Maldives- famous for its Blue and Turquoise water which is often crystal clear, white powdery sandy beaches and being one of the world´s best scuba diving destinations.
The tinny Island Nation in the Indian ocean is also perfect for sun-seekers, Since the Maldives have an average of 8 hours of sun each day throughout the whole year.
The Maldives – comprises of 26 atolls and within atolls are almost 1200 islands (1190 to be correct).
With the largest island in the Maldives being Huvadhu 6486 sq miles and the smallest island being Gnaviyani which is only 4.81 sq miles.
As you land in the Maldives, you will see small round atolls from the Plane. From these, 130+ are Private island resorts, and few are inhabitant islands.
The Maldives is mostly famous as a luxurious destination, especially among honeymooners, but I would say it is the destination for all kind of travellers, also. budget travellers.
Whether you are a budget or luxurious traveller, Maldives has to offer something to everyone. But yes, you will be spoilt at every moment by the beauty of this stunning country.
The water is so clear, sunsets are glorious, Marine life is abundant, and you will fall in love with the Maldives again and again.
The local Maldivian´s are warm and welcoming nature, and Hospitality is amazing all over the Maldives.
Fast Facts About Maldives:
- There is two types of Islands in the Maldives- Private islands and Local Islands.
Private islands are basically resorts owned by large international companies. The local islands are where locals live.
- The Maldives is a Muslim Country and observes Sharia Law. Officaly so are 100% of the population in the Maldives Sunni Muslim.
You need to dress modestly if you are visiting Local islands or inhabitant islands.
- There is no alcohol sale in local islands in the Maldives, in fact, so are the only place you can drink alcohol in the Maldives are at the Private resort islands, where you can have plenty of it.
It is also illegal to bring alcohol on local islands.
- The Maldives observes the holiday on Friday, which means everything is closed, also including local ferries and local speedboats.
Private speedboats and shared Speedboats run, but it could be an expensive affair, so plan your trip accordingly.
- The Best time to visit the Maldives is the winter season from November to April.
It is peak season and prices of accommodation can be high.
But if you are on a budget, visit during Sept-Oct just after the monsoon season during the low season.
- The Maldives has one of the most scattered areas, and reaching far away islands can burn a hole in your pocket!
The faraway Private islands are accessible only by seaplane, which can add hundreds of $$ in your cost of Maldives trip, So Plan your budget accordingly.
- If you are not picky about islands, staying at Male OR Hulhumale is the best option to explore nearby islands.
It is well connected by Public ferries and offers so many day trips, even snorkelling, and scuba packages are available by hotels/resorts.
- The Speedboats and ferries don’t run late night so book the flight accordingly.
In that case, you need to stay at Male or Hulhumale for a night.
- Languages: Dhivehi, but most people also speak English,
- Maldives Standard Time: +5 GMT
How To Get a local Simcard in The Maldives:
Wi-fi is available at all the guesthouses and Private resorts in the Maldives.
But if you want to be connected with loved ones all the time, get the Simcard from the airport.
There is a Dhiraagu Mobile network shop just before the exit of Maldives airport.
Alternately you can purchase it from any shop in Male or at a local island.
But it´s highly recommended to buy the Simcard at the airport, since getting a Maldive Simcard and some of the smaller local islands can be difficult.
How to Reach Maldives:
The Maldives can be reached trough Velana International Airport by direct flights from most of the Asian, European and Middle east countries. India, Srilanka, Dubai, Qatar have direct flights to Male.
Male is the capital and major port of entry to the Maldives.
From the airport, you can catch a ferry, Speedboat or shared speedboats to your destined islands. You can book your transfers with your hotels/resorts in advance.
Visa Rules For The Maldives.
The Maldives actually have the world´s most liberal visa rules; the country grants a free tourist visa or visa-on-arrival status to all nations of the world for 30 days.
Except for Russians and India´s which can stay for 90 days visa-free.
Top 10 things to do on your Maldivian Holiday.
Visit Male and Hulhumale
Male is the capital of Maldives and your first port of entry to the country. Male is an island itself, but it’s not like a big capital city as like in other countries.
As you walk out of the airport, you will see a taxi stand to the left and boat terminal on the front. It is a small modern city with few skyscrapers.
The interesting fact about Male- ‘One of the most densely populated cities in the world with 100000 residents living on just 5.8 Sq Km land.
While in Male, you can visit Fish Market, Fruit Market, Tsunami Monument, Mosque and you can devour the local Maldivian food Mas Huni made of Tuna fish.
A day in the capital is enough to get a glimpse of Maldivian culture.
At Hulhumale, you can visit the local Park, walk along the Promenade and have a great dinner by the beach. You can also visit a local Mosque and a local market.
Go Scuba diving & Get your PADI Certification.
Maldives is one of the best destinations to get your PADI scuba diving certification. OR not so go for dives.
There are many affordable PADI Dive centres on both Private islands and the local islands, have certified divers who can train you in diving.
The marine life is so beautiful and colourful in the Maldives, from sea turtles, whale sharks to stingrays.
The crystal-clear water offers amazing visibility and water remains warm. You can go so close to colourful fishes and turtles while diving.
Recommended: Fulidhoo dive centre
Go for Snorkeling
If you are not ready for Scuba Diving, go for Snorkeling. The crystal-clear water of Maldives will allow you to see marine life even if you don’t go so deep in the water!
I went for a snorkelling half-day trip during my stay at Maafushi. I swam with sea turtles and floated with colourful fishes. I also so Dolphins in the middle of the blue Maldivian ocean.
Usually, a snorkelling package includes snorkelling equipment, transfers, Lunch and Dolphin sightseeing. Many hotels/resorts offer discounted packages for the snorkelling, so ask around before the booking.
Dhigurah island is maybe the best local island in the Maldives to snorkel and scuba dive with whale sharks.
Go on Island Hopping
Most of the Maldivian People live and work on Local islands. If you are staying at Private resort islands, make sure to visit one of the nearby local islands.
Most of the Private resorts offer an excursion of Local island where you can see the local community.
But if you are travelling the Maldives on Budget, you can plan your entire stay at Local islands, and you can interact with locals and get the glimpse of Maldivian culture.
The Maldives is a Muslim country, be mindful about dressing while visiting local islands.
Shorts and sleeveless dresses are not allowed except on designated beaches.
I recommend you to cover yourself while visiting some of the local islands.
The Maldives is a paradise for water sports activities.
Most of the Maldive resorts on the private islands and the hotels and guesthouses on local islands have water sports centre equipped with a huge range of equipment’s which you can hire for overwater adventures.
Kayaking, Jet skiing and Banana Boat rides, windsurfing are famous water sports activities in the Maldives.
You can choose any of them and can spend your day around the overwater adventures.
Have Romantic Sunset Dinner
The Maldives is one of the most romantic destinations on the earth (the other one is Bora Bora in French Polynesia) and if you are travelling with your partner, don’t forget to splurge for one of the best experiences of your life.
Most of the Resort islands offer the sunset dinner at extra cost, which includes bottle champagne, food and most romantic set up by the beach. If you are early morning person, you can opt for Sunrise breakfast option.
Even the restaurants at local islands offer sunset dinner options if you don’t want to splurge!
Visit a Private Island
The Maldives is not only for Luxurious travellers; it is also best for budget travellers like me! I stayed most of the time at local island Maafushi and took a day trip to Private island.
You can choose the nearest private island for your visit according to your budget.
Usually, rates start from 100$, which includes transfers, whole day stay at resort and buffet Lunch.
The beaches at Private islands are more beautiful and cleaner than local islands.
You can spend your day on the island, and in the evening you can get back to your local island. Or you can split your stay between Local and Private islands to get the glimpse of both the stay.
Stay at Overwater Villa
The Maldives is most famous for its Overwater Bungalows- just straight out of dream stay.
With the overwater Bungalow stay, you can jump into the water just from your room!
You don’t have to go anywhere for swimming or snorkelling or sunbathing! It is not just for honeymooners but so many options available for families and groups.
You can choose one according to your budget for the best 5-star experience, as there are 130+ Private resorts in the Maldives. The Maldives is a real paradise!
Visit the Sandbank
The Maldives has some of the world´s best powdery sand beaches and Pristine lagoons with clear skies and unique Sandbanks in between the ocean.
Most of the Private and local islands offer day trip or Picnic trip to visit Sandbank.
A Sand back is nothing but small sand islands scattered throughout the sea surrounding the main islands. As the level of ocean changes, it changes its shape and level.
You can have a picnic at sandbank or sunrise breakfast or dinner at sunset while surrounded by the ocean! In the Maldives, few resorts also have sandbanks within their territory, which makes it more private experience for you.
Go for Fishing
Tuna Fish is the most popular fish in the Maldives, and if you really love fishing, Maldives offers best catches.
You can go fishing in the local way or can opt for a fishing tour. The sunset is the best time to go fishing as you can enjoy amazing golden sunset in the middle of the Maldivian sea along with fishing.
Best Resorts in the Maldives:
Budget: Sun Island Resort, Olhuveli Resort, Bandos Island
Luxury: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Taj Exotica, Lux Resorts & Cinnamon Dhonveli.
Splurge: Amilla Maldives, Milaidhoo Maldives, One & Only Reethi Rah
There are so many things to do in this tinny island nation, and anyone can have a good time here while relaxing by the beach- single, couple, family with kids or seniors. If you like to splurge, you will love more of it.
Bio: Mayuri Patel is a traveller and blogger from India. She is sharing her experiences on her blog fernwehrahee where you can find about her travels through India and Abroad.
She loves visiting different destinations for food, architecture, and culture. To know more about her, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.