Organizer Maldivian.com (Flight booked separately)
The booking via internet, the sending of documents, etc. all went well. We would recommend the travel agency at any time.
We flew with Emirates Airlines from Zurich via Dubai to Male. The flight was completely booked up and so we got an upgrade to Business Class on the Zurich - Male route. Like this, the flight could easily take 20 hours instead of 6 hours.
Arrived in Hulhule we went through the passport control and - as usual - we caught the wrong column again and it took us half an hour to get through. Maldivian.com was represented by Crown Tours and the guys organized everything wonderfully, so that shortly afterwards we had a breathtaking flight to Vakaru with Trans Maldivian Airways.
Shortly after landing we were picked up by the Dhoni and shipped to the island. After the usual paperwork, we finally reach our goal: Vakarufalhi
The island is quite small, maybe 150 on 80 meters and very beautifully overgrown with palms, mangroves and other trees. This way you can spend the hot lunch hours comfortably in the shade. But beware! The island is not as well maintained as we know it from other - also cheaper - islands. This means that the palms are full of ripe coconuts and therefore you have to be careful where you put your sunbed.
The island has a beach that runs around the island and is between 8 - 25m wide. This is remarkable because the nearby island of Kuda Rah has almost no beach at all. The beach is also protected all around by breakwaters, which are still clearly visible even during high tide. Not very nice for my taste, but when you consider the alternative (Kuda Rah), absolutely understandable and also necessary.
The bungalows are built around the island against the beach, but still under shady palm trees. They are spacious and stylishly furnished and have a Maldivian bathroom with open-air cold water shower and a covered part with hot water bathtub/shower and washbasin. An air-conditioning system provided tolerable room temperatures and at night you could also protect yourself with a mosquito net.
A mini-bar, hairdryer and stereo system with CD player are also part of the inventory. Each bungalow also has a veranda with sand floor, chairs and a table.
Pleasant was the foot shower, with which you could spray the sand off your feet. Everyone also has a comfortable couch with mattress. In addition, there were beach towels as well.
Our bungalow was No. 136 in the southwestern part of the island, which is sheltered from the wind at this time of year. In total there are 50 bungalows on Vakaru, but we liked the numbers 111-143 best, because the beach is bigger here.
On Vakarufalhi there is a restaurant, bar (both suitable for barefoot use with sandy soil), a souvenir shop, a jeweller's shop and a spa.
It has to be said that - except for one crab race every 2 weeks - there was no evening entertainment. The prices for drinks at the bar range from US$ 3.50 for a beer up to US$ 9 for a Long Island Iced Tea, but I don't drink it anyway, because the consequences are not predictable. Soft drinks are available for US$ 2.50.
Food and Drinks
Simply sensational! Four evenings buffet and three à la carte. The kitchen is international and offers something for everyone. Almost as always there was a pot with a fine curry. What was new for us was that we also had pork. This was especially important to me for my English Breakfast. Speaking of breakfast: here too, there was an abundant selection of fruit, various breads, cheese, muesli and warm things.
But that's nothing at all, the absolute hammer was the Desert Buffet. We haven't seen anything like this before. These artists have baked cakes, we can't even get it here in the best confectioneries! If you are going on holiday at Vakarufalhi, you should make a precautionary reservation at a fitness studio.
Scuba Diving and Schnorceling
My special and favorite subject. The dive center is operated by Prodivers with Petra (D), Mark (New Zealand), Soba (Maldives) and Tommy and Nancy from Base, Switzerland. Everyone is very helpful and doing an excellent job. Diving is mainly in the canal between Dangheti and Digurah (travel time < 30 minutes) with famous diving spots like Broken Rock and Reethi Thila. In the large and very comfortable Dhoni spots at the outer reef (primarily for whale sharks' hunting') or Manta Point are also beeing explored. The special feature of the Dhoni is the on-board toilet, which is especially appreciated by the ladies.
Practical are the two-tank trips, where two dives are made in the morning. That's where you've been through it and the wife gets to see you in the afternoon.
There's a lot to see. Some of the reefs have recovered so much that there is practically nothing more to be seen of the coral bleaching. The interesting fauna starts with millimeter sized colorful crabs, passes over ghost pipefish, snapper, sweet lips, whitetip reef sharks and ends with manta rays and whale sharks. Edema species such as the Maldivian sponge snail can also be observed.
Diving is basically only possible with Nitrox, which Prodivers offers at no extra charge. However, the prices, while we're at it, are steep. 730$ for two weeks Non-Linit diving is very much. The boat trips are of course not included.
The house reef is characterized by beautiful steep walls and can be reached via two entry points. During snorkeling you can also see a whitetip reef shark from time to time.
The invoice must be paid in advance, after that you sign the invoices, which have to be paid in cash at checkout.
The departure time with Emirates was 2:30 in the morning. We spent the time until then in the Airport Hotel, where you can eat and drink wonderfully. The hotel disposes of a pool with very comfortable loungers where you can sleep for a few more hours. Worth mentioning is the new Airbus A340-500 of the Emirates, which brought us from Dubai to Zurich. Even I had enough room and legroom. The highlight is the new on-board entertainment system (ICE), which allows you to choose from over a hundred movies that you can start, interrupt, fast-forward or rewind. That's how time literally flies by.
What didn't have to be was the landing in Switzerland. Not that it would have been enough that the holiday is now over, no it had to snow. 40° temperature difference and a jet lag of five hours: I think we are ready for the island again...