Since years I was dreaming of the Maldives. White sand beaches, turquoise water, beautiful corals and fishes and on top of all a nice bungalow on the beach. Who isn't dreaming of this?
When the next travel plans came up and Sri Lanka was on top of the list, we had to make a combination with the Maldives. It is only an hour flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka and Emirates is making a triangle with their flights. So no backtracking, just an easy stop for us in Dubai.
If you think about traveling to the Maldives on a budget, think again. Yes, it can be affordable, but there are consequences. On the islands Hulhumale, where the international flights will arrive and Male, there are a few budget options. But those islands aren't the white sand beaches and turquoise water. You can't swim in your beach wear, you have to be fully dressed and actually the islands are more city like. Not a bad choice to visit, but it can be better.
Other cheap options are Maafushi island and Guraidhoo. You can get there on a ferry, which is affordable. But make sure you will check the departure dates, since they don't operate every day. There are guesthouses so it doesn't have to be expensive. They all offer tours to go snorkeling or diving.
Finally, I made up my mind. I'm not gonna stay on a cheap island, just to safe money. I wanted the full Maldives feeling so we decided to pay for it. Online, I tried to find the best deal for me. With almost 1200 islands from which are 200 inhabited and 105 with island resorts it was a difficult decision. Since I didn't want to spend too much on a hotel there where still a lot of choices. I wrote emails to resorts, but most of them don't take private bookings. So I contacted a Dutch travel agent which is specified on the Maldives. I gave them a list of my top 10 choices. All in all they sent prices of 5 resorts back.
We found it was best for us to spend 2 nights in Male and 3 nights at a resort. Male was a difficult decision, since it get bad reviews. How bad could it be? You can read it here.
Choice of resorts are difficult. After a few hours of debating we choose Embudu village resort. The choice we made was based on how close it was to Male, which was only 45 minute boat ride. We didn't want to go by plane nor spend hours on a speedboat. The prices of planes and speedboats can be high.
Embudu village was the perfect combination for us. The island has it's own coral reef, just step in the water and swim to the coral reef. The reviews on trip advisor where really high, so our choice was made.
How was the stay? You can read it here.