A City Guide to Male

A Maldives holiday is the epitome of exotic, with crystal clear waters and an archipelago of small islands dotted with perfect white sand beaches. After you’ve spent your luxury Maldives holiday relaxing on a secluded beach, you may be about ready to return to the airport in the capital, Male. However, if you’ve got a few hours to kill before your flight, then why not end your luxury Maldives holiday with a visit to some of the island’s interesting local sites.

Male was previously known as the King’s Island, as it was from here that the ancient dynasties ruled and kept their palaces. Nowadays, Male is the commercial centre of the country and the gateway in which all tourists enter and exit the islands. Therefore even if you spend your entire Maldives holiday lazing on the sandy beaches and enjoying the gamut of watersports available, you should still have some time available at the end of your Maldives holiday to explore Male whilst waiting for your flight home.

One of the first places you may wish to visit is the Grand Friday Mosque. The main religion of the Maldives is Islam, which plays a large part in the islands’ daily life. The Grand Friday Mosque is the largest in the Maldives and has been standing since 1656, when it was constructed by the Sultan Ibrahim. It also contains its own Islamic Centre to give visitors a sense of the culture and community of the locals whilst on their Maldives holidays. However, it is the golden dome of this beautiful building that really attracts tourists to visit the building. It is one of the first objects that you will encounter from the air when flying to your luxury Maldives holiday. If you do get the opportunity to go into the mosque then you will be mesmerised by the intricate artwork and tiles that make up its interior.

The government buildings in Male are all located along the northern waterfront, in a square called the Jumhoree Maidan, or Republic Square. Most Maldives teenagers resort to hanging around the town square in the evenings, it is the place to go and be seen.

The National Museum will set truth to the myth that the Maldives are all about sand, sea and luxurious Maldives resorts. Housed in the former palace of the Sultan, the museum contains a valuable collection of objects that depict the country’s past. A number of the artefacts in the museum once belonged to the Sultan and, if you’re into fashion, you’ll love looking at his fantastic range of costumes and daywear.

The Fish Market is one of the major tourist attractions in Male and will offer you a completely different side to that of your luxury Maldives holiday. The market is always overcrowded with locals and tourists alike, and really picks up in mid-afternoon, when the fishing boats return with their catch of the day. Watching the busy fishermen loading and unloading their boats at the end of the day provides you with the perfect snapspot of a traditional island culture.

Sally Rushbrooke is a Maldives holiday specialist for key2holidays, an online tour operator offering luxury Maldives holidays as well as holidays to other destinations in the Indian Ocean; the Far East, Cuba and the Caribbean, Egypt, Southern Africa, Italy & the Mediterranean, Canada, Australia and the Pacific. key2holidays has a dedicated team of experienced travel consultants to share their knowledge and help you to plan your holiday.

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