Maldives is a major holiday destination for beach lovers around the world. It’s clear turquoise waters and sandy white beaches along with several world class resorts make for a great memorable holiday. In fact, only 250 of the Maldives Islands are inhabited, which means that you can book your own special tour to a private island of your choice and explore the same.
Hukuru Misikiiy: Also known as the Old Friday Mosque, Hukuru Misikiiy is the oldest mosque of the country dating from 1656 and located in Male. Built with coral stones with intricately carved Arabic calligraphy and ornamental patterns, the mosque has a superb interior that is famous for its elaborate woodcarvings and fine lacquer work. The roof, doors and window frames have been constructed with different wood works such as redwood, sandalwood, and teak. The place was in fact built on the foundation of an old temple that faced west not towards Mecca. Consequently, worshippers face the corner of the mosque while praying as indicated by the striped carpet. There is also an old 1675 dated blue and white squat minaret overlooking the mosque in a solid round shape. Various other ancient tombstones are also housed in the complex in the memory of past sultans and heroes.
National Museum: Located in the capital city of Male, the small National Museum is a thee storey building located in one corner of Sultan’s park. In fact, it is the only part remaining of the original Sultan’s palace when the rest got demolished in 1968. The place houses a large collection of historical artifacts as well as fragments of royal antiquities ranging from Buddhist era to the time of Islamic monarchs. In fact, the museum has now shifted into a new building located just adjacent to the old one which has now been transformed into a place right from the days of Sultanate with handwritten Quran written on the building walls.
Banana Reef: Famous for the fantastic diving opportunities and the exotic marine life it offers, the place has something for everyone- dramatic cliffs, exciting caves and thrilling overhangs along with brilliant coral growths. The place is full of big predators such as sharks, barracuda, gropers, as well as prolific reef fish . The reef is one of the first internationally known diving sites of Maldives and is said to offer excellent snorkeling and diving prospects to the tourists.
National Art Gallery: Established by Government of Maldives in Male, this exhibition gallery is one of its kind in the country thus, making it an important center of the developing art scene of the country. In addition to regular displays of local Maldivian art exhibits, there are various international art works also exhibited regularly in the gallery. For all the art buffs, visiting the gallery during its biennial Maldives contemporary exhibition is a great chance to get to know about the varied art pieces produced in the country ranging from photography to painting to conceptual works.
Fish Head: Also known as the Mushimasmingali Thila, this reef place is sort of a celebrity among the Maldivian diving sites. The reef contour slopes down steeply where you can find some spectacular big and small overhangs in the walls along with some thrilling multi level ledges and caves supporting anemones, sea fans and black corals. However, the main attraction of the area based on which the place has derived its common name ‘Fish Head’ is the abundance of fishes from everything big to small. You can admire grey and white tip reef sharks, mackerals, tuna fishes, turtles, snappers, napoleon wrasses as well as surgeon fish among others. The place is a must on every diver’s list.
Mirihi Island: Named after the local yellow flower named ‘Mirihi’, this small island is just 50 meters wide and 350 meters long and lies around 85 kms south of Male. This isolated tropical island is blessed with talc beaches, excellent calmness and turquoise blue waters that gives the visitors a taste of pure heaven. The place is full of excellently designed villas where you can enjoy peaceful cool waters right below your floor. The island is loaded with all the world class facilities that you may need making it a perfect getaway destination for those looking for some peace and calmness away from the mad rush of the city.
Nalaguraidhoo Beach: Located just 30 minutes away from the capital city of Male, this beach is one of the busiest and most loved beaches of the country. The aqua blue waters and the sandy white beaches make this sun island a favorite destination in Maldives. Though a little expensive, the place has some excellent over water bungalows to some super deluxe beachfront resorts where you can indulge yourself to the maximum. Also known as ‘the flower of Indies’, the beach has endless water sports activities in addition to various boats that take you for island hopping to other nearby islands.