At this moment I am on vacation in the Maldives, on a tiny islet in the Faafu atoll. It’s siesta time and there’s a big thunderstorm going on.
We have landed here few days ago and, although I had planned a total break from the Internet and from blogging, I thought it would be nice to use the hour or so of heavy rain to post a short travel diary. I wrote an advice post a few weeks ago (in Italian only) about the organization of a trip to the Maldives: this is our fifth time in the Maldives, so we certainly have some expertise in organizing a fantastic trip to the Maldives at the best possible price.
Our arrival was absolutely comfortable and relaxing: After a really nice and comfy flight with Emirates, we took a small seaplane in Malé that took us to our destination island, Filitheyo, in just 35 minutes. It was a dreamy flight. Filitheyo is located in the Faafu atoll, abut 100 miles south from Malé. In just 35 minutes we reached a floating platform in front of our little island. From there, we took a Dhoni, a typical local boat, which led us to the pier.
The welcome we received was very exciting: we were in fact “intercepted” by a group of 6-7 giant manta rays that almost touched our boat! Seeing manta rays from very close is one of the most exciting encounters you can make in the Maldives: a few years ago I was fortunate enough to meet a big group of manta rays while snorkeling, an unforgettable experience!
But how does a typical day in the Maldives look like?
First of all, I would like to dispel the myth that the Maldives are boring: I am the most nervous and inclined to boredom person in the world, always on the move. I’ve been on many exciting adventure trips. Yet I’ve never been bored in the Maldives.
There are in fact many things to do here, as long as you love nature an the sea: excursions, snorkeling and diving (the Maldives are almost a unique experience, it’s really worth taking advantage of), other water sports, fishing with locals, as well as self-indulgent lazy activities like massages and other SPA activities. Despite the small size of the islands, days fly by.
A typical day here in the Maldives starts whenever you want: some like to walk or even run at dawn and will get up soon. Divers often go out at dawn for their first dives. Others, like me, prefer snorkeling for convenience (little equipment needed and you see almost the same things) and spend the morning sunbathing and swimming. The Maldives offers one of the most fantastic spectacles in nature, with myriads of colorful fishes of all shapes.
In Filitheyo, the coral reef is very close to the beach. And it sinks into the depths after only a few meters; this allows you to easily sight very large fish, but also manta rays, sharks (not dangerous for humans) and turtles.
This late afternoon, for example, I spotted a bank of playing dolphins directly from our bungalow terrace, an incredibly emotional experience as they were so close! Even if you have already seen them at sea, from a boat, it’s really different to sight them from the beach, just a few meters away!
After lunch – generally a buffet lunch with many specialties from this region of the world (a true paradise for vegetarians, but also for those who, like me, must be careful with some foods) – you can relax in various ways: taking a massage at the SPA, reading or dozing under the palms or with even more diving and snorkeling.
The most magic hour in the Maldives is sunset, which arrives early here, around 6 p.m. practically all year round.
Almost all touristic Maldivian islands are equipped with a “sunset bar”, where you can sit and watch the sunset sipping a tropical cocktail. Here in Filitheyo too: the local Sunset Bar with its beautiful infinity pool (certainly completely superfluous due to the beauty of the sea, but still a nice view), is a beautiful place from which you can admire the sunset.
A typical Maldivian day ends almost always with a wonderful candlelight dinner; although in the Maldives almost everything is imported, the variety is nonetheless remarkable. In addition to the international cuisine, you can find many specialties of the Indian subcontinent, but also oriental and arabic specialties.
In the Maldives you’ll hardly find some real nightlife. It is definitely more a place for nature lovers and those who like a refined, but also simple life. There are definitely more animated islands and resorts than Filitheyo, but these are the ones we usually avoid. Often, the entertainment program will be completely absent or very soft: in perfect harmony with the beauty of these places where, in my opinion, the beauty of nature and the sea are always entertaining enough.
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