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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for 6 Places to Explore in Maldives – An Adventure in Paradise
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Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Places to Explore in Maldives – An Adventure in Paradise

The Maldives needs no introduction, its islands of white sand, serene palms and crystal clear waters are coveted holiday goals across the globe. Make sure to check out these 6 places when you visit!

1

Malé

The City of Malé is the capital city of the Maldivian archipelago and is situated on a small, islet in the North Malé Atoll. Despite its small size, the city is crammed with fantastic attractions of cultural and historical significance along with a bustling and vibrant city crowd. Malé is unfortunately often overlooked and passed over by visitors who usually head straight for the island resorts, like Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, where many a Maldives bungalow awaits. Among its many highlights are the magnificent 17th century Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre that is tipped in gold, and the Malé market where you can buy delicious fresh fruits, vegetables and freshly-caught fish!

2

Utheemu

Utheemu, a gorgeous little site tucked within the Haa Alif Atoll, is not just about looks. While the opulent little island has its wealth of sparkling, gin-clear waters, white sands and luscious palms, as is characteristic of the archipelago, Utheemu's significance comes from its history. Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, the leader credited with freeing the Maldives from Portuguese invaders in the 16th-century, once called Utheemu home. The island's natural heritage is dotted with historic sites including Utheemu Ganduvaru, a magnificent timber palace where the revered Sultan grew up.

3

Feydhoo

Feydhoo is a cosy little island on the Seenu Atoll, which is a picture of traditional Maldivian life. The tight-knit housing blocks and quaint streets fringed with trees, give off a very, old, familiar and lived-in vibe. Feydhoo, however, is a much more recent settlement than it would have you believe. Its history began during WWII when the British transformed the neighbouring island of Gan into an airbase and shipped off its inhabitants to Feydhoo to make a living there instead. The island always gives visitors a warm welcome and has some fantastic seafood curries to sample!

4

Banana Reef

People come to Maldives for two things, one, the beaches and two, for diving. If you jumped on a plane and flew down to the archipelago for the latter, then you don't have too far to go. Off the shores of the North Malé Atoll, where Malé International Airport is situated, is the fruit shaped Banana Reef – one of the world's most popular diving spots. The reef is teeming with multi-coloured corals, a myriad of amazing reef fishes like oriental sweetlips, black snapper fish, giant squirrel fish and schools of bannerfish and yellow snappers that can reach up to a thousand individuals in size! There's also barracudas, turtles and reef sharks if that sort of thing interests you.

5

Manta Point

If you are a licensed diver, go here, if you aren't a licensed diver, get your license and go here. Manta Point, as the name suggests, is where you'll encounter the immense and truly majestic Manta Rays. The spectacular reef is a 9 – 28-metre dive and hosts a large number of Manta Rays between the months of May and December. The Mantas use the reef as a cleaning station – the Porites corals interspersed throughout the reef harbours a massive colony of cleaner fish. Of course, Manta Rays aren't the sites only attraction, though it's definitely the most exciting, the dive site is also home to huge schools of oriental sweetlips and Napolean wrasses, as well as, turtles, moray eels and reef sharks.

6

Maafushi

Unlike most of the Maldivian islands, Maafushi is not commanded by a luxury island resorts and is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture, unaffected by tourism. Maafushi was badly affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 and is building itself back up again, and the quaint little island is full of charming people, guesthouses, cosy little coffee shops and, of course, the ever-present brilliant white beaches, blue waters and verdant palms.