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About Maldives Holidays - Island vacations needn’t be expensive affairs to far-flung exotic locales and a tiring flight away. It’s entirely possible to fly to an island paradise that is affordable, and simply three hours away. The absolute kicker here is you get a 30-day tourist visa, for free, on arrival. If you haven’t guessed it, we’re talking about the Maldives, India’s next door neighbour gleefully floating in the Indian Ocean. If you’ve always thought about a Maldives trip but never found the time or incentive, it’s time you checked out Thomas Cook India’s Maldives Tour packages that will fast-track your dream vacation to the Maldives and turn it into a sunny, sandy and surreptitious reality. Like we mentioned before, your Maldives holiday doesn’t need to break the bank because Thomas Cook India’s Maldives holiday packages start at an easy INR 17,971 for a quick 3 night and 4 day escape from the grind to a luxurious INR 112,519 for an ultra-opulent 3 night and 4 day affair. Thomas Cook India’s Maldives tours allow you the freedom and flexibility to make this great escape to this idyllic beach destination and return to your daily routine renewed, refreshed and energised.

Thomas Cook has a team of travel experts who work together to meticulously plan and curate your Maldives Tour so that it’s perfect and memorable. After all, vacations are for making the best memories of our lives. The icing on the cake is that you get a lot of value when you book with Thomas Cook - from comfortable accommodations, to expert guides and delicious meals, you can be assured that you will have the best possible vacation.

For a better idea about what to expect when travelling to Maldives, visit our website where the Maldives tourism section will give you detailed pointers on everything about Maldives, such as Things To Do In Maldives, Best Times To Visit Maldives, Places To Visit in Maldives and much more. The best part is that Maldives holiday packages are available from all major cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Cochin. Getting to Maldives no longer has to be a faraway dream, thanks to Thomas Cook.

 Maldives Holiday Packages

Maldives Packages No. of Days Price*
Maldives - Bandos Resorts with Flexi Flights 3 Nights / 4 Days Rs. 65 725.00
Maldives - Hotel Arena Beach 3 Nights / 4 Days Rs. 18 020.00
Maldives - Embudu Village 3 Nights / 4 Days Rs. 44 130.00
Maldives - Adaaran Club Ranhali 3 Nights / 4 Days Rs. 45 601.00
Maldives - Paradise Island Resorts 3 Nights / 4 Days Rs. 45 969.00

About Maldives
We often fantasize about surfing in Hawaii, sipping on a pina colada in the Caribbean, snorkelling in the azure waters of Bali or partying it up in Cancun or Tulum or simply cruising through glamourous Miami. We’ve idolised the island vacation as something unattainable, something only for the high flying, good looking jet setters. The only beaches we wind up visiting are those we’ve always visited like Goa or Pondicherry. We think the only affordable island is Sri Lanka or Bangkok, yet reconsider our decision to visit because we’re wary of the thousands of tourists who flock there. The thought of wading through a sea of humanity, before getting to the actual sea is off putting to say the least. But, there’s always a but, the Maldives are like little silver bullets that will slay your beach vacation woes. Imagine, aquamarine waters framing moon shaped islands ringed with white sandy beaches, zoom in closer and you’ll be hard pressed to find another soul, if you do, they’re probably immersed in creating their own little idyll without being a bother. Add to this the fact that you could probably fly in on a Friday evening and fly out on Monday morning to be back at work with a bit of sand still between your toes and you’ll realize that the Maldives are the dream vacation you always wanted but never really got down to taking because the dream felt unachievable.


Best Time to Visit the Maldives
The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April. The island nation is warm and sunny year-round, but consists of a dry season and a wet, rainy season. There are pros and cons to visiting in each season. The best weather in the Maldives lasts from November and April, owing to minor to no precipitation and warm, tolerable temperatures. However, this is also the busiest time of year and, as such, the room rates at resorts and hotels cost a little more than they normally would. However, since every resort sits on its own island, you won't have to fight the throngs of tourists like you might during the peak season at most other destinations.

May to October is officially the rainy season, with the islands seeing between 5 and 10 inches of rain monthly and accompanied by strong winds and the occasional tropical storm. Visitors will likely find better pricing during this time of year, however your dreams of chilling in an open bungalow on the water might be blown away by strong winds and wild waves. Wild waves are what make the Maldives a mecca for surfers during the monsoon because the area sees bigger waves and better swells for surfing during these months.

May to July is when the Maldives shine though thanks to the perfect temperatures and the thinning crowds. You might experience some brief periods of heavy to moderately heavy rainfall but this is literally the calm before the storm, and the Maldives is one of the few places that allows you to cherish this period and get home before things get a little to stormy.


How to Reach the Maldives
Flying is the quickest way to get to the Maldives with a flight from the Indian mainland to the Maldives lasting just a couple of hours. Male International is the country’s main airport located on Hulhule Island in the North Male atoll, just off the coast of the island capital of Male. It is well connected internationally, especially with India with direct flights from metros like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Cochin. The longest duration is about 6 hours from Delhi and the quickest is the flight from Cochin which gets you there in under 2 hours. Getting there however is the easy part, its parting with this paradise that is the tough bit.

From here you can take a ferry, speedboat or a sea plane to the island of your choosing within the Maldives. Since the islands are tiny with narrow roads, driving to get from one place to another is out of the question, you can island hop using a boat or a seaplane and use cycles or scooters to travel within and explore each island.

Taking the scenic route is also possible with a 7-night, 8-day cruise to the Maldives. Departing from Mumbai and with stops at Mangalore and Cochin before an onward voyage to Male, this mode is for the times you have time and wish to make your journey as memorable as your destination vacation.


Places to See in the Maldives
Male
Despite its tiny size, Male is full of energy. This island city is filled with beautiful buildings, like the 17th century, Old Friday Mosque, energetic markets like Male Market and the lovely Mulee aage Palace. With a population of 133,412 and a size of about 9.2 sq.km. Male happens to be one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Here you can rub shoulders with Maldivians going about their everyday business with a smile on their face and the sun in their eyes. Some other notable places to see the newer Grand Friday Mosque, National Museum, the Sultan Park, Rasfannu beach, Sinamale bridge, the Victory monument, Jumbhoree Maidhan and the Tsunami monument.

Hulhumale Island
Cross the sparkling waters that surround Male and you’ll arrive at the Hulhumale Island, with its spectacular beaches, glass topped mosque, a beautiful promenade and serene, green neighbourhoods. The most interesting fact about this island however is that it has been reclaimed from the sea to meet the rising demand for land for development from space starved Male. It is connected to Male by the Sinamale bridge, an architectural wonder. While on the island, not visiting the beautiful Hulhumale beach would be a crime. Having an afternoon picnic in Hulhumale Central Park, which is a stone’s throw away from the beach. Who are we kidding, in the Maldives, every place is a stone’s throw away from the beach.

Maafushi
If you’re going slightly off the beaten path, Maafushi is the place to be. Once ravaged by the tsunami, this island is now firmly back on its feet, with a variety of beautiful resorts and beaches that are best described as ethereal, Maafushi is the Maldives own little quiet corner. This is a beautiful pocket of the world to tuck yourself into. Stroll on the pristine beaches, laze at the Maafushi promenade and enjoy coffee at its small coffeehouses.

Utheemu
For a little history, head to the northernmost of the Maldivian island chains to the island of Utheemu – once the home of Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu, the leader who drove the Portuguese invaders from the islands in the 16th century. Utheemu Ganduvaru is the sultan's palace and is this tiny island’s claim to fame.

Feydhoo
The southernmost inhabited island of the Maldives, Feydhoo is the last speck of land in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, which means it is remote, quiet and serene as many tourists seldom venture this far. Places to visit include Gan Beach, Huludu Lagoon Beach and Meedhoo Jetty. Additionally, you'll find Hulhudhoo Harbor in the area.


What to Eat in the Maldives
Light, fresh, tinged with every kind of spice – the cuisine in the Maldives is delicious, homely and comforting. With hits of chilli and the freshness of ginger, this food will make you sweat a little, to cool you down a lot in the Maldivian sun. Here is a list we would absolutely want you to sample:

Garudhiya
This fragrant fish soup is served with rice, chilli, lemon and onions and is perhaps the Maldives’ most famous dish. It is light, nourishing and most importantly lip smackingly delicious if tuna soup is your thing. If not there’s plenty of other options to choose from.

Mas Huni
To prepare this dish, smoked and shredded tuna is sprinkled with lemon, coconut and onions. Consider this a healthy tuna salad served with hot chapatis on the side. Roll it up for a quick snack on the go or pack some for a beach side picnic.

Mas Roshi
This is an evening snack made by steaming together flaked fish and a coconut dough. It is versatile as it is eaten for breakfast, between meals and even as an accompaniment to the main course of a meal.

Bis Keemiya
Think of this as a samosa stuffed with hard boiled eggs, onions, shredded cabbage and spices, because that’s exactly what it is. One bite of this and you’ll either hate it completely or forget all about the plain old aloo-stuffed samosa back home.

Boshi Mashuni
This is a mixed salad of shredded banana flowers, coconut all gently dressed with fresh, fragrant turmeric, cumin, lime and Maldivian chilli. This will keep you full, yet agile enough to explore the small islands on foot.

Saagu Bondibai
The Maldivian version of sabudana kheer or payasam. This is a smooth, creamy pudding made with tapioca pearls and coconut cream, delicately flavoured with saffron and cardamom.

Maldivian Biryani
This is a variant of biriyani native to the Maldives that uses local spices such as pandan, lemon and lemongrass to add a new dimension of tropical flavour to the biriyani you know and love.


Things to Do in the Maldives

Grab a bite underwater
Many famous restaurants in the Maldives such as Ithaa, at the Hilton Maldives and Subsix on Kudahuvadhoo offer diners the chance to eat a meal inside a glass walled dining room that is submerged underwater. Feel like a Bond villain as you sip on a cocktail surrounded by schools of fish and hopefully, beautiful women.

Witness the stars fall into the ocean
Vaadhoo Island in the Raa atoll is where you can witness what is best described as a sea full of stars when bioluminescent plankton cause the water to take on a surreal blue glow.

Hit the water, hard
All over the Maldives you will find operators who will equip you with the gear required for some adrenaline pumping, heart thumping water sports. The list is exhaustive but you can go fishing, surfing, parasailing, water skiing, wakeboarding, scuba diving, windsurfing, jet skiing, speed boat racing, banana boat riding and snorkelling. There’s something for everyone’s level of physical fitness and daring and if you wish to take up an activity, you can always learn at one of the many training centres for beginners around the islands.

Spot some sea creatures
At many islands and resorts you can take a boat ride out to sea to spot some cute goofy dolphins playing around underwater. These friendly fish will swim up to your boat and if you’re lucky you might even get to feed one or boop it’s snout. If you wish to go deeper, you can always get on a submarine to go whale watching. This is a breathtaking experience as you can observe these behemoths of the blue in their natural habitat.

Crab racing anyone?
We’ve relished them in curries and jumped at the very thought of having our little toe firmly in the grasp of their claws, but have you ever raced them? The ‘sport’ of crab racing started off as a pastime for fishermen and is now one of the quirkiest, most fun things to do in the Maldives. Bet on your favourite crab with your lucky number painted on its shell or simply watch to kill time. This is one activity you won’t  find time for back in the real world, but in the Maldives where time slows down and the pace of life is leisurely, you will gladly spend an hour or two in search of the fastest crustacean around.

 

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