Maldives is the ultimate island getaway, but sometimes duty calls and brings you to our tropical paradise for business. But that hardly means you can’t squeeze in a bit of sightseeing and exciting excursion adventures into your trip and enjoy the Sunny Side of Life to the fullest. Planning a side-mini-vacay becomes super convenient if your business events are held in a facility in a hotel in the capital Malé City or in a resort close to the capital, because there are plenty of things to do. So, once you’re done with the official activities, throw on your comfy clothes, grab your sunscreen & sunglasses, and get adventurous. You can either make it a solo trip or get some fellow bleisure travellers onboard and make a group activity.
Now, you may wonder how to go about planning and executing this into your schedule. Worry not, we will be your guide!
Pick your adventure!
You can go sightseeing in the capital city, or visit a nearby island. Either way, there are hoards of possibilities to pick and choose from to enjoy the Maldives to the fullest.
Read below to find out more.
1. Malé City Tour - For those with just a couple of hours to spare
If you have just a few hours to spare, we highly recommend the capital tour!
Malé City (find map here) has many cultural sights, a museum, two artificial beaches (Artificial Beach and Rasfannu Beach), parks including Sultan Park and Lonuziyaarai Park, many restaurants, fish market, souvenir shops (towards the end of Chaandhanee magu) that you can wander around and buy some traditional Maldivian gifts to take back home. Our Republic Square and Presidential Palace are also worth visiting if you are taking a tour of the capital. One of the best things about the city is perhaps its small size - there are cafés, restaurants or shops almost on every block.
Other places around the capital that are worth visiting include Varunulaa Raalhugandu Area, a hotspot for surfers. This spot is especially coveted as it has a viewing platform nearby from where you can simply sit and watch pro and amateur surfers ride the waves to their heart’s content. And if you fancy it, why not join them?
2. Villingilli - For those with half a day to enjoy
If you’ve got half a day, we suggest you visit Villimalé (previously known as Villingili) Island, now considered a ward of the capital. Fun fact about Villimalé; this small residential island does not allow fuel vehicles and only allows battery or solar powered vehicles. The only way to reach this island is via a designated ferry, which leaves from the capital from Villimalé Ferry Terminal. It’s a short 10-minute ride and the ferries usually operate every 15-20 minutes. The tickets for a one-way trip to the island cost around 0.65 US$ (10MVR). For your trip back, get a ticket for the same price from the terminal in Villimalé.
As for things to do in Villimalé, it’s the perfect balance between city and island life Villimalé has way more greenery than Malé City, and two beach points; the Lovers Beach area with deeper waters and water sports centres; and the Villimalé Public Beach area with shallow waters and a stunning view of the capital. There is also a BBQ point and shops nearby offering everything you would need to have a live fire and cook some meat or freshly caught fish. Villimalé houses a few guesthouses, along with cafés and restaurants which offer a variety of food and drinks too.
3. Hulhumalé - For those with a full day to explore
Hulhumalé is also a ward of the capital city but is not a natural island. This artificial island was developed in the year 2000 to help ease congestion in the capital. Compared to the Malé and Villimalé, Hulhumalé is much larger, with wider roads, many cafés, guesthouses, shops, watersports centres and other attractions. This metropolitan island is connected to the capital and airport island via the one and only cross sea bridge in the country.
To get there, you can either take a bus from the Maafannu MTCC Bus Terminal, or any of the many bus stops littered around the cities, or get a taxi via Avas Ride App (available on android and iOS). Tickets for the bus would cost you approximately 0.65$ (10MVR) while hiring a taxi cost between 4.89$ - 6.51$ (75-100MVR).
And once you get there, there are plenty of things to enjoy. Hulhumale has a huge park (Hulhumale Central Park), Centro Mall, Skate Park, volley court and long stretches of multiple beaches, with a possibility of renting water sports equipment from diving and watersports centres scattered across different areas on the beach road. There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses on the waterfront offering day rooms or overnight stays, and will be more than happy to accommodate any requests you may have.
4. Local Islands - For those with a couple of days to laze around
Now this may take more planning than the above options, but if you have about two days to spare, this is the perfect way to get a taste of the local side of life plus the beautiful beach and nature experience.
Some islands in the north of Malé that you can visit include Dhiffushi, Himmafushi, Huraa and Thulusdhoo island, with plenty of guesthouses to choose from. Other islands include Maafushi, Gulhi, Guraidhoo, Thoddoo, Rasdhoo, Ukulhas and Mathiveri. There are plenty more of course, but you get the gist! As for getting to these islands, some have daily ferries, or transfers every other day but the easiest way is to pick a guesthouse you want to stay in and contact them, so they can arrange your transfer and accommodation on B&B, half board or full board basis. All these islands have a boutique hotel or two, and diving and watersports centres. There are also some resorts which allow day trips. Please contact individual properties to find out more.
Make your own B+Leisure Dream
Now we know this all seems a bit confusing, but believe us, it’s easier than it looks. And planning such activities is quite easy, partly because Maldivians are super friendly, eager to help, and hospitality is in the blood of every citizen. Never hesitate to ask for help or recommendations from those you meet at your event venue or even at the hotel you are staying in. In any case, we hope you make the most of your business and seamlessly merge business with leisure while you’re visiting us!
Disclaimer: Unlike our resorts and liveaboards, you can’t purchase or bring in alcohol to our capital or residential islands, but there are many great cafés, and restaurants that offer a wide variety of food and beverages. Modest attire is also highly recommended for a day out in the capital or islands. If you decide to take a swim in one of the residential beaches, it is advised to wear modest clothing out of respect, or choose to swim in the designated bikini beaches available on most islands near the guesthouses. Please inquire about your chosen guesthouse & island to know more.