04/2008 - Maldives, Nika Island

7-day trip to the Maldives visiting Nika Island and surrounding islands

I could not persuade myself to go to the Maldives , maybe because I had stopped doing scuba diving and just did snorkeling .

It was my brother Saverio who convinced me in the best possible way: he offered me one- week stay !

His gift was a “super” one because he chose a really exclusive atoll, run by a Venice lover as the images will widely demonstrate.

The atoll is “Nika Island” and, in case of interest, you may visit the Intravco Tour Operator: www.intravco.it

When we arrived in Male, we transferred to the airport to catch one of the hydroplanes that connect the capital with the various islands .

Nika Island welcomed us with a reception desk that reminded me of our beloved Venice with the Venetian “gonfalone” (heraldic flag) , with the clock indicating Chioggia’s time…. and with the bar named “El bacaro dei Spritz ” (typical name of Venetian bar and aperitif).

The island is so small and it becomes instantly familiar while, the lush vegetation makes you imagine being in a remote and immense forest. There are numerous animals and plants.

We stayed in one of the “Water Villas” built at the end of a long walkway that extends into the waters of the lagoon. It is beautiful, very spacious, air-conditioned , with excellent facilities and two terraces. The 1st floor terrace has two wonderful features: it is sandy, as if you were at the beach, and there is a ladder that allows you to descend directly into the beneath lagoon full of corals and anemones and of the numerous lively and colourful marine life.

A real wonder is the “Beach Villa” with a private beach, where my brother Saverio stayed.

The bedroom and the living room areas are beautiful, but I was enchanted by the bathroom area as large as an entire one-room flat.

With a typical boat we went to a nearby island to visit a Maldivian village. We noticed how the houses are built with brick made with pressed shells. The people I met were beautiful , especially children.

We devoted a whole afternoon for Maldivian fishing. We did it with a long fishing-line held in the hand, it ended with the usual bait and hook. When you feel that the fishing-line pulls, it means that the fish has bitten.

After more than four hours of that exercise I was the only one who had not even felt a fish’s bite.

And … someone, dead tired , found it hard to keep his eyes open …. I swore that I will not repeat the experience.

We woke up before dawn to go fishing in the open sea with the hope of catching sailfish .

Also that second exit was not very lucky. We saw a little bit of everything from dolphins to tuna, from sailfish to manta rays. But we only succeeded in catching a medium-sized tuna .

And when we came back we found, on display, several sailfish caught by other guests.

During our long baths we were attracted by the great quantity of colorful fish that swam around us. I present some of them, the most interesting ones .

Another attraction was given by the corals for their variety and their colours .

Our baths were made ​​even more interesting by a variety of fish that swam around us, as the turtle (the most popular), the octopus, the small shark .

The week passed quickly because our days were very intense : numerous daily baths since we could reach the reef with a few strokes , an excellent restaurant ( including wine ) and our group composed of all nice and cheerful people.

If I had to go back to the Maldives, I would definitely choose Nika Island to stay.