One of the world's smallest national capital, Male is known for its ancient mosque and colourful buildings. It is a casual town best for wandering without pre-planned itineraries. With heritage buildings on the one hand and trees and waters with welcoming shades on the other, Male is a must-visit.
Best Time: November to April
The Vadhoo Island is a spectacular island in Maldives which is famous for its bioluminescent phenomenon known as the Sea of Stars. It is located in the Raa Atoll. The Sea of Stars phenomenon is the name given to the mesmerising waters of Vaadhoo Island when they glow a brilliant blue under the moonlight. The best time to see the Sea of Stars is June and October. You can also swim in the glowing water.
Nestled in the Kaafu Atoll, the Maafushi Island is located at a distance from 26km from Male. It is a large island when compared to the rest of the islands situated in the atoll. It is dotted with cosy guesthouses and hostels which are not only affordable but are also extremely comfortable. From historical monuments to sandbars, from diving agencies to restaurants, the island invites you to embark on a smorgasbord of activities.
Hulhumale is an artificial island in Maldives located south of the North Male Atoll and connected to the airport by a causeway. It spreads across 188 hectares and is a perfect fusion of urban life with the delights of island life. It houses the popular Hulhumale Beach located on the sunrise side of the island. The beachfront road is ideal for a walk and houses some resorts and cafes. Other attractions here are Central Park, Fruit & Vegetable Market, and some mosques.
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Artificial Beach, Male is one of the most beautiful and only man-made beaches in the Maldives. With breathtaking views and a pleasant climate, this beach, shaped like a crescent, has earned its spot as one of the most popular and liked tourist destinations. It is a famed swimming spot for the locals and visitors alike. Also, the view of the China Maldives Friendship bridge from the beach is magnificent.
The second-largest urban area of Maldives, the city consists of inhabited islands and is situated in the southernmost atoll of the archipelago. Apart from Male- the capital, only Addu city holds the urban ‘city’ title in the country.
The bioluminescent beach on Vaadhoo Island of Maldives is a tropical paradise in Raa Atoll, famous for its glow-in-the-dark waves. A biological phenomenon causes the water to emit a bright blue light at night, giving the beach an ethereal look. This makes Vadhoo a worthy destination for honeymooners and adventure seekers.
The Tsunami Moment is a freestanding memorial to the victims of the devastating 2004 tsunami, located in Boduthakurufaanu Magu in southeast Malé. The tranquil location is perfect to reflect upon the events of the fateful day, and is frequented by history enthusiasts and kin of the victims. The beach nearby is a popular surfing spot too.
The Grand Friday Mosque in Male is one attraction that, with its towering golden dome, gathers the attention of all visitors. The mosque is part of the Islamic Centre which is at the Male's centre and is located right next to the main jetty of Male, thus making it easy to spot, even from the sea.
Gan Island is the southernmost island that forms a part of the Addu Atoll, making it the southernmost island of Maldives. It is popular for water sports, snorkelling and diving and is home to some of the best luxury resorts in Maldives.
Just 35 minutes away from Male, Huraa Island is located on the Kaafu Atoll of the Maldives. With a population of around 600 people, this island is perfect for those looking for an authentic Maldivian beach holiday. Bikini Beach where tourists are allowed to wear bikinis and more revealing swimwear, is also found on Huraa Island.
Guraidhoo Island in the Kafu Atoll is a bliss for the ones escaping the crowd into the serenity of nature. Inhabited only since 1970, the island, its colourful houses occupying around 1700 people and coral chunks make it a beautiful place to be at. Walking the sandy streets of the island one can find a fantastical semi-bikini beach and an adventurous seasonal surf beach.
Home to a 300-year-old mosque, Isdhoo Island is situated on the northern tip of Laamu Atoll. Apart from being an epitome of natural beauty, the island also bears historical importance as it houses important ruins from Maldivian Buddhist era.
Taking the lead among the five islands of Faafu Atoll, Nilandhoo Island is the capital of the former. The isle remains high in importance for it has Foah'mathi, a historical place, which is believed to have a Buddhist temple beneath it.
The National Museum of Maldives is an ancient building containing a well-maintained collection of artefacts that help in tracing unusual historical events of this archipelago. It aims at instilling patriotic feelings in the citizens of Maldives. The museum has a massive assemblage of royal antiquities ranging from the Buddhist and Islamic era making it a paradise for the lovers of history and crafts.
Having the largest Mangrove vegetation, Landhoo island finds itself on the Southern Miladhunmadulhu Atoll. It is yet another island which boasts of being a centre of Buddhist History in the Maldives. Landhoo Island is a blend of interesting stories and a bundle full of cultural knowledge.
Mulee'age or the Presidential Palace is the residence of the President of the Maldivian republic. Situated right opposite to the Hukuru Miskiiy Male, Muleeage has been home to 4 presidents till now. The architecture of Muleeage is representative of architecture during the colonial era. It was built by Sultan Md Shamsuddeen III for his son. It can only be viewed externally, visitors are not allowed inside.
The National Gallery of the Maldives, located in Male, is a platform for showcasing the local and international artworks. From conceptual works to paintings, the gallery conducts regular exhibitions and promotional events for the people of artistic niche. It is an attraction worth dropping for the artists and art lovers visiting this side of Maldives.
Located in the beautiful Addu Atoll of Maldives, Maradhoo Island is best described as an authentic Maldivian experience merged with a mindblowing diving getaway. A holiday in this southern tip means plunging into the most serene and untouched parts of Maldives.
One of the most happening and renowned shopping destinations in the Maldives is the Male Local Market. Famous for souvenirs that are authentic and exclusive to this island, the market has the hearts of both the locals and the tourists.
Translating to ‘State Lake’, Bandaara Kilhi is one of two fresh water lakes in Fuvahmulah Island. With an average depth of 12 feet and an area of around 0.5 square kilometres, the lake is actually one of the largest in the Maldives. Not only are the waters here crystal clear, but the bottom of the lake is formed by decayed corals that are enticing to see. Completing the perfect scenery are beautiful vegetation like banana trees, coconut palms, mango trees, and fern surrounding the lake.
The China Maldives Friendship Bridge or the Sinamale Bridge is a 2-kilometre long bridge connecting Male to the airport island of Hulhule and by extension, Hulhumale Island. The bridge was made as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative and is largely funded by China, strengthening the ties between both the nations.
Thoondu Beach in north Fuvahmalah Island is a hugely popular beach destination in the Maldives. Hundreds of people visit it every day and the number doubles during peak travel season. The strong currents may it a dangerous place to swim, but the appeal of the beach lies in its beauty and surfing opportunities.
One of the oldest surviving mosques of Male in Kaafu Atoll is the Male Friday Mosque, also known as the Malé Hukuru Miskiy. With every corner ornate from inside out, the mosque dates back to the year 1658. Its unique architecture and intricate carvings on the walls became the reason for why it was listed in UNESCO tentative World Heritage Cultural List 2008.
Mathiveri Island is one of the eight inhabited islands in Alif Alif Atoll in the western Maldives. It is popular for its three beaches and water sports opportunities like wakeboarding, diving, snorkelling, and dolphin and manta ray watching. It has a gorgeous reef that’s ideal for fishing as well. Just 84 kilometres from Male, it is connected via ferry, speedboat, and even seaplane.
Sultan Park is a famous public park in Maldives located opposite the Islamic Centre in Male. Also known as Rasrani Bageecha, it was formed after transforming the palace's royal gardens built in the 16th century. Sultan Park is known for its lush greenery and quiet surroundings which makes it ideal for picnics and walking. Best time to visit is early morning or late evening.
The Nalaguraidhoo Beach located on the South Ari Atoll happens to be one of the most popular beaches across the Maldivian islands. The island, also similarly named, is about 62 kilometres away from the International Airport at Male.
A uniquely featured, environmentally friendly and sparsely populated island, Ukulhas finds itself on the Alif Alif Atoll of the Maldives. Like a pearl surrounded by coral reefs and blue lagoons, it is located 70 km east from Male. One of the best islands, when one talks about natural beauty, Ukulhas Island is the very first eco-friendly isle of the island nation. It houses one of the best bikini beaches among the local islands.
The Islamic Center in Male is one of the country's most famous and beautiful marvels of architecture. Situated in the northern fringes of the capital city, close to the Hulhule ferry point and neighbouring the Republic Square (Jumhooree Maidan), the grand building is the perfect example of Islamic architecture.
Located in the Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Hanimadhoo is one of the largest inhabited islands of Maldives. It stretches over a length of 7 km, with the broadest part of the land being only 750 metres. One side of Hanimadhoo is surrounded by a beach along the periphery, while the other side has house reefs. Hanimadhoo is famous for snorkelling, scuba diving, night fishing, dolphin spotting and kayaking.
Situated at the southernmost tip of the Maldivian archipelago is the largest island of the nation, Fuvahmulah. The scenic, natural beauty of this place is bound to take your breath away. With lush green mingling with the yellow of the dried leaves and the brown of the barks blending with the golden sand, Fuvamulah appears to be a place out of a picture that one painted in their imagination.
A place steeped in rich historical significance, the Utheemu Island in the Haa Alif Atoll is a slice of paradise for the nature lovers and history buffs. With a pleasant climate dominating the island for a major portion of the year, it is an ideal place for a vacation for solo and group travellers alike. The natural beauty of Utheemu Island is unmatchable.
Maldives busiest street and a paradise for shopaholics, Majeedhee Magu, is the most famous street markets in the Male. Crossing the city from the east to the west, it has shops providing everything from cosmetics, handlooms, and jewellery to electronic items. Within the cluster of local crafts and Islamic perfumes is the textile, which is the star product of this Maldivian market.
Utheemu Ganduvaru is the birthplace and historic house of Sultan Mohmed Thakrufaanu. He was one of the rulers of the Utheemu Dynasty who is remembered for the massive resistance he unleashed against the Portuguese colonisers during the 16th Century. Utheemu Ganduvaru is located in the Haa Alif Atoll in the northern Maldives.
A prime destination in the Upper North Province of Maldives that attracts loads of tourists. Located in Kanditheemu which is an inhabited island, the location stands to be a major tourist spot in the country.
Situated near the great Hukuru Miskiiy in Maldives, Medhu Ziyaaraiy is the tomb of the famous Morocco scholar Abdul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary who is credited for the advent of Islam in the Maldives during 1153 AD. The tomb is a symbol of peace which prevails among the Maldivian population.
At the northernmost tip of the Atoll, Isdhoo Buddhist Stupas is the ideal location for tracing the history of the Buddhist in the Maldives. The place is filled with ruins of Buddhist Stupas as a lot of them were destroyed and replaced with mosques after the country’s conversion to Islam.
This place again lays evidence of Buddhism as a culture that once flourished in the Maldives. The site was discovered in the 1950s, and retains ruins of Buddhist artefacts. Presently the area holds temple wrecks, roman coins and some silver relics from the ancient times.
On the island of Nilandho stands second oldest mosque of the Maldives, which is rumoured to have been constructed by the founders of the country. The mosque was built from the ruins of the Hindu Temples in the 12th Century and has Arabic scriptures chiselled on the walls. An excellent place for history enthusiasts and for people who have an eye for architecture.
Located in the heart of Alif Atol in the north. The eccentric location of the island paves the way for a beautiful marine life for the tourists. The island is perfect to explore the coral reefs and the equatorial fishes. The place is far from the capital Male and hence still holds the rustic Maldivian touch for tourists to experience.
Kudahavadhoo Island is the capital island of Dhaalu Atoll. There isn’t much to do on the island but it is best known for its architectural importance due to the presence of mysterious mounds called ‘hawittas’. These mounds are believed to pre-date the Islamic period and are actually ruins of unexcavated Buddhist temples. There are also the preserved remains of an ancient mosque with coral-stone carvings and signs of excellent ancient masonry.
One of the two freshwater lakes, the Dhadimagi Kilhi finds itself in the Fuvahmulah Atoll of Maldives. Covering an area of 6.37 hectares, the pictureque lake is the island nation's second largest lake in terms of volume. Surrounded by lush green vegetation of ferns and reeds, Dhadimagi Kilhi is the most visited lake for swimming because of the calm water.
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