Maldives travel guide 2023-2024: Destinations, Best time & Guide
Are you planning to go on an unforgettable trip to the magical Maldives? It's a great idea, because the Maldives is a paradise. However, you need to know some things that will guarantee a safe and memorable trip. Find out about the best time to travel to the Maldives, visas and entry rules, how to choose accommodation, which island to choose for a perfect Maldives vacation, and other important details
The Maldives is popular among tourists, travelers from different parts of the world come here, mostly from India, Russia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the USA, France and Spain, because it is an ideal place for both a romantic trip and a family vacation.
The Maldives Islands are located in the Indian Ocean and are recognized as one of the best destinations in the world for luxury travel.
If you love diving, fresh seafood, coral reefs, extinct volcanoes, water sports and romantic moonlight walks, then read on.
Visas and rules of entry
Travelers from most countries of the world arriving in the Maldives can obtain a 30-day visa at the country's airport immediately upon arrival.
Importantly! Before you travel, check the requirements specifically for your citizenship. To do this, follow the link, choose your citizenship and country of destination (Maldives).
Entry into the country is based on a foreign passport, which must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
It is also necessary to provide the following package of documents: proof of residence, tickets for a return or onward flight, as well as show the availability of funds sufficient to cover expenses during your stay in the Maldives.
The best time to travel to the Maldives
Maldives enjoys warm weather all year round, so you can choose the best time to visit Maldives according to your priorities. However, as in any other tropical country, there are two seasons in the Maldives - dry and wet, which depend on the amount of precipitation and average temperatures at the resort:
- from November to March - during this period, the maximum number of travelers comes to the islands, because there is the least amount of rain and cool, clear weather;
- from March to April - the temperature starts to rise, but from March to October is the best time for surfers.
- from May to November: this is the season when you can find the cheapest holiday, but at this time of the year thunderstorms and rains are very likely.
How to choose housing in the Maldives?
The Maldives offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget guesthouses on the local islands. If you are looking for a more relaxing vacation, stay at a private resort or a separate island. There are two accommodation options available to travelers – an overwater villa and a beach bungalow:
- The water villa is ideal for a romantic vacation, anniversary or honeymoon. They have direct access to the lagoon, while their area is often smaller than beach villas. You will also have to choose a location - facing sunrise or sunset. Overwater villas are also less suitable for families with small children. Some objects even have age restrictions.
- Beach bungalows are more spacious, safer for families, more private because they are surrounded by thick lush foliage and shady palm trees, and are usually located closer to the main center of the island (close to restaurants and main entertainment).
Staying in a boarding house will allow you to experience the local culture, interact with the population and enjoy more affordable accommodation options.
When choosing accommodation, consider factors such as location, amenities, entertainment and budget.
How to get to the Maldives?
Most international travelers arrive at Velana International Airport, which is located close to the country's capital Male. From there you can reach your resort or local island by speedboat, seaplane or domestic flight. A seaplane flight will give travelers a scenic view from above, but may have baggage restrictions.
Resorts usually arrange transfers for their guests, and there are public ferries and speedboats between local islands.
Which island to choose for an ideal holiday in the Maldives?
With more than 1,000 islands spread over 90,000 square kilometers, it can be quite difficult to choose the perfect vacation spot. Although at first glance many islands look similar to each other, they actually have their own charm and different details that make them special.
Therefore, we have prepared our top 5 ideal islands, both for a honeymoon and for a family vacation:
- Alimata Island is located approximately 50 kilometers north of Male. It is a small island with bungalows both on the beach and over the water. A large number of trees and greenery on the island create the atmosphere of a tropical jungle. In addition to white beaches and clear water, tourists are offered a wide selection of water sports, as well as massage and spa sessions.
- Biyadu Island is located in South Male Atoll. This tiny island is covered in vegetation including fruit trees such as mangoes, coconuts and bananas. If you're into water sports, this resort has a variety of offerings such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. The small villas here have thatched roofs, adding a rustic charm to any vacation.
- The island of Male is the capital of the Maldives, on this island you can experience the life of the largest city of the Maldives. Although often overlooked by tourists, Malé actually has a lot to offer families and honeymooners alike. You can join a tour and visit the Good Friday Mosque, the National Museum, the local fish market, the Tsunami Monument and even do some water sports.
- Kani Island is located approximately 20 kilometers north of Male. On this resort island, there are hotels that operate under the "all inclusive" system and offer their guests food, drinks (including alcoholic beverages), activities and excursions. You can stay in rooms on the beach or rent an overwater suite with a great panoramic view of the ocean. There are many entertainment options on the island, including shows, parties, snorkeling and even off-island excursions.
- Hulhumale is a restored island that is connected to Male by the Sinamale Bridge. Although it may not be the most attractive island in the archipelago, the lack of crowds makes it a good choice for people looking for a relaxing holiday at an affordable price. The advantage is that tourists can easily get to the capital from here and combine a beach vacation with excursions.
The best beaches in the Maldives
Stepping onto the soft sands of the Maldives is like entering another world, because each beach has its own feeling, atmosphere and identity:
- Gili-Lankanfushi - you can get here from the country's main airport, Male, only by speed boat. Quiet waters and incredible villas await tourists here.
- Huwafen Fushi – located within North Male Atoll – you will find a nice and calm lagoon, perfect for swimming and enjoyment. The overwater bungalows at this resort are truly sensational.
- Cocoa Island is distinguished by chic and luxury, and it is also located within the Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve. You can get here only by seaplane.
What to do and what to see in the Maldives?
Undoubtedly, the main tourist pearls of the Maldives are the ocean and the beach. The Maldives is known for its stunning coral reefs, making it a great place for scuba diving.
While in the Maldives, be sure to swim with Manta Point's underwater stingrays, which weigh around 2 tons and swim with a wingspan of 7.5 meters.
You can also enjoy water sports such as kayaking, water skiing, windsurfing and sailing. Sunset fishing, island tours and dolphin watching are popular among tourists.
While on land, relax on pristine beaches or pamper yourself with spa treatments.
Landmarks of the Maldives:
- The National Museum of the Maldives in Sultan Park is the former palace of the Sultan of the Maldives. Here you can find some well-preserved artefacts from a bygone era that tell the story of the Maldives. Take a close look at antiques, furniture, jewelry and currency from the Sultan's reign.
- The Good Friday Mosque is one of the most desirable tourist attractions in Male. It is a well-kept Islamic center with a special architectural style. It is also called Masjid Al-Sultan Muhammad Takurufaanu Al-Auzam and is the largest mosque in the Maldives.
Culture of the Maldives
The Maldives is an Islamic country, so it is important to respect local customs and dress modestly when visiting the inhabited islands. Tourists can freely wear bathing and beach clothes only on resort islands.
Alcohol is also usually only served on resort islands, and public displays of affection for it are discouraged.
The main products of Maldivian cuisine are rice and coconut (grated and in milk form).
Garudiyya is also a favorite of most locals, a clear fish broth served with rice, lime, chilies, and onions.
There are many restaurants on the islands where tourists can taste national cuisine.
Are the Maldives suitable for holidays with children?
Yes of course. Many islands have special children's clubs (however, there are also many islands designed exclusively for adults). The waters around the islands and atolls are very calm, making them ideal for less experienced swimmers. Many islands have a resident doctor.
Can I live on one Maldivian island but go out for dinner on another?
It is almost impossible. Resorts are completely isolated on separate islands.
Is it possible to rent a car in the Maldives?
You can easily rent a bike in the Maldives, many hotels and villas offer their own personal rental services.
Renting a car in the Maldives is not common, because the islands are usually small, many of them even have no roads. Therefore, you may not even find working cars.
The main form of transport between the Maldives is by ferry, which is always available on the coast.
What taxi service is available in Maldives?
You will not find any taxi service like Uber in Maldives. However, all destinations here are within walking distance, so there is no need to hire a taxi.
How to plan the perfect holiday in the Maldives? Read tips for travelers at the link.
Daria Rogova, Head of Insurance at Visit World
Take advantage of extended travel insurance to make your trip safe.
Extended medical cover, travel options and legal advice in our insurance cover.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in the Maldives;
Legal advice on immigration to the Maldives;
Travel insurance for foreigners in the Maldives;
Medical insurance all over the world.
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
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Self-serve is not allowed.