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The only guide to The Maldives you’ll ever need…


Relaxing scene from a Maldives HolidayThe Maldives – an exquisite blend of nature, luxury, tranquility and relaxation.

The Maldives is perhaps the only destination on this planet that can truly call itself a tropical paradise. Close to 2,000 islands make up the Republic of Maldives and as one of the most sparsely populated countries in Asia, it is the ultimate in peaceful, long-haul luxury.

Whether you are looking for the blend of modern culture found in the island capital of Male or the unrivalled natural beauty of the less developed islands – The Maldives is the only choice for a true avant-garde experience.

It is so easy to lose yourself in The Maldives making it the perfect getaway, the ultimate honeymoon or the destination to rekindle that flame with your loved one. Crisp, sandy beaches are interrupted only by the warm azure Indian Ocean that laps the shores and the luxury villas that blend into the natural, relaxing surroundings.

Many of the individual islands are no more than 1.5 m above sea level meaning you are never far from the abundance of breathtaking coral reefs and turquoise oceans.

Where are The Maldives?

The Maldives is a collection of islands in the Indian Ocean just south of Sri Lanka.

How much does it cost?

Prices for holidays range from £1500pp for a 7 night break right the way through to £15k+ per person if you are looking for something ultra high-end.

Once you get to The Maldives, if you are staying in a resort then you are likely to need US Dollars (or your credit card) rather than the local currency as many are required by law to charge in USD. If you are staying on one of the many superb island resorts then there won’t be many opportunities to spend cash as the shop is likely only to offer the essentials such as sun cream and snorkeling gear for example. However if you want to eat and drink well whilst in The Maldives it is recommended that you bring at least £1000 spending money to cover the cost of the resort bar and restaurant as well as giving tips to the locals that staff the villas.

What is there to do?

Male, the island capital of The Maldives, is a thriving modern city with plenty to do and see.

If you fancy some sight-seeing then the Presidential Palace and the Hukuru Miskiiy are well worth a visit.

There are plenty of places to eat on the island but pick carefully if you are looking to sample the delights of the local cuisine as some of the restaurateurs seem to think tourists are looking for food from home. The Royal Garden Cafe and The Seahouse are both establishments which come with our recommendation.

Male is a bustling city so remember to keep your wits about you as many local Maldivians live in poverty so touts selling souvenirs and coral are a problem in the city and you can end up in trouble with the authorities if you make a purchase.

If you are looking for something that’s a little more relaxing then escape to one of the numerous the Southern Atolls (the southern islands that make up the Maldives). Many of these are divine and a real way to get away from the stresses and strains of modern life.

  • Explore the island on foot
  • Hire a boat to explore the surroundings for yourself
  • Diving
  • Deep sea fishing expeditions
  • Snorkeling
  • Jet skiing
  • Pampering and spa facilities

Many of the islands have been transformed into micro resorts catering to every whim and offering the ultimate in luxury holidays. Unrivalled views, quiet beaches, attentive staff and some more energetic activities if you feel up to it.

What’s the weather like?

Maldives climate by month

Things to remember

The Maldives is a primarily Muslim country so be sure to show respect for the local cultures and religion – for ladies, this includes avoiding wearing anything too revealing in the capital of Male. There’s no need to be overly concerned, provided you avoid the inside of any mosque (unless you are a Muslim), as nearly all of the islands are very tourist friendly because the Maldivian economy relies largely on tourists so the locals accept this as a way of life but there are certain ‘acts’ that the police in many areas won’t tolerate.

It is also important that you don’t purchase coral whilst you are out there, they might seem like the perfect souvenir but customs at this end and in the UK will frown upon this illegal exportation and may fine you.

Who holidays here?

The fact that The Maldives is a modern day haven for tranquility, relaxation and pampering hasn’t gone un-noticed by many A-list celebrities. George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Jay-Z, Penelope Cruz and Naomi Campbell are all regular visitors to The Maldives. If it has the stamp of approval from stars like these then you know it isn’t just hype!

What’s the best time of year to visit?

Traditionally the time to visit the Maldives has been in the dry season, which is December to March. Major hotels are most busy at this time and especially busy during the Christmas season. Some visitors maintain that Christmas is the best time to visit the Maldives. This is also the most expensive time to visit, with prices almost doubling. At this time there is less chance of rainfall and there are opportunities to take part in land sports like volleyball, sauna and table tennis and of course there is time to relax on the beach. Even at the busiest times beaches to not tend to get overcrowded since most resorts are exclusive that overcrowding is not an issue.

Divers however should remember that water clarity is best in April and November time during the transition months and diving visibility is at the highest at this time. In the wet season there is also said to be more chance of seeing plankton, dolphins and mantas. Water sport activities are plentiful in the Maldives with sports like sailing, diving and snorkelling, jet skiing, deep sea fishing, parasailing and wind surfing all available to take part in. There tend to be fewer tourists in the wet season also and prices are lower on island.

Prices to go to Maldives offered by travel agencies are fairly stable throughout all the year with the exception of price hikes for holidays that cover Christmas, New Year or Easter. The Maldives resorts operate all year round, even during the “wet season” when there is high humidity and the sky may be overcast. There are not huge monsoon rains to fight against during the wet season; it happens more often that there may be half an hour of rain on one day or for a few hours on another day. This is why prices remain similar all year round. In fact many people say that the best time to travel to The Maldives is all year round!

The least expensive time to visit is from March to October. It also happens that surfing is best at this time of year also although you can surf or dive all year round. In the wet season when it is cooler conversely the seas get warmer however it should be remembered when diving or snorkelling that when its starts to rain tides can change and you can end up being in deep water which is dangerous. So always stay near the island whatever season you are in. Usually trained professionals will make sure you are alright as they conduct the snorkelling tours held by the resorts. Even during the wet season you will need air conditioner on in your hotel room as the humidity is high. Also there is a greater risk of cyclones in the summer months.

 

Maldives Flights

The Maldives flight time is around ten to eleven hours for a direct flight to Male from London. If you have a good connection the fastest flights with one stop are more like fourteen hours.

Book a flight to Male, Maldives

The three letter IATA code for Male airport in The Maldives is MLE. This may help you when you start your search from flights to The Maldives.

 

Maldives Male Airport

 

Male airport is an international airport and is one of the fastest growing airports in the region. On the island Hulhule the first ever airport for the Maldives was built in 1960. This was made out of sheets of steel slotted together, which was 75 x 3000 feet. However in 1964 a competition was staged between the four Male districts to help build an asphalt runway. Since the Henveiru district succeeded in cutting out the first square of the previous runway they won the donation from the government to build the new runway. The new runway was opened in 1964 by the then Prime Minister, Mr Ibrahim Nasir.

 

The modern Male International Airport as we know it was opened in November 1981. It now has one of the largest seaplane services worldwide carrying passengers to what the airport staff call ‘in and out of the sunny side of life’. Male Airport has received a considerable demand from increased air traffic and from the increased need to update its facilities and services. It now hosts major airlines and is connected to air and sea routes from across the Maldives and is of course open 24 hours. Indeed, Maldives Airport Company received the CQE Century International Quality ERA award at Geneva in March 2010. It is an independent financial and corporate organization.

 

The airport currently hires about 1000 staff and hosts a health centre with pharmacy, mother care facilities, a children’s recreational Park, free shower room, trolleys and of course shopping facilities. What’s more, there is a bank, post office, mosque and telephone and internet services. Shopping consists of Duty Free shops with popular duty-free items on sale like perfume, spirits and cigarettes. Other sold items include flowers, souvenirs, sweets, cosmetics, stationery, toys and electrics and clothing. There are shops that are devoted to selling souvenirs only as well as a Floral Boutique. There is also a cyber café at the airport called Dhiraagu Airport Cyber café where passengers can log onto the five client stations or bring their own laptop to plug in at the internet access points.

 

If you are coming on holiday to The Maldives, you might want to be aware that a passenger service charge is to be paid by all international passengers who pass through the airport, which amounts to about $12, but this is generally included in the price of flights and package holidays from The UK. The Maldivians are very proud of their airport as a connection to the outside world in an island that was isolated from a lot of the technological advances happening around it for some time. The building of the airport is described as a dream even from before the times of the Maldivians gaining their independence in 1965. The Board of Directors were all appointed by the Prime Minister back in 1981 at the opening of the airport.

 

The vision of the airport is, ‘To be the Airport that provides the best Airport Service in the Region’ and their mission is, ‘To develop and maintain airports in the Maldives as establishments contributing to the national economy.’ Most passengers describe arriving at male airport as one of the most beautiful airport fights of their lives as sapphire blue seas intermingle with atolls dotted here and there to make for a stunning view. Generally, tourists will be transferred to their hotels by either seaplane or speedboat.

 

On arrival holidaymakers are greeted by a small and efficient airport. Most of the shops are situated in the departure lounge so on arrival passengers usually take their luggage and find their tour operators for immediate transfer or if waiting is involved there is a small café to sit in. Filling in an immigration card is necessary before arrival and it should be noted that it is illegal to bring alcohol into the Maldives.

 


August 25, 2017
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