“What do a watermelon, a diet cola and the Maldives have in common? All contain 99% water. But of the three, the Maldives are by far the most beautiful.”
Set in the Indian Ocean southwest of India, the Maldives consist of a double chain of atolls connecting nearly 1,200 coral islands – only 200 of them inhabited. It’s Asia’s least populated nation and, with a territory spread over about 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq mi), is also one of the world’s most geographically dispersed. Throw in year-round pleasant temperatures and a rich cultural legacy dating back to the first Dravidian fishermen who settled here a couple of millennia ago, and you have something pretty close to an earthly paradise. When people close their eyes and dream of lying in the shade of a thatched bungalow, warmed by a gentle breeze off sparkling azure waters, with maybe a couple of sea turtles swimming lazily past, this is in fact the place they’re thinking of. That’s why the Maldives – literally the “garland” or “necklace” islands – are the perfect setting for a bespoke luxury escape from the real world.
We work only with the finest properties and might suggest starting on one of the larger islands, where you can snorkel or dive alongside a marine biologist. Perhaps in the crystal waters of Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Spend the day floating among schools of graceful manta rays or swimming with whale sharks near Hanifuru – while back on shore, your chef from one of the country’s best restaurants (flown in by helicopter for the occasion) prepares local delicacies for a lantern-lit feast on your private beach.
Of course, with such an expanse of ocean to explore, you don’t want to spend too long on any one beach. We can whisk you from island to island in a sleek super yacht outfitted with every imaginable amenity. Or, if you’re after something a little more authentic, try exploring the archipelago under sail in a luxurious Maldivian Dhoni – the entire vessel, with its distinctive curved prow, handcrafted from tropical woods in the spirit of the country’s traditional fishing boats.
The steady currents flowing through the Maldives also make this one of the best surfing destinations on earth. The islands’ changing winds, maze of reef passages and varying swell directions create world-class waves – often in secluded hideaways that few surfers ever have an opportunity visit. We’ll get you there by private seaplane, landing so close that you can literally hop overboard and begin paddling out toward the turquoise rollers and spectacular reef breaks. With our local friends’ knowledge of the best spots, backed by some highly accurate web forecasting, we can virtually guarantee a thrilling ride every time. And we can even fly in some pros from the ASP world tour to help you with your technique – or a renowned surf videographer to capture the whole adventure for posterity.
Whether you catch the wave of a lifetime or just give an encouraging wave from the deck – or pass on the whole adventure and don a snorkel to join the sea turtles – the Maldives offer an unforgettable escape from the ordinary. Perhaps never more so than if you stroll down the beach of a remote island at night and are lucky enough to encounter shimmering curtains of luminescent plankton sliding in across the sands. As the waters swirl around your bare feet like liquid starlight, it’s easy to imagine that you’ve journeyed to a completely different world. And in fact you have.
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