I visited the Maldives in July 2013, after travelling India. The Maldives is exactly how it looks on the pictures! Touching down on the capital island, Male, was a slight unexpected shock with all the hustle and bustle. I expected Male to also be a paradise island, however there was traffic everywhere, lots of shops and locals going about their day (maybe me being a little naive!). The weather was hot, with temperatures reaching mid 30s. The rain only made an appearance one afternoon which was great, bearing in mind the Maldives is also affected by the South Asian monsoon.
I took a 90 minute sea ferry from Male to the local inhabited Maafushi island, located in the South Male Attol. Maafushi is gorgeous and feels like the real Maldives, being a world away from the commercialised resort islands. It's refreshing to see local island life and everyone being so welcoming. It takes literally 20 minutes to walk around the entire island, so it's easy to bump into familiar faces. One day, I took a speedboat over to a resort island (Holiday Inn Kandooma) just to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. Besides from the many tourists, the resort island is also a true picture with its paradise beach, scenic ocean views and exclusive water villas. I also did a day trip visiting an uninhabited island, Biyaadhoo 'Picnic' Island, which was an overall sense of calm. There were no other people on the island, which gave me an opportunity to relax, snorkel and catch up with my thoughts! It was quite a surreal 'postcard' experience, shocking myself each time I opened my eyes to the stunning view!
My overall stay in The Maldives totalled four nights, which was just the right amount of time for me. Personally, I like a mixture of both adventure and relaxation when travelling, so four nights in heaven was perfect! Depending on the type of person you are and if you like relaxing in one particular place, then the Maldives is a perfect 7-10 night holiday destination. However, if you prefer adventure and exploring culture, I wouldn't stay too long as I imagine you could experience slight cabin (island) fever.
To sum the Maldives up using the typical cliches would be: paradise, gorgeous, luxurious, stunning, hot, relaxing, calming, heaven on Earth, picturesque, exotic....you get the picture (literally!). It's true heaven on Earth and if you prefer a relaxing holiday, infused with water sports, spa treatments, snorkelling, sun bathing and staying in one spot - then the Maldives is definitely the holiday for you! I am so glad I had the opportunity to visit such a stunning place and I would certainly visit again in the future!!!
All statements and recommendations are purely my own opinion. I have not been paid to feature or advertise any product, brand or service in this post.