What do you know about The Maldives? – Birds on the Blog

What do you know about The Maldives?

It occurred to me the other day, as I was talking to a client about a holiday to The Maldives (yes, I’m a travel agent), that perhaps the public perception of these beautiful islands isn’t as accurate as it could be.   “No”, he said, “we don’t want All Inclusive, just B&B will be fine as we like to wander into the nearest town and try out a few restaurants, mix with the locals, that sort of thing”.

The truth is, that in general, there isn’t a local town, neither are there many local residents to chat with; almost all of the resorts/hotels in the Maldives are on their own incredible exclusive island.  Yes, in some cases, you can see other islands but they’re not accessible without a boat.

There are over 100 islands to choose from, grouped into about 20 main atolls and ranging in size from tiny little islands that you can circumnavigate in 10 minutes (about 150m across) to 2.5km across. It’s important to get your choice of island right, as you will be limited to the restaurants, bars, entertainment, sports facilities and activities provided by that particular resort.

Of course, most of the resorts will offer boat trips to other islands or to Male, the capital, buzzing with local colour, museums, bustling markets and fishing boats in the harbour.  I should point out that it is very unusual for tourists to opt to stay in Male, so the seclusion is clearly the main attraction.

Let’s go back to my client who wanted B&B; I think you will now understand why so many tourists choose All Inclusive.  You can’t just pop down to the ‘offie’ if you don’t like the prices of the hotel beer, or find a ‘live like a local’ cheap and cheerful cafe.

So, still interested? There are many reasons why The Maldives is such a popular destination for families, groups and, especially, couples and honeymoons and Beckenham Travel can help you.

A tropical paradise, The Maldives is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world.  Azure waters, soft sparkling white sand, luxury resorts and thrilling water sports and diving make this a dream holiday destination.

Getting There

The international airport in The Maldives is on an island close to the capital island, Male.  From there, transfers to your resort island are either by seaplane transfer (which is a wonderful experience in its own right, with stunning views of the atolls) or a domestic flight from Male to another, smaller, local airport, or by speedboat, depending on the distance.

If your resort requires a seaplane transfer it is worth bearing in mind that seaplanes only operate in daylight so if you arrive after sunset you will need to stay overnight in Male; likewise if your return flight is early morning, you will need to leave the resort the afternoon before.

This island nation covers an area of over 90,000 sq kilometres in the Indian Ocean, hence some of the more remote atolls or resorts are not accessible by speedboat.

There are many considerations to be aware of when planning a Maldives island holiday; the size of the island, accommodation types, board basis, accommodation density – important if you’re after a romantic ‘get away from it all’ holiday.  If you want an overwater villa some resorts won’t accept children in this type of accommodation.

Resort facilities are important; don’t forget that you can’t go elsewhere for a night out so you need to choose an island that has the facilities that you want.  Some resemble secluded Robinson Crusoe islands (albeit with a luxurious twist) with only one or two restaurants or bars, others may have 10 or more with activities and entertainment to match.

Are you a diver?  How important is a dive school or a fantastic house reef?  Is snorkelling equipment included?

Whichever island you chose you’ll have a wonderful, memorable holiday, it’s as close to heaven as you can get – but careful consideration with advice from an expert like me is vital if you are to make the most of this barefoot paradise.

Liz Engel – Beckenham Travel



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