Ankur and I were mountain-lovers until a few years ago. We loved the wild flowers on the Himalayan slopes and the snow covered peaks. Neither of us knows how, when and why, our love for the mountains succumbed to that for beaches. Now, we are drawn to sandy and rocky beaches alike and hence, are completely enamored by Maldives. It is amongst the few countries that we have revisited…and we would love to go back again and again!
If you haven’t been to Maldives till date, here are twenty reasons to put this mesmerising island nation on your travel map…
- Visa: A thirty day free visa entry is issued to all nationalities on arrival.
- Flight: A return flight to Male from India/SriLanka can cost as little as USD 250 per person.
- Sea Plane: A sea plane flight sure is exciting…taking off and landing on water. The views of the atolls from up above will make you swoon.
- Water Bungalows: Maldives is amongst that few places in the world that provides an option of staying in water bungalows… step into the ocean lagoon straight from your sun deck.
- Beaches: Sandy, sun kissed beaches are picture perfect….every picture will look like a postcard.
- Oceanic Lagoon: Most atoll are surrounded by a coral wall that break the high waves before they hit the shores. Thus, the oceanic lagoon is the perfect swimming pool created by Nature.
- Weather: It’s always warm and sunny in Maldives, even during the off season months from June – September, when it might rain for a couple of hours a day (still having over 6 hours of bright sunshine each day).
- Diving: The atolls are breathing with live corals, flying fish and mega marine life forms, including turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. Every resort has a dive school to let you bubble in the depths of the ocean. Male has plenty of dive schools that are much cheaper than those in the resorts.
- Snorkelling: Don’t want to don the cylinder and dive in deep blue ocean? No worries! Snorkelling in Maldives is like swimming in an aquarium!
- Water Sports: Sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and more…there is enough and more to keep you busy.
- Surfing: While typical island resorts are surrounded by a calm lagoon, there are few islands that let you ride the waves, a majority of the locations being suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers only.
- Luxury: If you have the money to spend, you have the option of vacationing in uber luxury resorts that cost over USD 1500 per night.
- Spas: Spoil yourself and pamper yourself silly in the spas. As we lay on the massage table, face downward, parrot fish entertained us by swimming round and round in circles…and we could see the show as the spa stood on stilts in the ocean lagoon and the floor was made of glass.
- Budget: If you are a budget traveller, do not despair. You can enjoy the sun and sand by staying a bed and breakfast at Male which may cost you as low as USD 100 per night.
- Privacy: Whether you are staying in a luxury resort or in a budget B&B, you can always hop onto a day trip that takes you to an uninhabited island with a picnic basket for ideal the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ feeling.
- Food: Maldivian cuisine offers delightfully fresh sea food. Vegetarians, do not despair. We loved the cocnut based vegetable curry, made in the Maldivian style.
- Sunsets: The Maldivian islands have shown us some of the most colourful sunsets that we have ever seen!
- Visit before its too late: Global warming and rise in oceanic water levels might result in islands going down under…visit before its too late!
- People: The Maldivians are a friendly bunch, especially the staff in the resorts. Being a tourist destination, service levels are high to ensure that you have a happy vacation.
- Packing: How much would you want to carry if you want to spend the entire day at the beach or in the sea? A small backpack with a couple shorts, t-shirts and swim wear…and you are all set to leave. Don’t forget the camera!
So, when are you off to Maldives?