Maldives is a country of idyllic atolls full of tiny islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Vacations in this nation of isles are filled with adventure and unique insights into the underwater world. Maldives, a paradise on Earth presents amazing half day tours to each and every one.
Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean and is stretched in 900 kilometers from north to south. It is a cluster of over two thousand small coral islands surrounded by snowy white beaches and turquoise lagoons in 26 atolls. Some of the planet’s most beautiful coral ecosystems thrive in The Maldives, and the shallow reefs make it possible to access them with relative ease.
Apart from diving into the seas, one can explore The Maldives overwater through cruises or overland through walking tours and food trips. While you may have planned a long relaxing holiday at a luxury resort with your partner or family, spare at least half a day to experience some of the cultural and ecological gems of this archipelago. Take a look at a few half day tours in Maldives which might be of interest to you.
Half Day Dolphin & Sunset Cruise Tours
Maldives Sunset Dolphin CruiseFrom: $95.00
Sunbathing, Snorkeling & Picnicking on a Sandbank
What would you do if you deserted on a paradisiacal island for 5 whole hours? In The Maldives, this wish could easily come true when you book a 5-Hour Sandbank Trip. For a little over a hundred dollars per head, you could escape from the city bustle of Male and find yourself on the white sands of a tropical island nearby.
This tour can be customized for a couple if they’re celebrating their honeymoon, anniversary or just planning a romantic date. You will be picked up from the capital city or Hulhumale and ferried to one of the southern islands on a speedboat ride that will last about 40 minutes.
The sunny skies will be perfect to get a tan as you sunbathe on the pristine beach. You can also cool off from the afternoon heat under a sun umbrella. Maldives’ seabed is home to extensive columns of barrier reefs. To watch the colourful corals up close, you can snorkel and explore the house reed close to the sandbank.
Your half day sandbank package in The Maldives includes snorkeling equipment, buoyancy aid and the fees of a snorkeling guide. If you have never snorkeled before, this is your golden chance to learn a new skill!
Those who are comfortable in the clear waters can also swim to their heart’s content. After you are pleasantly spent, relish a Maldivian lunch spread served on the sandbank. The expansive views of the azure ocean and the cerulean sky meeting it on the horizon – a beach side picnic for half a day cannot get any better!
Half Day Male City Walking Tour
It is hard to believe you can go on walking tours in a country which is mostly water, but this activity is offered in Male and a few other public and private islands. If you wish to get under the skin of the capital of The Maldives, the Half Day Male City Walking Tour is highly recommended for you.
This four-hour walk is conducted both in the mornings and evenings, from 9 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4 PM, respectively. Priced at around USD 40 per person, this half day package includes entrance charges to some of the attractions, light refreshments and the fees of your walking tour guide.
Half Day Male City Walking TourFrom: $40.00
As the guide tells you about Male, the capital city of The Maldives and its harbour, you are taken past the city’s oldest school. Get to know how The Maldives has a high literacy rate and gain insights into its education system. Next, visit the Old Friday Mosque, also known as Male Hukuru Miskiiy. Along with the tomb of Abu al Barakaath, the mosque is a symbol of the prevalence of Islam in the country. Your guide will tell you how pervasive the religion is in the day-to-day lives of all citizens.
You will have a short stop at a café located in a ganduvaru or a traditional palace belonging to a nobleman. Notice the interiors which are made of dark wood with intricate carvings on them. After your tea break, you will proceed to the November 3rd Memorial which is dedicated to 8 soldiers who were martyred in 1988 while they fought against terrorism.
You will next be taken to the intriguing Sultan Park which reflects modern architecture and landscaping. You might also like to visit the National Museum inside the park. Housed in the palace of the former Sultan of Maldives, the museum has a well documented collection of antiques, artillery, clothing, coins and other items of historical importance.
From there, your guide will take you past the Grand Friday Mosque and the Islamic Centre. Take note of the finest examples of Maldivian architecture and how it intersects with Islamic architectural styles. For those interested in the country’s political history, the stop at Jumhooree Maidan will shed some light on how The Maldives gained independence. Also known as the Independence Square, this landmark lets you glimpse at some important government buildings.
Before your half-day walking tour of Male City ends, you will have a chance to experience the rush of its fish market and the local vegetable, fruit and spice market. The heady smells, colourful displays and voices in the air might surprise some of you. Tuck into some succulent tropical fruits or local sweets to finish your half day tour.
Dining with a Maldivian Family
Resort life in The Maldives can spoil you with the abundant choice of cuisines and lavish spreads. However, a home-cooked meal is in a league of its own. There is something about a meal shared with a family that brings warmth and joy to the experience.
It is possible for you to enjoy this while you vacation in The Maldives! A unique food tour offers you the opportunity to dine with a local family on a public island and savour authentic Maldivian cuisine. You pay USD 60 per head for this half day package which not only includes the dinner experience but also some coffee under the stars.
You will be able to enter a Maldivian home and dine with the family over conversations about their culture, customs, cooking styles and more. Your dinner will include the island staples of coconut, fish and chilli. Let your taste buds enjoy the spicy flavours of the curries as you eat mouthfuls of the fresh catch with rice. It is unlikely that you will taste anything similar at any restaurant.
You have the option of picking soft drinks to help you digest the heavy and aromatic food. If you are keen to know the Maldivian life better, ask your host family to teach you some Dhivehi phrases, and practise conversing with them. After you leave their home with a full belly and an even fuller heart, indulge in some stargazing on the beach as you sip on coffee to keep you warm in the chilly night.
Insight into Maldives’ Mangrove Ecosystem
One does not normally associate The Maldives with mangroves, focusing only on the vast blue lagoons and pristine sands of most of the islands. However, there are some privileged spots in the country which are blessed with a robust mangrove ecosystem, accompanied by freshwater lakes.
Hop on a speedboat cruise to the islands of Huraa or Himmafushi. You may cross some islands while on your way. You must keep your eye peeled for dolphins which can often be sighted travelling in pods. After you arrive on the public island, you will get a first-hand view into the simple lifestyle of the local villagers.
Tour around the mangrove swamps and also delight in the freshwater lakes which are somewhat of a rarity in the midst of endless seas. Your guide will tell you about mangrove conservation and challenges faced by the mangroves in the present scenario.
An interesting process you will get to witness on the island is the curing of fish. See how freshly caught fish by the fishermen are first dried and then cured. Some of these techniques are so ancient, they date back to the time when there was no electricity, leave alone refrigerator, to preserve seafood.
Cured fish, particularly different varieties of tuna, comprises one of the biggest chunks of Maldives’ exports to other countries. Here, you will also have a chance to taste some rihaakuru which is a thick paste made of fish. This is a dark coloured paste that is consumed almost every day in local Maldivian households. Your half day tour ends with a lunch at a local café and some free time on the beach.
Submarine Tour in Maldives
For a truly exclusive experience of the underwater world, enrol into a half day submarine tour in The Maldives. Experience the thrill of going 150 metres deep in the Indian Ocean in a whale submarine to see the exotic submerged coral reefs, surgeonfish, manta rays and sharks.
Offered only on certain days of the week, this package includes a ferry transfer to the submarine dive site, which is about 15 minutes from Male. You will be offered soft drinks and beverages before you are let into the main hatch of the submarine through a staircase.
There are options galore for the curious traveller in The Maldives. Other half day tours include resort hopping, whale watching, fishing trips, romantic cruises, catamaran sailing, and more. It only takes a few hours to experience something valuable.