A destination at the top of my wish list since time immemorial.
I have often asked and asked my readers what was the most beautiful sea ever seen, one of the most recurring answers was: Maldives.
Water is my natural element, what makes me feel in tune with the surrounding environment and the Maldives are a real paradise on earth.
Thanks to Master Consulting, the Maldives Tourist Autorithy and Qatar Airways, I had the incredible opportunity to be able to tell you about one of my dream destinations.
How to get to Maldives
It starts from Rome on a day in October, one of the best climatic months to explore these islands (the least rainy of all is instead April).
The stop over is in Doha and after about 10 hours we find ourselves in the small airport of Malè, the capital of the Maldives.
There are also direct flights from Italy but objectively Qatar Airways is one of the best companies I’ve ever flown with and the journey itself is an experience.
Do you remember my experience in the number one business class in the world? HERE.
The authentic side: the guesthouses on the fishermen’s islands
In the common imagination these islands are for few and for important occasions like honeymooners in super resorts.
In reality there is everything a more authentic side to discover that it is possible to live on the islands of fishermen in accommodations such as guest houses.
These are small hotels, often in B&B establishments, usually cheaper than resorts.
I firmly believe that it is the inhabitants of a place who are the soul of a land and stop only at the luxurious resorts on private islands (where there is only the hotel structure) that is reductive.
In general, if you have plans to visit this destination, I think it is right to try and learn about the reality of the guest houses to come into contact with local customs and habits and combine a few days of total relaxation in the resorts (over water).
Guest house Canopus / Samura in Thulusdoo
The first guesthouse that Manuela and I visited is half an hour away from the port / airport of Malè.
It is run by an Italian boy who immediately made us perceive the enthusiasm of those who found new life in these lands torn from the sea.
We stayed at the Canopus, the structure next to the main one: Samura (always fully booked).
Thanks to Giacomo, the owner, we immediately perceived how here time is marked by mother nature. You wake up at dawn with the first light of the sun, if the weather is good you move in the sea for fishing and other activities, otherwise you relax by listening to the sound of rain.
I cannot hide from you the fact that the first days of our journey were just the rain to accompany us. Here the weather is absolutely variable and changes over and over again in a day (the weather to consult is absolutely not reliable).
However, temperatures remain high (around 30 degrees) throughout the year (given the proximity to the Equator).
This is the perfect island for surf lovers, but there are many activities to do and honestly we have never been bored, not even for 5 minutes.
Surely the most evocative moment was at the breakfast organized by Giacomo at dawn on a strip of very white sand discovered by him: Infinity.
At low tide it emerges from the waters and has allowed us to live one of the experiences that I will always remember.
While we were here, a tropical storm hit us in full. Only solution? Snorkel underwater admiring the surreal calm of the marine world among thousands of fish with the most incredible colors.
A moment I will never forget.
Plumeria Hotel – Thinadhoo Island
The second leg of my trip to the Maldives was on the smaller island of Thinadhoo, Vaavu atoll (in all, the atolls that make up the nation are 26).
The Plumeria Hotel is a structure more like a resort but with the characteristics of a guest house: it is located on a local island (8 families) and the rules to follow are those of the state in respect of local customs and traditions.
Alcohol is absolutely forbidden in the fishermen’s islands and it is possible to swim in the bikini in the sea only in some designated areas (personal advice, bring US dollars for purchases).
We arrive at the Plumeria after about 1 hour and a half by speed boat from the port of Malè (transfers are always organized by the structures).
To expect a small island made of white sand, crystal clear sea, a handful of colorful houses and the jungle to surround them.
A true earthly paradise.
The unmissable excursions
The Plumeria offers many possibilities for excursions and we have been lucky to be able to experience some (everything depends a lot on the weather).
Do not miss the swim among the nurse sharks. At first I was a bit scared, but when I travel I always let myself be led by a mantra: do what the locals do, if they tell you not to worry it’s all ok.
So for about 15 minutes I swam between dozens and dozens of sharks totally oblivious to our presence. A very strong emotion!
Less heart-pounding but remembering breakfast on a strip of sand and experience on a desert island.
The best memories are then related to snorkeling. Right in front of the hotel beach we met a sea turtle and a little further on a wreck became home to a thousand colorful fish.
Certainly the Maldives is a place where I wish to return already. I can honestly say that I didn’t get bored even 5 minutes and that being able to enjoy it in an earthly paradise like this is truly a unique experience.
Living the destination in a guest house means tasting the local cuisine (my mouth is watering and thinking about kotturoshi), playing foosball with the boys of the island and more simply admiring the sunset together as if I lived on the island for years .
A way to experience the Maldives suitable for all ages, for couples or for friends and all in all decidedly more low cost than the resorts of the common imagination.
For infos and reservations.
Maldives | Tel: +96 0332 2822, Fax: +960 3343677
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