Discover Paradise: Maldives Atoll Explorer
On this luxurious ten-day Maldives trip visit two atolls and two beautiful private island resorts, with a few magical days cruising between them too.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Sink your toes into the sand and watch the sun set from the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa
- Swim, snorkel and sunbathe on deserted sandbanks during a three night cruise on the Four Seasons Explorer
- Learn to dive on the UNESCO protected Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve
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When To Travel
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Day 1: International Flight
Leave the UK behind today as you head to the airport and let the holiday feeling start to kick in as you check in for your flight.
There are several airlines flying to the Maldives on various routes, including a direct flight in our winter months, so let us know your preferences and we'll help choose the best for you. You're looking at between a ten to 13-hour journey, depending on if you go direct or via the Gulf.
Day 2: Arrive
After spending the last few hours on a plane you'll land into the sunny Maldives this afternoon and be greeted with a wave of heat and a smiling member of our on the ground team.
Your first stop of this atoll exploring trip is on the North Male Atoll at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa resort. To get there you'll be whisked over to the nearest dock and into a speedboat for a private 25 minute transfer.
When you arrive, freshen up and ditch your bags and shoes in your room and then head to the Sunset Lounge for a sunset drink before dinner. Sit and sip and take in your surroundings along with the realisation that you might just be in paradise.
Day 3: Beach Bliss
Wake up after a lie in to sun streaming through your blinds and the sound of the sea somewhere in the distance.
Today is all about settling in to the holiday mood with a relaxing day spent on the beach, in the infinity pool or in a hammock - or all three if you like! Swap the sun for a little shade at various points throughout the day and enjoy some locally inspired, fresh and delicious food, and another couple of cocktails.
- Join the biologists at the Marine Discovery Centre and learn more about the island's delicate ecosystem
- Relieve any post flight aches and pains with a relaxing massage
Day 4: To the Boat
Start today rather earlier than yesterday as you get up to join the sunrise yoga class at the spa. Though it might be early, this is such a lovely way to wake up and will get you energised for the rest of the day.
Which really kicks off when you leave Kuda Huraa behind and board the luxurious Four Seasons Explorer catamaran. As you set sail, settle into your large and luxurious cabin and then head up to the main deck for lunch and to enjoy the views as you venture out into the middle of the Laccadive Sea.
Sit back on the sun deck for the rest of the afternoon, getting to know your fellow guests and the friendly crew as you soak up the sun and the endless blue views. A sumptuous welcome dinner will then be served.
Day 5: Let’s Go Diving
Start your day today with a fresh, fruit-filled breakfast on the deck. Then, don your swim wear and spend your morning taking full advantage of your prime location in an isolated spot in the sea.
You have the choice to go on a dive to explore a vibrant thila (submerged pinnacle) and an overhang of soft corals, or to stay above water and go water skiing and windsurfing around the boat.
This afternoon, after lunch and an hour or so sitting in the sun, join the marine biologist on a guided snorkelling trip, or go in search of pelagic fish on a channel dive.
Cocktails will be ready and waiting for you as you get back on board for sunset drinks and dinner. Then, suitably full and tired after the day's activities, retire to the lounge where you can watch back some of your footage from the day on the TV.
- Get up extra early to start your day with a sunrise dive
Day 6: Discover a Deserted Island
The beauty of being on a boat in the middle of the ocean is that you wake up to beautiful blue views every single morning; enjoy the novelty as you tuck into another leisurely al fresco breakfast.
When your food has gone down, jump back into the warm turquoise waters for another guided snorkelling trip with the marine biologist, who can help point out exactly what you're seeing. Then dry off for the rest of the morning and remember what civilisation looks like with a visit to a nearby village community where you can meet the friendly locals.
Waving goodbye to the village, revert back to isolation as your captain cruises up to a deserted sandbank and moors the boat up for the afternoon. You'll have had lunch on board as you cruised, so the afternoon is yours to enjoy simply sunbathing and being pampered by the masseuse with a beach massage.
Cocktails and a beach barbeque are the perfect end to today and make a nice change from dining on the boat.
Day 7: Back to Dry Land
Having traversed the Laccadive Sea, passing various islands en route over the last three days, today your cruise come to an end in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
There's time for one last breakfast at sea and then you'll find yourselves cruising up to the Four Seasons Landa Giravaaru resort by mid-morning.
Once you've stopped swaying, dropped your bags in your room and promptly found your way to the beach the afternoon is yours to spend adjusting to life back on land. If you're missing the water too much then how about taking advantage of the various complimentary water sports on offer and going snorkelling, paddle boarding kayaking or windsurfing.
For dinner, head to Fuego Grill for the catch of the day or a delicious selection of grilled meats, eaten with your toes firmly in the sand.
- End your time on the boat with a high by joining the dive master on a sunrise dive
- Let your sea legs lie as you relax back into life on land with a massage at the spa
Days 8-9: And Relax
With seemingly endless powder white beaches and dappled blue lagoons full of colourful creatures, you could easily spend the next two days without leaving the beach.
That said, with a number of complimentary activities on offer you'll want to make sure you see and do as much as possible. Our one absolute must do is the orientation dive offered by the PADI certified dive school, which will see you learn all about the local marine life, as well as a little about the practices of diving.
We also recommend making the most of all of the delicious food and drink on offer here. Spend your days in the sun interspersed with visits to as many of the various bars and restaurants as possible. Watching the sunset or stargazing from the cushions at Seabar deck is a highlight, as is the flavourful Moroccan cuisine at Al Barakat.
- Get your PADI qualifications in one of the world's best diving destinations
- Become a manta ray scientist for the day as you help track and record data about these gentle giants with the Maldivian Manta Ray Project team
Day 10: Home Time
After one last morning in the sun it's sadly time to leave paradise this afternoon by seaplane taking you back to the airport.
The flight to Male airport is just under 45 minutes and will have you there in plenty of time to check in for your international flight to the UK. It's also incredibly scenic, so keep your eyes peeled for some last Maldivian views.
As with on the way, you can fly indirectly via the Gulf or direct back to London at certain times of the year. The flight time will once again be between 10-13 hours and you should arrive back early tomorrow.
Frances is our expert for this itinerary and, as a seasoned traveller, has the inside track on the most memorable adventures.