A quick holiday guide to the Maldives

A quick holiday guide to the Maldives
Photo Credit: Nattu
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Need an excuse for a trip to Maldives? Join the Maldivians to celebrate the country--s 50th Anniversary of Independence on July 26, 2015

Uttara Gangopadhyay
July 10 , 2015
03 Min Read

Begin with Malé
The capital city of Maldives is quite crowded as it is the country’s seat of administration and commerce. There are direct ferry boats to Malé from Hulhule, also called the airport island because the airport is located here. Wide range of accommodations to choose from in Malé. See the Republic Square garden and the Islamic Centre, the 17th century Friday Mosque, the National Museum and the newly created replica of a traditional Maldivian village; the last built to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence. To see more of contemporary Maldivian lifestyle, take a walk in the bazaars.

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Stay at a scenic resort
Yes, there are super luxury resorts for those who can afford them, but you can also opt for a budget-friendly resort without compromising on the location factor. With 26 natural atolls (categorised into 20 administrative atolls), Maldives has a sea-view for everyone. Budget guesthouse are also increasing in number. Many resorts offer all-inclusive family packages.

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Go on a sunset cruise
Most resorts offer a sunset cruise. See the sun dipping in the ocean, its red hue gradually spreading over the water. Seeing the dolphins at play during the trip is not unusual.

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Explore the water world
Maldives is known for its under-sea kingdom. If you do not have any prior experience or an amateur, begin with snorkelling in the shallow waters. You can ask your hotel or resort to help you with guides who can help you learn snorkelling. There are many private tour operators who also provide the same service. If you are an experienced diver, you will enjoy scuba diving in the crystal clear ocean. There are overhangs, gardens of corals, underwater caves, shipwrecks and more to explore. You can also learn diving and/or complete a diving course at a PADI-licensed centre.

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Try some water sports
Most of the resorts offer a slew of activities - canoeing, catamaran sailing, water skiing, fun tube, kayaking, wakeboarding, jet ski tours, parasailing, banana boat towing, windsurfing, snorkelling, kitesurfing and knee-boarding, etc. To quote the tourism website, “Zoom over the sea powered by the X-Jetpacks and fly like a superhero. Feel like James Bond when you embark on a Seabob ride on the fastest underwater scooter.” Go surfing if you like – there are excellent surfing spots for beginners, intermediates and experienced people. The surfing season usually extends from March to October with veterans aiming for the June-August period when the swells are the highest.

General information
The Maldives offers free 30-day tourist visa on arrival subject to a few conditions (valid passport, return ticket, etc.); www.immigration.gov.mv. For flight options from India, check www.skyscanner.co.in. Maldives has also begun a campaign entitled Visit Maldives Year 2016, which will include free holidays, festivals and other events as part of the celebration.  


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