14 of the best things to do in the Maldives other than sunbathe

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Think all there is to do in the Maldives is sun worship? Think again…

1.Snorkelling – There is a whole world to be discovered beneath those turquoise waters. Check out my best underwater Maldives photographs from both resorts we stayed at, and day trips. You can scuba dive, too, and it is supposedly one of the best places to do so in the World.

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2. Outdoor cinema – This one is at Per Aquum Niyama, and you can book it for private use. Choose from a selection of films, including 3D options, and it will be presented with a buffet, drinks and fresh popcorn, too.

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3. Surfing – The Maldives isn’t known for having brilliant surf beaches, but the new set up at Per Aquum Niyama will change that. The surf shack is nearly built, and just look at those waves rolling in! And this was taken on a calm day

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4. Floating – I took my SunnyLife at ASOS inflatable all the way with me to the Maldives from London, as hand luggage. As lovely as it is, you might like to know that most hotels now have a stock of oversized inflatables for you to borrow, as drifting out in the shallows is so lovely. My flamingo was the best on the beach though, so, totally worth the journey…

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5. Swimming – In the lagoon, at the beach, in your villa’s infinity pool, at the communal pool… options for getting wet in the Maldives are endless. This one is at the Conrad Maldives.

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6. Eat underwater – Lots of hotels here now have underwater restaurants. This one is Ithaa, and was the first in the Maldives to open in 2005. Pop a bottle of champagne and enjoy the views of the reef and all it’s inhabitants while you dine on award-winning food.

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7. Cycling – Not all resorts in the Maldives offer guests bikes, because of ‘traffic’ issues… Meaning, you might run into another guest. So, Per Aquum Niyama really stood out to us for good reason, since they provide you with your own push bikes (with or without baby/child seats) while you stay.

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8. Dolphin sunset cruise -… Says it all! Climb aboard a traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat or yacht, and try to spot some of the many species of dolphins. We were lucky enough to see multiple pods on our yacht trip at the Conrad Maldives, and what an incredible sunset (below), too!

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9. Spot wildlife – You don’t need to look far. The water is so damn clear that you can see sharks, manta rays and fish from the beach or bridges. And hermit crabs in randomly sized shells on the beach provide hours of entertainment. This shark (above) was snapped while we were in the Conrad Maldives underwater restaurant, Ithaa. Some hotels organise feeding times, so make sure you check out the schedule, as it would be something not to miss. Note: We missed it! So that goes on the list of reasons to go back!

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10. Walk – Don’t underestimate the joy of simply wandering around your island resort. You might get caught up in all the activities or sleeping by the pool (or just chilling out in your villa), but the chances are that you will make it round your island in under 30 minutes, and longer if you stop off to admire the scenes and wildlife along the way.

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11. Eating – Eat everything! The quality and freshness of the food at both resorts we stayed at, Per Aquum Niyama and the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, was superb, whether the dishes were local fish, Malaysian curries or South African style meats. The variety of ‘destination dining’ options is unbelievable, when you consider how remote these places are.

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12. Paddleboarding – and any other kinds of watersports you could imagine. They even have water jetpacks at Conrad Maldives! I love paddle boarding, and sea kayaking. Just look how clear that water is. Makes you not mind falling in!

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13. Chill out in your water villa – I loved heading back to our villa at the Conrad Maldives (above) at around 3pm, to have a snorkel in the lagoon, or sit in the Jacuzzi, pour a glass of wine and read Bryony Gordon’s book. Ah, the good life!

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14. Have a romantic moment – There is no denying that you are in one of the most romantic places in the world. Per Aquum Niyama arranged this sunset surprise Champagne table for us, and it was wonderful. So sit back, let your thakuru (butler) pour you a glass and watch the sun set as hermit crabs make their way to bed.

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