Island Hopping In The Maldives

The Maldives is well known for its soft, white sand and crystal blue warm water, but there is much more to see and do than lie on the beach. The country has 1,192 coral islands combined in 26 atolls some of which are famous for their deep sea fish, bright coral reefs and thousands of colourful reef fish. Island hopping from one resort to another is a good way to see it all. There are several resorts that can be arranged for island hopping, and guests can choose how long they want to stay at each resort. Here are a few possibilities for a multi-centred Maldives holiday.

Live-aboard Cruises

There are several excellent diving spots in the Maldives, and for those who are looking for a great diving holiday, a live-aboard cruise is the answer. Some cruises begin at the Male International Airport and some begin at resorts, but they will all take divers to the many locations including Hanifaru Bay, Guraidhoo Kandu, Banana Reef and Maalhos Thila.

Each destination offers something special such as the famous brightly coloured coral reefs and thousands of colourful reef fish, ancient ship wrecks, white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays and much more. Live-aboard cruises take guests to remote islands and beaches that are secluded and deserted.

These cruises offer a selection of ships for different types of holidays. Each ship conforms to the strict Maldivian government health and safety regulations and there are experienced dive masters and certified guides on board. The experts determine the dive destinations according to the current weather conditions and the forecast, the season and the experience of the dive master. PADI courses are also offered and the instructors make sure everyone is dive-ready.

The life on live-aboard cruises is comfortable and even luxurious. The chefs prepare international cuisine as well as local dishes with the freshest possible seafood and other local ingredients. In fact, guests can fish and catch their own dinner. The rooms are air conditioned with en-suite bathrooms, single or double occupancy, full board meals, and stocked bars, internet access, bed linen and towels and more.

The cruises also stop at inhabited islands where guests can visit restaurants and enjoy the relaxing traditional life. Locals will join for a game of beach volleyball, play music and arrange a barbeque on the beach.

Multi-Centre Holidays

Summer Island Resort and Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa

For those who would prefer to stay on land at the luxury resorts, there is still the possibility to island hop. Start at the Summer Island Village on North Male Atoll for a simple beach holiday with a lagoon for windsurfing, catamaran sailing or other water sports. Guests can dive, but the fish swim close to the jetty where non-divers can also enjoy watching them. It has a full-service spa for massages and beauty treatments.

The second half of the holiday is spent at Vilamendhoo Island Resort and Spa. It has the beautiful beaches and water sports as well as an aviary and excellent dining on the beach. They also offer excursions to inhabited islands as well as cultural dance shows and Maldivian cultural history presentations. There are two swimming pools, a putting green, badminton and beach volleyball and a fitness centre.

Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo and Eriyadu Island Resort

Another double holiday destination is theChaaya Reef Ellaidhoo and the Eriyadu Island Resort. The Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo offers a relaxing atmosphere for people looking to wind down from their frantic lifestyle. The staff is welcoming and helpful and there is live entertainment every week. The house reef is one of the best in the country for 24 hour diving. There is also diving for children over eight years. There are two bars and a buffet-style restaurant with a la carte menus available.

The next stop is the Eriyadu Island Resort with a PADI dive school, free gym, volleyball, badminton, billiards and other indoor games. Guests can rent Jet Skis, go water-skiing, paddle canoes and sail catamarans. There is tubing, night fishing and deep-sea fishing on request. It is a great place to relax and do nothing while watching the sunrise and sunset, but for everyone else, there is a lot of adventure available.

It has a small spa centre where guests can get Swedish massage, Aromatherapy and other treatments. There is also weekly live entertainment. There is a buffet style restaurant, a bar and a coffee shop.

Eriyadu Island and Adaaran Prestige Water Villas

Guests can also start at the Eriyadu Island Resort, described above, and have the time of their lives participating in all the activities. After so much exercise, water play and viewing the spectacular underwater world, the next stop offers a different experience.

Adaaran Prestige Water Villas Meedhupparu

The villas are set over the lagoon. Each villa is spacious with modern interiors and personal butlers. Visitors view the underwater life while sitting on their sundecks and each villa has huge picture windows for views of the ever-changing, infinite blue of the sky and water. Each villa is for two adults and includes satellite TV, home entertainment centres, jet bath, minibar and air conditioning.

This resort offers some special complimentary extras such as a bottle of champagne and salted nuts on arrival, evening canapés and fruit platter, snorkelling equipment, Internet access, a speciality dinner on the beach, a massage, one dive and more.

On the island, visitors can enjoy a pool table, beach volleyball, badminton and a diving school. The usual water sports are available. There is also a gym, steam and sauna room and beauty salon as well as an Ayurvedic centre that offers many health and beauty treatments. Yoga is also available.

The swimming pool has a swim-up bar and there are two outdoor whirlpools, a private garden and beach, three souvenir shops and a gem shop. There is weekly live entertainment, a disco and karaoke.

Visiting Several Islands From One Base

The Robinson Club is on Funamadua Island, which is a round island surrounded by inhabited islands in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. These islands offer unique charms including the best grass mats in the world from Gaadhu Island. Another island is Gan Island with the ruins of a Buddhist temple surrounded by jungle. Firoi Island is the island that grows the grass for the mats and also has some of the best surfing in the Maldives.

The accommodation includes water villas and garden villas that offer excellent privacy and amenities. The buffet meals are considered some of the best in the country. They offer an impressive selection of food, drinks and atmosphere. The full-board basis includes drinks and there is a large, sociable bar, secluded areas for swimming, table tennis or pool. There are personal trainers, a spa with wellness and beauty treatments, organized beach parties and tours to the other islands or just out to sea and back in the evening.

All of the exciting water sports are available including diving to untouched reefs near the resort as well as surfing and sailing. Visiting the other islands in the Atoll is a major attraction of this resort, because guests enjoy the local culture, music and food that is available nearby, unlike other resorts.

Options at other resorts

A large number of resorts in the Maldives also offer trips to local islands, which may include a picnic lunch on your own deserted Robinson Crusoe-esque island, a visit to an inhabited local island to see what life is like for Maldivian islanders or a cruise to a neighboring resort for a change of scene and a chance to enjoy their facilities. Additionally if you just want to get out on the water for a change of perspective most resorts offer sunset fishing cruises and boat trips for day long scuba and fishing adventures.