A Tropical Island Paradise -- Maldives is a Must See
From the calmness of the salt white beaches peppered with picturesque thatched roof villas to the crystal-clear turquoise waters and the myriad of activities thereby, traveling to Maldives is like stepping in to a dream
Rampant with natural beauty as it is, this tropical archipelago is a treat any time of the year. However, the dry period from November to April will give you more options to be outdoorsy. And since there are so many islands; all so widely dispersed, the touristy crowd that comes with a busy season most places, will not bother you here.
Of the country’s three international airports, you will most likely land at Velana International near the capital city of Male. For onwards travel to your resort, you will have to catch a ferry or, if the island is further out, a sea-plane. Public transport is provided by MTCC, though private charters are readily available (not 24/7, so don’t fail to plan!). If it isn’t already part of the resort booked, first time travelers are often caught off-guard by the exorbitant price of some of these transfers which may go north of $200.
A special feature of Maldivian transport are the traditional ‘dhonis’ or the local sailboats that service the water routes between the islands. The most economical way to get around, you mustn’t miss any opportunity to be closer to the coral abundant, pristine waters!
The Resort Life
Coming back to the gorgeous villas, the country is host to plenty of famed resorts like the Coco Prive (which hosts royalty and celebrities) and Four Seasons at Landaa Giraavaru. If you’re like me, you’ll need to explore your options to score a good deal on the handsomely priced accommodation and activities offered. Or you could splurge and book an all-inclusive, over-water bungalow, complete with a butler to serve your every whim and not another soul in sight!
Maldives is about the luxury experience and disconnect from technology, so the order of the day is to soak up sun rays as you dip your toes in a private pool, with occasional sips from your Pina Colada. But should you choose to be more active, there are spas, clubs and restaurants offering international cuisinewith settings that are as charming as they are unparalleled in design. An ideal setting for romantic getaways!
- This slice of the Indian Ocean has spectacular coral reefs and a peerless marine eco-system; every diver’s fantasy! Spotting the Big Five (manta rays, eagle rays, sharks, sea turtles and dolphins) is a top to-do list item but even if aquatic depths are not your terrain, the glass-like water exhibits fantastic flora and fauna that you can get close to with a bit of shallow snorkeling. The memories (& pictures) you take back will be well worth the trip!
- While not wholly exclusive to Maldives, underwater dining is taken to the next level when done at Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, the first one to be built 16 feet under, entirely of glass! You get to experience tantalizing European cuisine while sharks idle by. However, because of sunlight and heat during lunchtime, dinner is a much more rewarding affair at this ritzy restaurant!
- Resorts are created upon their own islands, so you may spend the entire vacation without seeing the true Maldives. With a bit of island hopping, you can witness the marvel of a star-spangled sea at Vadhoo Island or renascence of life and culture at Maafushi Island after it was devastated by the tsunami in 2004.
Whatever your preferences, Maldives will give you an experience of a lifetime!