Don’t panic a swarm of over-sized cat’s haven’t taken over the Maldives, it’s actually our high flying travel expert Catherine Harris sharing with us her unbelievable trip courtesy of Travel2 – Over to Cat….
Somebody said to me that they imagine the Maldives had been created by a ‘higher being’ skimming stones across the Indian Ocean – it made me smile as it totally made sense. Flying over the islands (which I did 8 times during the week!) you drink in the unique sights of stunning mounds of bright white sand, and lush greenery surrounded by ripples of varying shades of aqua – it’s a sight I don’t think you could ever tire of.
Day 1 – Veligandu
We had 7 nights to visit 14 resorts and experience as much of this amazing country as possible. We began at Veligandu where paradise really does come to life. There is a long bar of sand at one end of this island which you can walk down and feel like the only person in the world. I had the privilege of staying in a Jacuzzi Water Villa here which made me feel like I had won the lottery.
The Jacuzzi’s are great, they look out over the Ocean which I discovered not all of them do. A few of us enjoyed this treat for as long as possible, nearly catching the sunrise from it, but in the end the huge comfy beds called me for sleep. I believe we made the most of everything Veligandu had to offer.
We took the seaplane to Komandoo which is the ultimate in intimacy – just 400m long we had done the island tour in approx 30mins. Perfect for honeymooners or those who want to spend some quality time, doing nothing but relax and rejuvenate. On the opposite end of the scale we then moved on to Kuredu. The size of this island compared to the previous 2 took me by surprise, it is much bigger, and has a lively feel.
An island I’d recommend for younger people, friends and those who enjoy a busier nightlife. They even have a 6 hole golf course and football pitch here! We finished the day with a sunset cruise and were lucky enough to spot some very friendly dolphins.
Day 3 – Vilamendhoo
Vilamendhoo is a fab island and for me a perfect compromise between those visited previously. Small enough to walk around, but big enough to avoid cabin fever. One of the trip highlights was spent here, enjoying a nice cold beer in the infinity pool watching the sunset – followed up by a private, softly lit candle lit dinner on the beach… Breath-taking!
Today we ventured to the Centara Grand Island Resort and it took my breath away. Very whitewashed, New England in style and very serene. This island is also great for families as the water bungalows include kids bunk bed and a kids club with babysitting facilities. Lots of activities available including circus skills for small and big kids.
The Centara Ras Fushi was our stop for the night, the atmostphere was relaxed, and they have a few unique features. The bar has net seats over the ocean, sunbeds in the pool and ‘sand sofa’ private dining – you can enjoy your dinner from table and chairs wedged in the sand.
Next stop was Meeru – I was intrigued to see this resort due to its popularity and good value. A couple of things stood out to me about this island, one being the food. I haven’t mentioned the food out here yet, it was beautiful, everywhere it was beautiful, but here it was the buffet food that really impressed me, I can’t remember how many plates I ended up having but it was definitely too many.
It doesn’t have the busy feel that Kuredu does, and was still very quiet and for honeymooners – they have a special experience here where you can stay in a honeymoon suite out in the water, accessible only by boat. We also visited the Aadaran Hudhuranfushi which is great for surfing, yes surfing in the Maldives!
Today presented us with a busy 4 resort visit, and the tour operator had chartered a private yacht for the day. We started the day off in style with a champagne breakfast and I enjoyed a few hours soaking up the sun at the front of the boat – We were speeding around the islands in a boat hired normally reserved for celebrities – Again that ‘lottery win’ feeling really started to sink in.
The first two resorts on the agenda were ‘shiny’ and luxurious – The Taj Vivanta and the Jumeirah Vittaveli have a very royal feel, very polished – just perfection. The Pool Villas at the Taj really impressed me with the pool running parallel to the villas.
Next up was the Olhuveli which had a stunning Presidential Water Villa. It was huge, with an infinity pool facing the sunset – we then took an interesting dark boat journey to the Anantara Dhigu which was our home for the night. The hosts here immediately impressed us with stunning food and celebrity spotting.
Day 7 – Anantara Islands
On the 7th day we had some time to stop and enjoy the Anantara Islands. We were spoilt by our hosts here – One thing that’s impressed me is how attentive the Maldivian people are. We were taken on a snorkelling trip and some sharks (Veggie ones… phew) and then partook in a 90 minute massage (I could swear I physically floated around for a while).
The wine seemed to affect us all a little more after a day of relaxation and before long we were all singing along to Lionel Richies ‘Easy’ and reflecting on the incredible experiences we had all been so lucky to have these last few days…
Final Day – Veli, Kihavah & Dhigu (Anantara Islands)
Everyone was sad to leave the islands, but we still had the morning to tour the Anatara islands. My experience moving between the 3 islands is that they are close enough to swim or take a little shuttle boat which runs back and forth throughout the day – it’s one of the biggest bonus’ about the island, it gives you more to see and do without compromising on the islands size. They are all small and intimate, but offer slightly different restaurants and accommodation levels.
“The Maldives is one of the most unique and amazing countries I have visited. It should be on everyone’s bucket list and if you haven’t visited it, then it’s time to start making some enquiries. Which one is your favourite? I would love to tell you more about it”
Personal Travel Adviser
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