Traveling to the majestic islands of the Maldives has been considered an impossible dream for budget travellers and was almost exclusive to the wealthy who could afford the luxury guest houses. However times have changed and with new Govt. regulations, the number of guesthouses has swelled in recent years making the trip to the Maldives possible for a wide range of travelers. Here’s our ultimate guide to the Maldives for all budgets.
What To Pack
The Maldives is a tropical climate with high humidity; travellers are advised to pack light cotton garments that dry easily, a sun hat for protection, sandals for the beach. More than 70% of your time in the Maldives is going to be spent on the beaches so invest in some quality comfortable beach sandals or flip-flops. Sunscreen is a must, purchase one with UV protection of at least 30-spf and preferably more. Gel-based sunscreen is less prone to get cakey but it can be quite expensive. Lastly, purchase a good insect repellent for good measure.
Best Time Of The Year For The Maldives
The best time to visit the Maldives would be around December till April. The temperature is generally cooler and well suited for traveling for tourists unaccustomed to the tropical heat. Monsoon begins from April to August, the period is considered an off-season for tourists and is considerably cheaper to travel to the Maldives. The monsoon sees a lot of visits from surfers though who travel to the island nation to catch the waves.
How To Get To The Maldives
The main airport of the Maldives is the Male International Airport also known as Velana international airport. For a small island nation, the airport is well connected to the major airports of the world. If not direct flights, there are many connecting flights to Maldives. However, when any traveller book flights from Riyadh to Maldives or from any other major Saudi Arabian destination to Maldives, it is advised to start searching for good deals months in advance. Aside from the male international airport, there are also three more airports; Gan International Airport, Hanimaadhoo International Airport, Maafaru International Airport.
Transportation Services Inside the Island
- Seaplane: also known as air taxis, these seaplanes ferry passengers from one island to another and are quite the popular transport services on the island. It flies 15 passengers in one trip and can be quite mesmerizing as the plane flies at low altitudes over the turquoise-colored waters.
- Boat: boats are another common transport means in the island, traveling from one island to another. The boat taxis ferrya lot of tourists however they do not operate at night.
- Taxi: Taxi services do exist in the Maldives, since the island nation is quite small, taxi drivers will take in extra passengers as well for the trip. Some might charge you for luggage. So keep extra change always in handy.
- Dhoni: a local transport system, dhoniis not as fast as speed boats but it is much gentler and will ferry you comfortably from island to island. Make sure to bargain when hiring a dhoni for a ride.
There Are Beaches Especially For Tourists
There are so many beaches in the Maldives and all unique on their own. The most popular one would be the Hulhumale beach which is the most frequented by tourists, the blue water and white sand is perfect for a relaxing day on the beach. However, one is advised to dress modestly here as it is a Muslim area, and bikinis are frowned upon.
The bikini beach of Rasdhoo island however allows tourists to flaunt their bikini bods. The beach is reserved for tourists to enjoy sunbathing on the beach without the common restrictions found on the beaches within the Muslim area.
If you long for complete privacy, you might want to try Lily Beach, a private beach belonging to Lily Beach resort and spa. You can have the beach all to yourself without the prying eye of others.
What To See & Do
The island nation of Maldives has a lot to offer belong are some activities we have highlighted for you to enjoy during your stay.
- Take a guided tour with marine biologists: the island nation is home to some of the best views to observe marine life. hire the services of a marine biologist to take you on a guide in the exploration of the beautiful aspect of nature underwater.
- Go on a sunset tour: the sunset from the beaches is to die for, with the aid of your hotel you can have them arranged a sunset tour. Watch the sunset and turn the sea into gold.
- Have a spa day: relax in one of the many spas on the island. Travelers can let loose their stress and worries with one of these relaxing spa sessions which is guaranteed to lift your mood.
- Go swimming with sharks: yes you heard it right, you can swim with the sharks in the Maldives via a shark safari. Experienced divers will take you to shark feeding sites to view these magnificent creatures of the sea.
- Go snorkelling: many services offer snorkelling services on the island, contact your hotel to arrange one for you.
- Go Fishing: the staple diet of Maldivians is fish. you can also try fishing on the island with the aid of the locals via your hotel help.
- Try Surfing: home to some of the best waves in the world. The Maldives attracts surfers from around the world to try surfing their waves. You can also attempt it via the many surf agencies around the island
What To Eat
Fish is a common staple in a Maldivian’s diet so expect it a lot when you are traveling there. Resorts do have more variety in cuisine choices but when it comes to local cuisine expect a lot of fish and curry in the island nation.
Where to Stay in the Maldives
In older times, visitors could only stay in the few expensive hotels available however with new regulations, several hotels ranging in different rates have come up to expand the demographic of their visitors. Resorts like the Taj Resorts are some of the best hotels to stay in Maldives with outstanding services and facilities and others like the lily resort and beach spa have their beach for their guests to enjoy.