The Maldives Travel Guide: All You Need to Know
Ultimate beauty, unrivalled serenity, and romance in abundance. The Maldives is the ultimate luxury escape, you’ll truly find nowhere like it.
So, let’s look at what to expect on your visit to the Maldives.
Maldives at a Glance
- Best time of year to visit: November to April
- Capital: Malé
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa
- Main Language: Dhivehi
- Flight Time: Approx. 12 hours 30 minutes
- Time Difference: GMT +4
What are some interesting things about the Maldives?
The Maldives is made up of 26 natural atolls and 1,000 islands. Each island peeks out of the surrounding turquoise lagoons, like pearls glistening waiting to be discovered. Once uncovered, and your toes sink into the powdery white sands, you’ll find the world’s best award-winning resorts inviting you with open arms.
Most resorts have their own private island in the Maldives, ensuring that every visitor has an experience which feels personal and intimate. You’ll find world-class spa’s, butler service and first-class dining that will give your mind, body, and soul a break from everyday life. Best of all is the quality accommodation. You’ll be spoilt for choice between luscious garden villas, chilled-out beach villas, ultimate indulgence with an over-water villa and more.
It’s this opulence that have made it a firm favourite with couples and honeymooners, a true haven that will start your adventure as man and wife in the best way possible.
While its beauty is the main attraction, there are many elements that make the county so incredible.
The Maldives is steeped in culture and tradition, formed by a mosaic of different nationalities. It’s predominantly shaped through Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Indonesian, Persian, Arab and even African influences. It’s this mix that creates a richness to the Maldives and its people.
The music and dance, for example, highlights this merging of traditions. The Boduberu, the Maldivian national dance, follows a rhythm that will take you to East Africa.
The cuisine, however, will take you to South Africa and India with rich, indulgent flavours. You’ll find many delicious curry’s, infused in powerful spices, balanced with creamy coconut milk. Fish is also big on the menu, owing to the diverse underwater world that you’re bound to find.
The Maldivian people themselves are very attached to the turquoise tides that surround them. Many native families use the waters as a way of income through sea-fishing, as well as using the freshly caught fish as a basis for their daily meals.
It’s this beautiful culture that will add to the beauty of your experience.
There are many things you can expect to enjoy on a holiday to The Maldives, keep reading to find out more…
We all know the feeling of stepping off the plane and landing in your holiday destination. The excited butterflies fluttering in your stomach as you make your way down the plane steps, the heat engulfing you from head to toe.
Well, the Maldives adds to this level of excitement and adventure, as upon arrival in the capital Malé you’ll need to travel by seaplane or speedboat to get to your private island.
The speedboat is the more cost-effective option, and once arriving in Malé airport you’ll head just across the road from the terminal to jump into the boat. Your resort will be the one taking care of the boat, so they will vary in look and feel, BUT you’ll be sure to find it a comfortable start to your holiday. And better still, you’ll likely see some beautiful sights along the way, such as small uninhabited islands, or maybe even a dolphin!
The seaplane are recommended for those islands that are a bit further than an hour-and-a-half speedboat ride, but, for most resorts you’ll be given the option of boat or plane. If you can, we’d recommend doing this option for at least one of your return transfers. It’s not only practical, but a thrilling excursion all in one as you’ll capture incredible aerial shots of the Maldives on your journey.
The seaplane terminal is just a short bus ride from the airport, and they’ll be scheduled for departure at various times during daylight hours. You’ll likely be sharing with up to 15 other passengers, and you may need to stop to offload the passengers at other resorts. Most seaplanes will have a 20kg luggage limit.
Diving & Snorkelling
It almost goes without saying that The Maldives is one of the best dive destinations in the world. There are warm water temperatures all year, and the underwater visibility is the best it can be (when conditions are good). Sometimes you can see depths of below 50 meters. Trust us when we say, you won’t find waters like it.
In North Malé Atoll you’ll find Lion’s Head and Wattaru Kandu dive sites – both of which are great for reef shark sightings. In Wattaru Kandu you’ll also find stingrays and garden eels. Lankanfinokhu, or ‘Manta Point’ as it’s known, is a wonderful spot to see manta rays being cleaned by colonies of cleaner fish. Perfect for if you’re a beginner diver or snorkeler who’s ready to greet some underwater friends.
One of the most famous spots in the North Malé Atoll is Mushimasmingali Thila, or “Fish Head” as it’s known. It’s a steep-sided coral tcrop that has multi-level ledges and caves, adorned with black coral, anemones, sea fans. There’s also an abundance of sea-life including Napoleons, fusiliers and even barracudas! The biggest attraction however is the number of grey-tip reef sharks that can be found, which will add to your thrill and excitement!
In the South Malé Atoll, Hukrueli is another great place to see rays and cleaner fish and Maaya Thila, a protected marina area is visited by white-tip sharks, turtles, zebra morays, and the elusive guitar shark.
If you’re a thrill seeker, then head to Hanigaru lagoon in the Baa Atoll to spot manta rays and whale sharks. The best time to go to June-September during monsoon season, where the lagoon is filled with plankton.
Advanced Dive Spot
A sought-after spot for the more experienced divers is a visit to the Wreck of Maldive Victory. While it’s not too far from the airport, and therefore may not be on your list if your heading to the further afield resorts, if you’re a keen diver we’d encourage you to put it on your list – even if you decide to head for a day excursion.
The site displays an almost entirely intact ship, sunk in 1981, sitting at 115 feet. It’s home to a rich growth of sponges, coral, tubastrea and a variety of fish. However, this site is a bigger challenge owning to its stronger currents – so we’d only recommend if you are fully trained and have done similar dives before.
Other things to do and see:
- If surfing’s your thing, then March-October will guarantee you some incredible surfing time, with June-August promising the biggest waves.
- Many places also offer canoeing and kayaking, which is a great way to explore the calm waters without having to actually go diving IN it!
- Fishing is also hugely popular. Not only with the locals, but with those who are big into the sport. There a plenty of fish big and small to go after, as well as night fishing opportunities. Many resorts will provide you with all the equipment needed – just check with one of our travel agents before you go.
- If water sports aren’t your thing, a popular excursion is a ride in the Whale Submarine, which takes you along the ocean reef. Boats will take you to the launch point – The Whale House and you’ll embark on your magical journey though the waters. This is perfect for children, or those who aren’t into diving.
Ready to Go?
If our Maldives guide has you ready to jump on the plane (and to be honest, we’d be concerned if it hadn’t!), then check out our top offer for Nakai Dhiggiri Resort which is EXCLUSIVE to Blue Bay Travel in the UK.
For a limited time only, stay in a Beach Villa with Private Deck & Beach Walkout + FREE Diving Lesson + FREE Return Boat Transfers for just £1499pp. Or BOOST to an Over Water Villa for just £99pp!
Located in the diamond-shaped Vaavu atoll, Nakai Dhiggiri Resort is a tranquil three hectares island that will invite you to experience the epitome of Maldivian bliss. You’ll be immersed in nature in all its splendour, with pristine sands, crystal-clear waters, and world-renowned dive sites making it a true corner of paradise.