Top 5 reasons to visit the Maldives right now

Enjoy a holiday to the Maldives and take advantage of the archipelago’s glorious dry season.

Constance Moofushi

Constance Moofushi

If beautiful sugar-white sand and crystal lagoons aren’t enough of a temptation, here are our top 5 reasons to visit the Maldives right now.

1. The best season for uninterrupted sunshine

From December to March the idyllic islands bathe in the sunshine of the North East Monsoon bringing with it low rainfall, low humidity and plenty of sun – weather which continues into the transitional month of April.

For those looking to escape the dull, cold greyness of a northern hemisphere winter the calm, crystal waters, consistent 30ºC temperature and 12 hours of daylight could be the perfect remedy.

2. Swim in beautiful warm waters

While the Maldives is undoubtedly a year-round destination the shift from the South West Monsoon in November brings with it gentle breezes and calmer waters making it the perfect time of year to enjoy water sports. From water skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and pedal boating to swimming and snorkelling this time of year equals tranquil, clear waters to relax and play in.

Spa de Constance

Spa de Constance

3. Dive in clear, calm waters with heightened visibility

The gentler winds and calmer waters mean that this is a time for outstanding visibility when diving. From November many glorious species pass through the eastern side of the Maldives including large numbers of whale sharks and grey reef sharks. December to April is Manta season in the Ari Atoll where both Constance Moofushi and Constance Halaveli are located. Join us at this time of year and swim with these elegant, beautiful giants as large schools migrate through our waters.

4. Big game fishing

During the winter season the Ari Atoll sees an increase in the number and size of pelagic species making it the perfect time to come and fish our waters. Thanks to the increased warmth and calmness of the ocean at this time of year we see more large yellowfin tuna and swordfish, among others, as well as the marlin and sailfish which are caught here all year round.

5. Festivals

Time your holiday to coincide with one of the many festivals celebrated at this time of year, and enjoy traditional feasts and festivities in Maldivian style.

• Hay Festival Maldives, 1 – 31 October
An offshoot of the famous English literary festival, the Hay Festival in the Maldives celebrates Maldivian culture and is a chance to discuss the challenges climate change creates for the archipelago.

Constance Halaveli

Constance Halaveli

• Al’h'aa Eid Day, 6 November
Join in a day of celebration and feasting in most areas of the Maldives on this important religious holiday.

• Republic Day, 11 November
A celebration of the day the Maldives became a republic which usually includes local festivities including street parades, local food stalls, music and dancing.

• Fishermen’s Day, 10 December
Celebrate the important role of fishing in the Maldives with a day of feasting on the very freshest seafood including tuna, mackerel and may other locally caught delicacies.

Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Add a touch of ultimate luxury to your winter break with a stay at Halaveli with its water villas complete with private plunge pools and beach villas set on crystal white sand. Enjoy the very best of 5* dining at our selection of restaurants and pamper yourself in the Spa de Constance and Valmont spa.

Or kick off your shoes and enjoy the laid-back vibe and castaway chic of Moofushi. Drink cocktails on beanbags underneath the stars, dine with your loved one on your very own sandbank, watch movies on the beach and enjoy the sumptuous seclusion of your own water villa in this relaxed 5* resort.

Find out more about Constance Halaveli and Constance Moofushi on our website.

Guide to diving in Madagascar

Madagascar is one of the hottest destinations for 2013 and if you love diving, it’s a hidden gem. Off the coast of the world’s fourth largest island, you’ll find waters that have never been dived in before, and underwater rock formations that add a special thrill to the whole diving experience.

Diving in Madagascar

Diving in Madagascar

Explore stunning coral reefs and gardens of huge sponges that are home to turtles, jack fish, scorpion fish, sting rays, moray eels, and grey and white tip sharks.

Constance Tsarabanjina reopened earlier in 2013 after a major refurbishment. Barefoot luxury set on its own castaway island, it’s the perfect place to stop a while as you explore the oceans off the island.

Highlights of diving off Tsarabanjina

1. The Tétons

These stunning towers of rock off the coast of Constance Tsarabanjina are covered under the waves with vibrant corals and tunnels that divers can swim through, lined with colourful sponges and sweetlips.

2. South Beach

Beginners can explore the beautiful reef just off the shores of Tsarabanjina, where you’ll discover the beauty of reef diving and the colourful creatures who live there.

3. Kassimo

Good for divers of all levels this long underwater barrier is home to snapper, diagramme voiliers, grouper, giant sting ray, giant loach and grey or white-dotted sharks.

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Guide to yoga classes on a luxury holiday

Imagine welcoming the sun as it rises over the waters of the Indian Ocean with a yoga salutation.

Yoga at Belle Mare Plage

Yoga at Belle Mare Plage

Whether you’re new to yoga or it’s already a crucial part of your life, here’s a rundown of the different yoga classes on offer at Constance.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Join fitness guru Isabelle Lamant for morning yoga on the beach. Feel your body strengthen and experience a deeper sense of calm after a session of Vinyasa yoga.

Get the kids involved with our ‘Yog’animals’ kids’ yoga sessions where your little ones can learn up to 10 positions and stretches while having fun and making new friends.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Join our yoga classes for a fun group session. For a more dedicated approach, book a private yoga session just for you. Those who enjoy yoga might also like to try our meditation and T’ai Chi classes.

Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Reconnect with your body through a series of yoga options at Lémuria including a ‘silent awakenings’ morning beach yoga session, ‘body balance’ incorporating yoga and meditation techniques, Inyangar Flex to improve flexibility and yoga therapy, a holistic class to strengthen body and mind.

Constance Ephélia, Seychelles

Visit our tranquil Spa Village set in a secluded area of our lush tropical gardens and enjoy the relaxing, strengthening experience of our one-to-one yoga sessions.

Yoga on the beach at Ephélia

Yoga on the beach at Ephélia

Combine yoga, meditation and massage in one luxurious package or enjoy a private session with our fully trained yoga instructor. Deepen the experience with an individual class in Pranayama breathing and learn how to use the power of your breath to its fullest.

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Practice yoga at our Spa de Constance on the stunning Halaveli jetty while looking out across the crystal waters of our lagoon. Breathe in the idyllic setting in one-to-one sessions with our expert yoga instructor or make it part of your Spa Journey, a spa package which includes a private consultation, spa treatments and individual fitness and yoga classes.

Constance Moofushi, Maldives

Improve your health and wellbeing by incorporating yoga into your luxury holiday at Moofushi. Feel the benefit of individual yoga sessions or include mediation and stretching as well. One-to-one sessions are also available for Pranayama breathing practice.

Connect with yourself and your partner with a Thai-yoga massage workshop. Help each other improve flexibility while having fun in this imaginative class.

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Mauritius: the ultimate winter getaway

For those dreaming of escaping the winter blues with a trip to sun-kissed beaches and warm balmy evenings, Mauritius is the ideal destination for a winter getaway.

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Constance Belle Mare Plage, Mauritius

Mauritius’ summer runs from November to April with temperatures of between 21-30ºC during these months.

Mauritian flowers and fruits

The Mauritian summer heralds the season for many of the island’s flowers and fruits. Visitors can enjoy succulent mangos, lychees and longans.

Those tired of the winter grey of the northern hemisphere will find themselves in a vibrant world of colourful blooms with many of the island’s trees, including the aptly named Flamboyant Tree, in full bloom from December onwards.

Perfect season for big game fishing

With the warmer weather the temperature of the ocean also rises to an average of 23-27ºC, bringing a vast array of fish to our waters. With the smaller fish come the larger predators including, throughout the Mauritius summer, the famous blue marlin as well as sailfish, barracuda, wahoo, yellowfin tuna and shark.

Diving in Mauritius

While diving is excellent all year round in Mauritius, the warmer water temperatures make this a perfect time to dive with a wealth of new marine life drawn to the area.

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius

The increased numbers mean that divers may see a wide variety of exotic marine life including angelfish, parrot fish, moray, groupers, wrasses and sweetlips as well as a stunning array of corals and sponges.

A warm Mauritian welcome at Constance

The ultimate 5* luxury at the secluded Constance Le Prince Maurice, with its boutique feel and emphasis on personal service, is the perfect winter treat.

Or join the fun at the family-friendly Constance Belle Mare Plage where you can enjoy a raft of activities, spa facilities and water sports, enough to make even the most winter-weary bodies leap into action.

Find out more about Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage on our website

Book now and take advantage of our fabulous Winter Sun Offer

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Le Prince Maurice in Tatler magazine’s Spa Guide 2014

Tatler magazine has described Constance Le Prince Maurice as a ‘little piece of paradise’ in its Spa Guide 2014.

Spa Guide 2014

Spa de Constance, Le Prince Maurice

The Tatler Spa Guide is an annual rundown of the very best spas from around the world. Featured in the November issue (out now), the Spa Guide 2014 includes the spa at Le Prince Maurice under the banner ‘Hedonist, Pure Indulgence’.

The review states:

‘The spa merges magically with the outdoors, so you don’t feel you’re “wasting” precious sunshine time. A little plunge pool, for instance, is surrounded by cushioned loungers perfect for lolling on post-treatment, while only a rattan blind comes between you and the outside world in the bright and breezy garden treatment rooms.’

The review goes on to praise the Sisley Spa and its signature treatments, Brice Nicham’s ‘soporific medical pedicures’ and yoga and pilates sessions with ‘French goddess and ex-gymnast’ Isabelle Lamant.

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Island nature walks at Constance Halaveli

Renowned marine biologist Robin Aiello writes from Halaveli.

Island nature walks at Constance Halaveli

Island nature walks at Constance Halaveli

It is so wonderful to be back here at the beautiful Halaveli for the next month or so. Arriving back on the island was like returning home – no wonder so many guests return time after time to this island paradise. The weather has been perfect since I arrived, with light sea breezes, clear blue skies and spectacular sunsets.

Guided Island Nature Walks

This time, the General Manager, Renato Chizzola, and I have another new project to develop – a Guided Island Nature Walk of the coastal plants and animals. It is a fun-filled 45-minute stroll along the beach edge. It starts with a bit of beachcombing – looking for those elusive ghost crabs that dart to and fro, the charismatic hermit crabs that scurry along carrying snail shells on their back, and of course all those pretty little shells that come in so many shapes and colours.

Snails and shells

It is amazing what you can tell about a shell by its shape. The long tapered, pointy snail shell, like cone shells, olive shell and Turritellidae have a shape perfect for burrowing just under the surface of the sand as they hunt their food. As they move through the sand, the constant abrasion serves to keep the shell polished, which is why the shells are always so smooth.

But snails with larger bulky rounder shells with spikes, like the whelks and conchs, do not live under the sand. Instead they live on top of the reef, so need the spikes and thick shells for protection from snail-eating fish. They also have larger, rounder openings (called ‘apertures’) than the pointy shells – this is to make room for their big muscular ‘foot’, that snails use for crawling. These snails need an extra strong one for holding onto the reef so they do not get picked off by fish, or washed away by waves or currents.

Predatory snails

Sometimes you will find shells with perfectly round little holes drilled into them. Ever wonder who did that? Believe it or not, a snail makes these holes! Some predatory snails, particularly moon snails (naticids), use a specially modified ‘tooth’ (called a radula’) to drill through the hard shells of snails and clams. To soften the shell as they drill, they secrete sulphuric acid into the hole. Wow – such high-technology in such small animals! Once the hole is drilled, the snails stick their proboscis through the hole and start eating.

We have a lot of fun on this walk picking up different shells and being able to tell where they live, what they feed on, who might have eaten them.

The Guided Nature Walk continues along the shore-side looking at the coastal plants. These too, have special adaptations for living in such a sandy, sunny, dry environment. Some have wax-covered leaves to trap in moisture, while others have thin leaves that hang down to avoid the direct sunlight.

And, nearly every tree here can also be used for survival if you were stranded on a remote island in the tropics.This will be the topic of my next blog – so stay tuned.

Marine Biologist, Robin Aiello

Marine Biologist, Robin Aiello

About Robin

An honours graduate from Harvard University with a degree in Evolutionary Biology and Geographical Sciences, Robin Aiello has made her 30 year career travelling to the farthest corners of the globe as a marine biologist, expedition leader, lecturer and dive master.

With expertise ranging from the Indian Ocean to West Africa to Antarctica, including animals as diverse as polar bears, sea turtles and sea birds her depth of knowledge is simply incredible but she has a concentration on tropical coral reefs and shark conservation, perfect for an introduction to Halaveli.

She has over 25 publications, has won both the EcoWarrior and Earth Ambassador Awards.

Robin Aiello at Halaveli

Robin is with us at Halaveli for you to ask any question you may have.

Join us Monday, Thursday, or Saturday nights for one of her riveting lectures – please see your Daily Sun for exact times and topics.