The beauty of its beaches might be heart-stopping. But the activities on offer will get your heart pumping. Unleash your intrepid traveller and enjoy the Indian Ocean beyond that sun lounger.
Prepare to be dazzled because the underwater experience in the Maldives is out of this world. Get yer goggles on and marvel at 700 species of fish that make up the Maldives’ undersea sights. Turtles, octopuses and even whale sharks are all in there somewhere. Want to hit the waves? The surfing from June to September is superb.
Want to unleash you inner yoga bunny? You’re in the right place. An array of hotels across the Maldives offer great yoga and fitness programmes for their guests. The Lux Maldives offers a tailor-made Vitality Program which includes all the best fitness, spa and nutrition to get you back to a healthier you. Or stay at the One & Only Reethi Rah and you can drop into complimentary yoga classes held among lush gardens every day. Ok, so it might be at the tamer end of the active scale, but it’s a perfect way to perfect that eagle pose when you’re not basking in the sun.
Kitesurfing (or kiteboarding as it’s sometimes called) is the ultimate adrenalin- pumping watersport. And it’s hugely popular in the Maldives and the rest of the Indian Ocean. After securing your feet into a small surfboard, hold on to the line and let the power kite pull you over the waves.
This probably isn’t for the faint-hearted, but once you’ve mastered the technique, you can try all sorts of tricks. Wahoo! FYI – As kiteboarding is a seasonal activity, availability will be dependent on weather conditions, so its worth checking ahead.
Night fishing is a must-do experiences in the Maldives and is great for those looking for adventure. Head out into the open waves under a starry night sky, lower the line, and wait for the fish to bite. Using traditional methods, locals will then help you pull in the line and check out your catch. You could bring in anything from jackfish and snapper to grouper. And chancesare you’ll even be able to eat your catch. How’s that for ocean to table cuisine?
Pulling on a snorkel and diving into crystal-clear blue waters is like entering another world, and the sea life off the beaches of La Palmeraie Hotel is some of the best you could hope to see. Learn to tell your Moorish idol from your Broadbarred firefish while enjoying an escape like no other. Be warned: the fish tank at your local chippy will never look the same again.
Black River Gorges National Park
As the largest protected forest on the island and home to more than 300 species of plants and a huge population of fruit bats, this is an intrepid traveller’s delight. Explore a variety of trail routes around the Gorges and soak up stunning views of the Black River. Then when your tootsies need a break, why not enjoy a refreshing dip. Ah, bliss.
Paddling a kayak
Floating along on the clearest blue waters, dipping an oar in every now and then, is without doubt one of the best ways to get active whilst still feeling incredibly relaxed. With every oar stroke paddling you to another level, taking you to your own spiritual island of Chilled Out Awesomeness, you’ll want to return, that’s for sure.
Dancing the night away barefoot in the sand
There are few better ways to spend the evening than dancing on the beach at the Sands Resort & Spa. The beautiful 250-metre long stretch of white sand is surrounded by gorgeous views and landscaped tropical gardens and there’s stunning views across the lagoon and Tamarin Bay, with Le Morne Mountain in the distance. The rhythm’s really gonna get ya!
Playing golf at one of the world's best spots
Set within the 5-star Heritage Le Telfair Resort, the Heritage Golf Club is considered the most beautiful course in Mauritius. It’s a full 18 hole, par 72 course, which has been crafted from the natural scenery, to incorporate small lakes, streams and exceptional views. The tropical gardens form the perfect backdrop and make every hole totally unique.
Waterskiing off the back of a speedboat
It’s never too late to try. The boathouse crew at the Tamassa Beach Resort will give you all the help and encouragement you need... and then it’s off! Off, across the turquoise waters, with just the roar of the speedboat and the rhythm of the waves for company. The views of the beautiful village of Bel Ombre will stay with you forever, as you conquer the surface of the waters.
Explore La digue
Feeling energetic? Jump on a bike and cycle around La Digue – a beautiful jungle-clad island located around 5km east of Praslin. Unspoilt and virtually car-free, it’s perfect for exploring on two wheels, via horse and cart or by foot. Feel the wind in your hair, the sun on your back and find stunning secluded bays. All whilst soaking up those amazing coastline views.
Hike Morne Seychellois National Park
A visit to the island of Mahé is a must for this lush and tropical National Park. Enjoy a guided hike through the thick forest, home to fascinating indigenous wildlife such as the Sooglossus gardineri frog – one of the smallest frogs in the world – and reach the Morne Seychellois peak where you can catch your breath. That’s if your breath hasn’t already been taken away by these stunning views. Because at 905m high, this mountain top greets you with panoramic vistas across the island.
An archipelago of more than 100 islands, the Seychelles are begging for you to explore more than one place. Visit the Morne Seychellois National Park on the island of Mahé, home to indigenous wildlife and panoramic mountain views. Then hop over to the divers’ mecca of Silhouette before relaxing on the paradise beaches of Praslin. Each island is equally beautiful yet so unique.
Scale Sigiriya Rock
Play the conquering hero and breach the walls of this ancient rock fortress. The scale to the top involves tackling around 1200 steps (which is like climbing 60 flights of stairs). So a good cardio workout is guaranteed! Once you’re at the top, take in 360 degree views over the Sri Lankan countryside. Dating back to Ceylon civilisation, you can combine your work-out with a history lesson too. You’ll marvel at ruins and amazing ‘Sigiri graffiti’ that originates from 475 AD.
Trek the Sinharaja rainforest
After celebrating your victory of scaling Sigiriya, head to the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and trek its winding nature trails. With exotic birds - including the hornbill and parakeets - singing in the tree canopy above, this is rainforest trekking at its best. This area is packed with an array of reptile and mammal species too, from the Asian elephants to the horned lizard. Inner tarzan satisfied.
Go Reef snorkelling
Many people call Sri Lanka the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ as it offers incredible diving opportunities all around the island. Scuba or snorkel under its turquoise shores and you’ll find limestone ridges and shipwrecks home to schools of spectacular fish and colourful marine life. Explore some of the world’s most unspoilt soft corals and you could see anything from stingrays and batfish to pipefish and barracuda. You might even choose to conquer Bar Reef, the largest reef off this island.
Go on safari
Put on your safari hat and explore the famous Yala National Park where wildlife lovers are in their element. If you’re a fan of the Discovery Channel, you may know that this park featured in a TV programme about its fascinating leopard research and now has the highest density of leopards than anywhere on earth. Alongside these big cats, an array of species including elephants, bears and crocodiles call this their home. OK, so you might be in a safari jeep for a lot of your trip, but you can hop off at designated spots and walk along the sandy beaches that surround the park.