A chain of 26 atolls and over a thousand islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is one of the most desirable tropical destinations in the world.
We can all recall the ‘take me there now’ images of powdery white sands and glorious luxury villas suspended over glittering blue waters. An island paradise reserved only for the child free adults in the world… well think again.
A Maldives family holiday
Over the last decade more and more resorts have popped up catering for families with children. So this once loved-up-couples-only destination is now a haven for family-friendly beach holidays.
Fear not those with no mini-mes in tow, you’re not about to face a stampede of kids on your dream holiday. The sheer number of island-resorts alone means there is space for all to enjoy this barefoot luxury!
Here are six reasons we found the Maldives to be a perfect family playground on our escape to the island of Iru Fushi:
There is no denying it’s a fair schlep to this tropical paradise from the UK. We flew with Etihad and enjoyed a stopover in Abu Dhabi. It’s a great way to break the trip up to make it more manageable with kids in tow. Plus it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself into a totally different culture. You can read about our Abu Dhabi cultural highlights here.
The flight time from Abu Dhabi to Male, the island capital of the Maldives is just over four hours. Totally bearable with little ones after a restful stopover. From the moment you arrive the excitement levels increase tenfold. Depending on which island you stay on, there is a chance to transfer to your accommodation by speedboat or seaplane.
Now, which little kid or big kid for that matter doesn’t love the idea of playing James Bond?! We travelled 30 minutes to our paradise of Iru Fushi and stayed at the Sun Siyam Resort. I’ll be posting a review of my stay soon.
Apart from a short delay boarding the flight due to bad weather conditions, my initial fears of travelling on a very, very small plane were eradicated quickly. One look at our barefoot pilot, put a huge smile on my face – his chilled vibe was infectious.
Landing and taking off from the water is one Maldivian experience you don’t want to miss. I’m not sure who was more excited in the end, me or the kids.
It’s even more beautiful than the pictures
Nowhere will give you the wow feeling like that first spellbinding glimpse of the Maldives from a seaplane. A never-ending alluring range of blue hues surrounding the purest white sands, lush green tropical vegetation and palm trees. This is all before you even step on to your desert island paradise, taking off your shoes never to be seen again until you leave.
The beach feels more like talcum powder between your toes and shallow, turquoise waters will envelop you like a warm bath as you walk in. Due to the islands’ unique geography it’s some of the clearest on earth. The perfect place for parents and children alike.
Incredible natural environment
No doubt the Maldives is the epitome of paradise. Did I mention the sparkling white sandy beaches, crystalline waters with beautiful shades of blue, swaying palm trees and never-ending blue skies yet? With its unrivalled natural beauty and rich marine biodiversity, there is something to keep every member of your family happy.
Aside from frolicking in the world’s best beaches, there are a multitude of tropical island experiences to indulge in. Drink straight from fresh coconuts, swim with hundreds of species of tropical fish, snorkel next to amazing coral reefs or even head out for some dolphin watching.
Magical marine life in the Maldives
There is so much more to see below the surface in the Maldivian paradise. Renowned for its spectacular sea life the joys of the underwater world can be discovered from land or water. Perfect if you’re travelling with a range of ages as everyone can have their own Finding Nemo moment in the Indian Ocean.
If your children are au fait with diving, there are incredible opportunities to explore some amazing dive sites. Or if like my girls, they’re not ready to take the plunge to dive, snorkelling is a fantastic way to delve further as long as they’re good swimmers.
It will open up a whole new world with over a 1000 species of tropical fish, manta rays, moray eels, reef sharks and sea turtles (if you’re lucky)! A snorkel trip is a great lesson in the importance of conserving the environment and protecting endangered species for the kids too. The Maldives – dazzles you with beauty AND educates. Win-Win!
Even if snorkelling is too much, the exotic marine life can be enjoyed from the safety of dry land too. We used to love spotting the stingrays and reef sharks at mealtimes from the jetty.
And if that wasn’t enough it’s also one of the top five places in the world to spot dolphins and whales. Our sunset dolphin excursion was utterly magical.
There are no crowds
I mean really….Where is everyone? On our week-long stay we felt like we were often the only ones on the island, until you head for lunch and dinner. With most resorts being on their own island, everyone seems to have their own private beach area.
No annoying beach sellers, no crowds just endless white sand and turquoise waters where the kids can run wild without annoying anyone and parents can relax and switch off. Can it get any better?
It’s always a good time to go
The Maldives are hot and sunny all year round – Bingo! For families there is no bad time to visit. There’s an average of 8 hours of sunshine every day and the water temperature barely falls below 25°C. Your very own warm ocean bath right outside your room.
Weather in the Maldives
The period between October and April is the dry season, with February to April being the hottest and driest. Monsoon months are from June to October, when rain is more likely to occur. Most importantly it’s still warm and sometimes weeks can go by with not a drop of rain. We travelled in August, during the wet season and had two days where it rained for an hour or so.
Apart from the obvious financial help on the wallet when travelling in the low season. The dramatic scenes of a thunderstorm on a small tropical island is a sight to behold. And before you know it you’re back normal tranquil scenes.
Parenting doesn’t exclude you from far-flung destinations
Sometimes parents dismiss the unusual and exotic holiday options simply because kids are part of equation. I’ve always been the opposite, I see it as a challenge.
Be practical about your family’s needs when you arrange the trip – Planning is key. For example, with children it’s sensible to keep travel and transfer time to a minimum. If you’re flying direct it’s a ten-hour flight, so selecting a resort close to Malé and the airport is beneficial to help ward off any tired tantrums. Always stay one step ahead and be realistic. I guarantee it will take your family holiday from being good to truly memorable.
The Maldives provides the perfect combination of relaxation and adventure. If you can, do experience the left-the-real-world-behind feeling before it’s too late and the Maldives disappear from our world forever. I promise, from the moment you arrive it will be the most stress-free family holiday you’ve ever experienced.
Watch the highlights video from our Maldivian holiday
Love to know where your best beach holiday has been? Let me know in the comments box below
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