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Luxury in Maldives. Spa or Cruising Boat ?

Day 47 in Maldives. ARI ATOLL.
Luxury Moment in Maldives. Is it a Spa or a Cruising boat ?
Do you have an idea ? Let us a comment !

Maldives spa or cruising boat

Luxury in Maldives | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

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Asia chose Maldives as Best Diving Sites in the World

2009 and 2010 are the Years of Maldives !

Diver in Maldives jumping in lagoon

Diving in Maldives | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

The largest diving and beach resort exhibition in Asia, the Marine Diving Fair, was held in Tokyo Japan, from April 2nd until April 04th 2010.

During this 2 days,  Maldives were awarded twice during the Yearly Dive & Travel Awards 2010 Ceremony. The Awards are based on judgement and votes from the thousands of readers of the 2 famous Diving Magazines “Travel Diver” and “Marine Diving” as a “Reader’s Choice Award”.

At the top of the list this year, Maldives won the Awards for :

  • “Best Diving Area” among very strong candidates as the World famous dive favourites Palau in the Pacific Ocean and Ishigaki Island in Japan ( famous for their 65 beautiful and rich diving sites).
  • “Best Dreaming Area” against the fabulous French Polynesia and one more time Palau.

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Dreaming of Maldives…A Photo of a Magical moment .

Dreaming of Maldives…Just for pleasure, enjoy an unique and magical moment in Maldives.

Photo of a double Rainbow on a Maldivian lagoon

Photo of a double rainbow in Maldives

Photo of a double rainbow in Maldives | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

More infos and photos on DreamingofMaldives.com

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Windsurfing in Maldives, Funboarding in Maldives, Kitesurfing in Maldives…all pleasures allowed !

Windsurfing in Maldives-funboard

Windsurfing in Maldives-funboard | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

Windsurf  lovers…make your choice and get ready for MAGICAL times.

Maldives are mostly known for snorkeling and diving.

But what about windsurfing, funboarding and kitesurfing ?

Sailing on Maldives pristine lagoons is a must and will definitively offer unique sensations to both beginners and advanced. But surprisingly, despite of their amazing natural assets, Maldives still did not receive  the recognition they deserve also on this matter.

2 consecutive years of windsurfing in Maldives gave me the chance to experience totally magical and unique moments on their blue lagoons. Maldives are indeed a Paradise to play with the wind and  I believe that more facts, information and advises should be given.

Some of the following information might be totally new for you.

But before starting, I wish to outline that beyond diving and snorkeling, Maldives are also known for being an ideal surfing spot. This activity would obviously deserve to be focused on, but surfing does not require the same spot conditions,  logistic and holiday routing plan. Surfing in Maldives is a vast subject that will be developed in a future article. Let’s concentrate here on windsurf, funboard and kitesurf.

On the other side Water skiing and Jet skiing are less common in Maldives. I will also post about this subject later on. A little patience….

Windsurfing, Funboarding, Kitesurfing in Maldives, all pleasures allowed and highly recommended !

A few facts, information and advises :

Can I practice such activities in Maldives ?

YES. Absolutely. But not everywhere. The possibility to practice depends mainly on the equipment and assistance on location. Mostly, all resorts have a Water sport center to offer, but they differ from each other in matter of quality and  choice of equipment. Furthermore, resorts with very small lagoons will eventually not provide them or partially.

The material

In general, resorts do have material at disposal. Among others, they offer basic windsurf equipment – varying from the old to more recent models – funboard equipment – varying also according to the islands – and last but not least,  kitesurf gear. For information kitesurf  is quite recent in Maldives and is getting more and more widespread in the archipelago.

You can of course bring your own material with you. Some Airline Companies, like Emirates assure the transport for free, but at certain conditions ( refer to emirates and/or your travel agent for more information and reconfirmation)

  1. Material must not be more than 9.84 feet long.
  2. Material must be correctly and securely packed.
  3. Material weight must be part of your checked baggage allowance.

How can I be sure to find good material on location ?

It is difficult to answer for sure. Detailed information about resort water sport equipments are not that easy to find.  Keep in mind that all equipments are quite always subject to an extra fee.

Some resorts put at disposal ideal gears to have a fantastic ride, meanwhile some others just offer the minimum acceptable to enjoy it. On this matter, I strongly advice you to get information and confirmation with the hotel or via your travel agent. Pay attention, resort category does not matter in this case. I saw very nice water sport centers in simple 3 stars resorts !


I am a beginner, can I learn windsurf and Kitesurf in Maldives ?

Yes. Quite all resorts have material for beginners. Some of them also offer small sails for an easier start.

Differences between services in resorts mainly resides in their ability to offer a good instruction team and the natural assets of the island itself. But again, it has nothing to do with the category of the resort.

If instructors are not guaranteed everywhere, you have chances to meet a friendly and helpful Maldivian at the water sport center who will be happy to teach you the basic.

Concerning the island environment, you should prefer an island with a large lagoon, not to crowded with corals;  All Maldivian islands do not offer this particularity.

You will have to be careful with the numerous snorkelers and swimmers who will also enjoy the beauty of  Maldives paradisiacal  lagoons.

Is it dangerous to practice them ?

Alike any water sport activity, some basic rules have to be kept in mind and some of them must not be forgotten for your own safety and of course the safety of others.

Firstly, even if you believe you are a confirmed windsurfer or kitesurfer, do not go too far from your island. Please inform the team at the water sport center about your ride plan, the weather and check if there is a safety boat. Ask also if rescue will be extra charged on your bill.

Any spot in the world ( particularly tropical destinations with corals) has its own defect : corals, narrow and difficult reef channels, various lagoon depths, currents but also sudden wind changes, mostly during the monsoon, that might be sometimes destabilizing, mainly if you left the beach with a big sail. You can easily find yourself in a very delicate position, subject to currents, tough winds and very rough seas. Again, listen carefully the water sport member(s), they know their lagoons like no other.

Finally, respect snorkelers, divers and swimmers who are obviously king of the destination.

Kitesurfing in Maldives

Kitesurf in Maldives | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

What are the best resorts in Maldives for windsurf, funboard and kitesurf ?

Sliding on the incredibly turquoise and transparent lagoons of Maldives is an absolute pleasure. You will be amazed by the extraordinary pristine waters  that will run under your board. According to the spot…and if it is your lucky day, you will be able to see many fishess and even stingrays passing by as you slalom.

To be able to live the ultimate sliding sensation in Paradise, you should choose a resort featuring a wide lagoon. Most of  resort websites show aerial views of the island and it should give you a good idea of the spot. Do not forget the fantastic observation tool of Google Earth.

From my personal experience, I will keep in memory the following islands : Rihiveli, Velassaru, Baros, Meedhupparu, Medhufushi, Kuramathi, White Sands- (prev. Ari Beach) among others. All these resorts have absolutely wonderful and perfect lagoons for windsurf, funboard and Kitesurf.

Maldives windsurfing conditions are generally better for a smooth and fantastic slalom. Waves are not their best asset and can be found outside house reefs, but you need to be well prepared and again to check with the water sport team.

I believe it is also worth mentioning that you will rarely windsurf or kitesurf in crowded conditions. Often alone or with tiny groups, the lagoon is yours and the pleasure is complete.

What is the best season to enjoy windsurf, funboard and kitesurf in Maldives ?

Beginners can enjoy them and learn all year long.

Advanced will rather come during the monsoon, between May and October( low season in Maldives- due to the high probabilities of bad weather), when winds are more regular and strong to very strong.  Skies turn dark, lagoons take a fascinating bright turquoise color. The contrast is then amazing and worth being seen.

The rest of the year, approximately from October until April, high season in Maldives, generally proposed as best period to travel is more random.

But rains and winds ( small depressions) still can occur…it is unpredictable.

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MALDIVES, WHERE SECRETS STILL REMAIN…

Beyond lagoons and Paradisiacal beaches, the Maldives have also a very long history punctuated with rising and falling where many secrets still have to be revealed and discovered.

If you love to discover historical sites during your holidays and have visited Maldives, you might have felt disappointed and sceptical about Maldivian history.

This is a common misconception.

On the contrary, Maldives have a rich and long history dating back to thousands of years ago.

Many ancient and major civilizations ( Phoenicians, Mesopotamians, Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, Europeans…) have let their influences or their cultures in the Maldives.
Common historical sightseeing in Maldives often includes the old Sultan’s Palace with its National Museum and Hukuru Miskiiy– the oldest mosque in Maldives.
But many reminiscence of the past can be found or remain still undetected by Archaeologists among the archipelago.
Excavations are still running today and can be sometimes performed on long periods due to the singular and extremely extended geography of Maldives.
Pre-Buddhist, Buddhist, Hindu artefacts are among the most surprising results of these researches.
Many shrines, temples and other witnesses of these times were destroyed during the Islamic conquest and colonization of the Maldives.
Furthermore, various artefacts and places, already discovered, still remain ignored among the public (Maldivians and foreigners) as many of them are located on distant islands, often out of reach for the Islanders and currently not reachable by tourists.
During one of my visit to some far atolls, I was honoured by the local Authorities to have the exceptional possibility to enter and photograph one of these hidden and totally unknown places :
Maldives unknown Historical Museum
The unknown Museum of Maldives | The Residence of Khatheeb Hussain Thakurufaanu, father of The National  Maldivian Hero: Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam, located in Utheemu Island (Haa Alif Atoll).\ Photo Copyrights Sakis Papadopoulos

Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al-Azam is one of the most celebrated Maldivian heroes who saved Maldives from the Portuguese conquerors who ruled over the Maldives from 1558-1573. Portuguese conquerors have let in the history of Maldives a painful series of stories of cruel and massive killings in a short time. Independence went beyond relief.

The date of the original construction of the Residence is unknown, but in oral tradition it is said that the house was built during the reign of Kalhu Muhammed Siri Dhanmaru Bavana Mahaaradhum around the 15th/16th century AD.

More Photos and information about Maldives on DreamingofMaldives.com

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Maldives Reefs and Lagoons aerial view

Diving in Maldives at a glance
Maldives are undoubtedly a Paradise for divers and snorkelers.

The archipelago offers a wide range of undersea sites. The Ocean that surrounds Maldives can reach a depth of 4000 meters. Outside of atoll edges, reefs rapidly fall to abysses and can give vertigo to the most experimented diver.
On the other side, inside reefs offer ideal conditions, reaching an average of 50 meters depth. In Maldives, a few minutes of boat transfer are sometimes enough to bring you to the most exciting and rich diving sites. Some Resorts even possess at a close range, idyllic waters for a deep and breathtaking dive, giving the possibility to divers to reach out their exploration site directly from the beach.
For beginners, it will be the absolute occasion to feel their first scuba diving emotions. Maldivian lagoons are a must for a diving initiation. Such waters assure a safe and guaranteed opportunity to live high-emotion moments.
In Maldives, like a few other diving destination in the world (New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Bahamas….), scuba diving initiations can be done in lagoons without necessarily having to dive first in a swimming-pool, giving you a first glimpse of the abundant Sea Life of Maldives. Pristine, clear and calm waters will contribute to make you feel serene and confident.
Diving initiation prices vary according to the Resorts. You should expect an average of 50 euros -app.70 US- as a starting price for a 45 minutes to 1 hour experience.
If you believe that scuba diving is definitively not made for you, you will still be able to discover Maldives under sea marvels with a simple snorkel equipment.
In some Resorts, reefs can be explored and reached directly from the beach in front of your villa. The magic show starts after a few meters.
Tip : Ask to your travel agent for confirmation of existing nearby snorkeling spots. Any good travel agent must be able to inform you on this matter…and others.
If you book through the internet or directly with the Resort, do not hesitate to send them an e-mail with your question list.

So, let yourself be tempted.
White sandy beaches and swimming around in their lagoons might be enough to enjoy Maldives, but the experience will not be complete without having seen their amazing under sea life.
Maldives aerial photo

Maldives aerial photo | Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

(Photo from Dreaming of Maldives Creative Collection)

http://www.dreamingofmaldives.com

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SANDBANK IN MALDIVES

Maldives, in Luxury…and Barefoot

Maldives are the Absolute Barefoot Luxury destination.
White powdery beaches, pristine water lagoons, sunny skies, crystal clear water and hundreds of beautiful unique …private sandbanks.

Numerous luxury Resorts of Maldives offer you the opportunity to feel like a (pampered) Robinson for a day or a few hours on one of these private Hideaways.

On request, you will be privately transferred to one of this sumptuous sandbank for a private and exclusive time.
The choice is yours
Breakfast at sunrise, elegant picnic, a table for 2 to enjoy a delicious lunch, have a cocktail or a diner at sunset….

For more comfort elegant tents are also set-up for you.

Just bring a good Sun protection, a hat and any accessory that suits to your need.
Your Resort will bring you the rest.
No need to mention that your snorkeling gear will be at disposal.
But just bear in mind one little detail : No shoes.
Maldives barefoot luxury

Maldives barefoot luxury| Photo © Sakis Papadopoulos

(Photo from Dreaming of Maldives Creative Collection)

http://www.dreamingofmaldives.com

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