As many of you know, we recently returned from our honeymoon at Kandolhu, Maldives. Because it was our honeymoon, we pretty much planned to do nothing (except for scuba diving!). However, we were so impressed with how much there was to do on the island, despite it’s tiny size, that we ended up trying to do as much of it as possible. Activities are a great way to break up a long vacation while making memories in the process. Going into the trip, we knew about certain things to do in the Maldives (i.e., snorkelling), but we were pleasantly surprised by some of the other activities offered at Kandolhu.
We loved the things that we did during our honeymoon at Kandolhu so much that we decided to put together this list of things to do in the Maldives in order to encourage others to do the same. While sunbathing and pool lounging are great things to do (and we highly recommend them!), consider these activities when you start to get a bit restless. These are all things to do at Kandolhu specifically, but we imagine most Maldivian islands will offer something similar.
Things to do in the Maldives
Take a cooking class
What better way to learn about local cuisine than to cook it yourself? Ask your resort if one of the chefs is available to run a private cooking class for you. At Kandolhu, we did a Sri Lankan cooking class with one of the Sea Grill chefs, Seth. It was a great way to learn about all the different spices used in Sri Lanka, how they’re used outside of the kitchen, and to of course cook our Sri Lankan Prawn Curry. At the end, we were left to enjoy our lunch in private. Cooking was never something we imagined ourselves doing on our honeymoon, but it was definitely one of the highlights from our trip!
Swim with the fishies
Almost all beach/island destinations offer some sort of snorkelling. Find out how you can hire/borrow some gear from your resort and go explore a local reef! There’s nothing cooler than watching a massive school of fish scurry beneath you, or seeing the movement of an anemone underwater. Anyone who can swim can pretty much snorkel – no extra experience required!
Treat yourself to a spa treatment
When all that lounging in the sun has worn you out to the point where you have no energy for activities, book in a spa treatment. It’s a great way to unwind, relax more, and treat yourself. You’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to conquer all the other activities offered.
Learn to scuba dive
If you love snorkelling but want to see even more, learn to scuba dive! Most PADI dive centres offer a ‘Discover Scuba’ course, so you can see what scuba diving is like without investing in the full course. If you enjoy it, you can even do the entire Open Water course on your holiday, leaving as a certified diver! If you’re already certified, be sure to ask about the dive locations on and around your island. Kandolhu had it’s own house reef, which we dove twice. It’s crazy to think that so much can be discovered without even heading out on a boat!
We loved diving at Kandolhu, but think that diving on Dhigurah Island looks incredible, too! We can’t wait to dive more of the Maldives.
Go on an excursion
Many resorts will offer a variety of excursions, from snorkelling nearby reefs to sunset cruises and private island escapes. Consider getting off the island one day and exploring something new. Whether you want to learn more about aquatic life or just relax in a new environment, your resort will likely have some sort of excursion that ticks all the boxes. Kandolhu even offered an excursion to a local island – great for those who like to dive deep and really get to know a culture!
Splurge on something romantic
If your resort offers a private dinner on the beach, consider booking it one evening for a special night out. Alternatively, consider hiring a boat (with a captain) for a day and sailing around the island, just you and your loved one. Or, if you’re feeling extra lovey, consider a surprise renewal of your vows. Even if it’s just the two of you, it’s a lovely way to remind each other of your special bond.
There are plenty of options for upgrading your stay a bit to do something ultra romantic, so consult the reception staff and they’ll give you all your options.
Watch the sunset (& the night sky)
Is there anything more beautiful than an island sunset? We think not! Sunsets in the Maldives are so beautiful that watching the sunset actually became an evening ritual for us. We would drop whatever we were doing, grab a bottle of wine, and head up to the balcony to watch the sky change colors and the sun set into the ocean. It was so peaceful and romantic – definitely a must for any Maldivian holiday!
Once the sun is down and the sky fades to black, keep an eye out for the stars. We could see the Milky Way from our duplex pool villa and spotted a shooting star almost every night. We even think we saw a satellite orbiting one night. It’s incredible how clear the sky is and how much you can see in the middle of the Indian Ocean!
Give water sports a try
From stand up paddle boarding to catamaran sailing, many islands offer the opportunity to hire water sports equipment for a bit of fitness and fun. While at Kandolhu, Sean and I hired a kayak one morning to do a lap around the island. It was so fun to do a full circle around the island, even though our arms were exhausted at the end!
Have a movie night
There’s nothing wrong with doing exactly as you would do at home while on holiday. Consider having a movie night somewhere around the middle of your trip – just to chill and do nothing for an evening! Order room service, purchase some snacks, and find a movie to watch. Find out if your resort offers movies ahead of time; if they don’t, make sure you download one before you go!
Participate in island activities
Ask your resort if they are hosting any special events during your stay. Kandolhu does some sort of ‘pop-up’ event each week and encourages everyone on the island to attend. When we were there, it was a water volleyball tournament with the Kandolhu staff. Neither of us played, but we did watch, and it was such a fun event to be at! Make sure you find out what is happening on the island while you are there, especially on larger islands where it’s not as easy to stumble upon something. It’s a great way to mingle with other guests while having a bit of fun!
Our honeymoon was the perfect mix of fun and relaxation after our big, crazy wedding in July. We spent most days just lounging around our pool; however, with so many things to do in the Maldives, we had our fair share of fun, as well! If you’re trying to decide on a honeymoon location, we are totally #TeamMaldives! Feel free to ask us any questions about The Maldives or our honeymoon in the comments below!
What do you love to do when visiting the Maldives (or any island for that matter)?
Let us know in the comments below!