A Journey Like No Other
For those readers who have been lucky enough to visit the Maldives Islands, you will know exactly what I’m talking about in this post.
For those of you who have not visited (yet?) then here is a little glimpse of what to expect upon arrival in to Valena International Airport, and the onward travel by seaplane to your island.
TMA Seaplane (twin otter) October 2018
How Do I Find My Seaplane?
On arrival, once through security you need to head for the desk which has your islands name. Here, a representative from the island will have your name on a list and will tag up your luggage. Luckily the Maldivians are so friendly and he will walk you round to the check in desk for TMA.
Once you are here, your cases and hand luggage will all be weighed and that’s the last you will see of it until you get to your villa / hotel! This has never happened to me before where my luggage is taken off me at an early stage so I was praying that it was going to make it to the island. There are, what seems like, a million different islands in the Maldives all with their own seaplanes so I was hoping it would end up on our seaplane with us and not coming afterwards.
You will then be taken to a small bus, and once the bus has enough passengers it will drive you a short 10 mins to where all the arrival lounges are. This is where you realise that you are about to be treated like a VIP.
The Arrival Lounge
We booked to stay in Adaaran accommodation on Meedhupparu island. Adaaran have their own arrivals lounge and here you will be greeted by a friendly lady who checks your passports and will tell you how long to wait before your seaplane is ready. We were lucky as we only had an hours wait. But you can be waiting up to 4 hours, depending on how busy the incoming flights are that day. So be warned! But the Adaaran lounge has free tea, coffee, fruit juice, pastries and lots of other snacks. There is also a bathroom with showers and toilets which we didn’t use, but is nice if you want to freshen up after your long journey. Here we hydrated ourselves and was getting really REALLY excited about finally being in our dream destination after so long. Make the most
of this lounge as I believe that not all islands have a dedicated lounge. So if your island does - take advantage.
Once your seaplane is ready, someone will come and get you and walk you round to the departures lounge. The views from here are insane!
TMA seaplane - this was the one we took to our island
so once you are on the plane (beware - it’s a close fit!) brace yourself for possibly some of the best Ariel views you will ever experience in my opinion! Once the pilot has given a very brief safety talk - if you could call it that - then you will be taxi’ing along the turquoise water ready to finally make the last leg of your long journey. If you have never been on a small plane before, let alone a seaplane, it is very loud!! Try and sit next to the window if you can because what you are about to see I goes something like this...
I think you will agree that this is quite the view!
Also, a little side note - the pilots do not wear shoes...
Landing at the island was smooth and steady, we were lucky that we flew on a really calm day and did not experience one bit of turbulence. It was an absolute privilege and pleasure flying with TMA, and the experience is not something I will ever forget.
Aaaannndddd you get to do it all again on your way back to Male - bonus!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, please see my Top 5 Tips to Surviving your Long Trip to the Maldives post for all things to get you through your long haul flight.
For a visual on how our flight was with TMA, check out my short video on YouTube below.
- Lea Bella x