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Must-See Locations In A Tropical Paradise In The Maldives

Locations to visit in The Maldives
The Maldives [Image by Sue and Todd from Pixabay]
Set in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives consists of around 1,200 islands, each with white-sand beaches, waving palm trees, clear blue waters and a colorful underwater world.  Meanwhile, the major islands feature several great resorts and guest houses and attract more than a million visitors each year. However, besides the beaches, the Republic of the Maldives has three locations to visit in this tropical paradise, including underwater dining and a beautiful sea full of stars.

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Rangali Island, the Maldives

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island [Image @conrad_maldives/Instagram]
Located in the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort is an undersea restaurant, Ithaa. With a curved acrylic roof, the restaurant is surrounded by a spectacular coral reef and has marine life swimming all around it. Meanwhile, the eatery is entered by a spiral staircase set in a thatched pavilion at the end of the hotel’s jetty. Here, guests dine 16 feet below the clear, aqua water.

The restaurant was designed by M.J. Murphy Ltd of New Zealand and features a 270-degree panoramic view of underwater life. However, the eatery only accommodates 14 guests, so advance bookings are required. Opened in 2005, the restaurant’s name means “mother of pearl” in the local Dhivehi language.

Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Island, The Maldives

Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Beach, the Maldives
Sea of Stars, Vaadhoo Beach [Image @diskodrugarputovanja/Instagram]
After a day on the beach, head to Vaadhoo Island to experience a truly spectacular sight. Admittedly, the phenomenon only happens during the late summer, but it is definitely worth the effort. On Vaadhoo Island, bioluminescence from the reefs makes the water glow like a starry sky. Moreover, this is caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton called, lingulodinium polyedrum.

The island can be found in the Raa Atoll and is the most popular place to experience the phenomenon. However, depending on the conditions, the same thing can happen on any of the islands.

Subsix, Aquum Niyama Resort

Subsix undersea restaurant and bar, the Maldives
Subsix [Image @mosaic_tourism_consulting/Instagram]
Getting back to undersea dining, Aquum Niyama Resort in the Maldives gives guests an opportunity to play on two private islands. While the luxurious resort has a range of dining options, the likely best is Subsix, a gourmet restaurant lying 20 feet under the ocean’s surface.

This option is a little more complicated to visit. If you are staying at the resort, the restaurant is a 15-minute stroll away. However, those not staying at the resort must take a 40-minute speedboat trip from the capital of the Maldives, Malé. Meanwhile, to access the restaurant, guests head to an inconspicuous door located on a short dock, descending three flights beneath the water into a clam-shaped bar.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle
Hawksbill sea turtle [Image by Kanenori from Pixabay]
As the restaurant and bar are perfectly seated in a thriving coral reef, patrons can enjoy watching Hawkbill sea turtles, eels, parrotfish and other marine life casually swimming by. Meanwhile, the décor perfectly matches its marine surroundings, with soft blue light and sea anemone chairs.

Experience underwater dining and beautiful starlit waves on your next visit to the Maldives.

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