Over a thousand islands make up what is many people’s idea of a holiday of a lifetime
Time Out Dubai staff
Stay... Budget Cocoa Island: Based on the South Male Atoll, Cocoa Island is made up of just 33 Keralan inspired, over-the-water suites. The emphasis is on the environmental and organic here, with a raw food menu on offer as well as a spa and yoga pavilion. Private, quiet and oh so beautiful. www.cocoaisland.como.bz
Luxury Six Senses Soneva Gili Resort & Spa: Book into a little slice of heaven on earth. Suites with private sundecks come on stilts over the azure ocean, you have a direct line to the chef and the spa and you can get a massage right on the sand to the sound of the lapping waves. www.sixsenses.com/Soneva-Gili/
Eat... Budget Thai Wok: Based on Male, Thai Wok serves up authentic and yummy Thai food, without much fuss or pretension. If you’re not in the mood to dress up for dinner, head here before a night on the rather small ‘town’. Hithaffivinivaa Magu.
Expensive Ithaa: Check out Ithaa at the Conrad Maldives Resort & Spa – it’s under the water. Dine under a dome and see stingrays float past your head, with 270 degree panoramic views. Rangali Island, 2034.
Must see... If you want to see what day-to-day life is like in the Maldives (yes it’s not all sunloungers and sundowners) head to the capital island Male. A busy, bustling centre, despite its tiny size, it still feels like a capital. Check out the interesting live markets.
Must do... Diving, diving and more diving. The Maldives has some of the clearest, calmest seas in the world.