Five reasons to visit the Maldives
Written by: Richard Farrell
The Maldives are a group of coral atolls and sand bars 620 miles south west of the southern tip of India. It’s no wonder lovers of pretty views and water sports flock there, given the average altitude of just seven feet above the ocean. Our children may be the last generation to enjoy paradise before melting ice caps raise sea levels. It’s the perfect fly and flop destination, but also great if water sports are your thing.
Visit a luxury island with plenty to do
Resorts like the Lily Beach Resort on the island of Huvahendhoo can be reached via a short but exhilarating sea plane ride from the Maldivian capital, Malé. Water sports equipment is waiting for you, so grab your costume and start swimming, snorkelling, canoeing and whatever else takes your fancy. They boast the best in jet blades if you are feeling adventurous, or you could snorkel among glittering coral fish all day long. Let loose on a private jet-ski ride instead or maybe take a more leisurely trip in a glass bottom canoe through the shallow water.
Become a half-decent scuba diver before you go home
There are diving experts on many islands waiting to turn novices into half-decent scuba divers for a fee. Imagine swimming deep among the atolls. Watch fusiliers, jacks, napoleon wrasse, parrotfish, snappers and sweetlips close up before they flick away. If you are feeling adventurous you might allow your personal guide to tempt you into a deep water channel, or a cave where who knows what you might find. Or you could swim away from the atolls and sand bars and stumble over manta rays. Gigantic but reassuringly docile whale sharks live here year-round. You’ll find them on the west side of the archipelago from May to December, and further east the rest of the year. In the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, learning to dive is a pleasure and if you began your holiday as a beginner, you’ll wonder why you never took the plunge before.
Paddle board over a marine wonderland
Some islands, like Anantara Kihavah, have a ring of coral right around them, sheltering gorgeous seaweeds among sunken, sandy beaches. They cherish these do-not-touch treasures so they offer stand up paddle boards instead of dives. Drift slowly across the surface and glimpse spectacular sights through crystal water. After you master the balancing bit – which can be surprisingly easy – you’ll feel a bit like a pioneering seafarer visiting these magical islands for the first time. The Maldivians have made a great job of preserving their marine treasure chest. Visit soon, before coral bleaching becomes a major challenge.
Visit an inhabited island for a more authentic Maldivian experience
Not all the islands of the Maldives are exclusive resorts. Local fishing communities inhabit a large number of them and the government works hard to protect their culture. However, some resorts do offer tours to nearby inhabited islands. In fact, that’s where they source most of their staff whose gratitude for work shines through in caring service. Visit for a few hours and wander freely among traditional homesteads, sampling local delicacies and purchasing locally made handicrafts.
Find good surf breaks in the middle of the ocean
You’ll find shoulder-to-head-high surfing breaks off the Malé, Central and South Atolls. There are barrels and long fun waves a-plenty, although you are unlikely to break any world records. Being out in the ocean provides the best thrills between April to October, although the other months also have good waves. The swell is remarkably consistent off the Maldives. However the best thing is the lack of crowds at a luxury island resort. You and your friends can be out on the water with often nobody else in sight.
Planning an Indian Ocean getaway? Why not give Mundana a call to see where they can take you?