I am a bonafide beach gal and beach snob🤷🏾♀️. I absolutely love going to the beach and can spend an entire day listening to the ocean, being in the water and just relaxing. It’s my happy place😍which is not surprising considering that I was born in Barbados an island in the Caribbean that has some of the best beaches. Yup 🤩it’s true. For years I have been hearing people talk about the wonderful beaches in the Maldives so naturally I needed to see them for myself🤷🏾♀️.
The Maldives is a primarily Muslim country so you cannot bring alcohol or pork into the country. As a conservative country and although the islands are pretty small and the beaches are close to the hotels – literally a walk down the road; tourists cannot walk around in swimsuits outside of the aptly named bikini beaches. Also you cannot buy or get alcohol outside of the expensive resorts but in spite of no access to alcohol for 4 days I had a fabulous time.
As someone who loves to travel multiple times year, I must be on a budget so I didn’t stay at one of the many resorts which can charge from around $300 a night. I chose to stay at the Crystal Sands on Maafushi, a local island that has some small boutique hotels, restaurants but no nightlife or cars or paved roads just sand paths. (Thanks Oneika the traveller for your blog🤗) The Crystal Sands hotel was nice, I had a fabulous view from my room balcony and the staff was wonderful. I opted for the full board which included food and it was decent because buffet style food sometimes does not offer enough options. Because you have to take a ferry to get from Male airport to any of the islands, you are limited to when you can go, they run about every 40 minutes from the airport and cost $25 each way. There’s a public ferry for $2 but it takes about an hour and a half and only runs a couple of times a day.
My goal for going to the Maldives was to experience the best beaches and I am happy to say I was successful😎. While the beach on Maafushi was decent, it was rocky😏 so on my first full day I took the ferry to Guili Beach on a nearby local island. I have to admit I was skeptical but I was pleasantly surprised because this beach was as nice as my favorite beach in Barbados. Sweet !!! Guili beach is a public beach with a small restaurant that serves lots of dishes but I had some really nice grilled fish and coconut water one of my favorite things.
However Guili beach was not the highlight of my trip. In order to see some of the best beaches I decided to go on a snorkeling excursion which included a visit to another island and lunch on a sandback. The trip was early in the morning which I tend to avoid but I am glad I did it because I was really impressed by what I experienced that day. The beaches I saw were just wonderful especially the beach on the island where no vehicles are allowed. The sand on the sandbank was so pristine and soft and the water so lovely that when I look back at the pictures I am in awe. We saw stingrays, dolphins, nurse sharks and got close to an island with the famous and ridiculously expensive over water bungalows. Believe me I understand the lure of wanting to stay there (see picture of one below) but my budget just can’t afford it yet😉.
All in all I’m so happy I got to visit the Maldives, I had a great time. Now that I know how to visit the Maldives on a budget, I will definitely be back for an exploration of the other lovely beaches. It was so much better than I expected and the beach snob in me was satisfied 😍
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