February 20, 2013

Why you should visit the Maldives

The tagline of the Maldives is the “sunny side of life”. And what could be more apt to describe the 1190 coral islands scattered in the Indian Ocean that enjoy sunshine day in and day out?  If you haven’t fallen for the Maldives yet, here are 10 reasons why you should …

1. The best news for South African passport holders? You don’t need a visa to visit! A visitors permit is issued on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of arrival.

2. With an average temperature of 31°C, the islands enjoy many hours of sunshine and there are only small variations in temperature throughout the year. Although it is a year-round destination, take note of monsoon season (Monsoon season in the south-west is from May to October and in the north-east from November to April). Thus December to April is sometimes said to be the best time to visit. 

Aerial view of Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort
3. The warm waters of the Maldives, with a visibility of up to 50 metres, and the abundant coral reefs earn these tiny islands a reputation as one of the world’s best diving and snorkelling destinations.

2013 HIGHLIGHT: If diving is your thing, then you want to put the LUX* Maldives Underwater Festival Special 2013 on your wish list! The special package offer at the ultra luxurious LUX* Maldives includes 9 dives plus 1 fluo night dive per person, underwater photography and filming course, Whale Shark education day, free-diving/Apnea course for beginners and guided dives for advanced divers. To view this package, click here

4. Surf at some well-known spots in North and South Malé Atoll. The best time to surf is April to October.

5. Wine & dine 16 feet underwater at the Ithaa Underwater Restaurant, the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant. Situated at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Hotel, entrance is via a spiral staircase in a thatched pavilion at the end of a jetty. The restaurant only seats 14 people. There is only one word for this once-in-a-lifetime experience – wow!

6. Stay in a Water Villa – built on stilts and set directly over the water with direct access to the lagoon. This is the ultimate Maldives holiday experience. Most resorts offer a water villa option and many other beach, garden, etc accommodation categories to suit different budgets and tastes. 

LUX* Maldives Water Villas
Olhuveli Jacuzzi Water Villa
7. Take a ride in a seaplane/air taxi. When you book a package, most resorts will include an airport transfer but you can enquire about specifically getting a seaplane transfer if it isn't mentioned. Or arrange to enjoy a seaplane flight over the Maldives while you marvel at the different shades of blue as far as your eye can see. We challenge you not to feel like a famous celebrity when travelling like this!

8. The Maldivian culture is heavily influenced by Sri Lankan, Indian and African elements. Enjoy a traditional Maldivian dinner of fresh fish and seafood, while you’re entertained by the friendly Maldivians with Bodu Beru (a form of Maldivian folk music consisting of drumming which is closely linked to African tribal drumming rituals).

9. Visit an inhabited island to experience the life of an ordinary Maldivian. 

The capital city of the Maldives, Malé
10. Relax! Breathe, rest, dream. Whatever you feel like doing, do it. Whether it be a sunset dhoni cruise, relaxing in the spa or simply enjoying time alone with your partner when on a romantic break, the Maldives is the perfect place to do it.

To browse the Maldives packages on offer, visit the Sure Travel website here.

Photo credits: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11


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