Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more

Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime swimming holiday amongst the breathtaking atolls and pristine beaches of the Maldives

  • Swim in some of the world's clearest waters and discover the incredible reefs that exist just below the surface

  • Take in the stunning array of marine life that the Maldives is so famous for, from sea turtles and eagle rays to some of the most colourful and exotic fish on the planet

  • Explore a spectacular old shipwreck before completing a near perfect semi-circle swim around the beautiful Gira Faho Reef

  • Complete a full circumnavigation of the uninhabited Anbaraa Island

  • Stay aboard a traditionally-crafted local gulet, which is the perfect vessel for our small, intimate group of just 12 swimmers

  • Discover the charming Maldivian culture with local island visits, cultural dancing and a BBQ dinner on the gorgeous Anbaraa Island

Join us on this unforgettable open water swimming holiday in the island paradise of the Maldives. Our traditionally-crafted liveaboard gulet, the MV Felicity, is the perfect base from which to explore one of the most spectacular and idyllic destinations on the planet with a small and intimate group of swimmers.

With 26 coral atolls and well over a thousand palm-fringed islands, the Maldives is known around the world as the ultimate holiday paradise. The blue skies, crystal clear waters and a mesmerising array of coral and marine life of the Vaavu and South Malé atolls makes it a peaceful sanctuary for eight days of swimming and cruising. From circumnavigations of local islands to challenging crossing between islets and spectacular views of the area’s world-renowned reefs, this is the ultimate way to explore this stunning archipelago that lies both above and below the Equator.

Between swims, we stay on a traditionally crafted 28m gulet which journeys in and around the stunning local atolls in order to find the best swimming opportunities available. The trip is fully catered with all meals prepared for us by our very own onboard chef.

On top of the organised swims which are included in the trip itinerary, there is also plenty of time to take part in additional activities throughout the trip, including snorkeling, scuba diving, night fishing, cultural dancing and a sightseeing trip to Malé.

Who is this trip for?

This trip is for swimmers who want to explore the many wonders that the stunning Maldives islands, atolls and reefs have to offer. From the crystal clear waters to some of the most vibrant marine life on the planet, the Maldives is the perfect location to take part in a swimming adventure holiday that you will never forget. Swimmers should have a basic understanding of open water swimming and be capable of completing the average daily swim distance of around 5km prior to the start of the trip.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swimming holiday in the Maldives
  • Swim guides and full safety escort on all swims
  • Video Analysis
  • Seven nights accommodation
  • All breakfasts
  • All lunches
  • All dinners
  • Meet and greet at the airport with transfer to our boat
  • Transfer back to the airport on Day 8
  • Local family breakfast
  • Local island visit with afternoon tea
  • Cultural dancing
  • Sightseeing visit to Male city
  • Snorkelling
  • Night fishing

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Alcoholic drinks which can be purchased onboard our boat

Related Links


Day 1

At 12:00, our SwimTrek representative will meet you in the arrivals area of Malé International Airport. A short boat transfer takes you to our liveaboard vessel ‘MV Felicity’ where we meet on the ship’s sun deck. As we journey towards the South Malé Atoll, you will enjoy a welcome drink and meet your fellow SwimTrekkers, your SwimTrek guides and the boat crew of ‘Felicity’. On arrival into Guraidhoo Reef, we discuss the plans for the week and have our safety briefing before a tour of the Gulet, our new home. Following this we step into the tranquil waters of the Indian Ocean for our acclimatisation swim. Back on board we enjoy the first of our tasty dinners, a blend of modern Asian cuisine with a Western touch.

Day 2

This morning our boat weighs anchor and heads for Vaavu Atoll, which we will traverse in its entirety over the next few days. On entering the atoll, we arrive at Fulidhoo Island where the boat anchors off. As we jump in the water for our first swim of the day, we hug the outer edge of the reef and experience the abundance of coral and marine life just beneath the surface and admire the sudden drop to the depths below. It’s an excellent first swim as the local island makes an ideal sighting point.

This afternoon we hop between reefs and swim along Kunavashi Reef. Watch as the flawless white sand changes to delicate corals and then to deep blues in the intersecting channels. We pause at the reef to video your swimming stroke for analysis and swimming tips later in the evening. We also take the opportunity to visit a local island in the afternoon

Day 3

Awake to the sun rising over the Indian Ocean and casting its warm light on the Vaavu Atoll.

Today’s swims take place on the Digufalhu Reef, which features a number of sandbars which make excellent stop-off points. The reef here is only a few metres below the surface, so the wildlife is right in front of our eyes. During the swim, we cross over to another reef using the MV Felicity as our sighting point. This reef features a number of gaps in the reef, from where it is possible to enter the sandy lagoon inside. It really is a most marvellous swim. You pass alongside a hummock of sand with its resident reef fish and sea turtles before setting foot on the sandbank of Kuda-Anbaraa. Lunch will be well earned!

Fussaru is our location for our relaxed afternoon swim, where both soft and hard coral thrives, creating the ideal home for colourful reef fish. Also, don’t be surprised if you see a squadron of eagle rays sweep across the sand beneath you.

In the evening we disembark from the MV Felicity and have a spectacular BBQ on the uninhabited Anbaraa Island, watching as the sun sets over the Vaavu Attoll which is laid out before us.

Day 4

This morning we tackle the circumnavigation of Anbaraa Island by following the reef all the way around. Tuna, turtles, and Napoleon wrasse are some of the marine life who may join us on today’s circumnavigation.

After a hearty lunch of tuna, chicken and local dishes, we swim in the most westerly point not just of Vaavu Atoll but the entire Maldives. We start off above a sandy floor, using the drop off to the reef as a natural lane marker and swimming past the uninhabited Fontheyo Bodu Mohora Island. Dolphins have been spotted here previously as well as plenty of other interesting marine life.

After dinner, if you have energy in reserve, you might like to join in some night fishing.

Day 5

This morning we travel to Gira Fahu Reef where we’ll be completing our biggest swim of the week and one of the highlights of the trip.

We start at the shipwreck of an old fishing boat that got too close to the reef during a storm. The views underneath the water here are simply spectacular. From here, we swim around the near perfect semi-circle that Gira Fahu Reef forms, before a final crossing to Keyodhoo Island. This swim offers a kaleidoscope of marine species and lively corals, enough to motivate any tired shoulders. You will be amazed by the coral formations and large boulders found in this reef.

After our big morning swim, the afternoon is set aside for a relaxed snorkel around the Alimatha Sand Bar. This is one of the best snorkelling experiences of the trip as a myriad of wildlife can be seen at the reef drop-off.

After dinner we have another taste of island life as we join the locals for a wonderful evening of cultural dancing.

Day 6

This morning, we head up the eastern side of Vaavu Atoll until we reach the Ohuveli Island. From here we jump right in, opposite the resort and swim over the reef which appears more colourful than any we have witnessed so far. The pristine reef is the perfect place to take in the amazing submerged world or shoot some spectacular underwater photography

Following lunch, we move higher up Vaavu Atoll. Our next swim is along the Villivaru Reef finishing at the uninhabited Villivaru Island where Eagle Rays and turtles have been spotted previously.

Day 7

Our morning swim is one of contrasts as we swim close to Maldives Skeleton Coast with shipwrecks dotting the far shore. The swimming here is varied and we can normally benefit from a current pushing us along the reef. There is a rich biodiversity within this atoll. The MV Felicity is our target point for this swim and here you truly can swim as far or as little as you want.

In the afternoon we head to Krunba Island to partially circumnavigate it. Keep an eye out for the resident Nurse Shark population as well as countless fish species. It's a wonderful way to finish off the swimming leg of our journey. Following your final onboard dinner there is an opportunity for a sightseeing visit to Malé in the evening.

Day 8

Following a relaxed breakfast onboard MV Felicity, our dhoni boat will drop you back at Malé International Airport at approximately 10:00. If you require an earlier transfer to catch a morning flight, please let your guides know so that this can be arranged.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Malé International Airport

Start Date: 12.00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Malé International Airport

Finish Date: 10:00 on Day 8

Trip Information

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume (x2) Small Daypack
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Waterproof Jacket
Sunhat and Sunglasses Sweater / Fleece
Waterproof Sun Cream (Factor 30+ or higher) Walking Shoes
Towel** Sarong
Lightweight conservative outfit*** Insect Repellent
Aqua Shoes (needed to wade to boats and islands) Lip balm

Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions. * A towel will be provided on board, however, please do feel free to bring your own along if preferred. ***Please bring a lightweight conservative outfit which covers your shoulders and thighs and which you can wear for our island visits to Muslim communities.

Note: Your normal swimwear will be perfectly suitable for the liveaboard boat and the majority of our swims. When swimming near inhabited islands, swimming costumes and rashvests are more appropriate than a bikini, however, your guide will let you know when this is applicable.

Swim Hats, Flippers, Rashvests and Water Bottles

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers and rashvests available on the trip, but we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers or rashvest we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along.

Suncare

Due to the equatorial nature of the weather in the Galapagos, the sun can be incredibly strong, so please ensure you take the necessary steps to ensure you are well protected. High factor, waterproof sun cream, cover ups, long sleeved rash vests and leggings and a good sun hat are all strongly recommended.

Swimming Distances

Swim Distances*
Fulidhoo House Reef 3km
Kunavashi Long Reef 2km
Digufalhu Reef 4km
Kuda Anvuvari Falhu 2km
Anbaraa House Reef 1km
Fontheyo Bodu Mohora 4km
Gira Fahu to Keyodhoo 5km
Ohuveli House Reef 4km
Villaivaru House Reed 2km
Fushidhinggaru Falhu 3km

*If you need to take a break during a swim you are welcome to jump on the support boat at any time.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience but you need to be aware that marine life is abundant in the Maldives. Stonefish, scorpionfish, lionfish, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
February 26-28°C / 78-82°F 28-30°C / 82-86°F
March 27-29°C / 80-84°F 29-31°C / 84-87°F

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 12 people with two swim guides and a local boat crew. The trip will be split into a maximum of two groups based on speed, each of which is accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort.

Getting There

Flights to the Maldives are widely available from most international destinations, however due to its isolated location in the Indian Ocean, multi-leg journeys are usually required to reach the islands.

Travel to Malé International Airport (MLE)

The only airport in the Maldives which services international flights is Malé International Airport, which is also known as Velana International Airport and is located on Hulhule island, just a 15-minute ferry ride from the capital, Malé.

The following airlines offer flights to the Maldives, however, we suggest that you use Skyscanner to search for alternative flight options for this trip. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Airline Destination Airport
Air Asia Melbourne, Sydney
British Airways London Gatwick
Emirates London Gatwick, Athens, Rome
Turkish Airlines Barcelona, Dusseldorf, London Heathrow, Los Angeles, Paris, New York, Madrid, San Francisco, Washington
Qatar Berlin, Edinburgh, Glasgow

Flight Details

Once you have booked your flights and any pre-trip accommodation in the Maldives, please ensure that you forward this information to info@swimtrek.com as soon as possible.

Malé International Airport to MV Felicity

Once you arrive at Malé International Airport, one of your SwimTrek guides will meet you at the Airport Information Desk located in front of the pharmacy and left luggage room in between the arrival and departure gates, at the designated trip start time, i.e. 12:00 on Day 1. From here, you will be transferred from the airport to your liveaboard accommodation on MV Felicity. Please note that this transfer is included as part of your package price.

Arriving Early

Guests who arrive in the Maldives prior to the start of their SwimTrek trip must organise with their hotel to be transferred back to Malé International Airport in time to meet the SwimTrek group at 12:00 on Day 1 of the trip.

This transfer should be organised with your hotel during the check-in process in order to ensure you arrive at the airport in time for the start of your SwimTrek trip. Please note that confirmation of the exact departure time from your hotel will usually not be available until the night before the transfer.

Please note that it is not possible to meet your SwimTrek group anywhere other than the airport at the start of your trip. Therefore, it is critical that your travel plans are arranged to ensure that you arrive at Malé International Airport in time for the 12:00 start on Day 1.

Leaving the Maldives

At the end of your SwimTrek trip, you will be transferred from MV Felicity back to Malé International Airport by 10:00 on Day 8. Earlier transfer times can be arranged if required.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Our accommodation over the course of your trip in onboard MV Felicity, a traditionally crafted local gulet. You will wake in the morning to the sun rising over the Indian Ocean, and can enjoy the sunset whilst relaxing on deck with a drink in the evening. Our vessel consists of fully air-conditioned cabins and comfortable deck spaces. Cabins are twin share and en-suite, with a limited number of single cabins available, subject to availability and payment of a single supplement.

Pre- and Post-Trip Accommodation

If you would like to extend your trip, Secret Paradise, our agent in the Maldives, can organise accommodation before or after your SwimTrek tour. This will ensure that you will be offered better rates than what are available online, you will be staying in locally-recommended properties and someone from Secret Paradise will meet you at the airport and arrange the transfer to your hotel as part of your booking. Please email sales@secretparadise.mv for additional accommodation and transport advice to meet your SwimTrek transfer.

Meals

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on your trip are included as part of your package and are prepared on the MV Felicity by our very own onboard chef.

Drinking water is provided with all meals, however, all other drinks, including alcoholic beverages, must be purchased onboard the MV Felicity, with an individual tab to be set up for each guest at the start of your trip. Your tab must be settled prior to the end of your trip and can be paid in either US Dollars or the local currency, MVR. As a guide, soft drinks are priced from US$2.00, beers from US$3.00, wine from US$6.00 and 300ml bottles of spirits from US$30.00. Please note that these prices exclude a 12% government tax which will be added to your final bill.

Please note that, although alcoholic drinks are available for purchase onboard the MV Felicity and in certain local resorts, it is strictly prohibited by law to bring alcohol into the Maldives.

Extra Activities

Throughout the course of your trip, you will have the opportunity to take part in a number of extra activities before or after our organised daily swims. These activities include snorkelling, scuba diving* (extra cost), cultural dancing, night fishing, local island visit with afternoon tea and a sightseeing visit to Malé. Participation in these activities is optional and does not need to be booked in advance.

*Scuba diving is available on board through our partners in the Maldives. It is possible to take part in an introductory or a standard dive at the following rates:

  • US$65 per dive, including equipment
  • US$75 per night dive, including equipment
  • US$100 per person for an introductory Discover Scuba Dive, including equipment

If you intend to participate in scuba diving (other than the Discover Scuba Dive), you must be a qualified diver in possession of a dive certification card and log book.

Money

The US dollar is accepted as legal tender throughout the Maldives, however, the country also has a local currency, Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), which is non-convertible and cannot be purchased before your arrival in the Maldives. It is possible to change most major currencies for Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) at Malé International Airport upon arrival.

All major credit cards can be used (and are preferred) at major resorts, hotels, shops, etc., however, on smaller local islands credit cards may not be accepted and cash is generally the preferred payment option. Please note that if you make a payment in US Dollars, change will usually be given in the local currency.

ATMs are available in Malé and on some local and resort islands throughout the country. Please note that ATMs only dispense cash in the local currency (MVR), not in US Dollars.

Extra Expenses and Tipping

As all of your meals and accommodation are included in your package price and you will be spending most of your time onboard MV Felicity, extra expenses throughout the duration of your trip will be limited, however, you should bring extra money with you to cover items such as additional drinks, souvenirs and optional island resort visits or extra activities. Tipping is considered to be part of the culture in the Maldives and while not compulsory, it is advised that you budget $10-20 per day for tipping at your own discretion.

Wi-Fi and Power Points

You will have limited Wi-Fi access during your time on MV Felicity. It is possible to buy a 3G SIM card at Malé International Airport, however, please note that all Wi-Fi and 3G coverage is dependent on location and cannot be guaranteed.

The power points aboard MV Felicity use the standard 3-pin UK plugs (type G), however, please be aware that some hotels in the Maldives use alternative plug types. If you are staying in the Maldives before or after your SwimTrek trip, please contact your accommodation to enquire about this.

All electrical devices running on 110/120V must have power converters / step-up transformers.

Passports and Visas

You do not need to apply for a visa before you travel to the Maldives on holiday. All tourists, of all nationalities, can receive a 30-day visa free of charge on arrival in the Maldives.

To receive a tourist visa on arrival at Malé International Airport, you will need the following items:

  • A valid passport with at least six months validity beyond the expected length of stay
  • A return flight ticket, or a flight ticket to another destination, for departure within 30 days of arrival
  • Either confirmation of a hotel/resort booking, or evidence of sufficient funds to cover your expenses in Maldives (at least US$100 + US$50 per day demonstrated by cash or bank statement)

For further information about passport and visa requirements, please visit the Maldives High Commission website.

Health Information and Recommended Vaccinations

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to the Maldives, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/139/maldives. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

UK health authorities have classified the Maldives as having a moderate risk of Zika virus transmission. For further information about this assessment, you should visit www.gov.uk/guidance/zika-virus-country-specific-risk and follow the advice on the www.travelhealthpro.org.uk. It is also recommended that you discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

  • A fantastic opportunity to swim in a beautiful part of the world, with supportive and knowledgeable guides and a great crew, a chance to make new friends with a shared passion for swimming. The best holiday I've ever been on.

    Martin T. UK-2017
  • Simply magical, it exceeded all my expectations and then some.

    Wendy B. UK- 2017
  • Aquamarine water, sparkling white sand and a kaleidoscope of sea life, what more could you want?

    Elizabeth B. AUS- 2017
  • The Maldives is my top Swimtrek choice. Clear turquoise water around the coral reefs, cobalt blue in the deeps with white sands and coconut trees on the atolls... And such pretty tropical fish.

    Carolyn Y. AUS- 2017
  • Aquamarine water, sparkling white sand and a kaleidoscope of sea life, what more could you want?

    Elizabeth B. Australia - 2017
  • The most amazing week, superb in every way. The boat was amazing, food was wonderful and the snorkelling was out of this world! Another big tick for Swim Trek, you keep getting it right!

    Virginia S, UK - 2017
  • Surpassed my expectations! The swimming locations and sights were truly fantastic and our guides, Caoimhe and Saorla, were excellent! Highly recommended.

    Viki S, Australia - 2017
  • Loved Swim Trek and loved the adventure. The crew went out of their way for guests. The swimming and guides (Swim Trek and local) were beyond amazing and the food was great!

    Drechsel, USA - 2017
  • An excellent trip with outstanding natural beauty. The snorkelling was fantastic, definitely a high point of the trip.

    Lawrence R, Australia - 2017

Enter guest details to see which departures can accommodate your party:

Dates Availability Price From
02 Dec -
09 Dec, 2017
Trip Full
09 Dec -
16 Dec, 2017
Available
£1,990 Book Now
16 Dec -
23 Dec, 2017
Trip Full
11 Feb -
18 Feb, 2018
Available
£2,200 Book Now
18 Feb -
25 Feb, 2018
Available
£2,200 Book Now
25 Feb -
04 Mar, 2018
2 Spaces Left
£2,200 Book Now
25 Mar -
01 Apr, 2018
5 Spaces Left
£2,200 Book Now
01 Apr -
08 Apr, 2018
Available
£2,200 Book Now

Accommodation

479e7fd3aa662bed96cefe91e92cb20e3808336a dji 0072 small
MV Felicity

Awake each morning to the sun rising over the Indian Ocean from our home onboard the traditionally-crafted local gulet, MV Felicity. This charming ship comes with en suite cabins, a beautiful sundeck and our very own onboard chef.