Blue and white – these are the colours that dominate the idyllic island paradise that is the Maldives. This Indian Ocean playground is an archipelago made up of almost 2000 coral islands just waiting to be discovered by either those adventurous explorers seeking their next thrill, or by those simply looking to relax and get lost in the abundant beauty of the surrounds. From the air, patches of white sandy beaches meet turquoise blue waters, creating a breath-taking kaleidoscope, but it’s once your feet touch the ground that you get to experience the true wonder of this magnificent place. Whether it’s secluded luxury you’re after, a party in paradise, or the perfect mix of both, Club Med is dedicated to sharing its passion for the Maldives with every traveller. With local lifestyle shows such as Top Billing and The Expresso Breakfast Show recently featuring the likes of Club Med Kani and the new Finolhu Villas, it’s clear to see how the Maldives seems to be on everyone’s bucket list, including that of local South African celebrities.
The idyllic choice for a second honeymoon
When it came to choosing the perfect destination for their “second honeymoon”, popular television personality, Zuraida Jardine, and husband, Josh Lindberg, looked no further than the luxurious Finolhu Villas, Club Med’s latest Maldivian offering. Situated on the exquisite private island of Gasfinolhu, this resort is where romance meets relaxation, and modern luxury and elegance is balanced with the natural elements of the islands. To top it all off, the stilt-based villas have an eco-friendly design, ensuring that the resort is able to function as a haven of peace for adults, without negatively impacting the environment. Zuraida and Josh’s ultimate island getaway was captured by the Top Billing team – and since it’s the epitome of style, as is this glamorous couple and Club Med itself, it was a match made in heaven.
Land to sea, adventure to relaxation
The couple immersed themselves in the magic of the Maldives, choosing to partake in as many of the activities, experiences and excursions the island had to offer. It’s no secret that it is one of the best places to scuba dive in the world, and with crystal clear waters, spectacular coral reefs and an abundance of marine life, it’s really no wonder why this is the case. Top Billing presenter Lorna was lucky enough to share in Zuraida and Josh’s excitement as they dived in – literally! They explored the depths together with their dive instructor, taking in the beautiful sights of the fascinating world below that included spotting exotic fish, colourful coral and even an endangered sea turtle – what an absolute treat.
The underwater Eden that awaits is one that will leave you spell-bound. For those who don’t wish to dive in the Maldives, there’s a variety of other water sports to choose from that include snorkelling, skiing and tubing. If lazing on one of the pristine beaches in between taking dips in the Indian Ocean is more up your alley, then of course, that is an option as well. Whether you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping or take a load off by the pool, the Maldives is sure to satisfy all your needs.
Stars in the sky but the fun continues
Keeping travellers as happy during the night as they are during the day is an important part of the Maldivian experience. Watching a beautiful sunset with a cocktail in hand is the perfect way to end a busy day, after which you’re able to sample the mouth-watering delights for which the island is famous. This is exactly what Zuraida and Josh did as they tucked into local dishes, all lovingly prepared by the resort chefs – if it’s a taste explosion you’re after, then best you prepare yourself for just that. Many of the meals feature fresh fish, but the Maldives is also known for its delicious, spicy curries and frequent use of fragrant coconut. Plus, getting to indulge in these tasty dishes at one of the outdoor dining areas as a gentle breeze blows and the sweet sea air revitalises you, will be something you’ll remember for a long time to come. You can then end off the evening by dancing the night away, trying your hand at karaoke or enjoying some of the resort entertainment on offer.
A magical Maldives escape could be just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking to leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life. With the thermometer never dipping below 27 ̊C, this tropical paradise awaits all year round. As Lorna says, “I love it when the islands beckon my name” – can you hear them beckoning to you?
If you’re perhaps searching for a closer Indian Ocean holiday destination and one more suitable for families, why not consider magical Mauritius? You’ll get the same sand, sea and sun you would in the Maldives, but the plane ride there and back will be shorter. Happy travelling!
Images courtesy of Club Med and @zuraidajardin on Instagram.