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With its gently waving palm trees, shimmering waters and inviting beaches, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Maui’s lush, blissful climes are only to be found in pictures and postcards. Rest assured, the alluring beauty of Maui and its inviting shores are very much the real deal.
The second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui is blessed with year-round tropical temperatures, unbelievable scenery and an inviting ambience that greets you the second you’re in port. With so much to discover, getting the most out of Maui might seem like a tough task, but with this handy guide, we’ve turned the whistle-stop into an art form.
From the top sightseeing attractions to the finest dining spots, we’ll show you the highlights of this diverse, jaw-dropping island and how to fill your time no matter how short your schedule is.
What to see in Maui
It’s not all sun-worshipping in Maui, there’s an amazing array of things to do during your stay. Here we list some of the places you must visit and the things you have to see.
What to do in Maui
Whether you like things at a leisurely pace or prefer things more on the active side, there’s plenty to do in Maui’s sunny climes, so you’re sure to find plenty to do during your brief stay on the island.
Its vast waters make an excellent opportunity for some snorkelling. Makena Beach is particularly popular; if you’re lucky enough, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the waters’ sea turtles. These beautiful little creatures swim close to snorkelers on the calmest of days, so fingers crossed the weather holds up. Elsewhere, Molokini gives divers the chance to see dolphins and whales amongst the coral, reefs and fish – be sure to bring your snorkel and mask along if you want to see Maui from a different perspective.
If you’re looking for something less immersive but you still want to hit the waters, Aloha Kayaks offers 3 hours kayak tours, as well as paddle boarding, allowing you to take in Maui along the surface of its glistening blue waters.
Fancy getting the pulse racing? Go for a bike ride down the volcano Haleakala and take in the scenery and horizons on two wheels as part of a guided bike tour. Some of the island’s most picturesque sights are only accessible by air, so why not experience the waterfalls, cliffs and volcanoes on a helicopter tour? Or for something truly different, you’ll find plenty of zip lines dotted around the island. Zipline companies are in abundance too, giving guests on the tour an unforgettable mix of adrenaline-pumping action, serene hikes and plenty of interesting info about the local wildlife.
For something a little more serene that’ll still let you see what the island has to offer, opt for a walking or hiking tour. Hike Maui offers all manner of options, conducted by a plethora of friendly, knowledgeable guides who are a bevy of entertainment unto themselves. If you really want to slow down the pace, treat yourself to a massage from Maui’s Best Massage. Especially soothing after a day of activities, unwind with a Lomi Lomi massage, an extremely relaxing style of massage that focuses on gentle strokes and long rhythmic motions that ease away tension and soreness effortlessly.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Maui without experiencing the traditional Luau either. Very popular with first-time visitors, and taken very seriously by locals, it’s a time-honoured ceremony that combines delicious food, local music and, of course, the iconic hula dance.
Where to eat in Maui
Maui cuisine is hearty, diverse and big on flavour. A melting pot of pan-Asian and American cooking, the variety of dishes on offer reflects the island’s traditional blend of cultures and ethnicities. When you think of Maui cuisine, the words fusion and medley spring to mind.
A quintessential Hawaiian meal, the plate lunch pile high rice, macaroni salad and all manner of meats; delicious seafood in the form of lomi salmon, mahi-mahi and ahi is in abundance and the classic Kalua roast pork is the staple of many a table here.
And that’s just scratching the surface of Maui’s cuisine; here are 4 top eateries for you to pull up a chair at while you’re here.