A Maldives Travel Guide For the First Time Visitor

Posted on 10. Apr, 2013 by in Destinations

Trips to the Maldives are all about luxury: secluded and isolated in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the island chain offers tropical paradises complete with five star resorts, white sand beaches and stunning, crystal-clear lagoons. With hundreds of activities to enjoy and exotic environments to explore, The Maldives promise unforgettable experiences, whether you’re visiting as a couple, a group or a family.

The VIP treatment begins the moment you leave your house – most airlines offer special first class packages, including a chauffeur service direct to the airport, pre-flight lounges and opulent in-flight luxuries – like gourmet food, private bars and large beds. First stop for international arrivals is Male – the Maldives’ eye-catching international island-airport.  After that, it’s a sea-plane or boat trip over sparkling blue waters to reach your resort destination.

Maldives, Elegant Resorts

Most Maldives resorts are styled to match the simple, natural beauty of their surroundings – you’ll see thatched cottages, palm fronds, and exquisite wooden architecture, right on the edge of sprawls of tropical flora and fauna. Many resorts, like KanahuraGili Lankanfushi and Huvafen Fushi, place guests in extravagant stilted villas, mounted above the gently lapping water of the ocean.

The establishments play up their ‘barefoot luxury’ ethos – letting you spend your time in paradise completely free from the noise and pace of the modern world. That said, you won’t be missing modern comforts , with flatscreen television and other luxury amenities as standard. The biggest issue you’ll face is finding an adapter for your own devices. The Maldives uses three types of socket: European, British and Indian and a 220-240 volt supply. It’s worth checking ahead to make sure you have the right gear if you’re planning to use phones or notebooks.

One&Only Maldives Water Bungalowe

While it’s perfectly possible to spend a holiday floating in the infinity pool, or basking on the beach, it’s worth exploring what each island resort has to offer. A typical day might start with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit on the veranda of your villa, before a Yoga session down on the beach. Water sport activities are popular across the Maldives – you could try water-skiing, wind-surfing or scuba-diving in spectacular lagoons and bays scattered across each island.  Larger resorts, like the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, offer bike hire, allowing guests to explore the exotic surroundings themselves. There can be a huge amount to see – including conservation areas, marine centres and cultural heritage sites. If you’re travelling as a family, look for resorts with dedicated programmes for kids – perfect for giving you a break to enjoy the resort’s finer features in peace and quiet.

Some resorts, like the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa, host luxury spas, which let visitors drink in the beauty of the tropics during a diet of massages, facial treatments and special island rituals utilising local herbal and marine ingredients. Salons are also available for guests who want to treat themselves to a glamorous makeover before indulging in their resort’s schedule of evening entertainment. If you’re planning on retail therapy during your stay, be aware of local taxes and surcharges – there’s a standard 10% service charge across the Maldives and a further 6% government tourist tax on all purchases.

Sand bar in the Madives

The Maldives’ nights can be just as exciting as their days. From stylish gourmet meals beneath the stars, to delicious grills and barbecues on the beachfront, the islands are home to a spectrum of truly unique dining experiences – none more so than the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant on Conrad Maldives Rangali island. Located 16 feet below sea level, the Ithaa’s glass walls and ceiling offer an unmissable showcase of the Indian Ocean’s beauty, giving you a 180 degree view of a thriving marine ecosystem as you eat.

For the adventurous, night fishing excursions represent an exhilarating way to experience the marine environment – taking guests out from their resorts after sunset in search of the best local fishing spots. It’s a rewarding way to eat – skilled chefs grill to perfection whatever you catch over an open fire, while you savour the tranquillity of the Maldives’ night-time, surrounded by the wonder of the natural world.

Finding luxury in the Maldives is easy and almost every resort captures an aspect of the islands’ laid-back, indulgent lifestyle. Your time on the islands should be unforgettable – and each resort is geared towards achieving that ‘once in a lifetime’ feel, catering to your needs whether you’re holidaying as group or a family. If your searching for your island paradise, the sun-drenched island chain in the middle of the Indian Ocean could well be the best place to start looking.

Dale

About Dale

Dale is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable individual who has been with Elegant Resorts since 2004. He has exceptional knowledge of the Indian Ocean and long-haul destinations, as well as the Elegant Resorts luxury ski destinations.

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