Once your dream wedding is behind you, it’s time to embark on your honeymoon. One of the most romantic spots on the globe is in the Maldives in the South Indian Ocean.
With the blue waters surrounding your wide-open-air nest and the golden sun warming your shoulders, your honeymoon plans will result in a bit of paradise. Take in the wide smiles of the Maldivians and appreciate the white beaches and turquoise lagoons they are eager to share.
Off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, twenty-six atolls made up of 1,190 coral islands comprise this small nation in the Indian Ocean. 260 islands are inhabited, with a 100 islands that offer luxury resorts, dedicated to romantic paradise seekers. With temperatures varying little throughout the year, the weather should be perfect. If rain springs into the forecast while there, you can bask in the knowledge that it won’t linger for long.
How to Get There
To fly to the Maldives will take about 11 hours from London to the capital city of Male. A flight from New York LaGuardia to London Heathrow will tack on another seven hours, but the reward is well worth the trip. U.S. dollars are commonly used on the resort islands, eliminating the need for American travelers to exchange money on arrival. Once in Male, a seaplane or a boat will deliver you to your chosen island resort.
Oh, the Places to Stay
Accommodations in the Maldives include over-water villas, beach villas, hotels, and even a few luxury yachts. Tropical flora peeks through the windows of the Kuramathi Island Resort villas on one side, and gemstone blue water laps at the front door. From the bedroom of the villa, step onto the deck that overlooks a breathtaking blue lagoon. Take a few steps down, and you are in the warm water.
The Como Cocoa Island Resorts offer 33 Maldivian boat-shaped bungalows for those who are focused on romance. You will find no family facilities here, though you will find plenty of activities. Each suite has an entertainment center, private sundeck, and small welcoming amenities, such as a beach bag with sandals. While at Como, you will have the opportunity to go snorkeling and diving in the clear waters outside your door. For a more leisurely approach to the day, the spa receives very high ratings from satisfied spa-goers.
Place your reservation with the Gili Lankanfushi Maldives Resort for a truly otherworldly experience. Nestled in aquamarine water, 45 villas are attached to boardwalks. The rooms are notably large, especially the one villa that claims to be the largest water villa in the world.
A quiet, remote, and comfortable resort, you will live untouched by the world at home. The eight largest water villas are accessible by boat only, ensuring your enchanted time will not be disturbed by the distractions of everyday life.
Most honeymooners in the Maldives prefer to settle, unwind, and enjoy the glorious scenery on their island. However, if you can break yourselves away from the comfort of your villa, there are sights and events which will reward even the most curious.
History buffs will appreciate visiting Male Friday Mosque in Male. The stunning interior dates back to 1656. Using the available tools and resources of the island, the mosque was made of coral boulders and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage culture list for its fascinating representation of sea-culture architecture and ingenuity. Visitors should allow about one hour for a tour of the mosque.
Once your tour is complete, allow the fish market to lure you in with bright fruits, vegetables, and the freshest fish you will ever eat. In the early afternoon, local fishermen pull their boats directly up to the docks of the market to sell their ware, including their most popular item, tuna. If you have cooking facilities at your accommodations, you may want to purchase tuna, papayas, and freshly picked mango to prepare for dinner.
The National Museum, also in Male, is a fun two-hour activity. It was formed in 1952, after the Maldives became a republic, and it is in the former Sultan’s Palace. Artifacts date to more than 1,000 years old. Among the furniture items, you will find a royal sunshade, which is an unusual sight for those from the northern countries. Many pre-Islamic exhibits were destroyed in 2012 by Muslim extremists, but China funded a renovation of the museum shortly after that.
The Maldives Victory, a sad misnomer, is a sunken vessel which attracts scuba enthusiasts worldwide. The currents can be challenging, and it is strongly recommended that you hire an expert to help you navigate the area. For those who relish excitement, the bright colors of live coral, fish, water, and blue sky will be drawn to the allure of a wreck resting just below the waves of the Hulhule House Reef. Those who have visited assure that the site is gorgeous in all seasons.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Maldivian cuisine is a delectable mix of Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Asian. Coconut plays a large role in Maldivian lives, pairing beautifully with fish and rice. Because the Maldives territory is 99% sea, rice is not grown locally and must be imported. Male is the city of choice for dining out in the atolls, boasting numerous top-rated restaurants.
Kanifushi Island hosts dinners at Just Veg by Atmosphere, which has earned numerous awards and top reviews. Niyama supports five restaurants, including The Edge, which maintains a 5-star rating for food, atmosphere, and welcoming hosts. It is only accessible by boat.
As your honeymoon days come to a close, there is no doubt you’ll want to return to these islands of dreams. You will have decades of anniversaries ahead, so make your plans now to send out your one year anniversary party invitations—and remember to reserve your villa before you leave.