From romantic underwater dinners to glass-bottom canoe trips, these are the most unique and memory-making experiences in the Maldives.
Crystal-clear lagoons, overwater bungalows and lounging on gleaming white sand are the typical images a holiday in the Maldives evokes. While this is enough to draw in visitors from all over the globe, there’s so much more to this quintessential paradise than just beach worshipping and luxury accommodation.
From underwater meditation to floating yoga classes and glamping in your own private, translucent bubble, there’s a breathtaking array of unique and wonderful experiences waiting to be had in the Maldives. Read on to discover our pick of the very best.
Ready to dive in? Check out our handpicked Maldives escapes.
Romantic dinner for two under the sea
Share the ultimate romantic dinner in the world’s first underwater restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is located five metres below sea level, in the heart of a coral garden that sees rainbow-hued schools of fish swim past the panoramic, domed glass ceiling. The restaurant is housed in the belly of an unassuming overwater bungalow; inside, descend a spiral staircase and emerge into an intimate dining space.
Feast on a trailblazing menu of fine-dining staples like caviar and tartare, while local flavours are thrown into the spotlight with dishes such as calamarata pasta stuffed with reef lobster and coconut-crusted légine (a local fish). While you feast, look overhead and see manta rays, reef sharks and schools of fish swimming by.
Namaste all day with a floating yoga practice
There’s nothing unusual about a sun salutation or yoga stretch while on holiday, but when you’re in the Maldives, take your yoga practice to a whole new level. At Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort, rise early for a sunrise yoga practice by the ocean, where the gentle sea breeze perfectly accompanies the breathtaking orange glow of a new day. Or test your balance during a floating yoga class: follow a combination of hatha and vinyasa yoga poses on a floating board in the main pool and strengthen your body, mind and flexibility.
If you’d like to feel weightless, centre your mind during an aerial yoga class where you will be suspended from swinging hammocks to decompress your spine and strengthen and lengthen.
Take a glass-bottom canoe trip
Paddling across a gleaming blue ocean aboard a canoe is one thing but being privy to the wonders that lie beneath the surface is another. At Kagi Maldives Spa Island, climb aboard your personal glass-bottom canoe and set off at your own pace for an enchanting canoe experience.
The Indian Ocean is a treasure trove of marine life, and thanks to the transparent nature of your vessel you can enjoy a glimpse into this underwater wonderland while remaining comfortably seated and dry. Tropical fish in impossible colours flick past, inches from your skin, separated only by a sheet of glass: here, you’re travelling in your own portable aquarium where wonders never cease.
Spend a night in luxury under the stars
For nature lovers, stargazers and romantics, don’t look past the chance to sleep under the stars at Amilla Maldives with a glamping stay. Stay hidden away in the lush jungle in a private bedroom bubble that has all the comforts of a five-star hotel room, with access to a bathroom, showers (indoor and outdoor), plunge pool, steam room and sauna.
Wake up to the sounds of birds chirping while butterflies flutter past the bubble walls. Personalise your stay and add on a package – add canapés and bubbles, a private BBQ dinner for two, or a private cinema screening (with popcorn and pizza, of course).
Pair your dinner with a handpicked vintage wine
Enjoy access to Kagi Maldives Spa Island’s wine cellar, which houses handpicked collections, the world’s most luxurious bottles and vintage collectables. Visit this exclusive wine cellar and pick your own bottle to enjoy with dinner at any onsite Kagi restaurant. From the highest calibre drop to affordable world favourites, there’s a huge variety to select from. If you need some assistance, ask one of the staff members to recommend a bottle for you – their in-depth understanding of old and new world wineries is an invaluable source of information.
Swing on a private hammock in the middle of a lagoon
At Lily Beach Resort & Spa, leave solid ground behind for a tranquil afternoon relaxing on HamacLand, a floating platform anchored in a private lagoon. Two hammocks, a sun lounger and a mobile phone for contacting the resort are provided, while a cooler with soft drinks, water, beer and a fruit platter is included in the three-hour rental package. All you need is some swimmers and sun cream to enjoy a day of utter seclusion amid jaw-dropping lagoon surrounds.
Find your Zen with underwater meditation
It’s widely accepted that meditation is the salve to a busy lifestyle, but have you ever heard of underwater meditation? Don your scuba or snorkelling gear and plunge into a quiet marine world, surrounded by nothing but cool, crystal-clear water, colourful soft coral and graceful sea turtles. Guided by Kagi Maldives Spa Island’s Euro-Divers, this PADI 5-star certified, dive centre-led experience will take you on a journey of self-discovery in the most unusual way.
Become a mermaid for a day
A little red crab once famously sang, “we got no troubles. Life is the bubbles, under the sea." Fulfil your childhood dreams of becoming a beautiful mermaid at Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort, where you can dress up as a mermaid and earn a PADI diving diploma at the same time. The mermaid program comes in four skill levels, so even the most novice swimmers (from 6+ years) with zero diving or snorkelling ability can partake.
This enchanting experience takes place at the Suvadiva Diving Center where you’ll slip on a full-sized, magnificent mermaid tail while a practised instructor teaches you how to swim as a mermaid using props and prompts. Afterwards, you can opt to commemorate this unique activity with a photoshoot by the infinity pool.
For more Maldives inspiration, check out The Best Dive Sites in the Maldives.
Ready to dive in? Check out our handpicked Maldives escapes.
Citi Credit Card Terms and Conditions: This product is provided by National Australia Bank Limited, using certain trademarks temporarily under licence from Citigroup Inc.