Maldives – Destination Worth Saving Money

Another hot summer is here, and this means that the vacation time is also getting closer. It is a high time for most of you to pick a destination for this year’s adventure, and if you really want to enjoy, then you should choose the Maldives. They may be small, but Maldives have a lot to offer to all of the guests!

Where Are the Maldives, Anyway?

Maldives are a small independent Republic located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, south of India and Sri Lanka. This little country is, in fact, an archipelago of over a thousand coral islands with only 192 of them being inhabited. These numerous islands are grouped in 26 coral atolls which are all barely above the sea level, which makes Maldives the lowest country in the world. Malé is the capital city located on the biggest island in the archipelago, and it is also among the most densely populated cities in the world.
Reaching Maldives will not be a problem since there are direct flights to this incredible country. And once you arrive you can always choose among many seaplanes that will transport you around the whole archipelago. These planes are not only a means of transportation but also a real tourist attraction because they will provide you with incredibly astonishing views of coral reefs and other beauties. There are also frequent ferry lines between the islands or you can use one of the common boats or even Speed Launches. They are a kind of a local taxi between the atolls but are quite comfortable and fast too.

Beautiful coral reefs, fabulous sandy beaches, pleasant climate and diverse flora and fauna, make Maldives the top global tourist location and a real heaven on Earth. Young couples particularly adore choosing Maldives for their honeymoon, but other people also love coming here.

Interesting Past of the Maldives

Maldives have a long history, and it seems that the first people settled in here some 2500 years ago. They had intense connections with India and Sri Lanka throughout the history, and that is why Buddhism used to be the dominant religion in Maldives. Historians believe that the great emperor Ashoka was the one who spread this religion in the Maldives. But in the 12th century, one Berber missionary managed to spread Islam and ever since this religion has become the official one throughout the archipelago. Ibn Battuta, one of the most famous travellers and explorers, was also present in the Maldives for some time, and he left much interesting and relevant information about the islands. Maldives used to be a part of Portuguese and British Empires, and they finally gained their independence in 1968. All of these cultures have left their impact on the archipelago, and some of them can still be seen today.

maldives beach

Places You Must Visit

Apart from beaches, atolls and other natural beauties, there are also many other destinations you simply must see. The capital city Malé is probably the most enthralling town in the world since it occupies the whole island. So, it looks like it will literally fall into the ocean. If you reach it by plane, the first image that will come to you is Atlantis, since Malé has probably the most resemblance to this legendary city.

Once you come to the city you should go to the Republic Square where you can have a small rest in a fantastic park. From there you can easily reach one of the main tourist attractions in the city – the Islamic Center. In the Islamic Center, you can witness its amazing architecture and incredible wooden carvings. Also, right next to the centre you can see the 17th century Friday Mosque, which was entirely made of coral stones. And next to the mosque you can see the shrine of the man who introduced Islam to Maldives. You can discover more about the countries past in the National Museum, but you should also visit the local bazaars. There are many markets in the city, but the produce and fish markets are maybe the most exciting.

Accommodation in Maldives Exceeds All Expectations

Once you make a decision to visit Maldives, you have to be aware of the fact that deciding on accommodation will surely be one of the hardest choices. The fact that Maldives invest a lot of their resources in housing and the quality of the services they provide make this heaven- like place not only a must- see but also places Maldives among the highest ranked destinations everyone would love to visit at least once in their life. The beautiful nature and the unreal blue colour of the sea are the two components that remain etched in tourists’ memories forever. However, the fairytale- like types of accommodation that perfectly fit the environment make Maldives a real present, a gem on Earth no one would ever like to leave. But, how can accommodation make you feel like this? Very easily, to begin with. Namely, you are free to choose any possible type of housing in Maldives.

The well- known accommodation involves staying in hotels, depending on your budget. Most of the hotels in Maldives are five- star, offering all inclusive service. All of these hotels undoubtedly have amenities such as indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a gym, massages, night bars and clubs, children’s parks, and much more. But in addition, hotels that are ranked as four- or three- star accommodations will also make sure nothing lacks you. Indeed, the presence of the huge number of hotels in Maldives creates a competition between all the types of accommodation. All of the hotels compete to provide their clients with the best possible service since the word of mouth and recommendation is vital for the future business and future visitors. Therefore, you will not make a mistake no matter what hotel you choose.

However, the most popular accommodation are the famous villas – the ones we can see on TV or in magazines when a super handsome couple have a romantic honeymoon in one of these over- water bungalows overlooking the sapphire sea and being served wine and delicious, traditional foods. Such a type of accommodation can usually be found in the popular resorts. There are indeed various kinds of bungalows such as beach bungalows – located on the beach with all the possible, luxury facilities or water villas – the small, but cosy and luxury houses above the sea. There are also jacuzzi beach villas where apart from an incredible design and comfortable, private apartment, you also get jacuzzi service, and so on. The cool thing about the villas and bungalows like these is that you most certainly get luxury, comfort, and privacy. All of them are inevitably overlooking the sea, but there is also one, not so good thing. Namely, the bungalows and villas are really expensive. A night in one of these villas or bungalows placed in resorts costs normally around £200. Hence, if your budget is small, you should forget about this kind of accommodation.

However, it does not mean you should forget about Maldives in general because this beautiful place can host tourists that can afford less money than the others. In 2009, the local population was allowed to make their own guesthouses.  Today you can find several locally owned establishments suitable for your stay, and the price is very affordable. Namely, one will pay less than £26 per night, which is more than excellent when compared to hotels and villas. You will not get the all inclusive service, but your room will be clean, comfortable and air- conditioned. An interesting thing about most of the bathrooms in Maldives is the fact that they are completely separated from your room. So, in this case, you will also get outdoors, but walled bathroom you will surely find interesting and easy to use.

Cuisine Based on Fresh Fish

Depending on the type of accommodation, you can also choose the kind of the cuisine. For instance, should you stay in a hotel, you can choose from a wide variety of dishes and meals, either traditional or international. The same stands for the restaurants in the country. All of them inevitably offer meals for everyone – meat lovers, vegetarians, and gourmets willing to try any kind of traditional meals prepared according to an old and transmitted- from- generation- to- generation recipe.

However, in case you really want to investigate how does it look like to live in Maldives and to taste a real, local and traditional cuisine of the Maldives, you should get to know the local population. The old and wise rule says: Eat where the locals eat, and you will get the most quality dishes on your holiday. That is why all those tourists who decide to stay in the guesthouses owned by locals will have the chance to meet the Maldivian cuisine.

For example, locals eat authentic meals that usually involve, lo and behold, grilled fish. Maldivians love to eat in groups, and should you stay in private accommodation you will always be invited to eat with their families.

Don’t leave the country without trying tuna mixed with onion and lime juice, and served with the tasty and must- try bread, called Roshi. Traditional lunch and dinner typically contain fresh fish, mouthwatering curry, buttered rice and of course Roshi.

An unusual custom in Maldivian families is that they eat their lunch or dinner with bare hands. However, if you find this custom too inappropriate, you will be served your meal with cutlery.

Snorkelling and Diving as the Most Popular Activities

Having in mind that the Maldives are surrounded by beautiful sea, the main excursions consider diving and snorkelling. If you are inexperienced in these activities, you can rent a trainer to guide you and show you some of the best underwater locations rich in endemic and rare species of fish and aquatic plants.

A good, but somewhat riskier way is to ask some of the locals to show you their favourite reefs and diving spots. You will be amazed how beautiful and miraculous are the spots chosen by the locals. They are always more beautiful than those places chosen by the regular diving excursions.

If you have the courage to see and swim with the whale sharks, then Maldives are the perfect place for doing so. The best possible solution is, again, to ask some of the locals to bring you on one such excursion. You will have to pay around £25 for this unforgettable pleasure.