The tiny island of Malé is the republic’s capital, the center of politics and commerce, the exact representation of Maldivian modernity. Its image stands as a stark contrast to the picture of idleness and serenity that almost all the other Maldivian islands paint.
Here in Malé, life can get a little bustling. Buildings, mosques, parks, roads, and motorbikes abound. But although Malé offers no ultimate beach adventures – it in fact is surrounded by seawalls – the capital presents promising experiences like any other capital in the world.
See firsthand the Maldivians’ deep devotion to the Islam faith by visiting the Islamic Centre. Opened in 1984, it is the most famous and elegant architectural landmark in Malé. Its golden dome can be seen from all points in the capital, making the Centre all the more a standout. But what makes the Centre a treasured and famed structure is the Grand Friday Mosque, which is situated right in the middle of the Centre. This structure has a capacity of more than 5,000 people, earning for itself the distinction as the largest mosque in Maldives.
Huskuru Miskiiy is another mosque worth visiting. A structure that is made of coral carvings, this 17th-century mosque used to be the main mosque in Malé prior to the construction of the Grand Friday Mosque. Very much part of the Maldivians’ religious commitment, the mosque is amazingly well-kept and adorned.
When in Malé, make sure to also visit Mule-Aage, the palace garden that was used to grow crops during World War II but now houses the President’s Office, and the National Museum, where a large deposit of artifacts, from centuries-old thrones to robes, are securely preserved. Also, check out any of Malé’s markets to experience the local shopping culture.
Baros, which is located in the northern part of the Malé Atoll, is one of the uninhabited Maldivian islands turned into an island resort. The island offers nothing but tropical vacation experience marked by privacy and undisturbed by modernity.
The imagery of the island seems to jump out directly from a postcard. Baros is glorious for its beauty. When you get here by plane, allow your eyes to gaze upon its oval form, which is bordered by coral reefs and glistening waters of the shallow lagoon. When you get here by boat, set your eyes on the beautiful palm-lined shore that gets even more beautiful as you go nearer the island. And when your feet finally land on the ground, be mesmerized at how the water, sand, trees, and villas make an enthralling, not to mention romantic, composition.
But not only will your appetite for everything beautiful be satisfied here, because your cravings for fun-filled water adventures have a place in this romantic island as well. The shallower parts of the island are ideal for swimming and waterskiing, while the parts with thick coral reefs are best for diving and snorkeling.
Bandos, like Baros, was developed into an island resort. Nestled in the North Kaafu Atoll, this calming beauty is set over a lagoon whose water shimmers at the glint of the sun. The scenery is every bit dreamy, completed by the white sand, rich vegetation, stunning sky, sun peeking from the cottony clouds, and vast expanse of the turquoise water.
Perfect for romantic getaways, Bandos embraces visitors with an overwhelming magnificence, the kind that you can only expect from a paradise. Indeed, Bandos is a paradise, isolated entirely from the bustles of the metropolis. And whether you are walking along the shore or looking out from your bungalow, you will experience the island’s inescapable beauty in its entirety.
Like in any other Maldivian islands, tourist activities in Bandos are water-based, which include swimming, waterskiing, diving, parasailing, canoeing, and wakeboarding. But if you want to have a break from the water, you can always have a spa session to rejuvenate yourself for yet another water adventure.
The serene atmosphere and amusing landscape of the island of Thinadhoo, formerly known as Havaru Thinadhoo, completely contradict its bloody history. Certainly, Thinadhoo was born anew, breaking itself free from the ghosts of the detestable 1962 genocide.
The nature seemed to rejoice, as the island has become even more beautiful, leaving visitors helplessly mesmerized. This island located in Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll boasts of beaches neatly adorned with a variety of trees, which make the island free of pollution. When the golden sun makes an appearance, the light is diffused into all parts of the island and through these trees, creating a pattern of shadows. And when it sets, the bluish sky turns into what seems like a board of contrasting colors and becomes a backdrop of an inspiring silhouette.
Thinadhoo, like any other Maldivian island, is a restful island with several accommodations. Here in the island, you can do various water activities or just be idle as you let your eyes marvel at the visual feast. Whether you are a honeymooner, a poet looking for inspiration, or a traveler who wants to experience the best of nature, Thinadhoo definitely has something good to offer.
Addu Atoll has been a bit slow in establishing the local tourism industry, but after having several improvements in transportation, Addu takes a full swing. This heart-shaped atoll is the biggest in southern Maldives and is currently the center of business in this part of the country. It also holds the designation of being a city island, falling second to Malé in importance.
As expected, Addu islands, specifically Villingili and Gan, have their own awe-inspiring resorts. And if you want to hop from one island to another, you can go to Equator Village, a top-class resort in Gan, which can lead you to the nearby islands via causeways. Just get onto a bicycle, and you’ll soon see the breathtaking views and witness the village life in the other islands. Because the atoll offers this kind of accessibility, many tourists include Addu in their must-go Maldivian places.