10 things I didn’t know about Maldives…
… and a lot of pictures from paradise to prove it.
I’ve always wanted to travel into an island. The mystery of the isolation, the promise of the blue crystal clear waters, the romanticism of a secluded paradise somewhere, at the end of the world. Well, finally, my dream came true. And I was, for more than a week in Maldives. What did I found out there? Firstly, that all the amazing pictures don’t make justice for this beautiful place. Secondly, that, no matter how much I read before, Maldives came with some surprises. 10 things I didn’t know about Maldives are…
*** #OnTheRoad #English
1. Island hooping is not such an easy thing to do.
I have visited 4 different islands (thanks, the Tourism Board of Maldives). But, to be entirely honest, it is very difficult to do that if you are looking for a peaceful holiday. The way from and to another island is going through the central airport from Male – and from there with a local flight, a seaplane (only by day) or a speed boat (one or two hours ride) you can switch the accommodation. That means, sometimes, that more than half of your day is wasted on the road. And not to mention that could be pretty expensive. 🙂
2. Not every island is the same.
Of course, you could say. But let me explain it better: if you are not sure where you want to go and what you want to do, you can be trapped in an island that doesn’t fit you at all. Maybe you are looking for a luxury resort with white beaches, over water looking bungalows and fine cuisine (my choice – Radisson Blue Maldives – https://www.radissonhotels.com/en-us/hotels/radisson-blu-resort-maldives); maybe the nature, the vegetation and the possibility of long walks and secluded beaches are the perfect match for you (try then Kuramathi Maldives – https://www.kuramathi.com, one of the oldest resorts in Maldives – since 1975). You want to have a cottage on the beach, the best Spa and some facilities for the kids – try Meeru Island Resort and Spa – https://www.meeru.com. And, finally, if the reason for the trip is a honeymoon (or you are just simply very, very stressed 🙂 Kagi Maldives Spa Island is for you – https://kagimaldives.com – a very small atoll, very peaceful (no kids allowed!) and with a Spa and restaurants designed by Yuji Yamazaki Architects. (Below, pictures of them, in the specified order)
Funny fact: there are approximately 1200 islands in Maldives. Around 800 of them are still uninhabited, 200 islands are populated, about 110 host hotels and resorts.
3. I didn’t know I can do more than 10.000 steps per day in an island.
Yep, every night I was wandering with a friend thorough every island. We walked along the decks in Radisson resort (never once took the buggy!), we tried the Nature Trail in Kuramathi – the most green island saw in my trip – and we have visited the banyan tree here, one of 300 years old. We walked around Meeru by the beach and saw the herons in the morning and the baby sharks in the afrenoon. And even in the small Kagi we managed to take our steps before Sound Healing session with a Tibetan guru.
4. The sand is not a sand…
…. but a very thin coral dust. Maldives islands are of coralline origins. Their amazing sand is white and extremely fine, like cotton when is wet. Coralline beaches are rare, they represent less than 5% of the World beaches, the rest of them are mostly made of quartz. The thing I loved so much: in Meeru, they had a coral nursery – fragments of coral are places onto frames where they can grow before being placed back on the reef. Meeru Island Resort and Spa’s coral nursery is one of the most successful in the Maldives.
5. I was lucky to see so many rays
At least I’ve been told so by other friends that have visited Maldives already. It was incredible to see all these beautiful aquatic creatures from my balcony – stingray, manta ray, eagle ray. In total, the sea life is amazing here, especially for those who are passionate about oceans. And not only the rays, but the baby sharks
6. I didn’t know I was going to take a snorkelling session with the sharks.
And not to be afraid of that. Well, I was told that they are harmless, they won’t bite me and, to be honest, they were not so big, after all. 🙂 But still, the snorkelling sessions (one in Kuramathi and one in Meeru) cured me of the fear of sharks and of… snorkelling – I was’t quite a fan before.
7. The sunset is even beautiful when a boat and dolphins are involved.
Almost every island organise, every evening, sunset sailing adventures to see the dolphins. The view over the Pacific Ocean is unbelievable and the dolphins so so curious! A little tip: leave your phone behind and just enjoy the nature’s show!
8. Sports and Spa: the two essentials in a holiday.
Almost every island has some water sport facilities (paddling, kayaking, surfing, kitesurfing, flyboarding). And some of them have tennis courts, football courts). And, of course, Yoga! Every morning1 The Spa centres are excellent, and the massages and treatments in a villa overlooking the water and with a glass floor is something worth to try!
9. Do you know there is an island where Maldives watermelons are grown?
Yep, not coconuts and pineapples and all the exotic fruits that I could find at breakfast – I still miss those double portions of papaya in the morning! But the watermelons grown in the middle of Pacific Ocean! Can you imagine that?! Leaving the fruits aside, the food is paradise here for anybody – all the resorts have beautiful restaurants with all inclusive menus, a la carte teppanyaki or sushi specific, fish menu or an Italian one.
My favourites are: The Lab in Radisson Blu Maldives – a special place with an exquisite selection of wines and a beautiful dinner (I cannot wait to see the champagne & oyster pods on top of some bamboo huts); the Kuramathi Sky Bar by the pool – for a beautiful sunset and nice music; Asian Wok in Meeru with its Teppanyaki menu; all the dishes in Kagi island (well, it was a paradise for vegetarians like me).
10. Finally, I didn’t know that I could I will fell in love with Maldives so quickly. Hope to go back there some day.