Ahhhh the Maldives, the jewel of the Indian Ocean. If you have paradise on your mind, then the Maldives is the ultimate tropical destination, and it should be a large, pulsing dot on your vacay radar. The Maldives is an incredible archipelago consisting of roughly 1,200 coral islands grouped in a chain of 27 atolls, making it one of the most enticing destinations in the world for both surfers and professional relaxers. Of the 1200 islands, only two hundred are inhabited, and 100 have resorts on them; you could easily spend the day kicking it on your very own island. The Maldives offers a smorgasbord of world class waves that would even have the most reserved surfer foaming at the mouth. For those who’d pack a bikini and a book over a board, the Maldives has the most crystal clear, turquoise water imaginable thriving with underwater inhabitants; it’s the perfect place to swim, relax, repeat! Below you’ll find we’ve compiled a Maldives travel guide that’ll hopefully make decision time a little easier when it comes to choosing your next OS destination.
If you’re looking for a real world escape far from the hustle of day-to-day life, then look no further than the Maldives. No traffic, no multi-story hi-rises, no rubbish, no hassles, and no worries! Just some of the world’s most beautiful and vast palm tree littered beaches. Did we mention the average temperature is 32°C all year round?
Getting to the far-flung atolls of the Maldives is no easy feat as there are no direct flights from Australia to the Maldives. Whichever airline you fly with you’ll be flying via their base hub first, before getting a connecting flight to Male. Once you arrive in Male, you’ll then get your transfer to your accommodation either via speed boat or sea-plane, or both! Don’t stress, all that time in transit is well worth it once you arrive at your destination. Then you’ll have all the time in the world to sink into a hammock or chase waves..
The Maldives offers an array of empty reeling reef breaks across the Northern, Central and Southern Atolls that cater to all levels of surf ability; those who may find themselves tagged in a @kookoftheday post will have better luck at beginner waves such as Ninjas, Jailbreak or Sultans on the smaller days. The salt encrusted sea dogs wishing to add to their collection of reef-scars will have a field day at virtually any of the more advanced breaks – including Chickens, Cokes, Honky’s, and the delicious yet exclusive Pasta Point (the wave machine of the North Atoll).
The Maldivian surf season usually kicks off around mid-February and runs until late October. Swell consistency and size vary during these months across the atolls. In general, March, April, and May have sheet-glass conditions, June to August hold the potential for larger swells and September and October are known as the more consistent swell months with variable wind conditions. Board bags packed, and you’re ready to go, or maybe you just want some additional information – Atoll Adventures have got you covered.
I call it holiday water because unless you live in tropical paradise, the only way to experience water this turquoise is to go on a holiday and hands down out of all the places I’ve ventured, I’ve never seen water with the same clarity as that in the Maldives – that stuff blue! Dive below the surface and you’ll find the finest underwater scenery that the world has to offer. The Maldives reputation as a ‘divers paradise’ is well justified and its countless reefs, drop-offs, walls, and channels will have divers and snorkellers blowing bubbles through their mouthpieces in disbelief at all of the beautiful aquatic life. If you’re up for it, many snorkel and dive tours offer swims with sharks; we highly recommend getting up close and personal with the world’s largest fish, the whale shark.
Maldivian culture and customs have been widely influenced by the Sri Lankans, Indians, Arabs and North Africans who visited the Maldives while traversing through the trading routes of the central Indian Ocean. The Maldivian culture is rich and vibrant due to the infusion of various other cultural elements. Although Maldives was culturally influenced by other traditions; Maldivians have built and preserved an exclusive cultural identity.
Accordingly, the Maldivians converse using a language of their own – Dhivehi; In 1153 AD Maldivians converted to Islam and the religion has transformed and introduced new fundamentals to the Maldivian culture. The indigenous population is entirely Sunni Muslim. While alcohol, pork, drugs and public observance of non-Muslim religions are banned on the inhabited islands, the resort islands are allowed to exist in a bubble where almost anything goes.
Seeing the Maldives are made up of 99% ocean, it is no surprise that the most important staple of the Maldivian diet is fish (mainly tuna). You’ll find there is no shortage of fresh fish ready for consumption; cooked or raw. However, the islands are heavily influenced by Indian and Sri Lankan cuisines, and if you’re a curry feign, you may be forgiven for assuming you’ve died and gone to heaven. A curry heaven. The Maldivian’s use an abundance of coconut, peppers, chilli and spices when cooking and each dish served offers distinct rich flavours that will have you going back for your second helping. For the less adventurous ‘meat and three veg’ kind of people, don’t stress; the Jimmy Buffett (the buffet) at your accommodation should serve a variety of Western food such as salads, burgers, chips, meat, three veg…
No words can describe a Maldivian sunset, photos just don’t do them justice either.
Corona Extra is giving away the trip of a lifetime to Chaaya Island , Cinnamon Dhonvei – the most exclusive surf resort in the world. For seven days one lucky person and nine of their friends will get to live out the ultimate Corona experience, surfing, swimming and relaxing, in an atoll paradise.
Known for its crystal clear beaches, blue lagoons and exclusive world-class reeling point break, Pasta Point Island, Maldives is the perfect tropical getaway for those who surf, and those who don’t. It’s definitely where you’d rather be.
To find out how you could win the trip of a lifetime, click HERE.
Photos: Chris Searl & Robert Gray
Words & Additional Photos: Lincoln Jubb