When you think of the Maldives, your mind probably envisions paradise islands with white-sand beaches and lush palm trees waving in the breeze, clear turquoise waters and beautiful coral reefs. Not surprisingly, given its amazing underwater attractions, the Maldives is a world-renowned scuba diving destination, but if that's not your passion what else can you do when you visit the islands?
Of course, one option that's likely to have a strong appeal is simply soaking up the sunshine while lying on one of the stunning beaches - there are few better ways to unwind on holiday than by relaxing in the sun with nothing more than a good book and the gentle sound of waves lapping at the shore to keep you company.
If you'd still like to be active but don't fancy scuba diving, consider having a go at surfing instead. There are numerous surf breaks located around the archipelago, with spots suitable for beginners as well as more advanced boarders. Generally, the best time of year to surf in the Maldives is between June and September, so bear this in mind when booking your holiday if you think you'd like to catch a few waves.
Snorkelling is another water-based pursuit that will allow you to discover the amazing coral reefs and their colourful inhabitants without having to don full scuba gear or take a course. Swim around on the surface at your leisure and observe the fascinating array of life that lies just beneath the waves.
There are many other water sports in the Maldives if you want to get active and make a splash. From water polo to jet-skiing, parasailing, kayaking, kite-surfing, night-fishing and water-skiing, the list is long and varied.
Outside the water there are options too, in fact going on island-hopping excursions is incredibly exciting and will make you feel like a modern version of Robinson Crusoe as you discover inhabited islands. But what will really enrich your Maldivian experience is to actually go to an inhabited island, meet the locals and learn about island life. This is the way to go if you really want to see what daily life is like for an ordinary Maldivian – a rewarding encounter that you'll treasure forever!
If all that seems too active, take advantage of the outstanding spa facilities that are offered by most luxury resorts in the Maldives. Enjoy soothing massages and invigorating body therapies in the most tranquil of settings - think treatment areas surrounded by lush palm forests, or massage rooms positioned over the water. Being pampered will allow you to really let go of the stresses and strains of everyday life and make the most of your time on this island paradise.