Many of my city friends like the idea of a beach holiday but they also can’t bear sitting around too long doing nothing either. If you are not into diving, sitting by the pool and beach all day, there is a huge offering including the Maldives’ first golf course.
Velaa’s offering of activities is unbeatable especially with the creation of the Velaa Golf Academy, designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, renowned for his short game and managed by Troon, the leader in upscale golf course management. The current resident golf pro from Scotland can definitely help you improve your swing in just one hour. The course is a little humid and definitely reminds me of playing in Singapore where you need to play first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the mid-day sun.
Water activities and Diving
There is so much to choose from, fishing, paddle boarding, banana boats, sailings, wind surfing, private boat hire, jet ski, sea bob and any sport with no motorised vehicle is free. The diving and snorkelling around the island is sensational with reef sharks and colourful aquatic life and corals. On our first dive we saw incredible reefs with countless species of marine life including a large turtle and tuna.
Turtle Nursery and Sting Ray feeding
There is a permanent marine biologist living on the island. She looks after baby turtles stranded on the island after they hatch to help improve their survival rate before releasing them. Every day at 630pm she also feeds the sting rays who are so incredibly intelligent, that they will return to the same spot at the same time to wait for her. When I asked why they do this, she said sadly not enough money has been spent on research on sting rays to know more about their them.
The shaded tennis court can be used 24 hours. It can be seen to be both indoor and outdoor with an industrial fan above the court named literally ‘the big ass fan’. There is a squash court, pool tables, and ping pong tables plus a gym. The facilities are pretty close to the children’s area which means while the children are busy, parents can use the gym or sit in the family area with pool and ping pong tables.
On Day 4, we will check out the children’s zone.