preparation, helping to chop and grate coconut. Want to impress friends back home with your new Maldivian culinary skills? We’ll help you to make notes so you can cook up an island feast on your own. Once all the cooking is done, we’ll set the table and enjoy a freshly prepared meal with our hosts. Sitting around the table together, we’ll share our thoughts about Maldivian cuisine, discuss local life in the Maldives, and you’ll even learn some common words that you can use during the remainder of the holiday. After our meal, your guide will walk with you to the ferry terminal and accompany you back to Malé.
Maldives Submarine Tour
The complimentary transfer boat will pick you from the capital city, Male’ or from the airport to take you to the submarine dive site, approximately 15 minutes away from Male’. On reaching the submarine dive site, you will be transferred to a large floating platform where you will be served complimentary fresh towels, soft drinks, and tea/coffee before boarding. Boarding will start 15 minutes before dive time and passengers will enter the submarine via the main hatch down a staircase. Once you are seated (free seating), the submarine will leave the floating platform and cruise on the surface while crew give you a safety briefing and demonstrate the use of safety equipment’s on board the submarine. After an announcement, the pilot will start the decent, and through large acrylic view-ports in front of each seat, you can see the depths of the ocean and a school of surgeon fish greeting the submarine. On reaching a depth of 100 feet you will see a coral reef with different types of marine life and corals. Depending on the time of the day, you may see manta rays and the reef sharks swirling around this reef. The submarine is equipped with a fish feeding system to attract these creatures closer to your view-ports. While cruising underwater, the submarine will move slowly to avoid damaging the reef or scaring away the marine life. During the dive you maybe asked to switch seats so that both you and others can view the depths from a different view-port. Don’t forget to take your camera or phone with you so that you can take selfie with the pilot or the crew. After a 45-minute tour the submarine will come back to the surface and you will be transferred back to a boat. The boat will then take you back to Male’ City or to the Airport.
Male Walking Tour
Your tour starts with an overview of Male and the harbour area, a very important aspect of any island nation. Passing by the oldest school in the city, learn about the education system and why the Maldives has a 98% literacy rate. Visit Hukuru Miskiiy - Old Friday Mosque and the tomb of Abu -al - Barakaath and learn why the Maldives converted to Islam and how the Islamic faith underpins everyday life. Stop for a refreshing cup of traditional black tea at Royal Garden Café, a popular spot for locals. Housed in a rare example of a ‘ganduvaru’ a nobleman’s house, it provides a great example of traditional dark carved wood interiors. Stopping at the November 3rd Memorial, hear the story of how 8 brave military servicemen died in the protection of their country from a terrorist attack in 1988. Wander through Sultan Park, a reference to the time the Maldives was governed by a sultanate with an optional visit to the National Museum. (Note: Entrance fee not included.)Walking back towards the harbour area, pass by the Grand Friday Mosque and the Islamic Centre, Male's famous architectural landmark and onto Jumhooree Maiden - Independence Square. From here, learn the meaning of the Maldives national flag and pick out key government buildings.Heading west along the harbour, visit the bustling fish market and the local market, where the sights, sounds and smells will fill your senses. Chat with the local stall holders and taste tropical produce and homemade sweets.The tour finishes at the top of one of the city's tallest buildings, providing a great back drop to your final tour photo image!
Maldivian Private Cooking and Islamic Culture Experience
Your host will meet and greet you at Jetty No.5 in Male at either 9:30am or 5pm. Head to the market and enjoy the local atmosphere for about 20-30 minutes as you shop for the main ingredients of the day for your cooking lesson. You will see fresh tropical fish and farm products that you have never seen before!Depart the market and take a short 5 minute walk to the host's home. Please make yourself at home! Learn the local cooking techniques and then sit down and enjoy your meal with local table customs. After the meal, your host will talk with you about daily life based on Islam and then experience the prayer of Islam.At the end of the tour, your host will drop you off at Jetty No.5.
Private Made-In-Maldives Coconut Lip Cream Hand-Making Experience
You can choose a start time of 10am, 3pm or 6pm for this one-hour workshop. Our local guide will meet and greet you at Jetty No.1 in Male, which will be a short walk from the workshop. Upon arrival, your KOKONOWA project leader will give you a short lesson about Maldives coconut oil and the way of practical use. You will make 2 lip creams that you can bring back as a souvenir from your Maldives trip. After the workshop, you can stay in Male to enjoy sightseeing or shopping on your own.
Private Half Day Local Experience of Malé
Choose a morning or afternoon departure and meet your private guide at Jetty No. 5 in the Maldives capital city of Male. Over one hundred and thirty thousand people live here which makes it the world's most densely populated island. First, take a five minute walk to a local cafe where you will experience a Maldivian tea time. You will not find this stop in a guide book. Enjoy delicious snacks and tea with explanations about the local food and culture. Relax here for approximately 30 minutes before your walking tour begins.*No service of experience a Maldivian tea time during Ramadan (Estimated 27th May- 30th Jun 2017).Next, your guide takes you on a one hour walking tour through local markets and historical sightseeing spots in an enjoyable and safe atmosphere. The streets are lined with local houses and stores with an Islamic atmosphere. After walking about Male, you will go to a workshop. Enjoy painting a coconut or wooden plate with a local artist who will give you one-to-one guidance. Spend about 1.5 hours here and bring home your craft as a souvenir.At the tours end, you will return to Jetty No.5 in Male.