The second largest island in the chain, Maui is a real favourite of visitors to the Hawaiian Islands; a stunning blend of golden beaches, volcanoes, tropical scenery and natural landscape. There isn’t a late night scene like Honolulu here; it’s more about intimate beach towns with delicious cuisine and evening entertainment. Maui’s infamous 10,000 foot volcano, Haleakala offers an abundance of exploring with the highlight being the magnificent sunrise and sunset. Voted “Best Island in the US” by Conde Nast Traveller readers for more than 20 years, Maui is a sought after destination when looking for a paradise style trip.
Maui is also known as “The Valley Isle” and is most loved for its world-famous beaches, migrating humpback whales (winter months), farm-to-table cuisine and sacred Iao Valley. Beach lovers are spoilt for choice with over 30 miles of beautiful beaches, from white, black and red sand, renowned surfing, windsurfing, snorkelling and just plain chilling on the beach. Beaches range from those with picnic areas, toilets and lifeguards to undeveloped secret beaches you can only find off the beaten path. Always check beach and ocean conditions as they are unique and vary from beach to beach.
A signature beach to Maui is Makena Beach State Park with stunning white sands nestled between two black-lava outcroppings offering protection from the trade winds. Makena Beach has beautiful views of Molokini and Kahoolawe islands. Although undeveloped it offers lifeguard, picnic, toilet and food facilities. Divided into two beaches, Big Beach and Little Beach (no amenities or lifeguard) depending on your preference.
Beachcombing is a favourite pastime; try Keawakapu Beach for this and Kihei Beach is a series of beaches, coves and tide pools. Other popular beaches are Polo Beach and Wailea Beach which offers excellent swimming and a beach walk past Wailea’s hotels, restaurants and shops. Kaanapali Beach has been named America’s Best Beach with miles of sparkling white sand and crystal clear water, fronting Kaanapali’s hotels and resorts. One of its most famous attractions is the daily cliff diving ceremony at sunset off the beach’s most northernmost cliffs knows as Puu Kekaa (back rock). It’s also possible to zip line and soar above Kaanapali’s breathtaking coastline. Hawaii’s first planned resort; Kaanapali also features a world-class shopping complex with first rate shops and restaurants, two championship golf courses and whaling museum. Puamana Beach is an excellent location for beginning and intermediate surfers. Maui is home to miles and miles of beaches so take your pick from a long list whether it’s a quiet cove or surf central, it’s all available.
Maui has six regions to explore around the island as well as an abundance of activities to enjoy. The Road to Hana is an infamous scenic drive featuring 50 miles of 600 curves and bridges from the North Shore of Maui to the town of Hana. There are lots of reasons to stop along the way, ocean views, waterfalls, farm stands and short hikes, a brilliant option for any age. Those who love to hike need to head to The Haleakala Crater, Maui’s largest volcano with a summit crater of more than 10,000 feet; several hiking trails allow you to explore its vast terrain. Iao Valley in the West Maui Mountains is famous for its 1,200 foot Iao Needle rock formation and narrow, lush valley. Locals and visitors enjoy walking the paths and gardens, once the site of one of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history. Lahaina is known as the “Waikiki” of Maui with an abundance of restaurants, bars, shops, hotels and activities
From November to March, around 10,000 humpback whales migrate to Hawaii to give birth and the Auau Channel provides an ideal nesting grounds, just offshore of Maui. Spend an unforgettable day watching the whales performing a variety of behaviours providing memories to treasure forever. There are many snorkelling spots within the Auau Channel and many tours combine the two.