Visiting The Maldives – a dream destination!

Visiting The Maldives – a dream destination!

VISITING THE MALDIVES – A DREAM DESTINATION

When you think of Visiting The Maldives, what words spring to mind?  Paradise?  Beauty?  Luxury?  Coral Reefs?  Expensive?  Well, all of the former apply but not necessarily the latter!

Did you know that there are over 1000 islands in the Indian Ocean that make up 26 ring-shaped atolls and only about 200 of these islands are actually inhabited?  There is a fear that the low-lying islands are starting to sink due to global climate changes, a fact that I have sadly witnessed over the past 3 years.  So, if ever there was a time to visit – now is it!!!

We first planned on visiting the Maldives in August 2015 it was to celebrate a very special wedding anniversary, along with a few days in Dubai first (another story!).  We pondered for a long time which island to choose and price was indeed a very important factor.  You can spend over £10,000 to stay on some islands but unfortunately we are not lottery winners so we lowered our sights and selected a beautiful island on the Raa Atoll called Meedhupparu.  This is owned by the Adaaran Select group and although costing considerably less than the top dollar paid by some, we never once felt that we had anything less than absolute luxury for our money.

The journey!

The journey from Birmingham to the capital Male takes about 11 hours (usually with a stop-off at somewhere like Dubai) and once you have cleared Europe and the Middle East you soon see open stretches of ocean with tiny islands dotted here and there.  The closer you get, the colours of the ocean change to turquoise as the coral reefs surrounding the islands begin to make themselves visible.  Landing on Male, a small island no larger than 2.2 square miles is something to see.  As the runway gets closer you appreciate how small the island actually is.

Arriving in the Maldives

Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is very organised and once you have cleared immigration and baggage collection you are guided to the seaplane departures area.  The Maldivians are very friendly people and you won’t have to wait long for help if you become confused as to which departure desk to go to.  Once checked in you are taken by bus to the terminal for your particular island.  The Adaaran Select VIP Lounge is a relaxing, calm and air-conditioned room, with free refreshments whilst you wait for your sea plane.

visiting The Maldives

Not all transfers are via seaplane.  Meedhupparu is too far to travel to by speedboat, so a 40-minute flight is necessary.  Apparently if you stay on an island closer to Male you’re quite likely to see lots of larger boats and tankers passing by – something we’re thankful we didn’t see at all, as we were much further away.

 

Trans Maldivian Airways has got to be one of the few airlines where the pilots wear very smart uniforms – and flip flops!!!!  With only 14 seats it’s a bit cramped and you definitely need earplugs. (Top Tip – take some with you just in case you’re not offered any as the propellers are just outside the windows.) The flights are fascinating – we sat just behind the pilots and got a fantastic view of the cockpit, complete with the pilot flying barefoot!!

Meedhupparu

Upon arrival at Meedhupparu you are guided to an area where a welcome cold drink is offered and you can check-in to either a beach villa or water villa.  If, however, you are a ‘repeater guest’ you are greeted personally with a garland of flowers and transported in a golf buggy to a private room where you are given refreshments and a much faster check-in before being driven to your room.

We chose to stay in a beach villa and although the water villas are so much more luxurious at $500 per night there are pros and cons of staying in them.  Our beach villa was only 14 steps away from the water’s edge, our comfortable sunloungers were just a step away from our verandah and the view from them was just incredible – white sandy beach with turquoise sea stretching out to the horizon.

What to do when visiting the Maldives!

Now a holiday in the Maldives is not for everyone.  If you like exploring and lots of activities then it might not be for you.  We have been to Meedhupparu for 3 years on the run now and we have never been to a destination so perfect for relaxing.  The whole island only takes about 20 minutes to walk around.

There is a Dive Centre where you can try a free introductory dive lesson and jet skis, tennis and badminton courts and beach volleyball for the more adventurous. But for us, we just enjoyed lazing on the sun loungers, swimming in the sea and walking 100 meters to the Sun Rise Bar where a cold drink was always a refreshing sight!  There is a beautiful infinity swimming pool on the island with a  swim-up bar but in the three years of us visiting, we have never tried it. Why would you need a swimming pool when you are surrounded by the beautiful clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

the maldives

This, like most of the resorts in The Maldives, is an all-inclusive hotel and the food is amazing.  The chefs have won several awards for their cuisine and in particular Chef Guru is always seen around the restaurant ensuring that all the guests are enjoying the huge variety of amazing food on offer.

The grounds are immaculate and the gardeners all work tirelessly to keep the sand paths clear of any debris.  The Maldivians are quietly-spoken people and not once, in the three years we have visited, have we come across anyone who does not greet you with a ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Evening’ and a very genuine smile.

Sea life

But of course the star attraction of any island in the Maldives is the sea life.  Snorkelling is a must and you don’t have to be confident swimmers to experience the amazing life under the waves.  There are life jackets in your room if you wish to use them and you can hire snorkels and flippers from the Dive Centre – at a cost!  We took our own and felt quite safe swimming out to the edge of the reef.  Unfortunately some of the coral surrounding Meedhupparu has died due to the Tsunami back in 2004. It is slowly re-growing and you can still see an amazing number of different, colourful fish, turtles, manta rays and other marine life.

The seaplane will fly you back to Male at the end of your holiday where you then catch your flight home.

Our conclusions

We have holidayed in many places now and had always vowed to never visit the same place twice, as it’s a big old world out there and there’s lots of places we still want to see.  BUT…….. for the last two years, everywhere we have looked at for a beach holiday has always been compared to Meedhupparu – and has never come close to drawing us away from The Maldives.

I can’t imagine anyone leaving Meedhupparu (or any other Maldivian island) vowing ‘never to return’.  It truly is paradise!

Have you been to the Maldives? Is it a dream destination for you? (Note from Tracy – I would love to visit!)

the maldives


Pin for later! Visiting the Maldives

The Maldives Tracys Travels in time


Have you been or are you thinking about visiting the Maldives ? Is it a dream destination for you? (I would love to visit!)

41 Comments

  1. December 19, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Loved reading this! We are also people who vow to never return places but I think I would feel the same way about these islands. Can’t wait to visit next year! This article is so helpful! Also loved the pilot flip flops! 😉
    Ari recently posted…Sanctuary Hotel ReviewMy Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      December 19, 2016 / 8:16 pm

      Hi Ari, glad you found the post helpful. I never thought one place in the world could mean so much to us. I love it on Meedhupparu and I’d go back every year if I could!!!

  2. December 19, 2016 / 11:09 am

    This reminds me that we didn’t have a proper beach holiday in… like forever. The last one was 13 years ago, our honeymoon in the Caribbean which looks a lot like Maldives from what I see. Would love to visit Maldives one day, looks truly relaxing! Something different than road-tripping and hiking every single day of our holidays 🙂
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    • Linda Tallett
      December 19, 2016 / 8:19 pm

      Hi Jura, love beach holidays. We work so hard, it’s nice to just relax and recharge the batteries!

  3. December 21, 2016 / 12:04 pm

    Incredible! I desperately want to visit the Maldives and fingers crossed we can visit for our honeymoon! The water bungalows are gorgeous but love the idea of being on the beach in a beach villa! My partner would love a sea plane too and snorkelling looks incredible there too 🙂
    Katie recently posted…20 PERFECT GIFT IDEAS FOR TRAVELERSMy Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:12 am

      Hi Katie, I agree the water villas do look amazing but we felt that by staying in one you would be isolating yourself as you’d have to walk to get to the beach, whereas in a beach villa you’re already there! Hope you get to visit soon x

  4. December 23, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    It looks like an ideal place for a more relaxed vacation! The flight looks like fun, especially with the pilots wearing flip-flops. Great pictures!
    Simona Barbu recently posted…Moscow- a walk in the centreMy Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:16 am

      Thanks Simona, the seaplane was certainly an amazing experience just 40 mins of fantastic views of the Indian Ocean and other islands and then you reach paradise!!

  5. December 24, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Wow Maldives look absolutely stunning. I am not much into relaxing holidays but I would spend most of my time diving and playing tennis if I got too bored at the beach! So beautiful and exotic!
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    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:18 am

      Hi, I’m sure you wouldn’t get bored!! There’s jet skis, kayaks and volley ball too! Best of all is the snorkelling and diving – amazing marine life!

  6. December 25, 2016 / 6:33 pm

    It is incredibly beautiful there isn’t it? I have heard and read that it is very expensive so it will have to wait awhile. But, who wouldn’t want to stay in one of those bungalows. Looks like a lot of fun!
    LISA recently posted…Kenai Fjords National ParkMy Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:23 am

      Hi Lisa, visiting The Maldives doesn’t have to be mega expensive. Yes, it is all inclusive so you pay it all up front but Meedhupparu is one of the more affordable destinations, shop around and don’t use High Street travel agents!

  7. December 26, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    Tracy loved reading your post! We’ve been to Meeru in the Maldives so could relate to what you say! The Maldives are just the best beach destination in the world in our opinion and we’ve been to many places from Asia to the Caribbean and nowhere else compares. So good for you going back, I think we will too once we’ve saved up! thanks for sharing your story.
    Garth recently posted…12 Best countries to visit in 2017My Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:26 am

      Hi Garth, we definitely agree that there is no better beach holiday than The Maldives. Looking forward to our 4th visit sometime in the future!

  8. December 27, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Oh I very much want to visit the Maldives, mainly for the diving and there are so many islands we wish to visit I don’t know how we will pick! Your photos are so beautiful and have made us want to visit there sooner rather than later .. money depending of course, so I love that you mention that isn’t not always expensive. Thank you for giving me serious wanderlust! #feetdotravel

    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:30 am

      Hi Angie, definitely shop around. Each year we’ve been we’ve managed to beat the previous years price! Maybe we’re getting better at negotiating with travel companies. Always ask for a better price ?

  9. December 28, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    Looks so peaceful and relaxing! Never been to Maldives but will definitely travel there one day! These blue waters … I feel relaxed only from seeing your photos! I normally have and intense sightseing vacation but I guess in a place like Maldives you can´t get enough of the ocean and lazying under the sun!
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    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:33 am

      Hi Anna it’s good to end a hectic holiday with a trip to The Maldives. We did a week travelling in Sri Lanka which was full-on and then totally relaxed on the beach at Meedhupparu. A great way to end a holiday!

    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:34 am

      Hi Rima, you should definitely go! I’m sure you’ll love it!

  10. December 29, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I am a bit embarrassed to say I always thought the Maldives are somewhere in the Carribean ha! Well now that I know it’s closer to me than I thought, I might even try visiting myself. Especially for diving and snorkelling. Looks very pristine and the seaplane ride is an added bonus. Thanks for getting your friends story through to us!
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    • Linda Tallett
      December 29, 2016 / 10:36 am

      Hi Kreete, hope you get to visit now you know it’s closer to you! Definitely worth it!

  11. December 30, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    What a wonderful vacation in the Maldives. I have always wanted to visit but after seeing your photos I have moved it up on my bucket list. How relaxing and a beach bungalow seems to work out fine. The clear blue water and white sand beach plus the beach bar is all I need. I pinned this later for my use. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 7:21 pm

      Hi Stephanie, it really is just like the photos and just 14 steps from our room to the waters edge – what more could you dream of! Hope you get to visit, I’m sure you’ll love it.

  12. January 6, 2017 / 6:36 pm

    The Maldives are somewhere I’ve wanted to go for a while so really enjoyed reading your post. They;re often associated with expensive luxury so knowing that it can be done for a bit cheaper is really encouraging. Have to say a pilot in flip-flops is a little concerning but also pretty funny. Staying further from Male sounds like a good tip to get a bit more peace and quiet. Great tips Tracy.
    David recently posted…My Favourite Countries of 2016My Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 7:36 pm

      Thanks David, glad you liked my post. We were surprised how little it cost, especially when you take into account it’s all-inclusive so once you’ve paid for it, you really don’t have to spend anymore!

  13. January 6, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    I’m DYING to visit and we originally wanted to go here for our honeymoon this coming May/June, but thought it would be a bit too much out of our budget. But I will go one day! Hopefully before they disappear! #WeekendWanderlust
    Lolo recently posted…A COMPLETE Guide to the Kentucky Bourbon TrailMy Profile

    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 7:41 pm

      Lolo we recommend getting in touch with Ian at Away Holidays, they did us a great deal for our last two holidays there. Have a great honeymoon! ❤️

  14. January 7, 2017 / 5:59 pm

    I’ve always wanted to visit Maldives. Looks so peaceful and relaxing.

    Of course I’m one of the exploring types but sometimes I do feel the need to take a breather sometimes, especially as I get older:) Plus Maldives is not too far from Oman where I live, so I might just take a flight there soon.

    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      It’s the perfect place to just relax! Wish we lived closer and could visit more often. Hope you get to go soon ?

    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      Hi Juliette, we honestly couldn’t believe what we were seeing – smartly dressed pilots kicking off their flip flops and chilling whilst flying us over to the island. Says it all about relaxing lol ?

    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 8:14 pm

      Hi Rob & Ann, we always thought we’d get tired of returning but no, we can’t get enough of holidaying on Meedhupparu. Can’t wait for our 4th visit ? Definitely recommend you try it!!

  15. January 9, 2017 / 4:26 am

    So nice! I think we all dream of visiting a relaxing and pristine place. I am from the Caribbean, so, I have an idea on how beautiful, I can-believe-how-the-color-of-the-water looks. Now, I still have to take a look at the beaches in the Pacific. Hope I can do it once (or more than once like you). #WeekendWanderlust
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    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 8:20 pm

      Hi Ruth how lucky are you being from the Caribbean ? South East Asia is next on our travel list so I hope the beaches there are as fabulous!

  16. January 11, 2017 / 5:49 am

    Since you pointed out that the low-lying islands are sinking into the ocean due to climate change, I feel the urgency to get to the Maldives soon. Plus, your photos showcase such beauty. It looks like a tropical paradise. Seeing coral reefs and snorkeling with the fish and turtles sounds like an awesome experience! #WeekendWanderlust
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    • Linda Tallett
      January 11, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Hi Erin, we couldn’t believe how some of the beach outside our bungalow had disappeared in just a year. It’s so sad to think what the future will be for the Maldives. I hope you get to visit soon!

  17. July 3, 2017 / 2:52 am

    My friends keep talking about wanting to go to the Maldives and I keep seeing ads for it on my FB feed. Reading this post has just increased my curiosity regarding this popular beach destination. Whenever I think “Maldives” I think “expensive”. Perhaps the flight ticket there is the most expensive part. I wonder how budget friendly it really is since we have a very cheap idea of what “budget friendly” means. The crystal blue waters are beautiful!
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