Why Holiday in The Maldives?
Looking for that lovely wave of heat as you step off the plane? You’ll find it here. This nation of islands is located just to the north of the Equator, meaning that the weather is gorgeously tropical. Visit between December and March for the best of the blue skies, when the mercury stays at an enviable average of 29°C. We think this is the perfect temperature for enjoying the sun, dipping in the pool and splashing in the sea.
Maldives holidays are ideal for luxuriating in the sunshine, but they are also great for wildlife-spotting and island-hopping. Go swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving and you’ll see schools of colourful fish and coral reefs. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some curious dolphins and sea turtles. If you prefer more fast-paced watersports, there are plenty of places to try windsurfing, kayaking, kitesurfing, jet skiing and banana boats. The combination of great weather and pleasant water conditions means that novices and veterans alike can’t get enough of exploring the Indian Ocean. Many resorts - and ferry ports on Malé island - also offer boat tours of the nearby atolls.
Beach Holidays to The Maldives
Lay back, close your eyes and imagine you’re lounging on a sun bed with a cocktail in hand. Chances are you’re picturing yourself in The Maldives, whether you realised it or not - the soft sand and calm, turquoise water here set the standard for beaches everywhere. Island resorts such as Cocoa Island offer private stretches of sand, as well as beachfront accommodation – you can even splurge on a waterfront villa with direct access to the ocean if you’re after somewhere really special to stay.
In Male, the best place to swim is Artificial Beach. Don’t let the name keep you away; this is a beach that locals love just as much as holidaymakers. So named because it was man-made to provide Maldivians with a place to swim in the capital city, you’ll find everything from a children’s play area to vibrant festival celebrations here. To respect the local customs, keep covered up when you’re at Artificial Beach – bikinis and budgie smugglers can be worn to your heart’s content at the private island resort beaches.
Food and Drink in The Maldives
Can you think of any food more tropical than a coconut? We can’t either, so where better to eat coconut than on a tropical holiday to The Maldives? You’ll find fruity cocktails served in coconut shells in beach bars throughout the country, and coconut milk is a common staple of sauces and stews too. Our favourite use of coconut has to be mas huni, though. This is a breakfast dish made with shredded coconut, onions and - the other king of Maldivian cuisine - seafood. You’ll see fresh fish on menus all over, from upscale resort restaurants to beachside street food stalls. Opt for dishes made from the catch of the day for a true taste of island life.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with bondibai, which is made from palm stems smothered in condensed milk, rose essence and – you guessed it – coconut milk. This dessert is perfect when paired with a refreshing sai tea - a creamy drink, packed full of flavour. Alcohol is only served at beach resorts and in hotel bars so soft drinks, coffee and teas are the way to go if you get thirsty when you’re out and about.
Visiting The Maldives
The Maldives is the ultimate beach destination. Whether you’re after a once-in-a-lifetime getaway or something a bit different for this year’s beach holiday, you’ll find a part of this unique country to suit you. It’s not all Instagram influencers and barefoot beach days, although you’ll find plenty of spots for both, there are also plenty of opportunities to experience the authentic side of The Maldives. Visit the pretty strip of restaurants along the harbour at Malé’s Raaveribe Maizaan – here you can meet the locals who live and work in paradise.
Useful Info for Visiting The Maldives
Convert your pounds to Maldivian rufiyaa and you’ll be ready to spend your holiday money on souvenirs and gifts for everyone back home as soon as you land - bonus points if you buy them from local sellers or boutique shops. The official language spoken here is Dhivehi, although many locals and lots of hotel staff speak English fluently. The flight time is about 13 hours, so make sure you pack plenty of things to do on the plane – or treat it as your night’s sleep so you’re well-rested and ready to hit the beach when you arrive. The Maldives is four hours ahead of GMT, so you can FaceTime your relatives in the UK anytime from 13:00 (it would be 09:00 am. Alternatively, turn off your tablets and smart phones and make the most of the peace and quiet.
The Maldives is a Muslim country, with a vibrant culture and traditional roots. Be respectful to local customs such as keeping covered up at the beach and avoiding alcohol unless you’re at a hotel bar or island resort, and you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Please note that the Islamic holy month of Ramadan takes place between 05/05/2019 and 04/06/2019, and may affect opening times of cafes and restaurants. Alcohol sales, music, dining and dancing during this time might be restricted, and dining for non-Muslim hotel guests may take place in private rooms.
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