Family holidays to the Maldives

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Why holiday in the Maldives?

  • Tropical climate

    The Maldives sits in the Indian Ocean off the south coast of India, and has a tropical climate with temperatures between 28°C and 32°C year-round.

  • Coral islands

    Over 1,000 coral islands grouped into 26 atolls make up the archipelago. Only 200 islands are inhabited, and 80 of these are island-resorts.

  • Direct flights

    There are direct flights from London Heathrow and Gatwick to Malé International Airport throughout the year.

  • Family activities

    Each of the Maldives resorts is an exclusive hotel on its own island. The islands vary in size but, without exception, they’re surrounded by flawless beaches and have their own ‘house reef’ for diving, snorkelling and sheltered swimming. The only locals living on the island-resorts are employees, and everything from restaurants and activities to transport and accommodation is designed to create a perfect holiday.

  • Sailing

    Sailing trips to the capital, Malé, or to other islands are easy to arrange at resorts, but most visitors find everything they could ever want on their island of choice.

  • Diving destination

    More than 2,000 species of fish swim around the Maldives, and not only is it one of the world’s top diving destinations, most resorts have their own dive schools for beginners and beyond.

  • Tropical waters

    Sea temperatures range from 22°C to 28°C year-round.

  • Lush landscapes

    The resorts invariably feature lush, tropical vegetation and forests of palm trees. Beaches are always pure white sand, and the waters around the Maldives are some of the clearest on earth, thanks to the country’s unique geography.

Where to go and stay in the Maldives

With over 80 island-resorts to choose from, there are wildly different price ranges and experiences across the Maldives. But if you’re travelling with kids, it’s wise to keep travel and transfer time to a minimum, so choosing a resort quite close to Malé and the airport can be a good idea. Here are three to give you a hint of the astonishing atoll experience.

Kuda Huraa, North Malé Atoll

The island of Kuda Huraa is 12 acres of Four Seasons exclusivity, with a strong family focus, right down to baby-proofing your suite if you so desire. And it’s just 25 minutes from Malé by boat, so won’t tax travel-weary kids more than necessary.

  • Four Seasons Hotel resort with 96 rooms and family suites.
  • Four restaurants, bar, infinity pool and children’s pool, spa and fitness centre.
  • Kuda Mas club for four- to 12-year-olds, with everything from snorkelling to yoga, arts and crafts, cooking classes and surfing or waterskiing lessons for the over-sixes.
  • Furaavaru is a gently supervised club where teens aged 13 to 18 can hang out, relax, watch movies or play videogames.
  • Wide range of watersports, guided dives, dive school and sailing trips.
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Angsana Velavaru, South Nilandhe Atoll

It may be only 40 minutes by seaplane from Malé, but the 14-acre Angsana Velavaru feels like another world entirely. Surrounded by some of the Maldives’ best dive sites, kids can plant coral gardens and voyage out on mini-underwater-safaris. There are Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtle nesting sites nearby, and exciting conservation projects for budding marine biologists are part of a long list of unique experiences.

  • Over 100 individually designed family villas.
  • Two restaurants, bar, spa, swimming pools, watersports.
  • Marine centre with junior dive school and snorkelling classes for over-fives.
  • Kids’ club for three- to 12-year-olds and an interactive marine lab conservation club for over-sixes.
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Anantara Dhigu, South Malé Atoll

The twin-island resort of Anantara Dhigu specialises in outdoor, underwater and overwater adventure of all sorts for kids. From beachcombing and fishing to diving, snorkelling, surfing and sailing, the aim here is to educate with fun, and it’s beautifully managed.

  • 110 family villas, bungalows and suites.
  • Seven restaurants, spa, watersports, dive school, yoga and meditation classes.
  • Dhoni Kids Club for three- to 12-year-olds focuses on beach activities and being outdoors, and getting involved in the island’s wildlife and marine life as much as possible.
  • Treats like child-size toiletries and bathrobes, welcome packs and perfectly sized slippers for every small guest.
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What to do and see with kids in the Maldives

  • Sailing with manta rays and whale sharks
    Several of the island-resorts organise regular boat trips from June to September to witness these impressive gentle giants gliding through the warm Indian Ocean.
  • Dolphin-watching
    The waters of the Maldives are densely populated with dolphins, and watching them gracefully play off the coast is one of the highlights of any kid’s holiday. Almost every resort has dolphin excursions.
  • National Museum, Malé
    This superb museum in the island capital covers every angle of Maldivian history, natural history and culture, from prehistoric excavations to present-day customs.
  • Discover scuba, South Malé Atoll
    Kids aged from 10 and over can learn to scuba dive in the world’s leading diving location with the gentle help, encouragement and highly qualified expertise of Maafushi Dive.
  • National Art Gallery, Malé
    Local arts and crafts, photography, installations, cultural exhibitions and occasional performances makes this gallery in a corner of pretty Sultan’s Park well worth a visit.
  • Marine Discovery Centre, Landaa Giraavaru
    The serious work of conserving the fragile coral environment of the Maldives is made interactive fun without dumbing down at this excellent marine biology centre.
  • Utheemu, Haa Alif Atoll
    One of the Maldives’ inhabited islands, and a good day trip to see the pretty harbour and historic wooden palace Utheemu Ganduvaru, the 16th-century birthplace and boyhood home of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu.
  • Marine Savers Turtle Conservation, Landaa Giraavaru
    From tagging to rehabilitating injured turtles, observing hatchlings and learning all the turtle conservation lore and legend, this is fantastic fun for kids, with a serious purpose.
  • Bluetribe Moofushi boat tours
    Visit a typical Maldivian village, discover the sandbars, see the sunset or sail with whales. Bluetribe Moofushi daily boat trips are fun, well informed and inexpensive.

Educational value for kids

Conservation, marine life and the unique environment of the Maldives are just a few of the things kids learn about

naturally just by playing and exploring on any one of the island-resorts. But there are plenty of other fun lessons, too:

  • SASY (supplied air snorkelling for youth) programmes are available on several islands.
  • Most resorts have their own PADI dive schools and offer courses for kids.
  • Children’s clubs are outdoor-focused, with everything from beach games to swimming classes, surf lessons, sailing and fishing.
  • Local arts and crafts are included in many club programmes.
  • Five and over is usually considered old enough to start learning most watersports in the Maldives.
  • Boat trips to other islands and the capital Malé bring kids close to the country’s culture, tradition and history.
  • Several islands have ‘back of house’ adventures for children to see how everything from making lunch to organising a birthday party works at their resort.

Getting around the Maldives with kids

Maldivian resorts are measured in acres not kilometres, so travelling is never an issue. Bare feet are the only mode of transport on most islands and boats do the rest for longer journeys. Connections from Malé are usually by seaplane or speedboat, depending on distance. Spending a day out in the capital? Almost everyone opts to get around by cheap and plentiful city taxis.

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