Welcome to Malé
The pint-sized Maldivian capital is the throbbing, mercantile heart of the nation, a densely crowded and extraordinary place, notable mainly for its stark contrast to the laid-back pace of island life elsewhere in the country.Male (mar-lay) offers the best chance to see the ‘real’ Maldives away from the resort buffet and infinity pool. Overlooked by tall, brightly coloured buildings and surrounded by incongruously... Read More
Top experiences in Malé
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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.
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.
Maldives Sun and Snorkel Including Transportation by Speed Boat and Traditonal Maldivian Afternoon Tea
Your Maldives snorkel tour will begin with a safety briefing at the jetty before we board the speedboat that will take us out onto the water. (Life jackets will be available onboard). We’ll leave Hulhumale lagoon behind and head to our first stop, a coral reef where just two metres below the surface there, you’ll find young and delicate hard coral, as well as a multitude of reef fish. Your guide will give you tips on how to snorkel without causing damage to the coral, as well as talk you through the key points for using snorkel equipment, remaining calm in the water, and protecting marine life. You’ll also get a mini marine life lesson, so that you can put names to many of the colourful fish you’ll see. From there, we’ll travel to Kandu Oiy Giri island, where, just beyond the harbour wall, we might spy the many stingrays and moray eels that come to feast on the fish scraps thrown back into the water by the local tuna fish processing plant. Afterward, we’ll head to a sandbank where you can swim and snorkel some more, or just relax on the beach. We’ll enjoy a traditional Maldivian tea accompanied with fresh coconut, and get the chance to chat with our boat crew. We’ll snack on bite-size sweet and savoury delights — the savoury ones filled with vegetables, tuna, egg, and chili, the sweet ones with coconut, banana, or sponge cake. As the afternoon comes to a close, your Maldives tour will take you back to Hulhumale, where you will be able to catch a ferry to return to Malé or a taxi to your Hulhumale guesthouse.