Maldives

The Maldives is a popular holiday destination. Visitors come mainly from the Europe, Japan, China and the Middle East.

The Maldives consists of over 1200 Islands and more than 100 have been allocated to resorts. The Maldives has a policy of one resort per island.

Holidaying in The Maldives is relatively safe however it is an Islamic country, and you must be aware of the Islamic Laws, and one of them is that alcohol is prohibited everywhere in The Maldives except at the island resorts. You cannot bring duty-free alcohol into the country, and pork products are also not allowed to be brought into the country.

Getting There

If you are going on a holiday to The Maldives, getting there is really easy but usually involves a transit from Singapore, Sri Lanka or Malaysia. There are also many direct flights for example from Europe. If you are coming from Australia then there are no direct flights and you will need to fly into Singapore or one of the other transit destinations that have been mentioned.

Then from the airport, you get a boat transfer or a seaplane transfer to the resort.

Consider your arrival time to Male International Airport. If you are spending lots of dollars on a really expensive Resort then you don’t want to get to the resort at night time. Another option is to stay in Male then take the transfer in the morning and that way you get a full day at the resort and not just pay to sleep there.

If you are holidaying in the Maldives you don’t need a visa, as tourists are granted a 30-day visa upon arrival. However it’s a condition of entry that you do have confirmed departure flight before you arrive in the Maldives.

Pricing

A Maldives holiday doesn’t have to be expensive; there is a range of holiday packages in the Maldives that starts from $150 a night. One resort that I have been to is Bandos Island Resort and this costs $150 a night which includes breakfast lunch and dinner. Bandos is a really good resort for snorkeling and diving.

However, in my opinion, a Maldives holiday is best spent in a five-star resort and an Overwater Villa.

If you don’t already have US dollars, then bring some with you because the shops and fast food restaurants at the Male International Airport only accept USD. Surprisingly the currency exchange counters at the airport only change to the local currency.

Be aware that the cost of meals and drinks at the resort is usually pretty high. Everything in the Maldives is expensive, and that’s because everything is imported into the Maldives except for fish and coconuts. There’s also a tourist Green Tax charged at $6 per day per person.

If you decide to stay in budget accommodation such as in homestays then you can also opt in for a day pass in a five-star Resort and this can cost about $150 per person which includes the boat transfer to the resort. You can spend the whole day at the resort and enjoy their facilities before you are picked up again in the afternoon.

Accommodation

To get a really good experience in the Maldives I recommend taking a seaplane to your resort but this can get very expensive because it can cost between $200 to $500 per person per return trip. Some resorts provide plane transfers included in the package. For example Coco Palm Offers seaplane transfers at no additional cost. All the islands in the Maldives are just as good and you don’t have to go far from Male International Airport to get stunning beaches and resorts – one example is Gili lankanfushi,  a 30-minute boat ride from Male International Airport.

One thing to be aware of is that resorts that are close to Male are likely to give you a view of the Male city. That may be a disappointment because you’ve travelled far to get a sea view but only to be distracted by the city lights and the cargo ships passing by so it’s best to check with the resort before you book.

An overwater Villa in a five-star resort can cost anything between $700 to $25,000 a night. For example, Adaaraan Prestige Vadoo costs $700 a night and includes full meal plan (breakfast lunch and dinner). Gili Lankanfushi costs $1,200 a night for an Overwater Villa and includes breakfast and boat transfer.

A Maldives holiday is usually popular for couples and honeymooners although it is also becoming popular for solo travellers and families with children. Do check with the resort’s children policy before making a booking.

Activities

Maldives has two seasons, the dry season which is from November to April and then you have the rainy season which is from May to October. The high season runs from December to March. I personally prefer the wet season as it is quieter and it never rained the whole day whilst I was there.

Summer in the Maldives is not like summer in Bali, the weather is not as sticky and ranges from 24 degrees 33 degrees throughout the year.

A Maldives holiday usually means staying at the one resort. If you are moving between resorts then it usually means you have to go between islands and a private boat charter is very expensive. If you are hopping from one island to another, the resorts may provide a free dropoff and pickup from Male International Airport.

A Maldives holiday is mainly a relaxed holiday and the things that you can do include water sports, jet skiing, snorkelling, diving – it’s essentially a Divers Paradise. There is no shopping although the resorts usually have a small shop for souvenirs and essentials. You can also take a whale submarine or trips to go and see whale sharks.

Holiday in the Maldives is lots of fun and if you enjoy water sports then this is going to be a real Paradise for you. Be sure to check with the hotel and make sure that the reefs are not to far away from the resort so you don’t have to walk to far for a good snorkelling experience.

You can choose to pay a private guide which usually costs about $50 for a good 1 to 1.5 hour of snorkelling.

If you are planning on a Maldives holiday, then head over to our deals page and have a look at the current deals we have in the Maldives or send us an e-mail and we can update you on the latest deals that we haven’t published yet.

Maldives’ Culture

maldives shangri-la's villingili resort and spa the village

Maldivian culture is a rich potpourri of influences from the earliest settlers, many among whom were seafaring traders sailing through the Indian Ocean from Arab, South East Asian and African countries. Maldivians are of Dravidian, Indo-Aryan and Arabic descent.

Explore Maldives

Maldives is best explored at leisure. Here’s where people come to escape from the noise and concrete monstrosities to smell the fresh sea breeze, dive into unspoilt ocean waters and experience the unique local culture.

Maldives’ Cuisine

Maldivians’ traditional cuisine is a blend of Indian, Sri Lankan, Arabic and Thai tastes. Asian influences can be seen in the curries and incorporation of coconut in dishes. Not surprisingly, fish is part of the staple diet, with steamed, fried or curried fish meals whipped up at the island’s restaurants and resort kitchens.

Activities in Maldives

Malé is the hub of shopping in Maldives. You can buy pretty much everything from fresh produce and electronics items to clothes, books, medicines and jewellery here.

Transportation in Maldives

maldives shangri-la's villingili resort and spa sunset cruise

There are no direct flights from Australia to Malé. Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates have flights to Malé from their respective base/local hubs.

Introduction to Maldives

maldives shangri-la's villingili resort and spa

Australian tourists require a valid passport for the duration of stay in Maldives. You can get a tourist visa on arrival for a period of 30 days at no cost. Tourist visas can be extended by up to 90 days by applying to the immigration department.

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