If you’re looking for a fresh new travel destination, check out the pristine coral reefs and warm crystal clear waters of the Maldives. The initial plane ride is an adventure in itself. As you approach the landing strip, or lack there of, it looks as if you’re going to fly into the freaking sea!
Fun fact: the word atoll originates from atholhu in the Maldivian language, Dhivehi and describes the landmass of the Maldives. An atoll is not just a single island but it is a huge ring of a series of coral reefs. The Maldives’ boasts 26 atolls comprised of 1,190 coral islands. The extremely unique geography make it a world-renowned location for snorkeling and scuba diving. Despite it’s notoriety, the Maldives is still a budding tourist destination that has yet to be blown up by the encroaching globalized world. But it is rapidly expanding, so come visit this hot spot while it’s still fresh!
Any excursion to the Maldives’ must involve the beautiful coral reefs. Diving is not my thing AT ALL after nearly having a panic attack in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia but most people love it (lunatics) therefore, the top 3 things are all diving/snorkeling related.
1. Banana Reef – this diverse marine area features a variety of geographical features such as cliffs, caves and overhangs, as well as a variety of marine life such as sharks, barracudas, gropers, jackfish, morays, manta rays, and bluefish snappers. You can scuba dive and plum the depths of the coral reef or you can get a view from the top and snorkel above the reeftop.
2. Fish Head aka Mushimasmingali Thila– is a world-renowned dive site famous for featuring a plethora of gray reef sharks. The sharp vertical reef has multiple ledges and hosts a diverse population of additional marine life such as sea fans, anemones, black corals, fusiliers, Napoleons, and schools of feeding barracuda.
3. Wreck of the Maldive Victory – If you’re looking for a more challenging dive this is for you. The sunken cargo ship that was downed in 1981 is now filled with new vivacious coral, sponges, tubastrea and myriad schools of fish. The extreme aspect of this dive is created by the possibility of strong currents.
The gorgeous beaches and coral reefs may be the main attractions, but the Maldives are not without a cultural heritage. The next two awesome places to visit reveal the unique history of the Maldives.
4. Hukuru Miskiiy aka Old Friday Mosque – this old ass Mosque was built in 1656. It has elaborately decorated coral-stone walls with Arabic script carved into them. On the inside there are beautiful woodcarvings and an amazing lacquer job.
5. National Museum – is the last standing remnants of the sultan’s palace that was torn down in 1968. The museum is being moved to a new more modern looking building sometime in the next couple of years, so come and get a glimpse of this historic building while you still can.
The 26 atolls and 1,190 islands of the Maldives are terrific to visit to explore the vast underwater ecosystems, but they are also marvelous if you want to just relax and soak up some sun. The floating bungalows are abundant and provide a romantic getaway for honeymooners and seasoned couples alike.
The surfing is totally tubular as well and the Maldives is quickly becoming a popular surf destination with O’Neil sponsoring an annual surf competition. When you make your holiday to the Maldives you won’t be disappointed. So come visit and scope out these 5 awesome sites soon before the Maldives are blown up.