By : Lavinia Woolf
The beautiful archipelago of the Maldives offers all the comforts of a sunny holiday in paradise. Plan ahead to make the most of the gorgeous ocean, beaches and sunny leisure activities.
The Maldives is a tropical archipelago country made up of 1192 coral island laid out across the Indian Ocean. The islands are clustered into 26 coral atolls that are dotted with places to stay catering to the influx of sun worshipers that visit the islands.
Look forward to soothingly warm waters for swimming, diving and other water-based activities. Temperatures range around 30 degrees Celsius promising steady warm temperatures throughout the year. There is a bit of heavy rainfall in the Maldives around the months of April through October which is when the southwest monsoons hit the islands. There is extra rainfall again from June to August, but not as heavy as the Monsoon months.
If you are a diving enthusiast consider the months furthest from the monsoon season and you will be well rewarded. The waters surrounding the atolls are extremely clear and harbour an abundance of marine life–clear views to depths of up to 50 meters are possible in most parts of the ocean.
Most international flights arrive at the Male International Airport located on the capital island of Male, with the exception of the Gan Airport which is located on the Addu Atoll and accommodates flights to and from Milan. Basic transport in the Maldives is by boat or seaplane.
Passenger ships do not take the risk of meandering around the rocky atolls, as such, all tourists arrive by air. A boat is the equivalent to a car in the Maldives and is a convenient mode of transport for zipping around the coral islands. Seaplanes fly from one atoll to another and are basically the local taxis.
Air taxis are operated by the Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian Airways (since no destination within the country is more than 90 minutes away) and are quite popular amongst tourists. Transportation over water is by public ferries that are cheap but irregular. Semi-public ferries that charge a nominal fee and charter speed boats are readily available at a higher price.
What to See in Maldives
Some of the best experiences to be had in the Maldives are within the sleepy villages. Take on an excursion into the inhabited islands and you’ll find the traditional fishing villages are quite colourful, often complete with swings and the time honouredl holhuashi–a type of summer house made up of logs and thatched roof. Theholhuashi are generally located around the beach where local fishermen gather in the evenings for a sunset drink. Hang around and partake in a game of cards, or go out in search of traditional handicrafts.
Exploring an uninhabited island is another method of rewarding the senses and in the Maldives there are plenty of virgin islands to explore. Enjoy the tranquillity and unspoilt beauty of the islands as you bask under the warm glow of sunny skies.
Taking a glass bottomed boat ride across the coral reefs offer stunning views of the colourful life beneath the waves. As mentioned above, the ocean surrounding the Maldives is extremely clear and offer excellent views of the marine life below.
Things to do in the Maldives
Water-based activities take precedence in the Maldives. And quite rightfully, most visitors arrive in the country hungry for the gorgeous sunshine and time on the ocean.
Fishing expeditions are the most popular since the waters are teeming with all manner of fish. Reel in a bountiful catch whether you are a pro or amateur by taking on a fishing tour in Maldives. Night fishing takes the sport to a higher level as visitors sail into a setting sun for catching the silvery fish that are found under the light of the moon.
The Maldives is home to some of the best dive spots in the world, such as Banana Reef where you can swim with dolphins and catch sights of the elusive whale shark. Kayak around to the nearby islands, take on an island hopping tour complete with picnics on deserted islands, swim in the warm ocean or simply do nothing as you lie back on the powdery white sand beaches, and enjoy the best of a tropical paradise.
About the author: Intrigued by history, art and food, Lavinia Woolf is a writer who is passionate about the extraordinary and writes of the exhilarating and enchanting wonders of the world.
Photos courtesy of Anantara Dhigu Maldives.