Welcome to the Maldives, where sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream and the deep rays of the sun wait to engulf you their arms.
Maldives has deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees. It is also a place full of character, where its people have long spent their days languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with a cocktail balanced on your hand, it is also a geographical marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you sit.
There is a wide variety of resorts to choose from depending if you are looking for a romantic, water-sport-geared or maybe a Robinson Crusoe-type of vacation.
Huvafen Fushi is a resort that features an underwater spa where travellers can get massaged to the rhythms of the reef or wrapped in riches of the sea’s natural ingredients while surrounded by the colours of the undersea realm. The Shangri La’s Villingili Resort and Spa boasts luxurious accommodation options including private ocean retreats and tropical tree house villas. After you have taken time to relax and unwind there are a number of things to do. Excursions run from windsurfing, catamaran trips, sailing, surfing, fishing or island hopping.
Maldives is home to some of the most diverse marine fauna and flora in the world. Tens of thousands of reefs, a thousand recorded species of fish, over 200 species of coral and hundreds of species of other marine life. There are thousands of dive sites, so numerous that you can literally swim from one to the other.
Resorts also offer visitors the opportunity to savour the beauty of the Maldives from the air. Organized photo flights by seaplane can be found at resorts or there is the option of arranging your own aerial expedition.
Malé is the international airport, and usually transfers by speedboat or seaplane to your accommodation is arranged by the resort.
One of the most exciting places to visit in Malé is the fish market which comes to life in the afternoon when the local fishing boats start arriving with the catch. Just further to the west is the local market which consists of a series of stalls that stock the produce of islands from all over Maldives.
There are a few dos and don’ts on the Maldives for visitors. Everyone is expected to cover themselves properly when visiting inhabited islands and Malé. This means shorts and a shirt for men and women are expected to cover their bodies and thighs — beachwear is for the resort. Traditionally Maldivians eat with their fingers. If you wish to follow the local tradition keep in mind that it is considered unhygienic to touch food with the left hand, if in doubt use a spoon. Finally, be conscious of the delicate local environment, do not touch or pick corals when diving or snorkeling.
The weather in the Maldives is usually picture perfect: sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, and iridescent sunsets. The temperature hardly ever changes — which makes packing for your holiday an easy task. With the average temperature at about 30 C throughout the year, the sun is a constant on most days, shining through treetops, creating lacy patterns on your feet, healing cold-bones with its warmth. Throughout the day, the sun will make itself known, ensuring that it will be remembered and missed, like an old friend, as you pack up your suitcases to leave.