Lavish retreats spread across 80 islands boasting some of the world’s most incredible coral reefs and atolls make Maldives the ultimate honeymoon and scuba diving destination. The archipelago actually consists of 1192 islands but only 200 of these are inhabited. 26 circular atolls, tranquil lagoons, white sand beaches, and exciting fish markets and beautiful mosques in the capital city Male await vacationers in Maldives. Sharks, manta rays, and turtles swim in the depths of the warm waters of Maldives, the world’s most low-lying country.
The tropical paradise lies in the Indian Ocean and is a part of South-east Asia. The local currency is Maldivian rufiyaa but US Dollars will work fine in large resorts and boutique shops. Sunny climes and schools of colourful parrotfish characterize this predominantly Muslim country. Baa Atoll is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with 75 islands housing 250 species of corals. There are seven types of marine turtles in the world and five of them can be found in the Maldives. They are the endangered olive ridley sea turtle, the leatherback turtle, the green turtle, the loggerback and the hawksbill.
You don’t have to go through hassling visa application procedures to go to the Maldives. Just present sufficient proof of funds along with copies of your flight and hotel bookings upon arrival, and you will be granted a 30 day visa. This means that you can even plan a surprise trip to the Maldives at the drop of a hat! The main international airport is in Male, and from there, you will probably take a private ferry to your luxury resort. These can be booked in advance for your convenience. From Gan Airport in Addu atoll, you can also fly to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Most luxury resorts are situated on their own private islands, and you’ll be able to chart boats, seaplanes, and yachts to visit nearby atolls, lagoons, islands, and beaches. Arranging a private transfer means that you’ll be able to reach your resort from Male International Airport without much waiting time. The capital city Male is only 2.2 square miles in size, and thus you can reach most attractions on foot, but taxis are also available.
Secluded island resorts make Maldives one of the safest travel destinations in the world. Our top choices would be Soneva Jani on Medhafaru Lagoon in Noonu Atoll, and One&Only Reethi Rah on Reethi Rah Island in North Male Atoll. The latter is close to Male International Airport, and is an all-villa resort with an impressive spa and diving centre. Soneva Jani is further away but features spectacular water villas with private pools and slides that plunge you directly into the lagoon.
Lily Beach Resort & Spa on Huvahendhoo Island in Alifu Dhaalu Atoll offers an all-inclusive plan that lets you make the best of its luxurious water villas with glass floors and plunge pools, spa, restaurants, infinity pool, and tennis and volleyball courts. COMO Maalifushi in Thaa Atoll is a lovely retreat with proximity to several uninhabited islands where you may spot manta rays and hammerhead sharks, and great surfing spots. Niyama Private Islands consist of twin islands with contrasting ethos to ensure you have the best of both world. A treetop restaurant, an underwater eatery, and numerous excursions for kids and adults alike set this resort apart.
The ocean surrounding the Maldives is home to 21 species of dolphins and whales, and going on a dolphin watching cruise is one of the best ways to spend your evening. You could also enter the magical world of the underwater in a whale submarine. Alternatively, you can travel by traditional boats called dhonis or glass-bottomed ones for a clear view of the sea. But if possible, you should definitely try scuba diving in one of the reefs to see the coral walls. Snorkelling, surfing, fly-boarding, parasailing, jet-skiing and a plethora of other water sports are also possible. The Maldives also offers good scope for deep sea fishing, sand bank picnics, and other beach activities.
You visit the Maldives for its glorious beaches and underwater wonders, all wrapped in the silken threads of unbeatable luxury. There isn’t much sight-seeing to do per se, but your resort will organize many exciting excursions. They arrange visits to nearby uninhabited islands, dolphin watching cruises, snorkelling, village walks, and cultural entertainment. You will enjoy walking down the streets of the capital city Male and photographing its colourful building. The Islamic Centre houses a mosque and library, and is worth a visit for its beautiful golden dome.
World-class dining experiences will be a highlight of your Maldivian holiday; so don’t take them lightly! Luxury resorts feature stunning underwater, treetop, and seaside restaurants. Perhaps you’d like to dine in a secret jungle surrounded by the marvels of nature? Or would you like some wine education as a pre-cursor to your lavish dinner on the beach prepared by a seasoned chef? Dinner on a sandbank accompanied by Maldivian artists strumming out the best of local music and dance is bound to be an experience to remember, as would be breakfast preceded by a sunrise astronomy session.
What to Pack
It would be best to carry good quality sunscreen or sunblock, sunglasses, scarves, hats, and flip flops for the beach. In case you forget something, you can always pick it up at your hotel shop. Check out what amenities your resort provides, especially in-room facilities, so you don’t end up carrying something you’ll already have access to. Don’t forget beach-friendly dresses for the nightly parties and cruises, and swimming trunks and snorkelling gear if you possess them.