Visit the pearl of the Indian Ocean to witness one of the best tropical experience with unlimited island hopping, spas, retreats, and more.
Once you see the Maldives, you can only wonder how grey your life has been. The matchless hospitality, stunning white-sand beaches, and an astounding underwater world make the Maldives a heavenly choice for a true holiday of a lifetime.
With far stretched white sandy beaches reflecting the scintillating blues of the turquoise ocean, Maldives is an archipelago that forms a pearl-like string of islands covering an area of no less than 298km². What set it apart is its unique topography. The tropical islands are located on the top of a vast underwater mountain range with around 1190 islands and sandbanks. These islands are encircled by a lagoon that has been blessed with pellucid crystal water. A dive into any of the 26 vivid coral atolls brimming with aquatic life will make you experience your ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara‘ moment.
But why do the Indians specifically go for the pearl of the Indian Ocean when it comes to spending a lavish vacation?
Live with no excuses, and travel with no regrets; Why the Maldives?
1. Location & shorter flying hours: The atolls of Maldives lie South-West of India. The location and shorter flight duration, which usually lasts to around 2 hours 30 minutes to 3 hours, make the Maldives convenient to travel. The most popular airlines offering a flight to Malé International Airport, the prime airport in the Maldives, are Indigo, Spice Jet, Jet Airways, Air India, and Sri Lankan Airlines.
2. Free Visa on Arrival: There are no pre-arrival visa requirements to enter the Maldives. A 30-day visa on arrival is issued on the discretion of immigration, free of cost. A Tourist Visa would allow one to stay in the Maldives for a duration of 30 days which can be extended for another period of 60 days.
3. Resorts for all: The specialty about resorts in the Maldives is that each resort is on its own private island. A choice of more than 100 resorts offering top-notch facilities makes it very difficult for the tourists to choose for their tropical getaway. There are plenty of resorts providing a luxurious and comfortable stay at the islands at different budgets.
4. Remarkable beaches: the Maldives is the home to some of the best and cleanest beaches in the world. With more than 1000 islands, the marvelous beaches would never disappoint you with their snow-white sands solely enough as a sight of attraction for the tourists to this paradise.
5. Enjoy the ocean from above, below and side: The Maldives offers the best water activities for the public. One can enjoy the Indian Ocean from above, below and side. Diving and snorkeling in the clear waters of the Maldives with vivid and dazzling corals, majestic caves and schools of brilliantly colored tropical fish when you reach the reef. Some of the water sports to indulge in include Canoeing & Catamaran sailing, jet-skiing, Kayaking and so on. Though a bit on the expensive side, seaplanes offer the best Maldivian experience by taking you on a voyage across breathtaking aerial views.
6. Blend with the rich Culture of Maldives: The Maldives provides much more than just the beautiful beaches and the lovely weather. It is blessed with a rich culture and heritage. Two of the most cultural experiences to look for in the islands is to make sure to catch a sight of the popular Maldivian folk dance, Bodu Beru and riding in the Maldivian boat Dhoni.
7. Rekindle romance from the movies with Bioluminescent beach: Remember the glowing waves that emit light in the nighttime? Watch as the sea of stars fulfills all your wishes at Vaadhoo Island in Raa Atoll. The phytoplankton dinoflagellates emit luminescent toxins with the moving waves to as its way to keep away fish and other creatures. Despite being a not-so-scientifically-friendly phenomenon, it will give you a luminescence memory for a lifetime.
Best time to get lost in the blues
The average temperature ranges from 23ºC-31ºC and days are usually hot and sunny all year round. The best time to visit the Maldives begins from the months of October-November and extends till the months of March-April. The Maldives has two main seasons- the dry season and the monsoon season. The monsoon peaks in June with the northern atolls having the highest rainfalls. The windy and sunny weather makes November-December the best time to visit the islands.
Popular Atolls and Islands for a stay
1. Maafushi Island, Kaafu Atoll
Maafushi, known as the tropical paradise in the Kaafu Atoll, is known for its sparkling ocean waters, splendid resorts and thrilling activities. An island that encountered unimaginable destructions at the hands of tsunami 2004 would have been nothing without the optimistic and cheerful inhabitants. One can reach Maafushi by boat or ferry as it stands at a distance of 27 km from Male Island. A lot of activities can be done like snorkeling in the banana reef, diving, shopping, sunbathing at Bikini beach, lounging in steel-framed hammocks and swimming with wild dolphins (if you dare). A lot of shipwrecks can also be spotted. Couples can take a romantic island hopping tour on a boat. For an exclusive stay, COMO Cocoa Island is one of the best amongst the lot with its own private island. Some other great options are Anantara Veli Maldives Resort, Samann Grand and Hotel Jen Malé.
2. North Male Atoll
North Male Atoll is the principle Atoll of the Maldives and includes the island capital of Malé. This particular Atoll is home to several historical sites which include the Grand Friday Mosque, Hulhumale Mosque, Mulee Aage, Medhu Ziyaarath, Hukuru Miskiiy, and National Museum. North Atoll is the best place to get to know about the local culture and traditions while enjoying the sunkissed white beaches and being part of elegant cruises. It consists of 50 islands and several small islets. A few islands worth seeing include Giraavaru, Hembadhoo, Bando, and Eriyadhoo. The Atoll is the closest to the airport and can be reached easily by speed boats. Centara Ras Fushi Resort & Spa offers the best tropical retreat exclusively for adults located on a private island. Some other A-class resorts for a rich experience are- Taj Coral Reef Resort & Spa, Eriyadu Island Resort and Bandos.
3. Lhaviyani Atoll
Lhaviyani Atoll, also known as Faadhippolhu Atoll, is an administrative division of the Maldives which holds a rich history. Maafilaafushi Island was resettled during the 1980s. It comprises of 54 islands with only five inhabited ones- Naifaru, Hinnavaru, Kurendhoo, and Olhuvelifushi. This Atoll serves as the perfect mixture of touristy activities such as cruises, watersports, fishing snorkeling, and glistening beaches. Some of the popular resorts include Hurawalhi island Resort, Kuredu Resort, Fushifaru Maldives and Innahura Maldives Resort.
4. South Ari Atoll
Also known as Alifu Dhaalu atoll, this Atoll is one of the natural atolls of Maldives. It includes a mixture of resort islands, airport islands, and industrial islands. It has 20 islands designated especially for the tourists, which include Bodukaashihuraa, Hanghghaameedhoo, Vilamendhoo, Dhangethi, Maafushivaru, and Nalaguraidhoo. Nalaguraidhoo, in particular, was opened as a Sun Island resort in 1996 and is an island where shearwater birds dig their burrows. It is one of the prime attractions for romantic stays. Honeymooners can enjoy stunning beaches, glistening blue waters, and lush greenery. The best stays for the lovers to experience this paradise of nature are Angaga Island Resort & Spa, Vakarufalhi Island Resort, Sun Island Resort, and Vilamendhoo Island Resort.
Overall, Maldives gives you an excellent array of nature, food, culture, cuisines and the best hospitality in the island history. Watching the amber filled skies while the sun sets on the horizon, walking hand in hand on the vast palm-fringed beaches and rejuvenating your souls with the fresh sea breeze- all of this accounts for a magical tour of a lifetime. Ready for a picture-perfect moment? Lay back and relax as you watch your dreams coming true!
We will keep updating this article and adding more such unique and beautiful places and hotels. Stay put to check out the best deals on popular hotels and resorts.