A luxurious destination superior to others, the Maldives is an ideal honeymoon destination. Not cheap even at the bottom end, this is a place for a holiday of a lifetime. So superior are its pristine beaches, so cobalt blue its waters and so warm its welcome that the country has become a picture of paradise. The Maldives compels those looking for a uniquely indulgent break, breathtaking nature and sheer beauty that stays with you long after you leave the islands.
Situated just across the equator, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives, or formally the Republic of Maldives, is made up for 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural atolls. The atolls are massive coral growths formed around the sides of prehistoric volcanoes, resulting in a truly secluded and divine paradise.
Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef ring. A string of islands take their places among this atoll ring; each island has its own reef encircling the island lagoon. The reefs of the islands, alive with countless types of underwater creatures and vibrant corals, protect the islands from wind and wave action of the surrounding vast oceans. This unique structure of reefs and channels makes provide of the world’s most spectacular scuba diving and snorkeling sights, from tiny shrimp and groups of colorful swimmers to the magnificent mantas and sharks.
Maldives is also a haven for surf-enthusiasts from all over the world, with the southwest monsoon bringing with it massive swells, especially from June to September. The sizes range from 3 – 8 feet and there are several well-known surf breaks in North and South Male’ Atoll. Resorts near these breaks are perfect for surfing aficionados, as you can get the full Maldivian experience while riding the waves to your hearts content.
In addition to diving and surfing, you can spend your days swimming, playing water polo, kite surfing, parasailing, kayaking, water-skiing and jet-skiing. Or spend your days languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with a cocktail balanced on your hand, it is also a geographical marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you sit. When to go
There is no bad time to visit the Maldives as the temperature hovers around 30°C or 86°F year-round. Traditional high season is from December to April, when the islands enjoy the dry monsoon with little rain and lower humidity. Mid-December to early January comes at even more of a premium due to Christmas and New Year and prices are even higher.
Diving is good year-round, although a basic rule is that life on the reef is more varied and visibility better on the western side of any atoll from May to November and from the eastern side of any atoll December to April. The surfing season runs from March to October, which is great as this is when resorts are cheapest. Where to goMale
Often overlooked by jet-setting luxury travelers, Male is the capital island of the Maldives. Filled with brightly colored tall buildings surrounded by turquoise water on all sides, Male is the heart and soul of the Maldives. Male, with its alcohol-free bars and restaurants and lively markets, is a remarkable place to visit mainly for a taste of authentic Maldivian life. In fact, Male is the only location where the foreign and domestic populations are likely to interact. The tourist resorts are not on islands where the natives live, and casual contacts between the two groups are discouraged.The Maldives Resorts
Every resort in the Maldives is on an island by itself with its own individual character. Sandy beaches and gorgeous lagoons surround the resorts. Offering all comforts and services of modern amenities, yet conserving every bit of nature, these accommodations range from thatched ceilings and rustic fittings to that of luxurious modern air-conditioned city-style apartments, or from log cabins built over the lagoon to duplexes in the wilderness. Many resorts in the Maldives have water villas perched on stilts at the water’s edge. Ranging from deluxe water villas to the prestigious honeymoon water villa, these villas look out over the crystal clear lagoon and feature private sundecks, lavish furniture and some even have private outdoor Jacuzzis. Some resorts offer an imitation of the Maldivian gifili (bathroom) with its own walled garden open to the sky. Some have house reefs ideal for diving just a few meters off the shore. Exquisite surroundings, modern services, every resort boasts superb service to satisfy the most sophisticated traveler.
Article and photos contributed by Parul Pillai of Highline Travel. We are a full-service travel agency that specializes in customized honeymoon packages.