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The Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean long considered a paradise. The Maldives is famous for being one of the top tropical beach holiday destinations in the world. But the Maldives is a country with its own history and its own unique culture. It is not all beaches and swimming, and the cultural side of the Maldives is a part of the country few visitors get to see with their all-inclusive hotels.

One of the best ways to explore the Maldives is to go island hopping with a guided tour. A week is a good amount of time to get a feel for the Maldives, get a glimpse of the country's culture, relax on the beaches, and dive into the coral reefs. Over a million people flock to these beaches every year from around the world, and there's plenty worth seeing.

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The Maldives - The Tropical Island Paradise Of The Indian Ocean

The Maldives are a chain of 26 atolls. While the territory spans around 90,000 sq kilometers (35,000 sq miles), most of that is the sea, with only 298 sq km or 115 sq miles being land. Being atolls, the islands are very low-lying, with the average elevation being only 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) and the highest natural point being only 2.4 meters.

  • Population: 550,000

The Maldives is a place of stunning white-sand beaches with an amazing underwater world. Some consider the Maldives to have some of the very best beaches in the world. They are remarkably consistent and are some of the whiter-than-white powder sand beaches with luminous blue water to be found (bring a good pair of sunglasses).

Below the waters, the story is the same. The Maldives has some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world, with many coral walls, underwater caves, and an impressive amount of brightly colored tropical fish. See manta rays, turtles, sharks, and even whale sharks.

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Take An 8-Day Island Hopping Tour Of The Maldives

One 8-day island hopping tour delves into the real country of the Maldives and explores many of the most significant sites on some of the most important islands. The tour departs from Hulhumale and arranges everything in advance, so visitors can look forward to a hassle-free island hopping tour.

Guests can choose to travel in a small group or privately.

During the tour, guests will meet local residents, go snorkeling, learn about the islands, and just soak in the laid-back atmosphere of the islands.

  • Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Price: From $999.00

The tour includes some meals, all accommodation, transport, some activities, and a tour guide. International flights and travel insurance are not included in the tour package.

Visiting the Maldives is easy, and tourists are granted a 30-day visa on arrival.

Related: A Travel Guide To The Maldives: Tourists Should Plan Their Trip Around These 10 Things

8-Day Island Hopping Itinerary

Day 1:

Arrive at the Male International Airport and be transferred to the guesthouse on Hulhumale.

Day 2:

Go with the guide and tour the capital before beginning the island hopping adventure by taking the ferry to the island of Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll.

Day 3:

Go by speedboat and explore nearby coral reefs and have the first underwater encounter. Keep an eye out for turtles, sharks, and plenty of other marine life. The afternoon is free, and there are options for surfing, diving, and other water sports.

Day 4:

Visit a local family and see local Maldivian life. Explore Guriadhoo with the guide and enjoy optional water sports. Interact with local people in the community and stop by a local café and trail traditional ‘hedika’ - Maldivian savory and sweet short eats served with black tea.

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Day 5:

Transfer to the island of Maafushi and check into a guesthouse. Explore the island and take a cruise in search of the dolphins.

Day 6:

This is a free day. There are plenty of water sports and beaches to enjoy.

Day 7:

Take a ferry to the island of Gulhi and head to the bikini beach or go snorkeling. Chill at the local cafés and soak up the atmosphere.

Day 8:

Take the ferry back and arrive at the Male International airport by 10.00 am.

It is also possible to explore the Maldives on a self-guided tour, but an organized tour has the advantage of being hassle-free and worry-free.