Destinations – The Maldives

The Maldives are renowned as a romantic holiday destination and this island paradise certainly makes a great honeymoon spot. However, Maldives holidays are also a fantastic choice for those seeking a little adventure or activity. There are some great surfing spots which are easy to access from the resorts, especially in the Central and South Atolls. For those seeking underwater adventures, the Maldives offer crystal clear waters with amazing visibility, stunning coral reefs and plentiful marine life for world-class scuba diving and snorkelling.

Most people fly into Velana International Airport on the island of Hulhule, a short shuttle bus ride to the capital, Male. The only UK airline offering direct flights currently is British Airways and the average flight time is just over ten hours. After you land in Velana, you’ll need to hop on a boat or seaplane to get to your chosen destination. Generally, you’ll be prompted to arrange this in advance with your tour operator and resort. Don’t leave it to chance. Getting to the Maldives is the easy bit, it’s landing at your chosen resort that requires a little planning.

The Maldives is a collection of islands, each with its own resorts and character, so choose with care. If your priority is to hit the waves with your board, check out the top surf spots before booking. If you’re honeymooning, you might want to pick one of the luxury resorts with water villas and spas.

In terms of timing your visit, the peak season for Maldives holidays is December to April and prices are at their highest during this time. However, Maldivian weather is pretty amazing all year round, so if you’re seeking a luxury holiday without the price tag, consider booking offseason for some great deals.

It’s important to remember that the Maldives is a Muslim country and while it’s well set-up for Western tourists hitting the beach in bikinis, it’s still quite conservative, so bear this in mind when at the airport and other places beyond the beach. Certainly, if you plan to visit any of the islands’ sacred and religious sites, you’ll need to cover up. It’s also a dry country, so you won’t be able to bring duty-free booze into the country. Don’t worry, almost all resorts are licensed to serve alcohol, but there is a steep markup — all the more reason for booking an all-inclusive Maldives holiday.

If you’re planning to island hop or visit the capital, it’s good to know that many of the islands have their own time — typically an hour behind Male. “Island Time” gives you an extra hour to enjoy the sun and its surprising how quickly this relaxes you into that chilled holiday vibe.

There are plenty of guides to must-sees and dos in the Maldives. From snorkelling, surfing lessons and island hopping to visiting sacred sites and nature parks — I’ll let you explore these for yourself. But one thing you absolutely must try is the Maldivian cuisine. There’s nothing quite like sipping fresh coconut water while lounging on white sands under brilliant sun-filled skies. Coconut is a big part of Maldivian cooking and adds a deliciously rich and sweet flavour. If you’re keen to eat like a local, some traditional dishes include — Garudhuya (fragrant fish soup), Mas Huni (smoked Tuna served with coconut) and Masroshi (chapati stuffed with smoked tuna and coconut). For foodies, the Maldives truly are a dream destination.

Don’t discount the Maldives as a haven only for honeymooners or those wishing to do nothing but lie on the beach all day. With each resort claiming an island, there truly is a Maldives holiday for everyone.

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