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THE MAGICAL MALDIVES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Jet off for a taste of paradise on earth during an unforgettable holiday experience in the Maldives, an enchanting archipelago of about 1,200 spectacular sun-kissed coral islands in the Indian Ocean.

Maldives

The natural beauty and wonder in this idyllic destination is out of this world, with swaying palms, pristine sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and glorious reefs among the delights which await.

You’ll also discover luxurious accommodations, fabulous food, impeccable hospitality, and sports and leisure activities galore on the land and sea.

The Maldives offers the chance for solo travellers, romantic couples, fun-seeking families, and groups of friends to immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind holiday of a lifetime.

We've chosen to turn the spotlight on this sensational destination to reveal why it’s the perfect choice for a dream getaway in the sun.

Where are the Maldives?

The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an archipelagic country situated in Southern Asia, southwest of Sri Lanka and India, approximately 2,000kilometres from the Indian mainland and 220 kilometres north or the equator.

Maldives

The Maldives comprises 22 geographical atolls which are made up of a cluster of islands – these include Ari Atoll, the greater Malé Atoll, Baa Atoll, Vaavu Atoll and Rasdhoo Atoll.

The island capital of this smallest republic in Asia is Mal?, which is steeped in history and culture and home to around a quarter of all Maldivians.

While Vilimale' and Hulhumale' are part of the Greater Male' Region, the main population centres include Kulhudhufushi in the north, Addu Atoll and Thinadhoo in the South and Fuamulah. Dharavandhoo and Thoddoo are popular for their tourist guest houses.

What is the weather like in the Maldives and when is the best time to visit?

A great time to visit the Maldives is between November and April, which is outside of the monsoon season when you can expect low rainfall, low humidity and plenty of radiant sunshine.

Maldives

The Maldives enjoys glorious year-round sunshine, high temperatures, and blue skies. Temperatures are consistent at around 28ºC to 30ºC throughout the year, so there's no risk of you feeling cold and the conditions are perfect for outdoor fun and swimming in the sea.

The wet season in the Maldives – known as the South West Monsoon – runs from May to November. Downpours, strong winds and occasional thunderstorms make this a less appealing time to visit the islands, although holiday prices are generally lower at this time of year.

How long is the flight from the UK to the Maldives?

Flying time from the UK to the Maldives is around 10 to 11 hours and all flights land at Velana International Airport in North Mal? Atoll.

Maldives

You can fly to the Maldives from several major UK airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Glasgow, London Heathrow and London Gatwick.

British nationals can get a free tourist visa valid for 30 days and you must ensure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months.

What language is spoken in the Maldives?

The national language is Dhivehi, an Indo-Aryan language descended mainly from Sanskrit and Arabic, but most Maldivians can also speak English.

Staff at many Maldives resorts are also fluent in German, French, Mandarin and other international languages.

You'll get by perfectly well speaking English in the Maldives, but learning a few dhivehi phrases and words is a great way to impress the locals.

How are you transferred from the airport to your resort?

The most common form of transportation from Malé airport is by seaplane or speedboat. Some resorts can be reached by a short direct trip from Malé, while others require a connecting flight to another local airport closer to your resort.

What makes the Maldives so special?

The Maldives offers the chance to enjoy a unique holiday experience in blissful surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle associated with many other far-flung destinations.

Maldives

A holiday like no other here allows you to get closer to nature and allows you to immerse yourself in the spellbinding serenity and sublime relaxation of a jaw dropping tropical island destination.

Prepare to be wowed by powdery white sands, exotic flora and fauna, enthralling wildlife, tranquil lagoons and amazing coral reefs teeming with turtles, manta rays, white-tip sharks and other magnificent marine life.

Soak up the invigorating golden sunshine, discover the rich history and culture of the islands, savour the local culinary delights and take to the inviting Indian Ocean waters for a myriad of fun-packed activities.

You can also choose to simply chill out with a cocktail in a beach cabana or lounge beside your resort swimming pool, marvelling at the incredible beauty all around you.

What are the hotel resorts like in the Maldives?

The resorts in the Maldives are havens of luxury and relaxation, tastefully designed and built to fit in perfectly with the wonderful natural surroundings.

Maldives

Lavish accommodation options include opulent overwater villas on stilts and deluxe beachfront suites brimming with incredible amenities such as private infinity pools, outdoor rain showers, wooden decks, comfy cabanas, fully-stocked mini bars, and steps down into the glistening aquamarine Maldivian waters.

You’ll be surrounded by elegant furnishings and a plethora of superb amenities to ensure complete comfort, with breathtaking ocean, beach and lagoon views.

These charming barefoot hideaways also boast fine dining restaurants, plush spas, cutting-edge gyms, and superb swimming pools.

You'll also discover kids clubs for young guests, lively beachfront bars and wonderful programmes for evening entertainment.

What is there to see and do in the Maldives

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to fantastic things to see and do during your getaway in the sun-soaked Maldives.

Maldives

Your own resort is likely to have a host of activities which may include a choice of water sports, island-hopping trips, snorkelling and scuba diving, deep sea fishing, nature treks, mini submarine excursions, sandbank picnics, mini golf, tennis, squash, aqua aerobics and canoeing.

Many resorts also have their own spectacular spas for the ultimate pampering experience. Treatments and services include relaxing massages, body scrubs and wraps, rejuvenating facials, manicures and pedicures, reflexology, yoga sessions and meditation classes.

Apart from the delights of your own island, there are many attractions elsewhere in the Maldives which can be reached by seaplane, speedboat or traditional dhoni boat.

The capital Malé City is definitely worth visiting, with picturesque mosques, colourful buildings, superb shops, top-class restaurants and bustling fish market.

Other key sights in the city include the Republic Square, Sultan Park, Hulhumalé Beach, the Tomb of Mohammed Thakurufaanu, Old Friday Mosque, the National Art Gallery and Muleeaage, the official residence of the President of the Maldives.

Maldives

Hanifaru Bay in the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve is a must-see attraction where you’ll discover some of the largest gatherings of manta rays anywhere in the world.

The Addu Nature Park in Addu Atoll is home to the awe-inspiring Eydhigali Kilhi wetlands and features exotic mangroves, lovely lakes and scenic cycling routes through the verdant vegetation.

The Shipyard in Lhaviyani Atoll is a wonderful dive attraction where you'll find two incredible wrecks covered in coral and provide a home for many colourful marine creatures.

The Old Mosque in the island of Isdhoo is the place to see the oldest written records in the Maldives, a copper plate dating back to 1194.

What water sports are available in the Maldives?

The inviting waters surrounding the islands in the Maldives are aquatic playgrounds, providing the opportunity to enjoy a variety of sporting action, propelled by wind, motor, or muscle power.

Maldives

Popular water sports you’ll discover include jet blading, parasailing, jet skiing, wakeboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, flyboarding, kitesurfing, kayaking, kneeboarding, and windsurfing.

Other popular activities on the waves include sunset fishing trips on a traditional dhoni boat, sunset cruises on a catamaran and thrilling whale shark and dolphin-watching adventures.

You can also don a snorkel and flippers to explore coral reefs, lagoons and shipwrecks, climb aboard a banana boat for some white knuckle fun or take to a glass-bottomed boat to marvel at the marine life beneath the waves.

Many resorts also operate PADI-approved dive centres which provide all the gear you need, with trained professionals to help you develop your scuba diving skills.

Is there plenty to keep children entertained in the Maldives?

There’s no shortage of attractions and activities in the Maldives to provide a feast of fun for young guests.

Maldives

Many resorts operate excellent kids’ clubs, where children are supervised during a range of activities, allowing parents to spend some quality time together. Activities can include swimming and snorkelling, treasure hunts, arts and crafts, bracelet-making, shell-painting, mini discos and traditional sandcastle-building sessions on the beach.

Other attractions you’ll discover to keep the little ones entertained during their holiday in the Maldives include games rooms, kiddy pools, ball pits, waterslides and outdoor playgrounds.

What are the beaches like in the Maldives?

The beaches in the Maldives are out of this world – powdery white sands, turquoise waters, tranquil lagoons and towering palm trees create a picture-perfect postcard scene.

Maldives

The Maldives has it all – from long stretches of sand with safe and shallow waters for hours of family fun to secluded coves and bays for a relaxing time in total privacy.

The beaches are perfect for soaking up the sun and enjoying volleyball on the sands, as well as a romantic setting for couples to witness amazing sunsets and sip cocktails under the stars.

Many resorts hold evening barbecues on the sands, while some host traditional BoduBeru music and dance events, or movies under the stars in open-air beach cinemas. The Maldives is also a popular choice for couples who want to tie the knot in a delightful symbolic beach wedding ceremony.

Some of the most stunning beaches in the Maldives can be found on Veligandu Island, Cocoa Island, Baros, Thulusdhoo Island and Ukulhas Island.

Are there any shopping and nightlife in the Maldives?

Some hotels in the Maldives have their own boutiques and souvenirs shops, but you’ll need to visit the capital Malé for some serious retail therapy.

The city is home to everything from lively local street markets and craft stalls to high-end fashion stores and duty-free shops.

The Maldives is not brimming with pulsating nightclubs and big-seater music venues, but you will find some excellent venues, including Subsix, the world's first underwater nightclub and restaurant in Per Aquum Niyama Private Islands Resort. Malé is home to cinemas, cultural landmarks and high-class eateries.

Many of the hotels on the islands offer some diverse and engaging entertainment, with karaoke nights, discos, traditional Maldivian dancing and live music acts among the many delights.

What is the food and drink like in the Maldives?

The Maldives has something to excite the palate of every visitor, with flavoursome traditional dishes and local specialities to tantalise your taste buds.

Maldives

Seafood features heavily in the islands, with most resort restaurants serving a range of freshly-caught delights including lobster, octopus, tuna, dorado, wahoo, barracuda and swordfish.

Fragrant curries, sizzling barbecued fare, global cuisine buffets and delicious fresh fruit are among the other culinary joys you’ll savour.

Maldivian cuisine is a fusion of Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabic and oriental aromas and flavours, Much-loved dishes include Garudhiya (fish soup), Kukulku riha (chicken curry), Mashuni (shredded smoked tuna and coconut) and Boashi Mashuni (banana flower salad).

Delicious local desserts include Saagu Bondibai (sago pudding) and Aluvi Boakibaa (cassava coconut cake), while the Maldivian Lady is a hugely popular local drink made with white rum, apricot brandy, grenadine orange, and pineapple juice.

Discover the magic of the Maldives on a fabulous sunshine holiday. Start planning your escape today at Destination2.co.uk.