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watching the sun rise over haleakala in Maui, hawaii

 

Ka'anipali Beach is one of the best in Maui

 

Molokini is a great snorkelling and scuba diving location in Hawaii

 

whale watching in maui hawaii

 

Iao needle, Maui, Hawaii

 

The Island of Maui

Maui, the second youngest of the chain of Hawaiian Islands, is the most popular holiday island and is known as "the world´s greatest playground".

Legend has it the island is named after the demigod, Maui, who harnessed the sun from on top of the island's highest peak, Haleakala. You can visit the spot today and watch the sun rise over some of Maui's most beautiful terrain.

Looking over the central plains you see Maui's other dormant volcanic mountain, Kahalawi. Beneath it, on the south western shore, is the historic whaling town and former royal capital of Hawaii, Lahaina. This is where you will find some of the best Maui hotels. Today, Lahaina retains much of its old world charm while offering a collection of shops, art galleries, entertainment and restaurants as well as the fabulous Kaanipali Beach.

The central valley between the two mountain peaks is anchored by the bustling commercial centre of Kahului. This is home to the Maui Arts and Cultural Centre and to the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Centre, the largest in Maui but fairly low-key by international standards, so don't expect to indulge in a huge spending spree!

The south coast of the island is beach-lined and where you will find the second main resort areas of Kihei, Wailea and Makena. To the east are forested mountains and countless waterfalls. A great day trip is to take the road to Hana along the north east coast. The Hana Highway is named as one of the World's Greatest Scenic Roads by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. Though called a 'highway' parts of the road are quite narrow reducing to single lane in some places.

The slopes below Haleakala are where you'll find the grassy ranch lands and flower farms of upcountry Maui. The views across the large family-owned ranches are sublime and many artists have settled here. This is a glorious area to explore on horseback.

Maui's Highlights

'Iao Valley - On the northern side of Mauis' central valley head into the mountains to Iao Valley. It is notable for its pristine mountain stream and the Iao Needle, a dramatic green-covered rock face rising more than 100 stories from the valley floor. Learn about the ancient battles that took place here and marvel at the terrain the natives had to overcome to survive. On your way in, stop at the Hawaii Nature Centre to learn more about Maui's natural history.

Kaanapali Beach - one of Maui's most popular and best beaches close to the town of Lahaina. Snorkelling, swimming, catamaran sailing, deep sea fishing and dinner cruises are just some of the activities on offer.

Lahaina - is a National Historic District. Once the royal capital of Hawaii and later a rowdy whaling port, Front Street now boasts an array of little shops, museums, art galleries and restaurants. Pop in to the Baldwin Home to see what life was like for the early missionaries and make sure to check out the single, massive banyan tree that takes up a whole block!

Molokini - is a natural crater, a horseshoe shaped outcrop three miles off Maui's coast at Makena, famous for snorkelling and scuba diving. Full day and half day tours depart from the small boat harbours at Ma'alaea and Lahaina.

Haleakala National Park - Enjoy the scenic drive to the Haleakala Crater, stopping at one of the three visitor centres for information. Make the trip early enough and be rewarded with a spectacular sunrise seen from above the clouds.

Whale Watching - Between November and April all eyes are on the waters around Maui for the annual return of an estimated 4,000 majestic humpback whales that make Maui's warm waters their winter home. There are organised boat trips on offer, but if you're hotel room faces the sea you might even spot them from your balcony!

Add a short stay in Maui to your Waikiki holiday in Honolulu, Oahu. The price depends on the category of hotel or apartment,, the room type you select as well as the time of year you travel. Use the price grid on the Waikiki package page as a guide to estimate the price for 5 nights based on 2 people sharing - we have priced hotels on the high side to allow for fluctuation in exchange rates so you can be fairly sure the final budget will be around the total calculated if not less - nobody likes nasty surprises! We recommend you book a hire car for the duration of your stay to give you the best opportunity to explore Maui.

And remember, the Aloha Holidays Promise applies - if we find better value on your travel dates we will pass the savings on to you!



 

Photo credits: Aloha Holidays, HTA, Ron Dahlquist, Dreamstime, HTA Japan