A Maldives holiday isn’t a hard sell. White sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters, and breathtaking pink sunsets? Get me on that plane. However there’s more to Maldives than relaxing on the beach – although let’s not overlook that particular selling point.
I recently discovered that there is a small resort in North Malé Atolls which attracts adventure-seekers and surf lovers from all over the world. Just a 25-minutes speedboat ride away from the airport, tucked away in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, is Kuda Villingili which is one of the best-located resorts in the Maldives for surfers. Kuda Villingili is located just off the famous Chicken’s Break, which provides surfers with an impressive 500m long surf break with waves of well over 10ft.
Though the large waves are an attraction to many advanced surfers, the resorts offer daily trips and beginner lessons to nearby breaks. So, eager to master the craft of surfing and become a cool surfing chick, I was up and ready every day at 6am for the boat to take us to a break with smaller, more manageable waves for beginners like me.
For those planning on picking up new skills whilst on holiday, the resort has surfing coaches, who are available for lessons at the Water Centre. Unsurprisingly, the first surfing lesson is almost entirely on the sand and shallow waters, learning the intricacy of paddle, paddle, paddle and then standing up for a total of three seconds. The expectations of a beginner are pretty low, so once you have mastered those few steps, then you are ready for the open waters for the next few days of your holiday.
Each morning would start with a light breakfast to ensure that you have sufficient energy before embarking on a boat trip for the beginners' break. The surfing sessions usually last about two hours from start to finish. There is a lot of paddling and not a lot of standing at the start, but the support provided by the coaches and the refreshing exercise boost your adrenaline levels to an all-time high. Surfing is as exhilarating as it is exhausting, so your session will be most likely to be followed by a much larger second breakfast and a nap to replenish the used energy.
Mental health benefits
Apart from being a fun sport to get into surfing, recent research has proven that surfing and time spent in “blue spaces” spaces correlates with improved mental health, wellbeing and more physical activity according to recent research by Blue Health. In the UK, the research has been recognised by the NHS and surf therapy is now prescribed by doctors to children in the UK.
In support of this, Kuda Villingili has partnered with UK-based charity The Wave Project to bring surf therapy to the one of the most beautiful blue spaces in the world, inviting people to take part in a thrilling three-day surf programme. This year, resort will also be donating £100 per family booking until October to The Wave Project in order to support the valuable work they do in the UK.
Kuda Villingili Resort
If the above strictly-surfing itinerary was not convincing enough for you Kuda Villingili Resort offers much more. Its 75 villas scattered across the resorts offer elegant retreats with direct beach access, private pools and, of course, captivating overwater villas.
If you are lucky enough to be staying in one of the overwater villas, you’ll be stunned by the turquoise water and marine life beneath your feet every time you walk out of the door. From stingrays, to reef sharks, you don’t even have to leave the villa to experience the beautiful sea life.
Though the beach is the preferable location, the resort is known for having the longest swimming pool in the Maldives, so a dip is a must. You can also cycle around the resort on one of the free bikes that are parked by your villa. Cycling is a great way to get to know the resort and its offering.
Kuda Villingili has seven dinning experiences surrounding the Earth, Fire, Ocean featuring different international cuisines, but if you are fan of seafood like me, you will most likely spend your holiday indulging in ceviches and poke bowls.
Last but not least, after a long day of water sports, you can indulge in a relaxing spa treatment in one of the eight stand-alone spa villas, overlooking the sea.
How to get there?
Qatar Airways offers daily flights with a stopover at Doha, with total duration of one-way trip being between 10-11 hours. Qatar’s Business Class cabins are elegantly designed and spacious offering super comfortable flying experience. All you have to do is grab a glass of champagne, recline and enjoy the Maldivian experience from start to finish. Also, after a long surfing trip, your body will thank you for the extra comfort during the long flight.
For bookings or enquiries visit: kudavillingili.com