Planning your first trip to the island paradise of Maldives is exciting but it can also be somewhat daunting. There are many choices to be made and often information is hard to come by. To really enjoy your holiday it is best to do a bit of homework first. This is just a brief guide as to what you can expect and what some of the options are.
The Maldives consists of over 1000 islands with just over 100 of these being resort islands. When you book yourself into a resort, that island is pretty much where you stay and entertain yourself. This means that you need to choose carefully. You will be dependent on that island for sports, entertainment, and easting. There are trips back to the main island Male but otherwise, you stick to the island that you are staying on. This calls for careful planning.
The islands can be very small at a length of around 150m up to about 2.5km. Some are more densely populated than built up than others. The cost of the resorts ranges from fairly reasonable to more expensive luxury resorts. Less expensive resorts are set further back from the beach while the more upmarket options are close to the beach or on stilts directly above the sea water.
Some resorts will offer more in the way of entertainment and better meal options. While all the beaches are spectacular some will be enjoyable than others. Sports, particularly watersports also differ from one island to the next. Some do not offer scuba diving and some do not even have snorkeling directly off the island. Decide what is important to you before making your final decision.
Another relatively new option that is very affordable is to stay in a guesthouse on one of 5 islands that offer this accommodation. This will give you a greater feel for the local culture and the true Maldives experience. Again, you will need to investigate a bit to find one that suits your needs and your budget.
You will fly into the Hulhule Airport in Male. From there, you will take a seaplane, boat or occasionally a short local flight to your island resort. All of these are a great experience.
Activities and Entertainment
While there are a number of activities on many of the island resorts or trips to Male, be prepared to relax and enjoy the golden beach with a good book or the company of a loved one. If you are looking for a bit more excitement and adventure you can snorkel the coral reefs. Not all island resorts are that close to the reef so some will require a boat trip. For divers, there are many opportunities but it is still advisable to confirm this in advance. Windsurfing and other watersports are other options available at some resorts.
Some of the larger resort islands have spas, tennis courts, and gyms. Fishing is another option in some areas. Remember that many of these activities, particularly diving and fishing, will cost you a fair amount of extra money. It is important to budget for these extras.
If you spend some time researching, you can have a really wonderful first trip to the Maldives.