MAL­DIVES

Carve - - TRAVEL GUIDE -

The Mal­dives is, in two words, perfect fun. Warm wa­ter, pre­dom­i­nantly off­shore winds, re­mark­ably con­sis­tent swells and reefs that work from two feet up­wards. As a des­ti­na­tion is it easy to get to - a long haul flight with one short stop in the Mid­dle East be­ing the norm, then a 30-45 minute speed boat out to the camps or your boat will meet you in the har­bour. The air­port is har­bour side so you walk out of de­par­tures and into your trip whch is pretty handy. The reefs are gen­er­ally flat with not as many sharp bits, shal­low or un­pre­dictable sec­tions from hell await­ing to take your skin off like in Indo or the Pa­cific. There is noth­ing that re­ally wants to eat you in the sea, or on land, no ter­ri­ble trop­i­cal dis­eases, and the camps are safe with great re­la­tion­ships with lo­cals.

Wave wise it is the most user friendly place you can think of and is ideal for first trips, in­ter­me­di­ates, ex­perts and groms. Ex­pect more power than the UK, but not as much as Indo un­less there is a big swell and you are at one of the hol­lower breaks like Cokes or Bea­cons. Most of the waves of­fer long walls wrap­ping around the is­lands with deep chan­nels. All the camps will also of­fer speed boats to the breaks nearby for va­ri­ety. Boats will cruise around look­ing for the best wave. De­spite be­ing more pop­u­lar than ever you can still score un­crowded ‘golden hours’ here even at the height of the sea­son.

Out­side of the surf you have seen the shots - im­pos­si­bly turquoise wa­ter, serene back­drops, tur­tles, fish, dol­phins, man­tas, lion fish, mas­sive fruit bats … it is all there. The best div­ing or snorkelling in the world is right there in the chan­nels that sur­round your camp.

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