Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and to celebrate the beginning of the festive season, we’re bringing you the ‘Mercury Holidays 12 Destinations Advent Calendar’ – every day we’ll be taking a look at a top destination and what makes it the perfect place to visit with family, friends or enjoy a little you time.
So, without further ado let’s reveal day 9…
Indian Ocean Package Holidays Part 2
Continuing on from our Indian Ocean Part 1 on Day 7, we’re taking a look at the incredible Maldives and Kenya.
Maldives is the epitome of perfection; with its never-ending sandy shores and impossibly beautiful azure seas, this destination is perfection for those looking to escape it all and experience a place like no other. Ideal for holidaymakers looking to enjoy a range of activities; why not give scuba diving, paddle boarding or snorkelling a go!
If you want to experience some of the culture of the Maldives, then head to the capital city – Malé. Although this city may be small, there’s plenty for visitors to experience; from the main market and the National Museum, to a variety of cafés and restaurants – every of aspect of this island city is charming.
Advent Calendar Fact: Malé’s main products are fish (bonito and tuna), coconuts, breadfruit and woven palm mats.
The Nation Museum may not be particularly appealing from the outside, however, it’s home to an impressive collection of historic artefacts that trace the unusual history of the Maldivian Islands. The first floor exhibits ceremonial robes, headgear and thrones, as well as the first printing press used in the country whereas the second floor delves into modernity with items such as a six-metre skeleton of the large Longman’s Beaked Whale and a coral stone head of Lord Buddha from Alifu Thoddoo. No matter what you may be interested in, there’s a wealth of items to discover and learn about, providing guests with an insight into the fascinating past of the country.
After exploring the National Museum, take a stroll to one of the many cafés this city has to offer. We highly recommend the Sala Thai; considered the best restaurant on the island, this beautiful designed eatery offers a huge choice of soups, noodles and curries – make sure you dine al fresco in the intimate walled terrace, it will be a meal you’ll never forget.
Advent Calendar Fact: Unlike any other culture in the world, Maldivians enjoy the weekend on Friday and Saturday.
Moving across the Indian Ocean lies the captivating Kenya; with blazing sunsets stretching as far as the eye can see and incredible diversity throughout, it’ not hard to see why this destination is so popular with holidaymakers.
If you’re looking top attractions, then a visit to Fort Jesus should be top of your life. Award the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001, this intriguing place is an amalgamation of different cultures; from European graffiti, Arabic inscriptions and Swahili embellishments, this impressive complex won’t fail to impress.
Constructed in the 16th Century, the fort was built by the Portuguese to serve as both a symbol and headquarters of their permanent presence in the Indian Ocean. Within the compound, there are a range of areas to explore; the Mazrui Hall is adorned with flowery spirals and wooden lintels that were left by Omani Arabs, the museum located in the middle of the complex displays artefacts from 42 Portuguese warships that were sunk in the Omani siege in 1697 and the Omani House, which was built in 18th Century exhibits a selection of Omani jewellery, weaponry and other interesting rarities.
If you’re a fan of caffeine, then a trip to the Karunguru Coffee Estate is a must! Cultivating coffee since 1928, this estate has a rich history (excuse the pun) and is well worth a visit. Tours must be pre-booked, however, the five hours spent at the complex includes a talk on the history of the place, a tour of the various stages of coffee productions, a buffet lunch in the beautiful ballroom, coffee tasting and a visit to the estate’s shop.
Advent Calendar Fact: It’s said that 9th Century goat herders noticed the effect caffeine had on their goats who appeared extremely lively after eating the fruit of the Coffee plant. A monk decided to make a drink out of the fruit to see what effect it had on a human – he was awake all night and thus the first cup of coffee was born.
Take a look at our range of hotel offerings across the Maldives and Kenya by clicking the links below.
Maldives Fact File:
Geographical size – 115 square miles
Population – 436,330
Number of islands – 1,190
Average temperature – January to December 28 degrees
Kenya Fact File:
Geographical size – 224, 960 square miles
Population – 49.7 million
Number of languages spoken – 60
Average temperature – January to December 26 degrees
Hotel of The Day – Maldives
Situated in the gorgeous Indian Ocean, the Adaaran Select Meedhupparu is an impressive 4-star hotel surrounded by a ring of white sand and thick greenery. With its own lagoon perfect for water-sports and close to diving areas, this hotel is nothing short of spectacular.
This hotel has a wide variety of facilities including 2 restaurants, 4 bars, a swimming pool, Spa, shopping arcade and more. All guest rooms are en suite with indoor and outdoor showers plus air conditioning, mini bar, satellite TV and a tea and coffee maker.
Hotel of The Day – Kenya
Situated within 22 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, overlooking one of the longest stretches of beach in Kenya, this lovely 4.5-star hotel is an ideal choice for your trip with Mercury Holidays. With am impressive list of facilities, including 5 swimming pools, restaurants and bar; this hotel provides guests with everything they could need during their stay.
All guest rooms include a garden view, en suite bathroom, balcony, air-conditioning, satellite TV and more to ensure that all your needs are met during your stay at the Sarova Whist Sands Beach Resort.