Maline specialist Karine has been going to the archipelago for several years now. This follower of “no shoes, no news”, passionate about the treasures of the Indian Ocean, gives us precious advice before setting off to explore this heavenly destination.
Which are the atolls to favour?
My trips to the Maldives have brought me to several atolls: Noonu, Haa-alifu, Baa and Ari. I enjoyed the environment of the noon atolls, both on the lagoons and the islands. For divers, I would recommend Ari South Atoll, snorkeling is particularly pleasant with rich underwater fauna and well-preserved coral.
The best hotel in the Maldives?
My favourite hotel is Filitheyo Island Resort in Faafu Atoll. The island is large, it takes 45 minutes to walk to cross it and the hotel is built in natural materials in the middle of very dense vegetation. I had a real crush on this postcard-like island hotel.
The most: the coral reef a few meters from the beach, a Werner Lau diving centre, a good table, a spa and individual villas.
What excursions do you recommend?
There are quite a few excursions on offer in the Maldives, from snorkelling trips to dhoni cruises to see dolphins. But the one I prefer is the excursion “ Sunset Fishing ”, a fishing trip at sea at sunset with a longline. What is great is to eat the fish that we just caught the next day at noon.
Breakfast, half board or all-inclusive, which formula to choose?
It all depends on the hotel chosen. For stays in high-end accommodation, I always recommend having a breakfast formula. This way, you can choose your restaurant and change it whenever you want. It does not cost more than an all-inclusive formula and it allows you to vary the dishes and avoid eating the same type of cuisine. On an entry / mid-range hotel, prefer the all-inclusive formula. After all, it depends on whether you are a big eater or not.
When to go?
The best time to go to the Maldives is between January and May. The temperature remains very pleasant the rest of the year but cloudy periods are more frequent and the seabed becomes cloudy with the rain.
What are you taking in your suitcase?
Especially what I do not take! I never take shoes. As soon as I arrive on the pontoon of the hotel, I take off my shoes and I do not put them back from the stay. It is my greatest pleasure in the Maldives. Of course, if I am in a villa on stilts I take a pair of flip flops, with the sun the pontoons are hot. Otherwise, I take the great classics: sunscreen, swimwear and sarong.
How to get to the Maldives?
Transport level it takes 13 to 14 hours flight to Male (with a stopover), but paradise deserves and you have to be patient!