A holiday in the Maldives epitomises exotic luxury with its collection of small islands with perfect white sandy beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters. The Maldives are all about luxury, relaxation and privacy but if you feel like exploring a bit or have a few hours to kill before you set off for home there are some local sites that are definitely worth checking out around Male.
Male was previously known as the King’s Island due to it being the place from which ancient empires ruled from their palaces. However, Male is now the commercial centre of The Maldives and the place where all tourists come in and out of the islands meaning it should be easy to find some time to take in the sights here.
The major religion in the Maldives is Islam and it plays a major part daily life, so one of the first places you’ll want to see is the Grand Friday Mosque. This mosque is the largest in the country and dates back to 1656 when it was constructed by Sultan Ibrahim. The golden dome is a stunning site and is one of the first sites you’ll see when flying into the Maldives. Try taking some time to explore the mosque as its intricate artwork and tile mosaics are definitely something you’ll remember.
The Maldives National Museum is set in a former palace of the Sultan and shows that the Maldives wasn’t and still isn’t all about beaches, crystal clear seas and luxury resorts. The museum houses a wide collection of valuable objects telling a story of the country’s past. Many of the artefacts here used to belong to the Sultan and one of the most interesting exhibits is that of his fantastic costumes and daywear.
Another one of the major tourist attractions in the Maldives is the fish market and walking around here will show you a totally different side of the Maldives compared to what you witness on your relaxing luxury holiday. The market is always bustling, loud and overcrowded with both locals buying and selling fresh fish and seafood as well as tourists. The market bursts even further into life during mid-afternoon when the fisherman return with their daily catch. You’re unlikely to find fresher fish anywhere else in the world and watching the fisherman loading and unloading their boats of the day provides the perfect summary of Maldivian island culture.