The Maldivian islands have always been an imaginary destination that I used to tell myself I wouldn’t believe was true until I saw it for myself. I’ve visited the Maldives the first time in October 2013 and it was just breathtaking. Since this I knew that I’ve to visit this paradise again. It’s not an imaginary place. Let these photos be evidence.
If you aren’t flying over this area of the Indian Ocean (or scrolling over it on Google Earth, much less magical) then you might not understand just how many little islands are scattered around. Choosing which island to visit is like being in a small ice cream parlor with 1.190 flavors to choose from, all of which look incredible. Being that our trip fell at the high season and on the brink of more unpredictable weather – a friendly way of describing “monsoon season” – we basically had all 1,190 flavors to choose from. After much research and deliberation we decided on Amari Havodda, a resort next to Thinadhoo the Süd Huvadhu atoll of the Maldives (an “atoll” is a set of islands and reefs made up of coral – the Maldives is divided into 26 atolls).
Our experience of the Maldives was greatly shaped by the resort we stayed at, as it seems most of these smaller islands are actually entire resorts / package experiences as opposed to island cities you can freely visit. To get to almost any of these tiny paradises is not a simple hop, skip and a jump either. We first flew into the larger skyscraper-dense island and capital of the Maldives, Male, which houses the international airport as well as a launching point for the rest of the more remote destinations in the Maldives. From Male, we had the enchanting experience of flying down over the clusters of atolls that make up the Maldives to a domestic airport Thinadhoo in the Süd Huvadhu region, and from there we took a speedboat ride to the island.
This plane + boat transfer sequence was repeated for getting to Amari Havodda. If you want to go to an island which is not Male you’ve to take a domestic flight, a speedboat or both. Our first impression of the Maldives rendered us entirely speechless. I wish I had a video recorded of our initial reaction because to describe in words how surreal the Maldives is would be much easier by showing you the expressions on our faces when we first arrived. Rather than explaining in detail every magical moment of our trip, I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
The first day we got a Beach villa. This Villa was amazing. We had our own private beach and a private pool. After 4 Nights we got an Overwater Bungalow with a direct access to the ocean. Some of the highlights for me were first of all my birthday – as a birthday present I got a lovely bathtube full with flowers and bathfoam and also a big chocolate cake with my name on it. Just for your information: I ate almost the whole cake in bed after dinner haha. After that I had stomachache. Typical me haha.
Another highlight was eating fresh tropical fruits on our back deck which was sitting atop the bluest, clearest ocean I’ve ever encountered, as well as biking around the docks and islands barefoot (most of Maldives seems to have a “no-shoe” policy much to my delight as it really simplified outfit planning). We were snorkeling every day. The house reef was really beautiful. I saw a turtle, a ray and some sharks (small and bigger ones). Of course also some colorful fish but my highlight was the turtle – it was amazing. Two years ago we’ve been to Hawaii, Lahaina and we booked a turtle snorkeling tour which was very expensive, I think it was about 150$ per person. They promised that we will see some turtles – we didn’t haha. So it was really amazing too see a big turtle in this crystal clear, turquoise water just a few centimeters in front of me.
All in all, we clearly had a pretty incredible glimpse into the desktop-screensaver-imaginary paradise that is the cluster of 1,190 little mini paradises that is the Maldives. There are quite a few flavors yet to taste, so I have a feeling I’ll be back a third time.