With bright white sands, turquoise waters and ample diving and snorkelling opportunities, what’s not to love about the picture-perfect Maldives?
26 stunning atolls spread across the Indian Ocean with 1200 gem-like islands, each housing just one exclusive resort for ultimate solitude and seclusion. Whether you’re after an island getaway for that dream honeymoon, a breathtaking diving adventure to explore the stunning marine life and coral reefs or an all-inclusive resort with beautiful water villas and a luxury spa, the Maldives offers the ultimate escape.
Complete your dream holiday by combining your stay with another one of our dream destinations. Why not spend a night or two in Dubai before or after your Maldives holiday for a completely different experience? Or, soak up a bit of the culture and history of Sri Lanka before relaxing on the white Maldivian sands with a cocktail in hand?
The Maldives enjoys warm tropical weather and plenty of sunshine year round, but there’s less risk of rain from December to April. The hottest months of the year are March and April, when temperatures can reach 33°C.
If you want sunny days, clear blue skies, great diving, and little chance of rain, take your Maldives holiday between December and April. This is peak season, so there are plenty of activities on offer too.
There are two monsoon seasons in the Maldives – the northwest (summer) monsoon brings very little rain and wind from November to April, and the southwest (winter) monsoon brings occasional showers from May to October, mainly in June and July.View all hotels in Maldives
There are a number of carriers offering flights to the Maldives from the UK.
Direct Carriers: British Airways offer a direct seasonal service from the UK between October - March.
Indirect Carriers: Emirates and Qatar Airways offer an indirect service via Dubai or Doha. Sri Lankan offer a service via Columbo and Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi.
Departure Taxes: There is no departure tax when visiting the Maldives.
British nationals require a tourist visa for stays of under 30 days.Please note your passport much be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives. British Nationals can get a tourist visa for up to 30 days on arrival into the Maldives, provided you hold a valid onward or return ticket. For further information and advice on entry requirements please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/maldives
The official currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa. The Rufiyaa is a closed currency, which means it is only available in the Maldives. Most people use US Dollars and credit cards while on holiday here, but you can buy local currency in your resort, as well as banks, hotels, and larger shops in Malé, the Maldives' capital.
Most prices are shown in US Dollars, which is the most commonly used currency in resorts. You won't need a lot of cash, as most things in your resort will be added to your bill to pay when you leave. Most resorts will accept UK credit and debit cards. If you need money on the go, you will find cash machines in Malé. Travellers cheques are no longer accepted in the Maldives.
Ten to 15 percent is standard in most island resorts, as well as larger international style restaurants on Malé. Many resorts will add this service charge automatically. Tipping isn't expected in Malé's local cafés, although it would be a nice surprise.
May - September
No special vaccines are required or recommended for travel to the Maldives. All travellers should be up to date on routine immunisations. Yellow fever and cholera vaccine immunisation are ony required if arriving from an infected country. For full details, please contact your GP.
The Maldives has modern primary health care facilities and most resort islands have a resident doctor and first-aid services, which are required by law. Non-serious medical issues can be dealt with by the health centres and hospitals located in the atolls.
Holidays in the Maldives are beautifully warm all year round, although you might get caught in a shower or two from May to November. Don't worry about bringing your snorkelling or diving kit; your resort will have everything you need. If you are planning to scuba dive, don't forget your PADI credentials and a medical certificate but most importantly don't forget your underwater camera.
Modest clothing (sleeves, long trousers or skirt) for trips to inhabited islands. Electrical adapter (power supply in the Maldives is 230 volts at 50 hertz.
Tasty and fresh, Maldivian food makes good use of the islands' locally caught fish, drawing flavours from the fragrant, coconut based curries of southern India and Sri Lanka. Local ingredients include seafood like tuna, grouper, octopus and swordfish, and juicy, pink, refreshing watermelons. Otherwise, a great deal of food is imported to these tiny islands.
You can’t go to the Maldives without tasting the ultra-fresh, succulent local seafood. Treat yourself to marinated lobster or char-grilled king prawns. Sit down to salty snapper or chunky tuna steak, served with lentil-based side dishes or steamed rice and vegetables.
Fish and seafood are the main ingredients in most traditional Maldivian curries, although you’ll find chicken and beef too. Creamy, spicy and flavoured with coconut, these dishes are served with rice, roshi (an unleavened bread), and papadhu, (Maldivian poppadoms).
Maldivians often end their meals with custard, bodibaiy (sugary sweet rice) or tropical fruits like papayas, mangoes, bananas, and island grown watermelons.
Your best bet for local street food is in Malé, the Maldives’ island capital. Head to the markets and cafes where you will find traditional Maldivian snacks, most of which are made using the islands’ number one ingredient, freshly caught fish. Here are some of the local favourites:
Bajiya - pastry stuffed with fish, coconut and onions;
Kulhi borkibaa - spicy fish cakes;
Gulha - pastry balls filled with smoked fish;
Theluli mas - fried fish with chilli and garlic;
Kavaabu - deep-fried snacks made from rice, tuna, coconut, lentils, and spices.
On holidays in the Maldives, prices vary from resort to resort. In Malé though, you can expect to spend around 15 US Dollars on a meal for two in a mid-range restaurant and around 60 Cents on a 1.5 litre bottle of water.
For women, the traditional Maldivian costume is the dhivehi libaas, a long sleeved dress with striking silver and gold lace hand-woven around the neck. For men, it is the Maldivian sarong, usually worn with a shirt.
With its islands scattered with mosques, the Maldives is a Muslim country. Only Muslims may become citizens, marry, or own property here, and locals live their day-to-day lives according to the principles of Islam. Twenty-five percent of the Maldives population lives in Malé, with the rest spread across small, close-knit island communities. The main industries are fishing and, since the 1970s, tourism.
When it comes to etiquette, it is worth keeping the following in mind:
• Greet men with a handshake and women with a warm smile
• Dress modestly and keep beachwear to the beach
• Do not sunbathe topless - semi-nudity and nudity is considered unacceptable
• Some restaurants insist on both men and women covering their legs
You will often wake to the sounds of seabirds in the distance, and you might spot fruit bats on occasion; but most of the Maldives' wildlife makes its home under the water. The atolls' delicate coral supports hundreds of species of Technicolor reef fish, graceful manta rays glide through the clear waters along with green and hawksbill turtles, while giant but gentle whale sharks, the largest fish in the seas, swim around the Maldives' outer reefs.
Whale and Dolphin Watching
The Maldives is one of the top five places on Earth for watching whales and dolphins. Join an excursion to see species including blue and sperm whales, as well as bottle nosed and spinner dolphins, which swim in large pods and often race speedboats.
Many resorts now offer volunteer programs or marine biology tours with expert naturalists. You might even get the opportunity to help look after baby turtles, sharks, and rare fish.