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The Maldives is Paradise

VIEW GALLERY 1 Photos

1 – A Majestic Welcome

The moment you stepped out of the airport, turquoise blue sea, tropical warm weather and the windy sea breeze will majestically greet you. Unlike in any other airports, sight of yachts, sailboats, speedboats and even seaplanes are a regular sight just a few steps outside the international airport. 

On a lucky day, at the right weather, a congregation of dolphins gracefully swimming like ballerinas, within sight of the airport perimeter, will greet onlookers.

Not a common sight in other airports around the world!

maldives-port-with-yatcht-and-people-around
Various sea transportation infront of the Velana International Airport to transport visitors in various island destinations.

2 – Idyllic Islands

About 99% of The Maldives Island is body of water, comprising of about 1,200 coral islands scattered across, in groups of 26 naturally occurring atolls, divided into 20 administrative areas. An atoll is a group of islands with a reef that nearly encloses a ring-like lagoon.

Upon stepping into your island transport from the airport, the view becomes breathtakingly beautiful, sightings of pristine tropical islands, with powdery white beaches enclosed in varying shades of blue sea, and with lush tropical vegetation appear one after the other, while each island is completely different from the next, they all share one awesome description, stunning landscape.

From a speedboat view of pristine white sandy beaches enclosed in varying shades of blue sea.

3 – Postcard Perfect Sandbanks

The splendid beauty of nature in The Maldives is never ending. The unspoiled beauty of expansive soft coral sand, clearly contrasting the azure blue sea, with the calm and inviting waves, are a common sight to describe the sandbanks in The Maldives archipelago. There are sandbanks which appear only on low tides and completely vanishes in the horizon when the tides are high.

 

For honeymooners, the excitement of intimacy spent in a private sandbank all for the two of you, for one whole day can be arranged. Umbrellas, sun loungers, and beach tables can be set up to complete the sandbank adventure.

4 – Luxury Overwater Bungalows in a Private Island

Overwater bungalows of Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives and a private island of the Sun Siyam Group, Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives.

A long-awaited, laid back perfect tropical getaway—sans crowds—is only a few minutes away from the airport via any sea transport. For those looking for a more laid-back, quieter and with an elegant and sophisticated feel, there are hidden pristine beach vacations in Maldives, over 100 of them scattered around the archipelago in a private resort, secluded in a private island, indeed a world apart.

One island, one resort concept of Maldives, Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives is one of the resorts in a private island in The Maldives.

The “one island, one resort” concept of Maldives, has always been known for catering to luxury travelers seeking reclusive and private vacations.  Maldives is teeming with the presence of major hotel operators with the best resorts in the world offering premier designed luxury overwater bungalows with easy access to placid turquoise seas, warm Maldivian waters, overflowing with various marine life, from colorful fishes, manta rays and on a lucky evening, with a glow-in-the dark plankton view which makes the ocean glow in the dark like stars.

Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives is one of the luxury resorts in Maldives with individual infinity pool in a private balcony of a water villa.

These bungalows are drenched in luxury, where an image of an underwater suite is one of the best attractions where one can sleep over the Indian Ocean below you and watch marine life through a glass floor in the living room or lay lazily in your very own jacuzzi inside your suite. A few steps outside is a private terrace for supreme lounging as you gaze out at the emerald blue sea, a private plunge pool, plus an ocean hammock, where one can bask in the sun in the privacy of your own overwater bungalow.

Sail in the private yacht of Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives and pamper yourself in its traditional Maldivian spa.

Luxury does not end in one’s overwater bungalow, be pampered like a queen in the resort’s tropical spa, offering the best spa services in the region, be mesmerized in the rich marine life of the Indian Ocean with the world class snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. Some resorts even offer a separate island for travelers, with its own villa, its own spa treatment center and its own luxury yacht.

Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives have several several restaurants and bars for your dining pleasure or simply dine by the beach.

Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives have several luxury and infinity pools, for family and kiddy pools.

An affordable luxury accommodation in the Maldives can be experienced at the Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives. I will be posting a review of this private resort in a separate post. You can jump into their website to see the splendor of Olhuveli at https://www.sunsiyam.com/resorts/olhuveli-maldives/

5 – Camp with the Locals

The 1,200 islands that make the paradise that is Maldives, only about 200 are inhabited. Half of these inhabited islands have been developed into private resort islands that I have described above, these private resort islands offer tourists their own private hideaway, while the local islands of Maldives can be an alternative to these private resort islands, with absolutely stunning beaches, some as beautiful as the private resort islands.

Maafushi Welcome Sign
Maafushi is the closest local island from Male, capital of Maldives.

For travelers who want to enjoy the “resort holiday in a local island” without spending thousands on accommodation, food and excursions, the local islands are a good alternative to private resort islands.  The local islands offer activities that are likewise being offered by private resort islands such as snorkeling on stunning coral reefs, deep sea diving, whale shark and manta ray watching, picnic in an isolated sandbank, fishing, and the list goes on. However, these local islands designate areas where one can wear “bikinis” as well as designate areas where “alcohol” is served. In some local islands, there are “Floating Bars” where tourists can drink alcohol, dine and dance in the middle of the remote Indian Ocean.

Floating bar menu
Floating Bar where one can drink alcohol, dine and dance in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

The closest local island to Male, the capital of Maldives is Maafushi. Located at the South Male Atoll, Maafushi is well developed for mid to budget tourism. This is a local inhabited island with the most guest houses in the country, around 40, with a huge range of accommodations from guest houses to “luxury” hotels. Arena Grand Beach is one of them, this will be described in detail in my other post.

For travelers who fancy surfing and are looking for a famous and internationally recognized surf destination, Thulusdoo is for you.  Located at North Male Atoll and is easily accessible by speedboat. There are daily private transfers if through speedboats or via local dhoni, transfers are likewise daily except on Fridays.

Other popular local island options are at the Ari Atoll,  Mahibadhoo, Dhangethi, and Dhigurah Islands. These islands are up and coming as alternatives to private resort islands, mainly because they are teeming with rich marine life such as whale sharks and mantas. Each has its individual charms.

6 – Dine By the Beach

Experience gastronomic food served “buffet style by the beach” or just in the seclusion of your overwater bungalow or choose from a variety of restaurants and bars.

Breakfast at Arena Grand Beach in Maafushi.
Breakfast at Arena Grand Beach in Maafushi.

Dine by the beach or in any of the luxury restaurants and bars of Olhuveli Beach and Spa Maldives.

Experience the morning breeze of Maldives while savoring the warm aroma of your morning coffee. Or have your tea in the afternoon siesta in the privacy of your terrace while lounging in the private pool of your overwater bungalow gazing in the endless horizon of the magical azure lagoon.

7 – Experience Night Fishing the Maldivian Style

Fishing is the lifeblood of Maldivians. Half of the Maldivian workforce population are into the fishing industry. Fishing is an art practiced by the locals and nowadays, it’s an attraction passed on to tourists to experience this adventure using the traditional hand lines and raw fish as bait because there are several fishing prohibitions in Maldives such as reef fishing, gun fishing, net fishing, trawl fishing, and the list goes on and on.

On a magical starlit Maldivian sky, get awed and experience night fishing, the local Maldivian style.  This adventure can be experienced by the whole family, including kids, in a form of an outing and a memorable evening cruise beyond the sunset horizon, and if you are lucky enough, to bring these nocturnal fish from the ocean to your chef’s grill and partake of them in a gastronomic family meal treat.

“From sea to grill” and into our plates.

10 –Watching Dolphins Perform Simultaneous High Jump

A Maldives vacation in an exotic Indian Ocean destination may not be complete without a dolphin watching trip. Dolphin watching trips are offered by private resorts and tour operators in the local islands which is one of the most popular excursions among the tourists. Depending on weather conditions and season, resorts and tour operators cannot guarantee that tourists will see dolphins. Since there are tens of thousands of Spinner species of dolphins in the Maldivian seas, you will be fortune to spot some. There seven other different species of dolphin in Maldives, other than the Spinner, to name a few,  Spotted, Striped, Fraser’s Bottlenose, Rough-toothed, and Rissos. Maldivian specialities, which are frequently seen here but hardly ever anywhere else, include Dwarf Sperm Whale, Melon-headed Whale and Tropical Bottlenose Whale (long considered the rarest whale in the World, but now known to be a Maldives resident). You may also be lucky enough to spot a pod of magnificent Killer Whales (Orcas), which contrary to popular belief do not live only in cold waters.

You may not have realized this before, but with our unbeatable diversity and abundance of whales and dolphins, plus warm clear waters, Maldives really is one the very best places in the world for whale and dolphin watching.

Mid-morning trips between 9am to 10:30am and late-afternoon between 3:30pm until 5pm is one of the best changes of seeing dolphins. Morning sightings are fewer, while in the afternoon, big congregation of dolphins are probable. In the morning, if the boat gets closer, they tend to go deeper down the blue sea. However, dolphins tend to be “friendlier” in the afternoon, they follow the boats. The slower the boat goes, the closer the dolphins will be. Dolphins are known in interacting with humans in humorous ways, like if humans clap and applause, they usually respond and behave like performers, by doing a simultaneous high jump.

8 – Picturesque Underwater Reefs

Maldives is synonymous to an animated natural aquarium abounding with lively and colorful sea creatures, while the underwater landscape is manicured with vibrant coral reefs and subaqueous vegetation.

The archipelago is blessed with 1,200 paradise islands endowed with infinite and enchanting playground lined with coral reefs, which are inhabited by countless species of fascinating marine life.

The powdery white sandy beach, the calm and crystal clear waters, and the azure lagoon is an inviting sight for snorkelers, both first-timers and avid ones.

Most of the overwater bungalows in the private island resorts offer a direct access to the lagoon, just a few steps off your bungalow, the shallow water of the lagoon is abounding with countless variety of sea species, reef fishes of all colors and sizes, alone or in groups, other aquatic creatures and lively coral formations.

On your lucky day, a few meters from your bungalow, there are sightings of dolphins, rays, reef sharks, sea turtles, flying fish, squids, and other endless possibilities of a variety of marine life.

Resorts and local tour operators like iComTours.com, also offer excursions to other parts of the archipelago, where a boat ride or a dhoni is rented to go on a snorkeling trip. There are a few popular snorkeling spots in the North Male Atoll such as the Bandos Island, the Baros Island, and the Fihalholi Island just a few minutes from Male, the capital of Maldives or opt to go further to the South Ari Atoll, Moofushi, Machchafushi, Mandhoo, and Vilamendhoo where the South Ari Atoll is famous for large water species where the famed whale shark farms are located, and these giant mammals grow from 20 to 40 feet in size.

Photo credit: Zette

9 – Cruise in a Safari Boat to See Whale Sharks

The South Ari Atoll alone accounts for nearly 3% of the global shark ecotourism where a small group of whale sharks can be found in a single location, according to a study by scientist of the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP).  The South Ari Atoll is a Marine Protected Area (S.A.MPA) which attracts tourists and brings direct income to operators in Maldives who offer a wildlife viewing experience of this gentle and charismatic giants.

These 20-feet marine giants are inhabitants all year-round in Maldives, mostly at the western side of the Indian Ocean from May to December, then heading to the east until April. Although whale sharks are staggering and overwhelming in size, they are harmless to humans, feeding mainly on plankton. Maldivian visitors dream of swimming alongside the largest marine inhabitants in this side of the Indian Ocean, luckily, there are a handful of destinations in Maldives where in-season sightings of whale sharks are almost guaranteed, the common species of whales in Maldives are the Blue Whale, Sperm Whale and Pilot Whale, there are rare species of whales, hardly seen elsewhere in the globe but frequently seen here, include, Tropical Bottlenose Whale – one of the rarest whale in the world, the Dwarf Sperm Whale, and the Melon-headed. Lucky tourist may also spot a group of gigantic Killer Whales, popularly known as Orcas, as told in books and contrary to popular belief, also inhabits the tropical oceans not just in cold waters.

10 –Watching Dolphins Perform Simultaneous High Jump

A Maldives vacation in an exotic Indian Ocean destination may not be complete without a dolphin watching trip. Dolphin watching trips are offered by private resorts and tour operators in the local islands which is one of the most popular excursions among the tourists. Depending on weather conditions and season, resorts and tour operators cannot guarantee that tourists will see dolphins. Since there are tens of thousands of Spinner species of dolphins in the Maldivian seas, you will be fortune to spot some. There seven other different species of dolphin in Maldives, other than the Spinner, to name a few,  Spotted, Striped, Fraser’s Bottlenose, Rough-toothed, and Rissos. Maldivian specialities, which are frequently seen here but hardly ever anywhere else, include Dwarf Sperm Whale, Melon-headed Whale and Tropical Bottlenose Whale (long considered the rarest whale in the World, but now known to be a Maldives resident). You may also be lucky enough to spot a pod of magnificent Killer Whales (Orcas), which contrary to popular belief do not live only in cold waters.

You may not have realized this before, but with our unbeatable diversity and abundance of whales and dolphins, plus warm clear waters, Maldives really is one the very best places in the world for whale and dolphin watching.

Mid-morning trips between 9am to 10:30am and late-afternoon between 3:30pm until 5pm is one of the best changes of seeing dolphins. Morning sightings are fewer, while in the afternoon, big congregation of dolphins are probable. In the morning, if the boat gets closer, they tend to go deeper down the blue sea. However, dolphins tend to be “friendlier” in the afternoon, they follow the boats. The slower the boat goes, the closer the dolphins will be. Dolphins are known in interacting with humans in humorous ways, like if humans clap and applause, they usually respond and behave like performers, by doing a simultaneous high jump.

12 – Follow the Turtles

After enjoying our snorkeling adventure with colorful fishes, whale sharks and manta rays, let’s now follow the sea turtles. Swimming with Maldivian sea turtles in their natural habitat is a magical experience. Did you know that five out of the seven species of sea turtles can be found in Maldives, and two species, the Hawksbill Turtle and the Green Sea Turtle are the most common species in the Maldives and are regularly seen in areas with sea grasses in the lagoons as this is the favorite food of the Green Sea Turtle?

Green Sea and Hawksbill Turtles are found throughout the Maldives. Turtles forage and nest throughout the Maldives, however, nesting was confirmed mostly north and eastern side of the archipelago. Turtles of all sizes, adults as well as immature turtles are found throughout the Maldives.

These magnificent creatures are the most unperturbed by the presence of snorkelers. Any snorkeler can swim with it for around ten magical minutes as it cruises gently through the water, although it might be a brief, exhilarating and awe-inspiring encounter with this hard-housed ocean creatures, it is still a magical moment swimming with them.

13 –  Romantic Sunset Cruising

For starry-eyed honeymooners, one of the most popular attractions in Maldives is watching the sunset. This excursion adventure is not to be missed. Sail-off to watch the sunset, which is a very memorable and intimate experience with a glass of champagne magically glistening in your hand as the sun sets in the horizon in shades of orange and red and a romantic dinner while sipping cocktails at your oceanfront bar in your very own private yacht.

14 – Basks in the Sun

As you step onto an island oasis where the magical landscape of nature beckons and plush comforts await, let your sight wander across the endless stretch of the azure lagoon contrasting with the powdery soft sand of the island.

Sunshine is all year round in the islands of the Maldives, feel the enchanting breeze, ease back and bask in the sun in your oceanfront sun lounge in the privacy of your bungalow’s terrace or gaze into the crystalline waters at your infinity pool and watch the water ripple out toward the Indian Ocean.

15 – Meet New Friends Around the Globe

And the best part of The Maldives paradise adventure is meeting new friends along the journey and enjoying the sun, sea, and sand activities together preserving lovely memories, treasuring the magical Maldives experience and sharing future exciting travel adventures by keeping in touch.

I hope this post is super valuable to your next The Maldives Paradise Adventure.

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Comments

  • Jubilee Shoals
    January 11, 2020

    Such a article. I want to talk with the author. Please contact me by email divingcyprus[at]gmail[dot]com

    https://pissouribaydivers.com/

    reply

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