Magical musts in the Maldives

By Amy Rosoman

Photography by Levente Bodo / Getty Images

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June 2017

Journey to the jewels scattered in the Indian Ocean. Bask in glistening waters, snorkel the colourful reefs and look out to the wondrous horizon from white sand beaches. Discover what true paradise is, in this exotic haven.

Surreal spas with real relaxation

Where better in the world to pamper yourself, than these isles of serenity. With beautiful pleasures of sun, sea and sand, find tranquillity in the Maldives. Lose yourself to a beachside massage or delight in treatments on a stilted water villa. Relish the tropical ingredients like papaya extract, savour an enriching scrub, revitalise with a ravishing facial and truly unwind. Watch sea life thrive before your eyes in an underwater treatment room, then sit back in a sauna or watch the world go by in the bubbles of a Jacuzzi. Reawaken your senses on an unforgettable break in utopia.

Where to stay: Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru – For the coconut balm used in therapies at the spa, combining body and mind wellness, as well as the spectacular private jet pools of the private villas.

Reawaken your senses on an unforgettable break in utopia.

  • Enjoy sea breeze days kayaking in the Maldives. ©Kapulya.

    Water wonderland

    Take time out and paddle about in the most pristine waters on the planet.£1015 pp

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Powder soft sands and pastel skies

With its breathtaking azure lagoons, perfectly turquoise shallow seas, deep indigo oceans and pristine sands, the Maldives beaches are unrivalled. Lounge on the soft shores for those much needed lazy days, sip on cocktails as you unwind in a hammock and take a dip to revitalise when the heat gets too much. For adventurous days, take a kayak out and skim along the crystal waters, jump on a jet ski or go parasailing and admire the sights from above. Stroll along the sands in the evening, listen to the gentle waves, look out for luminous plankton and stargaze the night away.

Where to stay: Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – For the surf school, the infinity pool by the tropical waters and spectacular sunset views out to the ocean – as far as the eye can see.

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  • Rehabilitation for injured sea turtles. ©Melanie Maya.

    Wildlife conservation

    The eco-friendly ways of the Maldives is eternally important, to preserve the beauty of this paradise.£2041 pp

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  • Glistening waters and exotic marine life ©Cinoby.
  • East Market restaurant at the LUX* South Ari Atoll. ©LUX* Resorts & Hotels.

    Dine in paradise

    Feast on fresh treats in a setting like no other and feel your taste buds explode.£668 return

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Dazzling sea life and eco-friendly ways

Discover the astounding ecological environment of the Maldives. With such expectations of pure beauty, it’s imperative to conserve the natural wonders of this paradise. From the monitoring of dive sites and coral reefs, to tree planting, the environmental preservations for the natural surroundings make the resorts in the Maldives a green place to be. The numerous conservation programmes for sea life is just as essential, for the abundance of tropical fish and other enchanting water creatures. Get even closer when you take a trip and sail on a traditional dhoni boat – venture through the shimmering waters to see wild dolphins and docile whale sharks for the ultimate getaway story.

Where to stay: Oblu by Atmosphere – For the glorious protected ocean spots where you can see giant sea turtles, lobsters, silver tipped sharks, beautiful reefs and enjoy scrumptious cocktails at Helen’s after a day of exploring.

  • Dreamy pool days at the Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa. ©Four Seasons Hotels Limited.

    A pool with a view

    Relax in the pool and lookout to the horizon, come dawn or dusk.£1015 pp

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Mesmerising dining

Indulge in tantalising cuisine on a beach with fire-lit torches surrounding you and a view that will steal your heart. Relish breakfast delights from your own villa porch and look out to the stunning ocean, or take tea in the cool of the restaurant. However you want to enjoy your dining experiences, savour every moment. From flavourful fresh seafood, juicy tropical fruits, boastful burgers, grills and pasta dishes, there is something for everyone to be mouth-watering about. As each island is so tiny, the resorts cater for repeat restaurant visits. Menus vary, and you’ll have several restaurants to choose from, all you have to do is sit back and let your taste buds explode.

Where to stay: LUX* South Ari Atoll – With its several restaurants and bars, including the East Market, an over-the-water Asian infused restaurant, you’ll be spoilt for dining delights.

A hypnotising underwater world

The incredibly clear and warming waters of the Indian Ocean, make the Maldives an absolute diamond for snorkelling and diving experiences. Snorkel in the beautiful lagoons and watch the show, as exotic fish swim around you. Look out for magnificent manta rays and smaller sharks of the shallows. These isles are the perfect place to go scuba diving, from beginners to qualified divers, take a trip to some of the best dive spots in the world. See the vibrant reef life, glide alongside turtles, watch rays soar above you and be mesmerised by the gentle, giant whale sharks.

Where to stay: Constance Moofushi Resort – For the chance to take your PADI diving course, snorkel above the house reef and relax under the stars after a long day, with drinks at the Totem beach bar.