White sand beaches lace the western shoreline, and the winding Hana Highway snakes past waterfalls and precipitous cliffs overlooking the blue Pacific Ocean.
It is the second largest island in the Hawaiian chain, and visited by humpback whales and green turtles as well as tourists bewitched under the spell of this tropical paradise.
Maui is a stunning combination of soaring volcanoes, dramatic cliffs, steep mountains clothed in lush rainforests and slashed with deep ravines and valleys.
Maui was formed thousands of years ago when two volcanoes erupted and over time eroded together. Today the lush island is cloaked in rainforests, fields of sugarcane, tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers, and grazing beef and dairy cattle.
Humpback whales migrate from Alaska in winter to breed in the warmer Hawaiian waters. Maui is one of the world’s most popular destinations, with perfect year round climate, beautiful beaches, tropical sunsets, spectacular scenery and a paradise for either relaxing or discovering adventure.
Enjoy kiteboarding, windsurfing and surfing, hike scenic trails through cloud forests or volcanic craters, or go scuba-diving or snorkelling among vibrant marine life.
• Green turtles
• Whale watching
• Catch a tropical sunrise atop Haleakala Crater
• Ride a mountain bike downhill Haleakala, from 1980m (6500ft) to the ocean
• Sugar cane train
• Maui Ocean Centre
• Paper Airplane Museum
• Hana (east Maui) (where legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh is buried)
Hawaii Tourism Authority
1801 Kalakaua Avenue, 1st Floor, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
Tel: +1 (808) 973 2255.
Art and craft galleries are found in Lahaina, once the whaling capital of the Pacific. The main towns and resorts have a collection of shops and boutiques, many with souvenirs and Hawaiian products. Leis, proteas and tropical flowers and fruits can be bought in Lahaina, pre-inspected and delivered to the airport for pickup.
Hawaiian food offers the best of ‘Pacific Rim’ and ‘New American’ cooking styles. Many dishes are based on chicken, pork, seafood and local fruit and vegetables. The traditional Hawaiian feast is the luau, where a puaa kalua (whole pig) is cooked in a fire pit and served with sweet potatoes and plantains. The main resort town of Lahaina is brimming with a large selection of restaurants and bars.
When to go:
Warm throughout the year, with an average temperature of 24 to 29°C (75 to 85°F), and no appreciable difference between ‘summer’ and ‘winter’. Heavy rainfall can occur in the mountainous rainforests from December to February, but most areas only receive short showers.
2.5km (1.5 miles).