The island of MAUI, the second largest in the Hawaiian chain, is Oahu’s principal rival, attracting roughly a third of all visitors to the state. Some say that things have gone too far, with formerly remote, unspoiled beaches, around Kaanapali (north of Lahaina) and Kihei for example, now swamped by sprawling resorts. On the other hand, the crowds come to Maui for the good reason that it’s still beautiful. This is the best equipped of all the islands for activity holidays – whale-watching, windsurfing, diving, sailing, snorkelling and cycling. Temperatures along the coast can be searing, but it’s always possible to escape to somewhere cooler. Upcountry Maui, on the slopes of the mighty Haleakala volcano, is a delight, while the waterfalls and ravines along the tortuous road out east to Hana outclass anything on Oahu.

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