An underwater ballet occurs before our eyes, with a squadron of graceful manta rays gliding through the water and falling.
These mysterious creatures are one of the biggest attractions for visitors to the Unesco Biosphere Reserve Baa Atoll in the central western part of the Maldives.
Our snorkeling guide Saif says we are very lucky to get a show like this as we are at the end of the manta ray season which runs from June to the end of November. There are only three of us in the water, and I withdraw several times as the rays come towards me with their ghostly mouths. But these gentle giants, who can grow up to 16 feet from wingtip to wingtip, have nothing to fear. They feed on plankton and krill, and unlike stingrays, there is no venom in their whip-like tails.
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Good idea: A spectacular aerial view of Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, which, according to Sadie Whitelocks, immediately casts a sunny spell on you.
Landaa Giraavaru is a 30-minute seaplane ride from the Maldivian capital, Male. One of the overwater villas is shown
Landaa Giraavaru increases the romance to 11 with this incredible overwater wedding pavilion – and very secluded
Ghostly: Mantas feed on plankton and krill, and unlike stingrays, there is no venom in their whip-like tails
Sadie watches a squadron of graceful, mysterious manta rays performing an underwater ballet
For a luxurious marine safari base, check into the more posh Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. The lush atoll is a 30-minute seaplane ride from the Maldivian capital, Male.
Landaa Giraavaru immediately enchants you with a sunny spell, and the sadness of the lockdown is washed away by glorious temperatures of 28 ° C. Guests do not have to wear a mask while traveling, although the staff do. Hence, there is a strange feeling of freedom when they can practice facial expressions again.
On this remote atoll, Sealife takes center stage with a state-of-the-art marine research facility, PADI dive outlet, and turtle rehabilitation center. At the Marine Center, one of the resident biologists, Simon from Essex, will be happy to share with you about his projects, from increasing clownfish populations to restoring coral.
Book a dive or two to further explore the underwater world of the Maldives. There are several dive sites and we go to one near a neighboring island. You’re guaranteed to see lots of parrotfish, and Felipe, another biologist, tells us that when they nibble on coral and poop it as sand, these colorful creatures are largely responsible for the Maldives’ paradisiacal white shores. Nice!
If all of this is too calm, you can get in the water for an eFoiling class. Never heard of it? An eFoil is a surfboard that travels across the water and is powered by an electric motor and propeller attached to a hydrofoil under the waves. The motor is almost noiseless and is powered by a battery.
Our tutor, Hazmar, makes it look easy as he flies over the rocking blue on the futuristic motorized surfboard, but when I try it is difficult to stand and it takes several facial plants to finally manage a two second hover.
Bliss: Landaa Giraavaru’s sprawling overwater villas offer four-poster beds and direct access to the ocean
Landaa Giraavaru’s Blu Beach Club has a breathtaking infinity pool – and a well-kept pillow menu
Would you like to book a beach villa with pool in Landaa Giraavaru? This is waiting for you
The three bedroom water suites at Landaa Giraavaru are very special
The romantic walks in Landaa Giraavaru are boring. There is for example the pictured sandspit option …
Travel in Memorable Style: Sadie prepares to board the Four Seasons luxury transfer seaplane
Sadie holds the sun in her hands at Landaa Giraavaru
Landaa Giraavaru’s sprawling overwater villas offer gorgeous infinity pools and their freestanding bathtubs that can accommodate two people are also great for relaxing. Ride your resort bike through the jungle interior to the Landaa Giraavaru’s spa to nurture your state of bliss.
I suddenly hear myself snoring as Lastri gives the signature massage in an overwater treatment room while the waves gently whisper around us.
Landaa Giraavaru also specializes in the ancient Indian healing practice of Ayurveda and a couple, we are told, are booked with a specialist for a 21-day retreat on the island.
With six nights of play, my therapy extends to a point of sunrise yoga with Dr. Giri on an overwater pavilion, and the next day he takes my partner and me to an anti-gravity yoga class. We burst into giggles as we try to master the “Mosquito” and “Spiderman” poses. Dr. Giri kindly takes some photos while the blood is flowing to our heads.
Later that day, I practice a less active sun salutation with a cocktail on hand as we watch tones of orange from the Ibiza-style Blu Beach Club restaurant give way to a starry night sky. Our palates are taken on a world tour during our stay. There is a different restaurant every evening. In the Blu there are authentic Italian flavors, in the Cafe Landaa a tingling Indian taste and in the Al Bakarat more Moroccan-inspired appetizers.
After three nights we jump to Landaa Giraavarus sister island Kuda Huraa, which is about 19 km from Male and 25 minutes away by seaplane. General Manager Randy tells us that when you think of the two Four Seasons properties as potential partners, Kuda Huraa is the one you want to marry as it’s a timeless classic while Landaa Giraavaru is the one you date want. with that wow factor ‘. His analogy resonates immediately.
Kuda Huraa has a more intimate and cozy atmosphere than Landaa Giraavaru. The rooms at the Kuda Huraa have equally impressive infinity pools. The interiors are more earthy, however, with burnt red tones and duck egg blue walls.
A big draw for many is surfing. The area around Kuda Huraa is home to some of the largest rollers in the Maldives.
Kuda Huraa, pictured, has a more intimate and cozy atmosphere than Landaa Giraavaru, writes Sadie
The rooms at the Kuda Huraa (pictured), Sadie says, have impressive infinity pools, and the interiors are earthy
Kuda Huraa, pictured, is about 12 miles from Male. One of the big attractions is surfing. The area has some of the largest rollers in the Maldives, explains Sadie
Fortunately, my first surf lesson is in the resort’s quieter lagoon, but I wish I could have extended my stay to test my balance on some bigger waves.
We meet a boy from Argentina who is staying on the island for three months with his wife and two children in tow.
If your budget allows, these Four Seasons resorts are sure to make a dream base from which to work from home. Unfortunately, after six nights of bliss, we have to go back to Male. But with a wealth of memories, it feels like we’ve been gone for a month.
And this manta ray ballet is a spectacle that I will never forget.