What you need to know for a holiday in Maldives

If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives then you probably already know about the white sand beaches, clear crystal waters and idyllic climate.

Arrive at Constance Moofushi by seaplane

Arrive at Constance Moofushi by seaplane

Here are some other things you need to know for a holiday in Maldives.

1. Arriving by seaplane is one of the highlights of the holiday

Make sure you’ve got your camera to hand as you board the seaplane at Malé Airport because you’re going to want it. Arriving at your resort by seaplane is one of the most stunning introductions to the nation of Maldives you can imagine with views across the Indian Ocean dotted with stunning white sand coral islands.

2. The Maldives is child-friendly

The Maldives may have a reputation as a honeymoon destination but that doesn’t mean that it’s not the perfect place to take kids for a family holiday. For younger kids try a beach or family villa rather than a stilted one over the water and relax beside your own pool while you watch the little ones play on the beach. Constance Halaveli even offers a complimentary Kids Club so the kids will have plenty to do.

3. Swim with some of the ocean’s gentle giants

The waters around the Maldives are home to a wide range of stunning marine life but few get the pulse racing as much as manta rays and whale sharks. These graceful giants pass through our waters from November to April.

Swim with Manta Rays

Swim with Manta Rays

4. Each Maldivian island has its own coral reef encircling a lagoon

The Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands spread across 26 atolls covering an area of more than 90,000sq kilometres. Each island has its own coral reef and lagoon which protects it from the wind and wave action of the vast surrounding ocean. It is the islands’ uniquely isolated location that make the Maldives feel like a secluded haven away from the modern world.

5. Maldivian culture is a unique combination of global influences

With influences from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe the Maldivian culture offers a unique blend of music, tradition and cuisine. Influences can be found in the curries which are a staple in the Maldivian cuisine, music played on the traditional bodu-beru drum which resembles an African drum and the local dhoni boats used by the fishermen which are similar in design to the Arabian dows.

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Recipe: Octopus salad

Take your taste buds to the warm waters of the Indian Ocean with this Seychellois recipe for octopus salad from Constance Ephélia.

Constance Ephélia's octopus salad

Constance Ephélia’s octopus salad

Ingredients

  • 500g octopus
  • 200g cucumber
  • 200g tomato
  • 200g peppers (mix of colours)
  • 200g red onions
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon
  • 4 – 6tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemongrass

Method

1. Fill a large pan with water and add lemongrass, a fresh lemon cut in to quarters and parsley to flavour. Boil the Octopus in the water for 30 – 50 minutes.

2. When cooked, strain the octopus and allow it to cool then cut into small cubes.

3. Slice the tomatoes, cucumber, onions and pepper into cubes and place in a large bowl.

4. Toss them together with the octopus.

5. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some fresh parsley.

6. Check seasoning and serve.

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When to travel to the Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean offers a year-round playground of white sand beaches, sunshine and warm waters so all you need to do is pick the season and location best for you.

Indian Ocean destinations: Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Indian Ocean destinations: Constance Lémuria, Seychelles

Close to the equator, temperatures rarely fall below 20ºC and seasons tend to be divided into wet and dry with a wet season in which warm tropical rain usually clears to blue skies in a matter of hours.

Choosing the perfect destination and time of year to travel to the Indian Ocean can depend on what you’re looking for from your holiday. Keen divers may want to follow key migration seasons, windsurfers are looking for sea breezes while sunbathers want nothing more than to follow the warm sun.

Mauritius

October-April: summer in Mauritius, 26ºC to 32ºC

  • This is the island’s wettest season but rainfall rarely lasts long and tends to be local, the microclimate on the island means the weather can differ within a few kilometres.
  • The warm waters of the Mauritian summer bring with them a vast array of marine life so this is a great time of year for divers, snorkelers and those interested in big game fishing.

May-October: winter in Mauritius, 20ºC to 26ºC.

  • These cooler, drier months are perfect for excursions, sports, hiking and taking in the sights of this beautiful island.
Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives

Seychelles

Year-round temperatures approx. 24ºC-32ºC

October-April: Northwest Trade Winds bring warm weather but with it an increased risk of rainfall, although these usually occur in the form of short, sharp showers.

May-September: Southeast Trade Winds bring cooler, drier temperatures but the wind tends to be stronger creating larger waves making this the perfect time of year for surfing, windsurfing and sailing. Those looking for calmer waters at this time of year need to look for one of the many sheltered beaches on each of the islands.

April/May and October/November: the months in which one trade wind gives way to another offering calm bright dry days with no wind, creating the perfect conditions for scuba diving and big game fishing.

Maldives

Average temperatures 27ºC to 30ºC

December-March: North-eastern Monsoon. The nation’s driest season with plenty of warm sunshine. It is also a great time to get out on the water to try some water sports. Divers and snorkelers will also marvel at the migration of the Manta Rays through our waters at this time of year.

May-November: South-western Monsoon. Brings slightly more unsettled weather with a stronger wind making this the ideal time for sailing, surfing and windsurfing. There is still plenty of marine activity to enthral snorkelers and divers at this time of year including the migration of the beautiful whale shark.

April: when one monsoon gives way to another is a dry, calm month making it the ideal time to enjoy clear waters and uninterrupted sunbathing.

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Constance Tsarabanjina, Madagascar

Madagascar

November-April: warm, wet season

May-October: cooler, drier season

Within these general seasons there is a lot of local variation in Madagascar depending on elevation and which side of the island you are on (the west coast is dryer as it is most protected from the trade winds) and the driest of all is the extreme south.

Because there is so much to see in Madagascar many people choose to visit from May to October as this is the perfect time to explore nature trails, take hikes through the national parks and explore its unique wildlife.

September to December: warm and dry

The highest visibility for divers is from October to December and April to May, although many divers and nature lovers prefer to time their visits to coincide with the sperm whales’ arrival in July and August.

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Stunning dive sites in the Indian Ocean

With a seascape of stunning coral reefs, underwater tunnels, vast areas of sponge gardens, wrecks and stunning coral strewn rock formations the Indian Ocean has a vast array of spectacular dive sites to explore.

Explore the underwater world of Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Maldives.

Explore the colourful coral reefs

Explore the colourful coral reefs

Top dive sites in the Indian Ocean

Top dive sites in the Indian Ocean

Swim with Whale Sharks

Swim with Whale Sharks

Meet the Indian Ocean's many vibrant characters

Meet the Indian Ocean’s many vibrant characters

Get wrapped up in schools of fish

Get wrapped up in schools of fish

Swim with incredible Manta Rays

Swim with incredible Manta Rays

Find out more about our hotels and resorts in the Indian Ocean:

MauritiusConstance Le Prince Maurice & Constance Belle Mare Plage

SeychellesConstance Ephélia & Constance Lémuria

MaldivesConstance Halaveli & Constance Moofushi

MadagascarConstance Tsarabanjina

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Top 5 reasons to play golf in Mauritius

Ever since the first golf course was built here by Royal Navy officers in 1844 people with a passion for golf have been drawn to Mauritius to play the game. And here’s why…

Golf in Mauritius

Golf in Mauritius

1. Championship courses

There are no less than six 18-hole championship courses for keen golfers to play in Mauritius including the Legend golf course at Constance Belle Mare Plage, home to the annual MCB Tour Championship, the conclusion to the PGA European Senior Tour.

2. First rate pros on hand to improve your game

Take advantage of the high quality golf pros in Mauritius on hand to improve all aspects of your game. Guests at Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Belle Mare Plage can take group or individual lessons at the on-site Marc Farry Golf Academy where the golf coaches specialise in improving grip, posture, alignment and ball position.

3. A choice of 5* hotels and resorts

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly resort with a variety of sporting and leisure facilities or a luxury boutique hotel with a world-class spa, Mauritius is the place to head. Enjoy the understated elegance of Constance Le Prince Maurice with sumptuous spa and excellent fine dining or the relaxed vibrancy of Constance Belle Mare Plage with its 7 restaurants, 5 bars, spa and a raft of fun activities. Both share access to our two spectacular 18-hole golf courses, the Links and Legend.

4. Plenty of après-golf to enjoy

Enjoy superb gastro experiences, scuba diving, water sports or just lounging on the beach with a cocktail. After a hard day on the fairways golfers can soothe tired muscles with a special ‘Sports Massage’ at our relaxing spa.

5. Warm Mauritius sunshine

Last but not least it is the sublime weather in Mauritius that attracts golfers to our shores all year round. The Mauritian summer (October to April) brings long hot days (26ºC to 32ºC) with the occasional rainfall coming in short, sharp bursts that clear to reveal beautiful blue skies. Winter (May to September) brings drier, cooler days with temperatures ranging from 20ºC to 26ºC, perfect for long leisurely days on the golf course.

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Madagascar uncovered

Madagascar offers visitors a world of adventure and discovery with its unique wildlife and stunning, diverse scenery.

The unique lemurs of Madagascar

The unique lemurs of Madagascar

Here are 5 things you may not know about this beautiful, mysterious island.

1. Lemurs are protected as they are considered reincarnations of ancestors

The Malagasy people are guided by fady or taboos passed down from generation to generation. One such fady protects the country’s lemurs as it is believed they are reincarnations of ancestors.

Read more about Wildlife of Madagascar.

2. The Malagasy word for eating is literally translated as ‘to eat rice’

Rice is the core staple at the heart of Malagasy cuisine so the Malagasy word mihinam-bary which means ‘to eat’ is literally translated as ‘to eat rice’. The culinary influences of settlers from Africa, Middle East, Asia and Europe have combined to form a national cuisine of rich flavours and warm spices with curries and dishes based around fish or ‘zebu’, a kind of African cattle.

Discover 5 unusual foods of Madagascar.

3. The first settlers of Madagascar were from Indonesia

Settlers from the Sunda Islands of Indonesia arrived on Madagascar by canoe around 350BC. They were joined 500 years later by settlers from Africa and then more from Asia and Europe, each bringing their own culture and cuisine which over time have combined to form the completely unique Malagasy culture and people.

Read more about the rich culture of Madagascar

Baobab Trees: a stunning and diverse landscape

Baobab Trees: a stunning and diverse landscape

4. Washing black pots in the rivers of Andringitra National Park is forbidden

Often described as one of Madagascar’s most scenic national parks with areas of deep valley rainforest, mountains and highland forest, Andringitra is also a sacred region where the washing of black pots or mourning clothes is forbidden.

Read about Top 5 walks in Madagascar

5. Prior to colonisation Madagascar was ruled by a queen

Queen Ranavalona III (1883-1897) followed in the footsteps of Queen Ranavalona I (1828-1861) in attempting to ward off foreign influence but in 1897 she was deposed by French colonialists. Visitors can explore the royal palace at Ambohimanga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and see the queen’s quarters.

See more: Madagascar in photos

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