So, you’ve heard of surfing safaris (yes, we have that Beach Boys song stuck in our head too!) … but the refined ‘floating resort’ that is Soneva in Aqua – part of the Maldivian chic, barefoot luxury family that includes Soneva Jani and Soneva Fushi – now offers those who love to surf (or even ‘skurf’) the opportunity to experience the waves of the Goidhoo Pass, as well as revel in the underwater magic that is the Baa Atoll.
It’s no secret that we’re fans of the extraordinary indulgence offered by Soneva. But if hanging out in one (of two) of the Indian ocean’s most legendary resorts isn’t epic enough, the luxury resort brand offers those with a penchant for surfing (and other sea-bourne adventures) the opportunity to set adrift and adventure on Soneva in Aqua.
Setting off on a four hour sail away from their original barefoot luxury resort, Soneva Fushi … surfers, skurfers (those who enjoy being pulled along on a surfboard, behind a boat) and scuba diving enthusiasts can embark on a four-day, three-night Goidhoo experience onboard Soneva in Aqua, a private, 23-metre, luxury liveaboard.
Goidhoo is nature’s playground, an island in the south of the Baa Atoll, a serene and lesser-visited place teeming with vibrant, undisturbed marine life and coral. The surf breaks here are uncrowded, perfect if you enjoy having the waves all to yourself, or if like us you’re a bit of a kook and you don’t want anyone seeing you wiping out.
The Goidhoo Pass produces some of the best waves in the Baa Atoll. There is a long left and punchy right on either side of the reef pass. With the spot only accessed by long-range boat and no resorts close by, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have an empty line-up.
You’ll come back on board stoked for sure, but it seems that you’d be further impressed with where else Soneva in Aqua can take you. Around Goidhoo there are some amazing diving and snorkelling sites, including the shipwreck of Corbin, a turn of the 17th century, 400-tonne, French ship that was carrying a cargo of silver, that to this day has never been found.
There’s also the Naamuli Wreck on the Goidhoo Atoll’s western side, where the top five metres of the wide reef features the flattened remains of an old steel ship, covering a distance of about 30 metres. It’s home to orange-spotted blennies, angelfish and emperor fish. The entrance of Goidhoo Corner features marine life like nurse sharks, turtles and Napoleon fish. Manta rays have also been spotted in the area, as well as pods of dolphins and the occassional whale shark. But our favourite bit of sub-marine safari is the post-surf snorkeling spot they call the Rose Garden, a spellbinding display that can only be described as an underwater garden of rose-shaped coral.
Back on board, you can also swim – well, at least spa – with the fishes. The Soneva in Aqua master cabin has a glass bottomed tub set into the hull that lets you view the deep blue. On deck, there’s a jacuzzi and dining area that’s perfect for sundowners. And Inside, you’ll find a bar, lounge and library for winding down after a day of surf n’ safari where the onboard head chef, your personal Barefoot Butler and of course, a wellness therapist will cotton-wool you in abject luxury. And if you need more company, a dive master, surf instructor, photographer or astromer is on hand and can come along for the ride.
Photography courtesy of Soneva and Ishan @seefromthesky
OutThere believes in boundless travel, but we understand that destinations like this one may prove challenging for some visitors. We advise that you understand local laws and customs before booking your trip or work with a travel advisor to ensure a carefree, enjoyable and well-deserved holiday.
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