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  4. The most exotic places in the Maldives: from glowing beaches to underwater restaurants

The Maldives is known throughout the world for its crystal clear waters and white sands. However, apart from beach tourism, the islands offer unique opportunities to their guests.

  • Would you like to dine in an underwater restaurant surrounded by colorful tropical fish, or spend the night in an underwater villa 5 meters deep?
  • Ride the world's most innovative submarine or visit the Underwater Sculpture Museum?
  • Walk on a starry carpet or swim with sharks and rays?

The Maldives will give you this opportunity!

We offer you to familiarize yourself with the most exotic places in the Maldives and choose those that will leave the most vivid impressions in your heart.

1. Coralarium at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi - The Underwater sculptures

The Coralarium is situated in the center of the largest developed coral lagoon in the Maldives, on the island resort of Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, and is a semi-submerged tidal gallery that interlinks the skyline, inter-tidal waterline, and seabed.

The ever-changing museum conceptualized as a portal to the abundant sea life and pristine house reef surrounding the world-class Resort is also the Maldives' first and only coral regeneration project in the form of an underwater art installation. It aims to connect the sea, sky, and sand, a place of preservation, conservation, and education. It also brings into focus the traveler's delicate relationship with nature.

The Coralarium reaches heights of up to 5 meters and comprises hundreds of ceramic "starfish" specially designed to attract fish and crustaceans. The sculptures are the intended home to corals, fish, and shellfish.

The museum-inspired visitors can create their nautical masterpiece at a local art studio or plant their coral. Access to the Coralarium is only possible with excursions conducted several times a day by marine biologists. Without a doubt, this is one of the most exotic places in the Maldives.

Location: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, Shaviyani Atoll.

How to get from Male: A 55-minute transfer by seaplane from Male

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

2. Vaadhoo Beach

The beaches of Vaadhoo Island are able to surprise even the most discerning travelers. With the onset of darkness, the beach becomes like a night sky, strewn with bright twinkling stars. This unique natural phenomenon is caused by the bioluminescent phytoplankton that fill the local waters. A night walk along the "sea of ​​stars" will perfectly complement your vacation on one of the most romantic islands of the Maldives archipelago.

Location: Vaadhoo Island, Raa Atoll.

How to get from Male: all resorts in the Maldives know about this place and organize excursions there.

Остров атолла Раа
Raa Atoll Island | Muhammad Saushan

3. Tented Jungle Villa at Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi invites guests to relax in an original jungle villa and one of its kind in the archipelago. The 525 square meter villas feature lush tropical greenery combined with white sand and ocean waters right at your doorstep.

The safari-style Tented Jungle Villas offers an authentic alfresco experience in the heart of the Resort's inland jungle. Designed by South African luxury tent specialists, Bushtec Safari, the villas house an outdoor rain shower, roll-top tub, and locally sourced and rustic interiors throughout.

Set in their private wonderland of the Resort's greenery, the Villas mirror the island's verdant diversity of flora and fauna's beauty. Made with wooden frames, amber-toned interiors, and walls swathed in white canvas, travelers can get closer to nature. The Villas offers acres of space with a master bedroom featuring a private outdoor bathroom with a separate shower, double sink, a Nespresso coffee machine, wine fridge, Bose Hi-Fi system, and a California King-size bed.

Other features include a separate children's bedroom area plus a glorious outdoor with a 95 sqm deck centerpiece and private swimming pool nestled into the tropical Maldivian jungle for ultimate experience and comfort.

Location: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi, Shaviyani Atoll.

How to get from Male: A 55-minute transfer by seaplane from Male

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

4. Hanifaru Bay

While vacationing in the Maldives, you should definitely visit Baa Atoll, near which is Hanifaru Bay. This is a unique UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, where stingrays and hundreds of mantas can be seen from August to November. Also, whole schools of gray reef and whale sharks gather here for spawning.

There is no diving in the Hanifaru Bay itself, only snorkeling is allowed. The number of people wishing to visit this unique place is large, so it is necessary to plan a visit in advance.

Read more about Hanifaru and how to visit the bay in the article.

5. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Ithaa is the world's first underwater restaurant located 5 meters below sea level. The restaurant offers a gourmet menu and wine list combined with panoramic views of the coral gardens surrounded by a variety of tropical fish.

It is worth noting that Conrad Maldives was the first resort to open not only an underwater restaurant, but also a wine cellar located 2 meters underground. Today, this wine cellar offers the resort's guests the most extensive wine list in the region.

Thanks to the efforts of world-class chefs and winemakers, Conrad Maldives, like Ithaa itself, has won numerous prestigious culinary awards.

In 2020, Ithaa celebrated its 15th anniversary and was voted the best underwater restaurant, the most beautiful and also the most innovative restaurant in the world.

A smart-casual dress code is required to enter the restaurant.

In addition, according to the restaurant's policy, children are only allowed to visit at lunchtime.

Location: Conrad Maldives Rangali Resort, South Ari Atoll.

How to get from Male: 30 minutes by seaplane or domestic flight to a neighboring island, followed by transfer to the resort by speedboat. The cost of the round trip transfer is approximately US USD 526 per adult, US USD 263 per child under 12 years old.

Cost of Visit: about USD 300-400 per person, excluding alcohol.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Ithaa Undersea Restaurant | Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

6. SUBSIX Underwater Bar at Niyama Resort

Another unusual underwater institution, located 6 meters below the waterline, invites its guests to enjoy champagne breakfasts, underwater lunches and dinners, wine tastings, as well as vibrant weekly parties.

To get here, you need to descend an impressive three-level staircase. The hall is decorated in the style of the underwater world. Sitting in comfortable armchairs, guests can not only taste the delicacies on offer, but also admire the many colorful inhabitants of the Indian Ocean gliding behind the glass walls of the bar.

Location: Niyama Private Islands Maldives.

How to get from Male: about 40 minutes by seaplane.

Cost of Visit: about USD 250 per person for lunch.

Niyama Private Islands Maldives
SUBSIX Underwater Bar | Niyama Private Islands Maldives

7. Restaurant "Sea. Fire. Salt. Sky."

This 4-level restaurant complex harmoniously combines the elements of the four elements.

Its first floor is underwater. Guests can taste gourmet seafood dishes while watching sharks, turtles and tropical fish swim by. There is also the world's first underwater wine cellar.

The Salt and Fire levels serve Japanese and Pan-Asian cuisine. Cooking is accompanied by fascinating stories from the chef about the peculiarities of the dishes and the different types of salt.

And guests of the Sky Bar located on the roof can not only relax with a cocktail to the sound of the ocean waves, but also admire the starry sky at the observatory, which is literally a few steps from the bar and has one of the most powerful telescopes in the Maldives.

Location: Inside the Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas resort, Baa Atoll.

How to get from Male: The resort offers airport transfers for USD 750 per person (round trip), with a 50% discount for children under 11 years old.

SKY Bar | Anantara Kihavah Maldives

8. Gili Lankanfushi underground wine cellar

This cozy wine cellar brings together over 500 wines (including premium wines) from various regions of the world. The cellar is located at the foot of a glass staircase. The basis for the tasting table is a huge tree trunk (fin) that was once washed ashore.

An experienced sommelier will share the secrets of winemaking and provide guests with an educational and entertainment program.

In addition to the wine cellar, the resort has a chocolate cave, where visitors can taste different types of handmade chocolate. This is one of the most unusual places in the Maldives.

Location: in the Gili Lankanfushi resort, North Male Atoll.

How to get from Male: 20 minutes by speedboat.

Gili Lankanfushi
Gili Lankanfushi underground wine cellar

9. Whale Submarine

For those wishing to go beyond the classic beach entertainment, the Maldives offers an exciting dive to a depth of 45 meters on the Whale Submarine, the only passenger submarine in Southeast Asia.

This dive is often part of the excursions offered by resort hotels. The journey will take 45 minutes and will allow you to see coral reefs (including black corals), underwater caves, sea turtles, as well as up to 100 species of fish.

Cash and all major credit cards are accepted.

Working hours: every day except Monday and Friday.

Cost: about USD 85 for adults. There are discounts for children.

Location: The tour starts from Male.

10. Observatory at Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi Resort provides its guests with a unique opportunity to explore the nature of space in its extraordinary observatory. The most powerful telescope, using the latest 3D technology, allows you to view three-dimensional images in real time. Soneva Fushi is the first resort in the world to offer this technology to tourists.

Location: Kunfunadhoo Island, Baa Atoll.

How to get from Male: 30 minutes by seaplane or short domestic flight to Dharavandhoo Airport followed by transfer to the resort by speedboat.

Soneva Fushi
Observatory at Soneva Fushi

11. Lime Underwater Spa at Huvafen Fushi

This world's first underwater spa is located 8 meters below the ocean surface. Panoramic views of the reefs blend harmoniously with the soothing design of the underwater spa.

The salon also has medical pavilions located above the water. Treatments are accompanied by a relaxing lapping of waves, and the pavilion's glass floor allows you to observe the underwater world of the ocean.

The salon's high-class specialists use modern techniques in combination with the ancient traditions of the Maldives. Therapeutic massages, as well as rejuvenating body and face treatments, are especially popular.

Location: Huvafen Fushi Island Resort, North Male Atoll.

How to get from Male: 30 minutes by boat or 15 minutes by seaplane.

Huvafen Fushi
Huvafen Fushi

12. Deverana Trees Spa

Translated "Deverana" means "garden in heaven", which fully corresponds to the concept of the salon. Nestled among the tops of palm trees, the salon is widely regarded as one of the finest luxury spas in the Maldives. The interior of the salon includes elements of modern Thai decor, combined with the traditions of the Maldives.

The salon offers its clients various types of massages, body wraps and scrubs, a variety of facial skin care procedures, as well as water treatments. We should also highlight spa treatments for men and children. For example, little clients can pamper themselves with chocolate and caramel pen wraps, massage and mini manicure. And the representatives of the stronger sex can undergo restorative facial procedures using algae, aromatic oils and plant extracts, selected specifically for men.

Location: Dusit Thani Resort, Mudhdhoo Island, Baa Atoll.

How to get from Male: 35 minutes by seaplane or short domestic flight to Dharavandhoo Airport followed by transfer to the resort by speedboat.

Cost of Visit: traditional Thai massage - from USD180 per person for 90 minutes, aroma manicure - from USD 80 for 60 minutes.

Dusit Thani Maldives
Dusit Thani Maldives

13. Voavah Island - luxury and privacy

"A tropical paradise inaccessible to anyone but you" is the motto of Voava Island, which is one of the most expensive islands in the Maldives archipelago. A special feature of the island is that its guests have a unique opportunity to rent the entire island. The cost of such a service is about USD 50,000. Two spacious villas and the beach house "The beach house" can accommodate about 20 guests. Children's rooms are equipped for young visitors.

Guests of the island are provided with a luxurious 19-meter yacht with two hand-finished cabins, as well as exclusive access to a UNESCO reserve.

In addition to a yacht cruise, guests are offered various water sports, three outdoor pools, a fitness room, billiards, spa services. And professional chefs are ready to fulfill any culinary whim of holidaymakers around the clock.

The island is part of the famous Four Seasons hotel chain.

Location: Baa Atoll.

How to get from Male: transfer by seaplane.

Four Seasons Private Island
Four Seasons Private Island

14. Finolhu Beach Bubble in the form of a transparent sphere

Finolhu Resort invites its guests to spend a romantic night away from the world in the unique Beach Bubble room. The room is designed in the form of a transparent dome, which allows guests to observe the starry Maldivian sky. Beach Bubble is located on a sandbank away from all resort facilities, so that no one will disturb the privacy of vacationers.

Cost: USD 800 per pair (excluding taxes).

Location: Kanufushi Island, Baa Atoll.

How to get from Male: 30 minutes by seaplane or domestic flight to Dharavandhoo Airport, followed by transfer to the resort by speedboat.

Finolhu Kanifushi
Finolhu Kanifushi

15. Muraka's underwater villa

Villa Muraka is the world's first underwater residence. One of her bedrooms is submerged under water to a depth of about 5 meters. The roof of the bedroom is a 180-degree curved acrylic dome, which makes it possible to enjoy all the luxury of the underwater world without leaving the villa almost around the clock. According to many experts, this is the most exotic villa in the Maldives.

On the upper (above water) level there are two bedrooms and a bathroom, an outdoor terrace with an infinity pool. Guests are provided with a private 24-hour butler and personal chef, fitness trainer and spa treatments.

Diving courses are offered for younger guests. In addition, for children in the underwater suite there is the opportunity to set up a makeshift tent with flashlights, pillows and a set of treats.

Location: Conrad Maldives Resort, Rangali Island.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

16. Maldivian Sand

Delicate, white sand, which the Maldives is so famous for, can be safely attributed to one of the most exotic features of the Maldives archipelago. The secret is that most of this sand is made up of undigested coral debris from parrotfish. This colorful fish feeds on dead corals and algae and can produce up to 320 kilograms of this sand annually.

17. Eco-skating rink at Jumeirah Vittaveli

Skating in the middle of a hot summer? Yes it is possible! Jumeirah Vittaveli invites those wishing to diversify their beach holidays to go ice skating and even play hockey at the first ice rink in the Maldives.

The skating rink is open to all ages, but children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult.

Interesting Facts:

  • the skating rink was inaugurated in March 2018 by the Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Plushenko;
  • The skating rink is synthetic and works completely without water and with zero energy consumption.

Open daily from 12:00 to 18:00.

Location: South Male Atoll.

How to get from Male: by seaplane or boat.

Cost of Visit: First visit - USD 75, including two hours of skiing, rental services, ice cream sundaes, and souvenirs. Follow-up visits - USD 50. Taxes and services are charged separately.

Jumeirah Vittaveli
Jumeirah Vittaveli

18. Underwater excursions from the company DeepFlight

Lovers of extreme tourism can go on an exciting excursion to the most innovative submarine in the world. The Super Falcon 3S has been designed specifically for underwater tourism and can accommodate a pilot and two passengers.

Accompanied by an experienced pilot, during the excursion, guests will see a variety of marine life, vibrant coral reefs, wrecks and have an unforgettable experience.

During the journey, guests are in secure, individual, air-conditioned cabins. The boat has a communication system between the pilot and the passengers, as well as between the passengers themselves. The duration of the excursion is about 1 hour. The boat is designed in such a way that the passenger does not experience pressure problems.

You can take your camera or phone with you. However, it is forbidden to bring flammable and sharp objects onto the boat.

The maximum diving depth is 37 meters. The minimum passenger age is 7 years.

Cost: Approximately USD 1,500 per trip.

Location: Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru, Baa Atoll.



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