Swanky villas kitted out with freshwater outdoor pools
The Maldives is an enormously dispersed country, with more than a thousand idyllic islands arranged into two dozen atolls, stretching about 885 km from north to south. Yet, approximately a third of the country’s population lives together on one tiny isle, right at the heart of the archipelago: Malé.
The antithesis of the country’s laid-back island resorts, it is a cacophony of tall, colourful apartment blocks, crowded fish markets and ancient Islamic history, ringed by stunning white sand beaches and the shimmering sea. It’s a practical paradise, where real life co-exists with a picture-postcard allure.
Whether you stop before or after an island escape, or you want to see another side of The Maldives with an extended stay, Malé offers an unvarnished insight into how Maldivians live, work and play.
When to go
The sun shines all year round in Malé, with average temperatures hovering somewhere between 27 and 29 deg Celsius, but if you want uninterrupted sunshine it’s best to visit between December and April. If you’re planning outdoor activities, avoid monsoon season between May and November, when rainfall can get very heavy – though some of the city’s biggest and best festivals, including Eid (June), Independence Day (July) and the Prophet’s Birthday (November), take place during this time. January, February and March are the busiest months in Malé.
How to get around
No public transport is available, but Malé is compact enough to walk in most instances. Otherwise, private taxis and water taxis are available.
Child-friendly resort on a 20ha property
Island houses with private pools
Featuring an adults-only sanctuary with its own pool and a bar
Understated yet luxurious villas with rooftop decks