The best twin-centre destinations to pair with the Maldives

The tropical-island paradises of the vast Maldives archipelago are a great destination to pair with somewhere else for that fabulous feeling of getting two holidays in one. And going through a Travel Counsellor can take any uncertainty or stress out of booking what is a more complicated process than a straightforward single-centre holiday. We particularly recommend the following destinations for the ways they both complement and contrast with the Maldives experience.

The best twin-centre destinations to pair with the Maldives

Sri Lanka

Ranked second-best country to travel to in 2020 in Conde Nast Traveller’s Reader’s Choice Awards, this Indian Ocean jewel is relatively small yet somehow packs in an extraordinary eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The hospitality of its people is legendary, as is the incredible food – egg hoppers being just the start of your culinary adventures. That’s not to even scratch the surface of what else there is to see and do here for a more activity-based holiday than in the Maldives (about 2 hours away by plane) – admiring art and architecture, surfing, hiking through green valleys and highlands dotted by ancient fortresses, and discovering endemic and other exotic species in national parks and nature reserves, from herds of elephants to jungle cats.

Dubai

Where the Maldives is for the most people about kicking back and relaxing, Dubai can as hectic as you let it be. No matter how many times you come back, there’s always something new to see and do in this ever-evolving city. Perennial favourites include water sports, water-park days out, souk shopping, creek tours by traditional wooden abra, falconry and dune-bashing. Sightseeing buses are a great way to get an overview, with hop-on hop-off tickets including a Creek cruise and entry to Dubai Museum (in the city’s oldest building, with displays on everything from date farms to pearl diving) and Sheikh Saeed’s House (residence of the former ruler, hosting history exhibitions). Dubai is roughly halfway to the Maldives from the UK and many non-direct flights connect there, so it’s a natural choice for a stopover.

Singapore

This bustling metropolis about 4.5 hours from the Maldives is also renowned for its groundbreaking contemporary architecture, but it’s also a very green, eco-friendly destination, with a vast array of parks, gardens and nature reserves.  Unique to Singapore, The Gardens by the Bay nature park and greening project includes state-of-the-art glasshouses and sci-fi-like Supertrees – vertical gardens stunningly illuminated by night. Other green highlights are the UNESCO-listed Singapore Botanic Gardens, home to the National Orchid Garden, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Singapore’s first ASEAN Heritage Park, with an extensive mangrove forest and rich biodiversity, and Jurong Lake Gardens, Singapore’s national gardens, including Chinese and Japanese enclosures.

Bangkok

Another cosmopolitan, fast-paced city that begs to be throughly explored by different means, the Thai capital offers up boat trips, Skytrain rides, hidden markets to haggle in, ornate temples and palaces, a beguiling Chinatown and a dizzying nightlife scene –especially in Sukhumvit. While you can get all kinds of food in the Maldives, including fantastic Thai cuisine, Bangkok stands out for its adventurous, punchy and cheap street food. Don’t miss the stalls along the narrow alleys of he Old City (Rattanakosin) or Boat Noodle Alley at Victory Monument. Like Singapore, Bangkok is only about 4.5 hours from the Maldives.

To book your two-centre holiday including a stay in the Maldives, call your Travel Counsellor today

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