Maldives is home to perhaps the best beaches in the world; they’re on almost every one of the country’s nearly 1200 islands and are so consistently perfect that it’s hard not to become blasé about them. While some beaches may boast softer granules than others, the basic fact remains: you won’t find consistently whiter-than-white powder sand and luminous cyan-blue water like this anywhere else on earth. Maldives is a country of not only natural exotica but also of daily luxuries. Gorgeous resorts with water bungalows and villas, underwater restaurants, and state of the art diving excursions all make it a luxurious holiday. While Maldives is one of the best beach and diving destinations in the world, it is necessary to point out that alcohol is illegal in Maldives. But do not fret; you can have it in the resort where you would be staying.
Maldives are a series of ancient coral reefs that grew up around the sides of towering prehistoric volcanoes. These immense structures have long since sunk into the ocean, leaving behind coral islands of incredible natural beauty, now themselves being colonised by travellers seeking unbridled pampering and romance.
This is life stripped down to simplicity – bright blue skies, all-year sunshine and fantastic diving and snorkelling in lagoons the temperature of bath water. The country embraces travellers from around the world allowing them the freedoms holiday makers require without compromising the islands’ deep Muslim faith one bit.
This is an exciting time to visit a country in developmental frenzy. The Maldives demands the attention of anyone looking for a uniquely indulgent break, breathtaking nature and sheer beauty that stays with you long after your tan has faded.
Superior are its beaches, so cobalt blue its waters and so warm its welcome that the country has become a byword for paradise whether it be for honeymooners, sun worshippers or divers.
Places to Visit:
Male is the hands down winner with some lovely sights. If you can tear yourself away from its beaches, spend some time at the Sultan Park which was once part of the Royal Palace. It is a leafy haven you can retreat to, maybe under the shade of an ancient frangipani tree. At its entrance, you will see the Jumhooree Binaa. Two of the oldest mosques in Maldives are nearby, Kalhu Vakaru Miskiy and Dharumavantha Miskiiy.
Also known as the Grand Friday Mosque was built in 1656 in coral stone. It is the biggest mosque in Maldives. The steps leading up to it, the lacquer work and the carvings on wood are beautiful. Quran verses are etched on its walls. Don’t forget to peek into its well.
Whale Submarine is a great way to see the reefs especially if you have kids in tow. The beaches in this country and the accompanying coral reefs are among the best in the world. And their classy restaurants promise you some great food and unforgettable experiences. Try the Ithaa Restaurant, Aioli, Seagull Cafe, Saffron Cafe and Symphony.
Swim with the sharks
There are many species of sharks in Maldives. Grey reef Sharks, Whale Sharks, Zebra Sharks, Silvertip Sharks and Tiger Sharks are just a few of the friendly sharks that hang around the reef. They prefer planktons and tiny fish over humans, so you are safe.
Underwater photography can’t get any better with the sublime aquatic life that the reef brings into the picture. It is vivid, exotic and exciting. You can rent underwater cameras from most of the folks organizing diving expeditions and at dive schools.
Try night fishing in Maldives on a dhoni. Reel in your catch, have it cooked and eat it. Hail a sea plane. It is like a taxi. Well, almost. The aerial view of Maldives, a sulphur blue patch in the sea with a mop of green canopy, is impressive and a vision that stays with you always. Dine in the underwater restaurant, Ithaa restaurant, 16 ft down in the sea.