For clients seeking adventure holidays in the Maldives, Laura French recommends an action-packed stay a 40-minute seaplane ride from Malé
“Three, two, one – goodbye!” shouts the instructor as the parachute flairs, the rope jolts, and my feet trade in the safe, solid decking of the speedboat for the free, bracing feel of the air. I glide slowly and steadily into the sky, rope tugging, legs swinging, as the islands beneath me shrink into forested blobs, ringed with circles of ultramarine.
I’m parasailing at Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives, and it’s spectacular. For the next 10 minutes, I float serenely along, gazing out over the ocean – a bed of glittering sapphire, rippling and churning in smooth, swishing movements – as my fellow trippers shout and wave from the dot of a boat that tows me along.
It’s the start of a rather action-packed day; Niyama is all about the experiences
An hour later I’m bounding up and down the waves on a ‘fun tube’ – a big, sofa-like inflatable tugged along by a speedboat that has us screeching with every turn. Next, I’m whizzing along on a jet ski, heart pounding and adrenaline pumping as the shore shrinks into a dazzling white strip in the distance.
Then there’s sea-bobbing, where we’re each given our own mini jet that hauls us through the water at speed, bumping over the waves and nose-diving down beneath them in a way that would make Bond himself just a little bit proud.
But the highlight is surfing. Niyama lays claim to being the only resort in the Maldives where you can surf straight off the shore, so it’s a hotspot for surfing pros.
We’re given a beginners’ lesson on the sand before hitting a gently rippling lagoon to practise our balance on the flat surface. I quickly conclude I have none, but it doesn’t stop me wishing I had a little more time to hit the actual waves at the renowned Vodi Point close by.
I make do with watching the waves from Surf Shack bar. Seeing the sun sink into the sea, sky ablaze in fiery shades of peach, reggae music playing from the speakers is an idyllic end to an exhilarating day on Niyama Private Islands.
For more information, www.niyama.com/en