The Maldives almost never figures on the solo traveller’s bucket-list, thanks to the honeymoon-vibes that the country is associated with. However, this tropical paradise can be quite amazing for those who like to explore all by themselves. Looking for things to do in Maldives alone? We have an interesting set of activities that you could pursue on a solo trip to this archipelago.
With an underwater world so dazzling, you will never miss having your friends or family around! The Maldives is blessed with coral lagoons which bear a distinct turquoise colour, denoting the presence of barrier reefs. Interestingly, the rest of the Indian Ocean remains deep blue, and the waters seem to be separate – turquoise and blue.
Maldives snorkelling tours offer a golden chance to witness the magic underwater, with hundreds of little fish making their way towards you. If you go on Maldives full day tours, you will be taken to at least three different diving sites across an atoll for you to jump in the cool water and snorkel in search of exotic marine life.
The Maldivian waters are home to various types of hard and soft corals, sea turtles, underwater flora, rays, shoals, starfishes, sharks and even schooling fishes that move in coordinated groups. If you have never snorkelled before, the tour guide will even teach you how to breathe through the pipe, help you wear your snorkelling mask, offer a lifejacket and fins.
#2 Walking Tours
Wish to book activities in Maldives, but worried you’ll be bored if you are all alone? A walking tour is perfect for solo trippers who like local exploration while also wanting to mingle with other like-minded travellers. Choose from specially curated Maldives walking tours to explore various cities and villages in this island nation.
A half day Malé City walking tour will give you a quick glimpse into Maldives’ history and culture. Browse through bustling seafood and vegetable markets, walk past the busy harbour, explore museums and even sip on traditional Maldivian tea at a local café. If you’re up for longer tours, check out the full day Malé City walking tour which also includes an island hop to the quaint village of Villimalé.
If ecotourism is of particular interest to you, take a look at the little isle of Huraa which is home to rare mangroves in a desert island setup. Learn about the conservation practices undertaken by the Maldivians, with a chance to see a freshwater lake in a country that’s otherwise surrounded by seawater. You can also watch how dhonis – traditional Maldivian wooden boats at a boat-building yard.
You don’t need a group to dive, just your oxygen tank and other scuba diving equipment! Solo travellers get on an even ground with other types of sightseers when they take up deep sea diving. Maldives diving tours are worth every dollar spent as the underwater scenery in this part of Asia is undeniably stupendous.
It is recommended to know swimming if you wish to dive, but that is not mandatory. The expert local guides are quite helpful, and you can always be escorted on the seabed. The Maldives is not very deep as compared to the rest of the world. Most lagoons have a maximum depth of 3 metres to 5 metres, while in the high seas, depths can go up to 25 metres to more than 30 metres.
There is no need to carry any costume or gear with you as the diving tour provider will have all that is required to go underwater. A wetsuit will be provided, along with weights, fins, a scuba mask and a buoyancy compensator device (BCD). You will only have to learn a couple of hand gestures to communicate with your guide underwater – simple symbols to denote that you’re ok or that you are not feeling well and need to return to the boat.
#4 Spa Therapies
Among all the leisure activities to do in Maldives, a spa therapy is one that no one will want to skip. Massages, Jacuzzi sessions, steam baths and sauna are available at most of the luxury resorts in The Maldives. You can even design your vacation with an aim to rejuvenate and relax from all the work stress that a busy city life has given you.
Some of the finest Maldives water villas that offer exclusive spa packages are available at Anantara Dhigu, which is a luxury wellness resort with an overwater spa. Choose from the detox treatments and massage therapies from their spa menu. The French-themed Cheval Blanc Randheli is another fine example of Maldives resorts on water that has its own island dedicated to spa treatments. Here, only Guerlain products and their signature rituals are employed.
Singles looking for exclusive opulence can head to the Huvafen Spa – the only underwater spa in the world! Part of the 5-star private island resort, Huvafen Fushi, this spa has treatment rooms both underwater and overwater. Indulge in specially crafted fusion massage techniques and facials.
#5 Surfing Solo in Maldives
Surfing is a niche sport that can be added to most Maldives vacation packages. It is great if you already know how to ride a wave. However, you don’t need to be upset if you are new to surfing. There are many surf clubs and surfing schools where you can learn the basics in a short span of time.
Some of the best shores to surf are located in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll which sees various types of waves gracing its seascape. The best time of the year to visit The Maldives for a surf trip is March to May and August to November. In fact, this is also the shoulder season in the archipelago when the hotel prices are reasonable and the tourist crowd is low – ideal for those looking for more privacy. Maldives’ weather is also quite pleasant around these months.
You need not bring your surfboard with you, as the local surf clubs will have plenty available on rent. It is best to know how to swim so you can catch a wave all by yourself. Looking for Maldives water bungalows to spend your surf holiday? Stay at the Cinnamon Dhonveli to have exclusive access to Pasta Point – one of the best private beaches for surfers.
#6 Local Food Trips
Many Maldives tour packages for singles also feature culinary excursions. Choose from an array of experiences that revolve around food – dining with the local Maldivians, Ramadan rituals and food tasting as the island’s Muslims break their fast, or cooking classes. You can even hop on a food walk that takes you across various traditional cafés and local markets where you can sample authentic cuisine and delectable street food from stalls.
Maldives day tours generally have a component of hedika tasting where a selection of sweet and savoury deep-fried snacks are served along with a cup of traditional black tea. For a little bit of local interaction, go on a food tour where you get to have dinner with a Maldivian family on one of the 200 public islands. It is much better to get on such tours as a solo traveller as you will have more reason to speak to the host family, and not just talk among your own family members or friends.
The typical fare at any local dining experience includes seafood prepared with Asian condiments, huni roshi – flatbread with coconut filling, fragrant rice, mutton, fish or vegetable curries, and tropical fruits. If you have any dietary restriction, an aversion to chillies or are vegetarian, let the tour provider know in advance so it can be communicated to the host family.
Maldives Local Food TourFrom: $60.00
#7 Stingray Feeding
Many of hotels in Maldives organize interesting in-house activities which allow for interaction between humans and marine life. One such activity is stingray feeding. Usually conducted after sunset, and by the beach, this 30-minute activity is great for those who like sea creatures.
Stingrays are very smooth in their texture, and can be quite slippery if you try to touch them. However, it is not generally recommended to touch or hold a stingray as they can sting you (quite obvious from the name). Belonging to the group of sea rays, these large slithery beings are normally friendly, just as long as you don’t make them feel threatened.
The best part about stingray feeding is that it is absolutely free of cost, and a complimentary attraction that most resorts offer. A member of the staff will come along with a bucket full of fish for the stingray feeding demo and then allow the guests to try on their own. Sometimes, it is a manta ray or even a shark that is fed for the evening show.
Most people know kayaking in this country only from the Maldives honeymoon packages that are advertised with couple kayaks that seem to float over a transparent lagoon. However, single-person kayaks are also quite popular in The Maldives. Kayaking is one water sport that is quite easy to pick up, and requires little or no instruction even if it is your very first time.
The kayaks are quite light as they are made of fibre, and not wood which is much heavier. Easy to manoeuvre, the oar of a kayak is just a single rod with paddles on either side. Kayaking helps you work your biceps and triceps as you propel your watercraft forward, backward or sideways to explore the backwaters which are shielded from strong ocean currents by wave-breakers.
For a fancier experience, hire a clear kayak made of transparent fibre, which lets you experience the turquoise waters in a whole new way altogether! Safety jackets are always provided, so there is no chance of drowning under unforeseen circumstances when your kayak turns turtle.
#9 Cooking Classes
Foodies who would like to take their cuisine adventures one step further can enroll for cooking classes and farm-to-plate tours which take up about half a day. Begin your culinary excursion with your Maldivian tour guide at the local market to buy some fresh produce. You may even want to head to the fish market to get tuna – Maldives’ most popular sea fish.
Once you are back in your hotel or guest house in The Maldives, head straight to the kitchen for your private masterclass with the chef-de-cuisine. Learn to grate coconut in the local style, clean the fish, marinate it in spices, discover how their curries are tempered, and try your hand at rolling roshi (stuffed flatbread).
The experience culminates with a lavish Maldivian lunch, prepared entirely by you from start to finish. Top it off with some coconut water from a coconut which is hacked open in front of your eyes – it can’t get more authentic than this!
#10 Motorized Water Sports
The best all-inclusive islands in the Maldives have their own dive centre which offers a variety of motorized (as well as non-motorized) water sports to their guests. The adrenaline rush to travelling solo can only be matched by the rush of adventure water sports in the Maldives, especially the motorized ones.
Feel the thrill of flying in the air as you try flyboarding – which propels you into the sky with the use of water pressure. Let the sea breeze fill your lungs as you ride a jet ski and explore the private lagoons of Maldives’ huts on water. Wakeboarding is for those who want to surf with a twist, while kneeboarding ups the game with a kneeling posture. There are many more motorized water sports to choose from – mono skiing, kite surfing, and parasailing, for instance.
With so many things to do in Maldives solo, you must definitely check this gorgeous place off your wishlist by visiting it at least once in your life. Most major airlines fly to the Maldives International Airport which is located on the island of Hulhulé. As the country extends visa on arrival or visa free entry to most nations, it is quite convenient to holiday in this archipelago over other island destinations you might have in mind.