Diving in the Maldives

One of my most recent trips was to the island of Meerufenfushi now known as Meeru Island Resort in the Maldives. The Maldives are located in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the world and the trip in March was my third visit to this island.

Aside from the idyllic location of the island, the laid back attitude and relaxing atmosphere, I really love this place for the diving it offers. On my first visit to the island I decided to be particularly brave and have a go at a 'try-drive'. This offers enough tuition to give you the opportunity to see what diving is really like and is fully supervised. Despite not being much of a water-baby, I loved it as soon as I jumped into the ocean and found myself in a completely different and utterly amazing world under the water. I'd never so much as snorkeled before and I was totally overwhelmed by the experience. I vowed then and there that if I ever went back to Meeru I would learn to dive properly.

Four years later I found myself back on the island. It had hardly changed from my first visit. The only addition was a new restaurant on a boat called the Hagern. True to my word I undertook the PADI Open Water course. I successfully completed this in the week that I was there. This allowed me to dive to a depth of 12 metres as long as I was accompanied by an instructor. Later that same year I completed further training to Advanced Open Water level in Malta and Gozo.

Fast forward another four years and I'm back in Meeru with enough experience now to be left alone to my diving with my excellent buddy - my husband. He started this all off in the first place by already being a diver before I met him and now he's pleased as punch that we can dive together.

I'm absolutely hooked now and we always try to have a diving holiday once a year. Not always in such an idyllic setting as Meeru, but we've both enjoyed some excellent diving in the Mediterranean which has a lot to offer both experienced divers and novices alike.

Meeru is a beautiful island and is considered large among the other Maldivian islands. You can walk around the entire island in about half an hour! Since our visit four years ago and the tsunami, they have added additional accommodation in the form of luxury jacuzzi water villas. There are now two large jetties stretching out into the sea from the island with the water villas sitting off the side. They have also added another restaurant at one end of the island by the water villas so that it's not so far to walk every meal time.

Despite the size of the island and the relatively large number of guests it can accommodate, you never feel overcrowded with people. The busiest time is during mealtimes, but even then it's not uncomfortable. There are lots of secluded areas and empty beaches. The island offers many different excursions from diving and snorkelling trips to deep sea fishing and sunset cocktail cruisers. It's a magical place and the most relaxing holiday I can think of. I spent two weeks there this time and I still wish it could have been longer! Maybe in another four years time...

March 2007