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Discover the Maldives, a tropical paradise

Written on : 09 April 2019

Close your eyes and imagine turquoise lagoons, waters of dazzling clarity, and beaches of white and golden sand. Relax and think of the exceptional seabed, the abundant aquatic life, where corals, multicoloured fish and sea turtles coexist in one and the same ecosystem. Dream of thousands of dotted coral islands and you will see the Maldives archipelago in your mind. With 26 atolls and 1199 islands, of which only 202 are inhabited, the Maldives is a dream destination. For a honeymoon or a family vacation, the Maldives radiate beauty. Because you deserve it, stop dreaming and book your holiday to Maldives now.

Immaculate beaches: a postcard landscape

Immaculate beaches: a postcard landscape

If, for you, holidays rhyme with relaxation, then the Maldives are definitely a destination not to be missed! At any time of the day, you can bask in the sun on beaches of unparalleled beauty. Here, the water is clear and turquoise and the sand is immaculate white. Among the most beautiful atolls of the Maldives, head for Ari Atoll. Located west of Malé, the capital, Ari Atoll is dotted with reefs and is home to sublime beaches where you can unwind. Relax around banana trees, coconut palms and mangroves. Ari Atoll will also delight all nature lovers. The island is indeed in the middle of a lush tropical forest that is extremely well preserved.

Let yourself be seduced by the beauty of the Maldives and continue your dream escape by visiting the Baa Atoll. Here, the palm trees stretch tall and the sand is fine. You will love to bask in the sun in this Garden of Eden on earth, where tranquility is absolute. Much more than an island, the Baa Atoll is made up of 50 floating islets, so quiet that it feels like a dream. Still, your holidays will be very real. To make them even more memorable, rent a catamaran and feel the sea breeze caress your face. You will have never felt so free.

Finish your relaxing stay in the Faafu atoll, made up of 23 islands, including five inhabited islands and an island hotel. Preserved from mass tourism, Faafu atoll is a small paradise at the end of the world where you can relax in the middle of bougainvillea and hibiscus. Listen to the rolling waves and let yourself be lulled by the gentle sound of the Indian Ocean from your hammock surrounded by coconut trees.

The Maldives, an ideal destination for scuba diving

The Maldives, an ideal destination for scuba diving

Scuba diving, alongside snorkelling, is the national sport of the Maldives. Indeed, the density and variety of marine fauna make scuba diving a must in the archipelago. That's why a stay in the Maldives is an opportunity to do your first dive or perfect your movements in the aquatic world.

Put on your wetsuit, mask and snorkel and explore the richness of the seabed. Swim between whale sharks, manta rays, as well as dolphins, mobula rays and turtles, which are widespread in the archipelago.

Among the most interesting dive sites in the Maldives, do not miss Kuredu Island in Lhaviyani Atoll. If this island is considered one of the most beautiful resorts in the Maldives, it is also a beautiful coral reef, populated by manta rays, sharks and turtles. And the list goes on! Be careful though, this atoll is reserved for the most experienced divers. If you prefer quieter spots, discover the Foyetto Kantu area in Vaavu Atoll and navigate between caves, tunnels and abundant marine life. Here you can contemplate mantas rays, beautiful coral, red groupers, and even hammerhead sharks. It will be an experience you won’t forget.

In North Malé, there is also an area adored by divers. And for good reason! Here you will find a real underwater garden of Eden. In particular, do not miss the Banana Reef site, an elongated banana-shaped reef, hence its name. While diving in the Banana Reef, you will be able to admire the beauty of the gaterini, the soldierfish and the napoleons. In the same area, the wreck of the Victory is worth seeing. However, be careful because the current can be strong.

Finally, though it is more touristy, Ari Atoll deserves a visit of a few hours, if only for the splendour of its aquatic life. Head for Broken Rock, also known as Kuda Thila, where you can see massive blocks of coral surrounded by rich reef fauna such as groupers, angelfish, moray eels and beautiful sea anemones. Stay in the atoll of Ari and go to observe the Blue Caves, which take their name from the colour of the corals that line the seabed at this place. Here you can swim in the middle of narrow cavities and tunnels where you will find, among others, snappers and emperor fish.

Malé: discovering Maldivian culture

Malé: discovering Maldivian culture

The capital of the Maldives, Malé is a hectic city that will allow you to discover the local culture and meet the Maldivians. Known for their sweetness of life, Maldivians will welcome you to the island capital and will often invite you to share tea with them.

In Malé, you can easily get lost in the traditional markets where fruits and vegetables are sold as well as fresh fish of the day. You can also embellish your travel photographs thanks to the colourful houses of the capital. Do not leave Malé without having visited the Great Mosque, called Hukuru Miskiiy, carved in white and the Islamic centre of the capital. This mosque is the largest in the archipelago and bears witness to the historical and religious heritage that is still very present in the Maldives. Its minaret and its golden dome are iconic and known around the world. Be aware that non-Muslims can only enter the mosque with a guide. After your visit, lose yourself in Sultan Park, the only park in Malé, where you can take a break and admire the beautiful botanical garden. The Presidential Palace and the National Museum will also allow you to learn more about Maldivian culture and history.

In addition, if you have the chance to attend local festivals, do not miss this exceptional opportunity! You may be able to discover Maldivian dances like the Bodu Beru, which is the most popular dance in the archipelago, or the thara, with two groups of musicians facing each other.

Gourmet stopover in the Maldives: local specialties not to be missed

Gourmet stopover in the Maldives: local specialties not to be missed

The Maldives is also an explosion of flavours and a treat for the taste buds! Throughout your stay, you can enjoy the typical culinary specialties of the archipelago. The fish is eaten at all meals, including breakfast, where it is eaten in the form of croquettes, soups or grilled meat. Beware, Maldivian cuisine is very spicy! Among the most commonly used herbs and spices are cloves, peppers and ginger. Fruits are also widespread in Maldivian gastronomy. For dessert, as snacks, or as an accompaniment to a dish, you will find papayas, mangos and bananas, which are particularly delicious on the archipelago.

Among the most traditional culinary specialties of the Maldives, do not miss the Mas Huni, which is mashed tuna with coconut, onions and chillies. This dish is good for breakfast as well as for special occasions. If you rent a villa with house staff, a chef can prepare local dishes such as Garudiya, a soup made of fish, rice, pepper, lemon and onions. Dried fish curry is also very common on the archipelago. It is usually very spicy and served with various vegetables. Finally, enjoy a glass of raa, the national drink, which is the juice from the trunk of palm trees. Beware, alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited in all restaurants and bars in the archipelago. However, you will be able to consume it in the comfort of your private luxury villa.