The flight to Male, the capital of the Maldives, is quite a long one. It took something like 9 hours to Abu Dhabi, 1 hour to walk round duty free, followed by a further 4 hours. Still at least, they'd almost finished the new airport building, so it was a lot better than last year. They might even switch the air conditioning on next year too.
Ever since our trip to Fesdu, the Travel Collection have been sending me information on holidays. One dropped through the letter box in June with details of a Christmas break on Velidhu in North Ari Atoll. It wasn't cheap, at £2199 per person for 14 nights all-inclusive, but the idea of spending Xmas and New Year in the warm really appealed. So we booked it.
I was searching on the Lunnpoly website for holidays in the Maldives when I came across an island I'd never heard of called Ranveli. There was a substantial discount for the last 2 weeks in March, with £400 off, bringing the price down to £1020 per person for 2 weeks all inclusive. My first reaction was to wonder what was wrong with it. It seemed too good to be true, but I decided to go ahead and book it.
The original plan had been to fly out with Qatar Airways, but they refused to change a name on one of the tickets and charged me £50 for the privilege of cancelling, which is probably the only thing they'll ever make out of me. So we ended up going out on Sri Lankan instead. The check-in staff didn't bat an eyelid at baggage 8 kgs over the 20 kgs limit and it left at 21.45 on a Friday, so plenty of time to do a day's work before setting off for the airport.
We decided that Easter would be a nice time to go back to the Maldives. I hadn't planned on returning to Meedhupparu so soon, but even booking months in advance, our choice was limited. So we decided to stick with somewhere we knew we would enjoy. This time I booked the holiday with First Choice because the flight was with Air 2000 rather than Airtours/MyTravel who had given us so much trouble on our last trip. I'm a firm believer in voting with your feet and your
I was doing a 2 week tour of southern India and wanted to finish off with a week in the Maldives. I looked on www.travelrepublic.co.uk and one island was much cheaper than most of the alternatives. Summer Island Village was £800 for one week all-inclusive. I'd been there before back in 1999, and written this report. The price didn't include boat transfers from the airport to the island. They certainly clawed back some money on them. They charged £135.