The year 2020 is coming to an end and by now, all of us are just itching for that perfect dream holiday–a luxury that we have been deprived of, for so long, thanks to the pandemic. But fret not, if you have been looking to get away to a beautiful island for that much-awaited Christmas-New Year trip, here’s some good news for you! How about spending a few fun-filled days in the stunning archipelago of the Maldives? Also Read - Planning to Visit Ladakh? 8 Essential Tips For First-Time Travellers For a Memorable Trip
Yes, the beautiful island nation reopened doors to international tourism as of 15 July and was one of the first countries to do so. In the past month, many Bollywood actors including Taapsee Pannu, Varun Dhawan, Katrina Kaif, Disha Patani, Tiger Shroff have holidayed in the Maldives, giving us major travel goals.
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Why should you visit the Maldives?
Apart from the pristine white beaches, luxurious resorts and the expanse of the Indian Ocean, months from December-April is the perfect time to visit the island country. The average temperature there is between 29°C to 31°C during this period, making it the ideal holiday destination. Rainfall during this time is minimal and the humidity is very low between January and April.
More so, Maldives is an archipelago with over 1,190 coral islands which provide for natural isolation for those travelling to the country. The islands also follow the concept of “one-island-one-resort” under which travellers visiting the Maldives are confined to the resort they are staying in.
Another great reason is the relatively short flight duration, no visa hassles and no quarantine. So, book that ticket already!
How to get there
After the Maldives opened for tourism, India and Maldives entered into an air bubble arrangement in August, as a part of which natives from these nations can travel to and from the countries for employment, tourism, medical emergencies, etc.
Air India, Go Air and IndiGo currently have flights from Delhi and Mumbai to capital Male.
Before departure to the Maldives
The 1,200-island nation reopened its borders in July with no testing or quarantine mandates, then changed course in September to require negative Covid-19 test results for all incoming travelers. Here are other rules to keep in mind:
-A confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the Ministry of Tourism is mandatory
-All tourists are required to submit an online Health Declaration Form within 24 hours prior to departure through the IMUGA portal.
-All tourists are required to hold a negative PCR test for COVID-19 conducted 96 hours prior the scheduled time of departure from the first port of embarkation enroute to Maldives. In addition, the lab result should be presented in paper or electronic format during the airline check-in.
On Arrival to the Maldives
All tourists are granted a 30-day free visa upon arrival and Quarantine upon arrival is not required. However, if the passenger has a fever, cough or shortness of breath on board the flight or upon arrival, it should be informed to the local Health Protection Agency.
All tourists must undergo thermal screening at the arrival terminal and should wear masks. Physical distancing should be ensured given the fact that all physical distancing guidelines are clearly marked with visible distance information and floor markings in the passenger terminal. Additionally, you will need to undergo a PCR test 72 hours before you are scheduled to leave the Maldives.
Best attractions/Must-visit places
The most thriving island and the capital city of Maldives, Male is one of the best places to visit in the Maldives in December along with its numerous attractions such as the Grand Friday Mosque, National Museum, and a famous fish market. Meeru Island, Biyadhoo Island, Alimatha Island, Vaadhoo Island, Sun Island, COMO Cocoa Island, Male Atoll are other stunning locations which offer beautiful beaches, iconic landscapes and mesmerising beauty.
Further, you can’t afford to miss The Muraka, which is a lavish 2-level undersea villa, letting you experience an exotic style of living, dining, and sleeping under the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean.
If you love water adventure sports, Manta Point is the best destination in Maldives for scuba diving, where you can explore the natural sea life at close quarters. If diving doesn’t interest you, then indulge yourself in snorkeling and get ready to float in the aquamarine waters of Maldives.