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Maldives – life’s a beach

Island nirvana for sun worshippers & lovers of all things aqua.

by capetowndiva

Surveying the scene ahead of a kayak excursion on Meeru Island

Fun in the sun – an island vacay in a nutshell.

You’ve arrived in paradise, kicked off your shoes and switched into sloth mode, in five seconds flat.  Your other life is a million miles away and that hammock under the palms is calling your name. It’s the daily lure, but don’t be tempted to sway all day. Once you’ve rested the big city out of your bones, it’s time to find the fun and Maldives supplies that in a big way.

I’m not an adventure traveller or thrill seeker by any stretch of the imagination nor do I relish being underwater so activity sports like fly boarding, night fishing, exploring shipwrecks in the dark blue depths, skydiving and surfing are just not my thing. I’m got a lot of energy though and keen on long walks, going for a run, taking a cycle or a canoe out into calm waters. Maldives met me right there and it was such a pleasure to be able to do all of those things.

Take a look at how my days rolled on my glorious archipelago adventure…

LANGUISHING IN THAT MALDIVIAN SEA, MY OCEAN CRUSH

I’ve spoken before about my obsession with the Maldivian ocean, a glowing expanse that’s impossible to ignore. But, I’m deep-sea shy. Just ask Justin Fox who had to hold my hand in rougher waters while I bobbed about in the choppy waves to catch a glimpse of a spectacularly colourful shoal he’d spotted under a jetty. (I know, so lame 🤦‍♀️!).  Plus, I’m not a fan of a cold ocean (blame it on Camps Bay beach!) and the Maldives boasts balmy temperatures and glassy shallows – such a win for those who love a goose-bump free languish.

KAYAKING

The ideal conditions of the lagoons that surround each island make it a brilliant place to kayak close to shore and around the island with ease and in safety. Some resorts will have kayaks with see-through floors and you can just imagine how stunning that is. The marine world in Maldives is alive with colour and tropical fish are in abundance. All that underwater eye candy means photo opps for days and slow paddle progress which matches island vibes perfectly- there’s simply no rush.  Being out on the water also offers a cool perspective of the island, a chance to see it all from the other side.

WINDSURFING

Justin Fox heading out

Maldives isn’t exactly a high wind destination but as Justin Fox describes it, it’s a place where you can kite surf, sail and windsurf quite easily, making it ideal for the novices among us. According to weather experts, expect a fair breeze from May through October, so if you’re gearing up for any of those types of activities, that’s the best time to book your Maldives vacay.

There are also several surfing hotspots in Maldives with a variety of wave types, from rippable to barreling and clean, crystalline reef breaks to quote the pros. Located as it is in the middle of the Indian Ocean means some of the islands benefit from full exposure to southern swells and surfing conditions come up trumps, particularly on the outer reefs of atolls. Peak surf season is April to October and if you’re keen to trawl all the best sites, the live-aboard option is a superb way to find the best waves all year round.

BACK TO THE BEACH!

And once the fun is done, it’s back to the beach for a bout of nothing and a lot of sea-staring. What a pleasure!

KEY INFO- things to note:

  • Getting there: Air Seychelles from OR Tambo and via Seychelles, a 9 hour flight which is brilliant news! In an exciting development for island-deprived travellers since the advent of global lockdowns, AIR SEYCHELLES (HM) by popular demand is pleased to announce the start of a great partnership with Visit Maldives, following the resumption of the airline’s weekly commercial flights (in July) from Johannesburg to Maldives, via Seychelles. (By the way, the long haul with other carriers ca be as much as 16 hours!)
  • While rules around pandemic travel are in perpetual flux, it’s advised to check the Maldives Ministry of Tourism’s website for COVID-19 updates and protocols: https://www.tourism.gov.mv/covid19
  • The main requirement being a PCR test 96 hours prior; and then another 72 hours prior to your return to South Africa.
  • Dress modestly in public places, in and outside of resorts.
  • Maldives is a 100% Muslim country so leave all religious texts at home and please don’t bring in alcohol or tobacco products from Duty Free in transit. If you’re planning a walkabout anywhere outside of the resorts, do dress modestly. Unlikely to encounter infringements at the resorts though but be aware of high holidays like Ramadan when certain shops might be closed on the island.
  • Remember that 2022 is Maldives Tourism Golden Jubilee Year and there are sure to be fabulous celebratory options.
  • Check the weather – you’re in monsoon territory so be sure you know what to expect. Rainy season is May-Oct but even then there is plenty of sun.

Until next time,