Dive in. If your kids have ever shown any interest in diving or snorkelling, this is the place to do it – the shallow lagoons make it very safe. The atoll formations that make the Maldives so spectacularly beautiful also make them a wonderful destination for scuba divers, attracted by the tropical fish that gather around the coral. The Indian Ocean surrounding the Maldives offers spectacular visibility for divers, sometimes exceeding 50m. All island-resorts have professional dive schools, and some even boast their own house reefs just a short swim from the beach.
For those not quite ready to take the plunge, glass-bottomed boats offer the perfect way for families with smaller children to get up-close and personal with spectacular marine life. For something a little more Jules Verne, Whale Submarine, the world’s largest passenger submarine, dives to an impressive 36m below the surface. Trips depart from Malé and can be booked at your resort.
Fishing and whale-watching trips are also easily organised from resorts, with the Maldives one of the top five places in the world to see dolphins and whales, including blue, sperm and pilot whales.
Take to the waves – the Maldives are also fast-becoming an established surfing destination. The Eastern Reef of North Malé Atoll is a good beginners' spot, while the Maldives Tourist Board (visitmaldives.com) lists sites for more experienced surfers.
Experience life outside the resorts during family holidays here, with a shopping trip to the capital Malé or a visit to the town of Seenu on Addu Atoll, from where you can visit traditional Maldivian island communities.