Our love affair with the Maldives began with an incredible bird’s eye view of the atolls as we arrived by seaplane, and we can’t see it ending anytime soon. For more magical moments, take a cruise on a dhoni, a traditional wooden boat, as the sun sets over blue-green waters and pristine deserted islands, and musicians pound their drums to attract playful dolphins.
British Airways offer a direct seasonal service from the UK between October - March, but to see more of the world, we recommend stopping over somewhere like Dubai to make the most of your time away.
For more inspiration on holidays to the Maldives, read the Hayes and Jarvis Travel Blog.
I have always loved anything to do with travel. I have been working with Hayes and Jarvis for 13 years and absolutely love the company as well as the products we sell. I have visited Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali and many more places. Visiting these countries has given me valuable insight and knowledge of the areas I sell and a wealth of information to be able to assist my clients.
The Maldives is a place like no other. Pictures do not do it justice. It is an AMAZING place full of natural beauty and the perfect escape from the daily hustle and bustle of normal life and recharge your batteries.
Travel as light as possible. The Maldives is very laid back and casual, so there’s no need for shoes, heels etc. You don’t need to pack very much at all – think informal and relaxed. I would definitely recommend going all Inclusive too. We offer many islands suitable for families, so don’t think the Maldives is just for honeymooners. I’d recommend twinning The Maldives with a city like Dubai or Abu Dhabi or even somewhere in the Far East like Bangkok, or Kuala Lumpur.
The Maldives is a one of a kind destination, with beautiful scenery, amazing coral reefs and stunning islands. As a beach lover the pristine shorelines and white sandy beaches are what I look for on a holiday.
Line fishing with the locals and preparing your own catch of the day for dinner with local Maldivian spices in a boat during sundown was a great experience. Highly recommended!
It would have to be the Maldives without a doubt. I’d like to see more of the different islands, such as the local habited islands where locals stay. There are areas for snorkelling and diving which are still untouched and waiting to be discovered.
I bumped into a family on one of the islands. They had taken out their three children from school and were on a world trip educating their children and learning about different countries, culture, history and traditions. They were in the Maldives as the children were taking their padi dive courses to become qualified divers. What an experience for them all and great start to life.
I have worked in Travel for over three years and have visited most of the Indian Ocean. I love working in travel because I love making people’s dreams come true. A holiday is something that most people look forward to all year and to be a part of that is very special.
Facing my fear of snorkelling when I swam with turtles in the Maldives. The water is so clear and the fish are so colourful, I have never seen anything so beautiful.
Remember lots of sun cream! It might seem obvious, but if you want a pain free holiday and to keep your suntan longer than the flight home – then it’s no brainer!
The Maldives has surprised me the most because of the type of the accommodation it offers. There aren’t many places where you can stay in a villa on stilts over water with direct access in to the sea. Even the Villa’s that are on land are exquisite with some offering private Jacuzzis or pools.
I would do a twin centre, stop off in Dubai for a few nights of sun and city and then go on to the Maldives to have the best of both worlds and make the most of my hard earned annual leave.
I was staying in a villa opposite an American rapper, Luca Dayz when I was at Meeru Island resort and Spa. He was filming his latest music video in one of the honeymoon suites.
I have been working for Hayes and Jarvis for seven years and have made many memories travelling to some of the most amazing places in the world. I have been lucky enough to visit South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, the Maldives, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Florida, New York, Las Vegas, LA and just spent the last four months travelling around Asia.
There really is no better place for just sitting back and relaxing than the Maldives, and the best way to get to an island is by seaplane. Seeing all the little atolls below makes a great Kodak moment. If you can go stretch to an overwater villa, do it and request the west-facing side of the island so you can enjoy cocktail moments at sunset.
Take a snorkel and an underwater camera. It is unbelievable the amount of life you’ll encounter. Also, pack light as most islands enjoy a simple barefoot existence.
The Maldives - It really is very hard to compare anywhere to these paradise isles and you’ll want to go back time and time again. I just love that you can turn up to an island by speedboat or seaplane and have a villa where you can either walk straight out onto the beach or an overwater villa with stairs leading down for a dip in the ocean.
Fish is a must in the Maldives. I love Dhon Riha which is a fresh tuna dish made with fresh coconut milk and mango, chilli and cinnamon.
I would look at a twin centre and visit Sri Lanka for seven nights doing one of our private tours and explore the history and cultural behind the country. I’d then pop over to the Maldives as it’s only a 45 minute flight and spend another seven nights with a book on a sun bed, relaxing before I reluctantly head back home.
I have worked in travel for over 20 years now and experienced it from every perspective, from the booking process, to serving teas and coffees in the air, and as an overseas resort rep. I love everything about holidays and travel and take pride in ensuring that you make the right decision for you and your family when choosing a holiday.
Without a doubt it’s the Maldives. You don’t know what to expect, but the minute you land at Male airport and hop onto your seaplane transfer, the experience is like nothing else. The natural beauty of this place is a on a whole different level and you really get to experience this on by air as you arrive.
If you are anything like me, then don’t just settle for one place on your holiday. The best holiday I took, was five nights in Sri Lanka, followed by the Maldives for a further nine nights. This way you absolutely get the best of both worlds. The culture and heritage of Sri Lanka and the pure paradise of the Maldives - it doesn’t work out any more in cost either, you really make the most of travelling to the other side of the world and create some wonderful memories.
The Maldives. I knew it was going to be a romantic paradise, but it is actually great for children too. There are many Islands that offer kids clubs and kids activities and it’s a great way to get your children introduced to the sea. Where better to gain your water wings than in the calm, warm, beautiful Indian Ocean? Plus it is so safe - you are on a tiny Island and there is nowhere else to go, so it gives them a real sense of freedom.
I had the most beautiful candlelit dinner on the beach where I enjoyed a mas riha curry. This traditional Maldivian curry is made with Tuna and the fish was caught that very day. I’ve never tasted anything so fragrant and tasty before or since.
Hands down the Maldives. I need a new handbag so would probably do a couple of nights stop off in Dubai and get my fix of shopping and then chill out in paradise for a week or two!
I did a Scuba dive in the Maldives and the instructor was called Susantha and I’ll never forget him. It was for me and many others our first dive and he ensured that we were safe, happy and that we had an incredible experience, he was also full of humour and tales of the sea tales.
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 Citizens are not required to have a visa to enter the Maldives but will be given a 30 day visa on arrival free of charge. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in the Maldives. Please contact the Maldivian Embassy for up to date country and visa information on 0207 224 2135.
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 immunizations. Yellow fever and cholera vaccineimmunisation 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 if required.
lightweight clothing in natural fabrics like cotton or linen.
High factor sunscreen.
Waterproof jacket in rainy season.
A wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face.
Modest clothing (sleeves
long trousers or skirts) for trips to Malé and other inhabited islands.
An electrical adapter (the power supply in the Maldives is 230 volts at 50 hertz).
An underwater camera.
PADI and medical certificates if required.
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 strictly 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.