If you are planning a trip to the Maldives then there might just be one thing on your mind - time on the beach amongst swaying coconut palms with the occasional dip into clear, blue seas. When you are in one of the most beautiful locations in the world it can be hard to look beyond those pristine white sands. However, a week or two spent in a sun lounger is not the holiday for everyone and there are a range of other activities to keep you occupied.

Whilst the Maldives is not, and probably never will be, a place to go for ancient castles or massive water parks, we have highlighted eight activities you should consider when making your way to this paradise in the Indian Ocean whether honeymooning, travelling with the family or simply enjoying the location by yourself.

Supreme Snorkelling

Do you love diving into the ocean and exploring an undersea kingdom of natural beauty? It is fair to say that the Maldives offers some of the best snorkelling in the world. In fact it could well be the best snorkelling and scuba diving experience of your life. The setting for this theatre of exploration is also remarkable with coral that provides a multicoloured, radiant backdrop for your swim.

The number and variety of fish (over 1,200 species) you could encounter on your dive is astonishing. As well as the enthralling but peaceful sharks and rays there is an abundance of colourful smaller species which brings a true ‘Finding Nemo’ vibe to your swim, including Dory herself in the shape of the Palette Surgeonfish. Sweep past barracudas, take an underwater snap of the snapper fish and see if you can give the Oriental Sweetlips a kiss on the mouth.

If you are lucky enough, you will also have a close up encounter with one of the local hawksbill and green turtles. These creatures are majestic on shore and in the water and there is no feeling in the world like taking a short swim with one.

Snorkelling can be as easy as stepping out of your Club Med overwater villa and straight into the sea. However, you will also find plenty of tours available to take you into deeper waters. You may also want to go further afield and explore some of the most famous areas of the Maldives such as Manta Point off Lankanfinolhu Island where, as the name suggests, a thriving colony of giant manta rays can be found. HP Reef on the Malé Atoll is also known as ‘Rainbow Reef’ for reasons you will discover if you visit there. The colours on display are simply breathtaking.

Shopping in the Maldives

Dry yourself off and prepare for a more urban experience as we take you shopping. We would recommend visiting the capital of the Maldives, Malé, where you can mix with the locals while purchasing amazing food, drink and souvenirs to treasure for a lifetime. It offers a lively change of pace to the islands, with scooters zipping between brightly painted buildings and elegant mosques.

The Malé local market is a huge establishment located on the north waterfront. It is a major shopping site for locals as it has a variety of local produce and food. It even has handicrafts, local snacks and gifts. You can find unique food items like bottled pickles and even vacuum-packed smoked fish at the nearby fish market. Club Med offers an excellent guided tour of the area if you want expert advice as you shop.

If you are looking for souvenirs then head for Chaandhanee Magu, another major shopping street in Malé. Instead of general goods and food, it offers locally handcrafted souvenirs and imported items. You can find miniature dhonis (Maldivian sailboats), thundu kunaa (traditional woven mats), coconut products, and various other souvenirs. Your mantelpiece at home will thank you for it.

If luxury shopping is your thing then the local premium shopping outlet at Centro Mall is ideal. This large mall carries numerous brand-name stores offering clothes, home appliances, and multiple dining options from cafes to the popular Manhattan Fish Market. And after a long day of shopping, you can head to one of the mall's salons or spas to unwind.

Visit The National Museum

Whilst the Maldives is not known for its cultural attractions, if you would like to find out more about the country and its rich history then we would recommend spending some time at the National Museum which is well worth the entrance fee.

The three story building is not the most attractive in the world but inside is a collection of very interesting objects and artifacts. Amongst these is the large collection of old and authentic China porcelain - emphasising the strong links between the two countries.

Head downstairs to travel back to medieval and ancient periods where you can take a look at some of the weapons used back in the old days as well as items relating to Islam which has been the state’s religion since its conversion in 1153. Previously a Buddhist country, most objects from that time have been destroyed over the centuries. However, one stand out display is a coral stone head of Buddha from the 11th-century.

The upper floors provide a more contemporary look at the Maldives including modern objects such as computers and gramophones. In terms of the unusual then it is hard to beat the minutes of a government cabinet meeting that was actually held underwater around 10 years ago. If you can find a similar object in any other museum in the world then we would be impressed.

Other highlights include a police museum and the stamp museum which will be fascinating for all those sun worshiping philatelists. Overall, if you do find yourself on Malé island the museum is well worth a visit to get some idea of the Maldivians and their past before you start considering more beach bound activities again.


We have talked about under the sea fun already but another major activity in the Maldives is what takes place on top of the waves. Most notably this is surfing but also the increasingly popular stand up paddle. The latter is particularly good in the Maldives due to the smooth ocean that can be found around the islands and your little bit of sport is also the chance to spot exotic fish as you drift along.

It has to be said that the Maldives is probably not the best place to start learning surfing as the waves are considered quite challenging in many places. However, for those with experience this is an amazing location to catch some of the best action in the world. And even if you don't fancy getting wet, watching the pros in action can be an exhilarating way to spend the day.

However, there are places where the waves are more suitable for the less experienced. It is easy to book lessons from the locals and it could be the start of a lifelong passion.

March to October is considered the best time to catch the big breakers with higher winds safely taking you to a landing away from the abundant coral. Those who are serious about the sport may want to travel around to find their own private space, particularly in the outer reefs where it is recommended that you head to the South East of the islands for the best spots. A hired boat might be the best option, although the top locations tend to be located in close proximity to each other.

Just chilling with Club Med

It is very possible to fully enjoy a holiday in the Maldives without leaving your Club Med resort. We can provide all the activities, entertainment and sheer relaxation moments on your own private island.

Book your surf, kitesurf or windsurf experience and look forward to enjoying the natural wonders. That could include a guided tour of the reefs with a marine biologist so you see the best that is on offer. Or go on a Manta ray discovery dive and see these beautiful creatures up close.

Flying trapeze and fitness schools can teach the kids some amazing skills and also ensure you return to your home country fitter and more energised than ever before. The Mandara Spa in Club Med Kani is set by the beach. Relax with a yoga session on the pale golden sandy sands or chill out in the shade of the coconut palms.

The Finolhu Villas are ideal for those who really want to get away from it all but still have access to all the luxury all-inclusive experiences of Club Med Kani. You can choose between overwater eco-luxury bungalows with direct access to the sea or our eco-luxury beach villas with their own private seafront. Private pools, your own personal butlers and masseurs who visit you mean that this is the ultimate in relaxation and tropical island escapes.

In addition to all this, restaurant dining or intimate beach dinners under the stars are all options. Just chilling with Club Med may be your best possible choice for things to do in the Maldives.

Book Now

Eating out

Some of the best holiday experiences involve food. And Maldivinian cuisine is both varied and delicious. Whether you are staying in a Club Med resort or elsewhere in the islands, there will be at least one high quality restaurant to choose from as well as smaller shacks where you can try street food for a snack or lunch.

As you would expect from an island kingdom, fish is one of the most popular items available, especially for breakfast. It is often caught the very same day you eat it and is gloriously fresh. The local tuna in particular has to be tasted during your time on holiday. The local fruit is a prominent menu item and the juicy flavours you experience will make the mangoes and bananas you have at home seem a little dull in comparison.

The cuisine also includes curries, many of which are mild in flavour and excellent for those who don't want too much spice in their diet. Tapas lovers should give hedhikaa a go where you get to try a little bit of everything such as seafood rolls and fried dough balls. For dessert, the rice pudding is a real showstopper.

Those swaying palm trees on the beach provide the key local ingredient of coconut which can be found in many dishes, most notably curries as well as drinks to soothe sun-drenched thirsts.

If you want to try just one restaurant in the Maldives then the most famous is the world’s largest all-glass underwater eatery where you can dine five metres below the surface with fish swimming around you in the giant restaurant windows. Visit the Undersea Restaurant on Hurawalhi Island for a dining experience like no other. It is very popular with tourists so make sure you book ahead.

Dolphin Watching

We have already talked about some of the beautiful sea life that can be experienced in the Maldives. However, one of the most spectacular of the natives is the friendly, intelligent dolphins. To sail alongside or swim with these exquisite creatures is a lifelong dream for many people and the islands are one of the main places in the world to see them.

There are over 20 species of dolphins to meet and it is easy to organise an excursion to go to the areas where they play. Alternatively, you also have a good chance to see them when on a normal boat trip. However, we would recommend going with the professionals to make a sighting more guaranteed. In particular, sunset cruises are both romantic and awe inspiring by themselves to make your trip even more memorable.

Tours where you leave the boat and actually swim with dolphins are also available. The chances of getting close to the creatures is not as high as you might think despite how friendly they are. But given the right conditions and fingers crossed you could get the chance to see them in their natural habitat. It is highly recommended having a professional with you at all times who will not only help you meet the dolphins but ensure you stay safe and don't frighten these wonderful creatures.

Try to choose a clear, calm day for your dolphin watching and swimming excursions as this is the time you are more likely to see them playfully leaping out of the water.

Island Hopping

With so many islands to choose from in the Maldives it would be a shame not to visit more than one. You could probably spend a lifetime exploring all the atolls, sandy beaches and mysterious Robinson Cruse inlets that the region has to offer. Done properly, it can feel like a true adventure, going boldly where few tourists have gone before.The best idea may be to choose 2 or 3 to visit while on your holiday to avoid getting overwhelmed.

The simple approach is to book an excursion that will allow you to visit some of the best islands. However, the more adventurous may want to set their own agenda and privately hire a form of transport that will take them to the places they have highlighted in a map. A speedboat is a good way of getting to islands that are fairly close together. You will need to book one in advance.

Another way to explore is by seaplane which can actually be as cheap as a speedboat to hire. In that way you can fly over many more islands and see the sights before landing next to a select few to explore further. Remember, that if you are spending more than one night at a resort you are likely to have to return to Malé before heading for your next destination, so planning is essential. You don't want to spend too much time on your holiday sitting in cramped transportation rather than soaking up the sun on the glorious beaches.

Club Med Sun - Discover the Maldives