Whether you long for pampered nights in a 4-star resort or fish-filled days some 80 feet underwater, your tropical wishes are sure to come true on one of the 87 resort islands of the Maldives. Straddling the equator, the 1,102 islands that make up the Maldives form 26 atolls, or rings, of coral scattered over an area of land 510 miles long and 75 miles wide. The air of tranquility enveloping the archipelago makes the Maldives the ideal place to escape from the real world to a palm-fringed haze.

If choosing from so many attractions gets tough, keep our quick list of 10 most beautiful places to visit in Maldives handy. Though not exhaustive, the list helps you tick of all major spots in the country.

1) Malé

The largest and liveliest city in Maldives. Located on the southern edge of Kaafu Atoll, the North Malé Atoll is the largest city and the most popular destination among the best places to visit in Maldives. It used to be called ‘Mahal’ for being the abode of the ‘Royal Dynasties’ and is now famous as the King’s Island. Malé has a tropical monsoon climate with rains occurring through most months in the year. The best thing about Male is its consistently moderate temperature, round the year.

Major attractions at Malé: The Grand Friday Mosque, Scuba diving and snorkelling, Malé Fish Market, Malé’s National Museum, Tsunami Monument, Dive Club Maldives, Underwater Scooters

2) Sun Island – Bask in the nature’s pristine beauty

Also famous as the Sun Island, Nalaguraidhoo Island in South Ari Atoll is adorned with some stunning beaches, beautiful tropical flowers, and lavish greenery that pulls a great number of tourists wanting to bask in the lap of nature. With its extremely charming blue waters, sparkling beaches and fabulous resorts, the island guarantees immense joy to its guests. Given its serenity and beauty, it is the perfect escape for honeymooners and lovelorn couples.

Best time to visit Sun Island: March to April – the summer season, suitable for water sports.

Major attractions at Sun Island: Diving, windsurfing and snorkelling, relaxation at sauna and spa, Island Divers

3) Banana Reef – One of the best diving sites in the world

Located in North Malé Atoll, Banana Reef is globally renowned for being one of the best diving sites in the world. It was, in fact, the very first diving spot in Maldives to get recognition for licensed diving and training. Shaped like a banana, the reef is choc-a-block with exuberant marine life, fantastic corals, amazing cliffs, overhangs, and caves. And thanks to the myriad adventure activities here, it is one of the favorite places to visit in Maldives for the adventure junkies.

Major attractions at Banana Reef: Underwater activities like Scuba, snorkelling, Jet skiing in the reef; places like Maldive Victory, Hulhumalé, Alimatha Island, Biyadhoo Island, Manta Point

4) Alimatha Island – An awesome getaway.

Sitting on the eastern edge of Maldives, Alimatha Island is located in Vaavu Atoll. With its azure, crystal clear waters — apt for diving, snorkeling and boating, the island is a perfect spot for a family vacation and for honeymoon too. Volleyball matches in the sun-kissed beaches and the dazzling sand, here, are great fun. The Ayurvedic massage centre, spa, bars, and restaurants make it a revitalising option among the popular tourist places in Maldives.

Major attractions at Alimatha Island: Diving, snorkelling and canoeing at Miyaru Kandu, Fotte Kandu (Govt. sanctioned protected sites); Alimatha Aquatic Resort

5) Artificial Beach – The Carnival beach

Situated in North Malé Atoll, this beach is what its name tells you – artificial. It is the favorite haunt of the swimming enthusiasts among the top places to visit in Maldives. The Artificial Beach is an open area and has certain restrictions for clothing as per the local law. The beach also hosts several carnivals, water sports, and peaceful walks. The evenings here turn beautiful as music groups gather to jam and perform.

Major attractions at Artificial Beach: Shark Point, Manta Point, Nassimo Thila, Kani Corner

6) HP Reef – The beautiful corals and colorful marine life

Stationed in North Malé Atoll, HP Reef is among the top-rated tourist attractions in Maldives. It is a protected marine location that witnesses widespread presence of a variety of marine creatures. From small, harmful and colorful fishes to multi-hued corals, caves and overhangs — the sea here is bustling with the vivacity of marine life. With utmost care, the marine beings are protected here while making sure that ardent swimmers and divers only spring into waters when it is completely secure.

Major attractions at HP Reef: Marine life for those who love photography and diving

7) Fihalhohi Island – Romantic serenity guaranteed

Fihalhohi Island, situated at the South Kaafu Atoll in Malé, is one of the most attractive and gorgeous places in Maldives to spend your hard earned holidays. The island is beautifully surrounded with shady coconut palm trees, pristine beaches, and clear waters. You must visit this island if you are looking for a romantic getaway or planning your honeymoon.

Major attractions at Fihalhohi Island: Fihalhohi Island Resort, Rannalhi and Rihiveli beaches in close proximity

8) Biyadhoo Island – The resort island

Another popular island among the best places to visit in Maldives, the Biyadhoo Island is stationed in South Malé Atoll. Spread over ten acres of land, it is around 18 miles away from South Malé International Airport and has Makunufushi Island in close proximity. The island has abundant vegetation of bananas, coconuts and mangoes along with cucumbers, cabbage and tomatoes. It is popular for its sparkling waters and adventurous water sports and hence got the name — ‘the Scuba-diving Island’.

Major attractions at Biyadhoo Island: Biyadhoo Island Resort, snorkelling, scuba diving, canoe-paddling

9) Veligandu Island Beach – The lagoon resort

Located in North Ari Atoll, Veligandu Island is a reasonably small island. But in spite of being small, it has its own glory for vacationers. The island is filled with astonishing greenery that provides immense serenity in this land of shimmering waters. Also, the lagoons here provide great opportunities for diving and snorkeling. Being in close proximity to a fishing village, the island also promises to serve you delicious food.

Major attractions at Veligandu Island Beach: Veligandu Island Resort & Spa, snorkeling, diving, fishing, village tours

10) Utheemu Ganduvaru – For a walk through the history of Maldives

Located in the Northern part of Maldives, Utheemu is a small island that resembles a small green jellyfish. One of the historical significant tourist places in Maldives, it is the birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu — revered in Maldivian history for chasing away Portuguese intruders. The place has got a monument in its name — Utheemu Ganduvaru, a heritage building that you must see. Home of the Sultan Mohamed, this palace is made of wood and a major tourist attraction in Maldives.

Major attractions at Utheemu Ganduvaru : The home of Sultan Mohamed, Ancient Cemetery, New Mosque, Beach North shore etc.

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