Sprinkled across the Indian Ocean like precious gemstones, the 1,200 or so islands that make up the 26 coral atolls of the Maldives are a blaze of pure white sands, Tiffany-blue waters and decadent resorts. As your seaplane touches down, or you arrive by speedboat, it’s quite clear that this is going to be a special holiday.
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Sumptuous suites sit on stilts over the warm indigo waters, stylish à la carte restaurants serve up gastronomical delights and luxurious spas are primed to rejuvenate your body and soul. Each resort is on its own private island for that added touch of shipwrecked bliss, so this is the perfect place to come and unwind with that pile of books you never get round to reading. It’s an enchanting destination for honeymooners and couples, and a safe haven for families looking for watersports, beachfront living and warm hospitality.
Service is flawless and accommodation consistently excellent, with everything from private infinity pools to your own butler on call 24 hours a day. Unspoiled palm fringed beaches are sugary soft and super white, the coral reefs are abundant with marine life including turtles and manta rays, and dolphin watching and deep sea fishing trips can easily be arranged. You can also take your PADI dive certificate, help with conservation projects, or enjoy a private sunset cruise across the unbroken Indian Ocean.
With influences from around the world, Maldivian cuisine blends Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental flavours to create a unique culinary identity of its own. Prior to the arrival of tourism, fishing was the mainstay of the Maldivian economy, so it’s not surprising that seafood plays such a prominent role on local menus, and the ubiquitous fish curry is a particular highlight. You can also enjoy lobster and Champagne banquets, romantic private beach dinners, al fresco feasts and intimate in-villa dining as the crimson sun melts into the ocean.
What better place to get your PADI dive certificate than in warm waters teeming with fish, rays and sharks. We particularly recommend Four Seasons Resort Landaa Giraavaru where you can explore the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and dive with whale sharks.
Subsix at NIYAMA
The Maldives offers more under the waves than just amazing sea life, with Subsix, the world’s first underwater music club, at NIYAMA. Attracting DJs from across the globe, this über-trendy venue has glass walls so you can look out to a spotlit sea as you dance the night away.
We all look for that truly magical moment when we’re away, and in the Maldives it has to be heading out to a deserted sandbank for sundowners. We think the best venue for this is Constance Halaveli, where you’ll be served Champagne in your own private slice of paradise.
The Maldives might not be the first place you think of for surfing, but the Surf School at Four Seasons Resort Kuda Huraa hosts competitions that attract some of the best surfers in the world. It also has plenty to offer beginners, so you can learn the basics in the calm waters of the resort’s bay before venturing onto the breaks.
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Flying time is approximately 10 hours 15 minutes direct, 12 hours 45 minutes via Colombo, Sri Lanka and 13 hours 40 minutes via Dubai.
Emirates Departures from Dublin via Dubai.
British Airways Departures from Gatwick 3 times a week direct in high season only.
Sri Lankan Airlines Departures from Heathrow daily via Colombo.
Note: All our inclusive holiday prices are based flights from Dubin with Emirates Economy flights. Prices with British Airways or Sri Lanka via the UK are also available on request.
Dhivehi is the national language. English is also widely spoken.
5 hours ahead of GMT.
The rufiya is the local currency, however US dollars are widely accepted. Major credit cards are also accepted at all hotels.
Irish citizens are eligible to obtain a tourist visa for up to 30 days on arrival in the Maldives. Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. No special health documentation is necessary for residents of Ireland who have not recently visited parts of the world where yellow fever is a problem.