Maldives Travel Guide: Food, Stay, Attractions, Documents
Crystal clear waters, shiny beaches, exotic islands, brilliant reefs, water sports and the fact that it is the most popular romantic getaway, make Maldives earn the first place on every traveller’s bucket list. Dying to more about this gorgeous place? Here is our Maldives travel guide to help you. Read on!
Maldives Travel Guide
Best Time To Visit Maldives
Maldives enjoys a tropical monsoon climate with two distinctive seasons; a dry season and a wet season. The dry season (December-April) has less humidity and little rain whereas the wet season (May- November) is characterized by strong winds and heavy rainfall. However, the best time to visit Maldives is between November and April, when the weather is pleasant and rainfall is more or less insignificant. December until March marks the peak tourist season and as such the room rates at the resorts and hotels are quite expensive.
May-October: Considered as the rainy season and an off-season too, this is the period when accommodations are available at a fair rate, it is less crowded hence making it a very good time to visit Maldives for travellers on a budget. It is a great time for activities like surfing and scuba diving. Tourists can enjoy festivals like Ramadan and Independence Day.
Maldives Travel Guide Tip: Be sure to carry an umbrella and an insect repellent.
November-April: This is the best time to visit Maldives. Grey skies and rainfall are replaced by clear skies and plenty of sunshine. The country is crowded with honeymoon couples, sunbathers, swimmers and divers. This is the best time to experience the sea life amongst the reefs. Grab a drink or indulge in water sports or simply immerse yourself in the vast expanse of the horizon, the choice is yours. This time is also very popular for New Year and Christmas celebrations, Republic Day, Viceroy Day and National Day.
Maldives Travel Guide Tip: Be sure to carry sunscreen and light cotton clothes.
So, Maldives basically has a weather which is year-round suitable for a trip. Decide on your favourable time and plan your Maldives holiday soon.
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Travel Documents For Your Maldives Tour
Travellers need the following documents for their Maldives trip:
- Passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date of travel.
- A 30 day free visa is issued on arrival for all nationalities.
- Appropriate funds to cover the expenses during their stay.
- Return ticket is a must.
- A confirmation of reservation in a tourist resort or hotel.
- Travel insurance for safe travel is a must.
Where To Stay In Maldives
Maldives is magical! There is something about this place – may be it is the serenity that surrounds you or the sheer beauty of nature you can’t seem to get over or it is the beautiful amber sky or the terrific vibe or may be all of it. But this place is extremely mesmerising and the resorts and hotels here make it even more amazing. If turquoise blue lagoons, extensive coral reefs and water villas attract you and you are in a mood to splurge, you are definitely in for a massive treat. Maldives resorts such as W Retreat and Spa Resort, Coco Bodu Hithi, Giri Lankanfushi Maldives and Four Seasons Resort Maldives will blow your mind with their superb beaches, awe-inspiring reefs to snorkel and extraordinary services.
If you are an ardent diver, there are several liveboards of cruise vessels like Ocean Dancer, Handy Cruise and Eagle Ray to spend your Maldives vacation. Travellers on a budget can stay in Guesthouses and city hotels. Some guesthouses are simple while many others provide four star facilities. Summer Villa Guest House, Maldives Seashine and Holiday Lodge Maldives are some of the best guesthouses in the country. Stay in city Maldives hotels to enjoy shopping at local shops and eating at local restaurants. Hotel Octave Maldives, Samann Grand and The Vinorva Maldives are some of the best places to stay in Maldives. So, whether it is a luxury accommodation or a budget one, Maldives will certainly not disappoint you.
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Travelling Within Maldives
Since Maldives is an island country, road vehicles are not the primary mode of transport here. However, visitors can travel by road in island cities of Male, Fuvahmulah and Hulhumale and between few islands in Lammu and Addu Atoll that are connected by causeways. Taxis and buses are available in all these places. While most hotels and resorts in Maldives arrange airport transfers, island hopping can be done by Dhoni-Charters, speed boats, public ferries and private ferries. Air is the primary way to cover long distances in the island country. There are 12 regional airports and domestic flights are run by Maldivian and FlyMe.
Maldives Travel Guide Tip: Flights fill up really fast so it is better to book your tickets in advance.
Places To Visit In Maldives
1. Male Island
Male, one of the world’s smallest national capital is a popular destination and among the best places to visit in Maldives. The city is known for ancient mosques, colourful buildings, quirky restaurants and bars. This relaxed town allows you to wander without the baggage of pre-planned schedules. Do visit the Male Friday Mosque, the oldest mosque in the country. History buffs should definitely visit the National Museum to witness the gamut of artefacts from the ancient Islamic period of Maldives. Fish enthusiasts should certainly visit the famous Male Fish Market, which is considered as the heart and soul of the city. Artificial Beach is a man-made, crescent shaped structure which is equally loved by the locals and tourists as it is a great place to relax and laze around. Other interesting places include Sultan Park, Tsunami Monument and Villingili. Take a stroll on the streets, shop at the lively markets or learn about the rich Maldivian history, you will love every bit here.
2. Alimatha Island
Nestled on the eastern edge of Maldives, Alimatha Island is an ideal place for a family vacation and for Maldives honeymoon. The island will allure you with its pristine water, dazzling sand, sun-kissed beaches, luxury cabanas, aquamarine lagoons and most importantly scuba diving spots. Play volleyball matches or get an Ayurvedic massage, indulge in a wide array of water sports or simply soak yourself in the gorgeous setup of nature, you are bound to have an amazing time here. Your trip to Maldives is incomplete without visiting this stunning island.
3. Biyadhoo Island
Located in South Male Atoll, Biyadhoo Island is natural, rustic and a haven for divers. With a range of top diving sites to choose from and excellent instructors to advise, this is the best place to try your hands at various water activities like snorkelling, canoe-paddling and scuba diving. The island also has an abundant vegetation of coconuts, bananas, mangoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage making it one of the best Maldives tourist places.
4. Veligandu Island
Veligandu is a small island located in the North Ari Atol. Shimmering waters, lush green flora and fauna, turquoise blue lagoons and romantic sunsets define this wonderful island. With great opportunities for diving, snorkelling, fishing, delicious food and rejuvenating spas Veligandu Island is among the best Maldives islands and one of the finest places to visit in Maldives.
5. Baros Island
Baros Island is one of the most charming and picturesque islands of Maldives. It is the best place if you are looking for a place away from the hustle bustle and crowd. With sun-drenched beaches, luxury resorts, amazing water villas, coral reefs and loads of natural elegance, Baros Island is a treat to the eyes and the soul.
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Things To Do In Maldives
1. Go Snorkelling
Maldives is made up of more than 1,000 coral islands and one of the biggest attractions here is certainly its oceanic life. There is no way you can come to Maldives without jumping into the pristine waters and admiring the marine life. Almost all resorts have their in-house reefs so that you can easily swim out from your own villa. Witness the crystal clear water, colourful fish, turtles, mantas, small sharks and dolphins while you snorkel. The variety of fish, coral and other shelled bits are simply beyond comparison and are sure to give you goose bumps all over.
2. Get A Spa Treatment
Maldives is the best place to get a massage under sun-kissed beaches and lavish resorts. Pamper yourself with a sensual massage and spa on the golden beaches and alleviate your mind to the core. Nearly all resorts offer traditional massages and therapies on the sandy beaches. Indulging in a rejuvenating massage is one of the dreamiest things to do in Maldives.
3. Take A Submarine Ride
Add some excitement, thrill and a new vigour to your life by exploring the depths of the ocean in an incredible submarine ride. Enjoy the vibrant multi-coloured corals, yellow striped snappers and lion-fish and make the most of your time underwater. Whale Submarine Maldives gives you a vision to live the true life of Maldives in a unique way. It is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Maldives.
4. Witness The Fascinating Glow-In-The-Dark-Beach
Yes, you read it right! Yes, it is real! The beach does glow at night. Magical, isn’t it? Well, this magical effect is caused by bioluminescent plankton that often appears in warm coastal waters. The entire beach looks like something out of a fairytale looking absolutely gorgeous. A stroll along this wonderful sea of stars actually tantalizes your senses and is one of the best things to do in Maldives.
5. Explore The National Museum
Go back to the historical era of Maldives by visiting the beautiful building of National Museum, located in the Sultan Park, Male. Witness a huge collection of royal antiques, historical artefacts, stone objects, weaponry, household wares and antiques from the Buddhist era and Islamic period. The gamut of artefacts is an evidence of the country’s prized and valued heritage. Your Maldives travel is incomplete until you visit this heritage place.
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What To Eat In Maldives
Maldivian food is delicious, exotic, luscious and everything you can and you cannot think of! The cuisine in the island nation is a wonderful mix of Indian, Arabic, Sri Lankan and Oriental influences. The country also cooks up some mind-blowing seafood, Japanese, Thai, Chinese and Italian cuisines. Coconuts are a major part of the country and can be served in all forms- grated, coconut milk or water and as coconut oil. Here is a curated list of some of the most popular delicacies of Maldives. Enjoy!
- Start your Maldives journey with a fragrant fish soup, Garudhiya. It is a traditional soup spiked with chillies, onions and lime.
- Do not miss trying Mas Huni, a very famous breakfast dish. It is basically shredded and smoked Tuna served with grated coconut and onions.
- You have to try Bis Keemiya, a snack that is somewhere in between the Indian samosa and the Chinese spring roll. It is a flaky pastry stuffed with shredded and sautéed cabbage, hardboiled eggs, onions and spices.
- Salad lovers should certainly try Boshi Mashuni, a dish which is somewhere in between a salad and salsa. It is a satisfying mix of shredded banana flowers and coconut along with a dash of lemon, turmeric, curry leaves and chillies.
- Seafood lovers will simply binge on Maldivian Live Lobster. This perfectly cooked Maldivian lobster literally melts in the mouth and is quite a delicacy.
- Maldivian Vegetable Curry is a great option for vegetarians. This curry is full of vegetables like sweet potato, carrots, onions and beans with a strong flavour of curry leaves and pandan leaves.
- Do not leave Maldives without trying Sai or tea. Kalhu Sai is the black tea and Kiru Sai is the milk tea.
- People with a sweet tooth would relish Saagu Bondibai, a pudding made with sago, coconut milk and condensed milk with a strong essence of cardamom and rose.
- Other must try delicacies include Reef Fish Cutlets, Fried Yams, Masroshi, Gulha, Kulhi Boakibaa, Fish Curry, Rihaakuru and Aluvi Boakibaa.
Well, we all know that eating delicacies is far better than reading about them and looking at their tempting pictures. So, do not wait. Tour Maldives soon because there is no sincere love than the love for lip-smacking food!
Nightlife In Maldives
Maldives nightlife is much more wide-ranging than it is perceived to be. Although it is a Muslim country and there are strict alcohol laws, the nation does have some really cool and happening bars and pubs to make sure that its tourists have the best of everything. Check out some of the exceptional experiences of Maldives nightlife.
- If DJ nights, live music, retro beats and jazz attract you, head straight to Kurumba in the island of Vihamanaafushi, Maldives. This place is a perfect mood setter and you can also get a chance to enjoy the traditional Maldivian dance, Boduberu.
- Keen to party underwater? Subsix at the Per Aquum Niyama Private Islands Resort is the place for you. Watch the underwater creatures pass by while you enjoy delicious delicacies or dance to the latest tracks that are being played.
- Looking for something wild and crazy? The White Night Parties at Kuredo Island Resort will surely impress you. Dress in white and recreate magic as you dance in the lively atmosphere amidst rocking band performances.
- If you are in a mood to do something different, do experience the open air theatre at Jungle Cinema in Gili Lankanfushi. It is simply amazing as you lie down in a lounger chair amidst lush green jungle and watch a movie.
- Ever witnessed crabs racing? Well, Maldives gives you an opportunity to actually watch the tiny creatures racing! The crabs are put together on a sand platform, encircled in a small area. The first crab to cross the circle’s line is considered as a winner. Guests put their money on crabs and the winner is rewarded with a free spa or dinner on the beach. Fun, isn’t it?
So, Maldives actually has a lot to offer to all the party animals. Come and experience the madness here and make memories to cherish for a lifetime.
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Maldives Travel Guide Tips: Communication & Connectivity
Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies and coverage is more or less decent throughout the islands. The best way is to grab a local SIM card and pre load it with data at the airport. Dhiraagu and Ooredoo are the two most affordable telecom providers in Maldives. Both require GSM compatible, unlocked phones.
Maldives Travel Guide Tips: Money In Maldives
The official currency of Maldives is Maldivian Rufiyaa. It is a non-convertible currency and cannot be purchased beforehand. Notes come in the denominations of 500, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Currencies can be exchanged at the banks, hotels and resorts. ATMs are widespread and can also be found on bigger inhabited islands. All major credit cards and debit cards including Visa, MasterCard, Amex are accepted at hotels, resorts, restaurants and shops.
Maldives Travel Guide: Useful Tips For Your Maldives Trip
- Local language is Maldivian Divehi, but English is widely spoken.
- Banks in Maldives are very particular about the condition of bank notes and may refuse deposits of old style notes.
- Electricity is 220 volts AC 50 Hz.
- Tourists are not allowed to bring alcohol in the country and cannot even consume it on inhabited islands. However, alcoholic drinks are served at the resorts.
- Public displays of affection are against the law.
- Maldives is a Muslim country, so be sure to dress a little conservatively. While women should cover up their shoulders and knees, men should also refrain from wearing shorts above the knees.
- Nudity on the beach is completely prohibited.
- During the holy month of Ramadan, many shops and restaurants are closed during prayers.
- Do not expect to get alcohol and pork.
- Do not drink tap water here.
- In case of an emergency, dial 119 (Police) or 102 (Ambulance).
Maldives promises a refreshing and the most amazing retreat. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Maldives holidays and do keep our humble Maldives travel guide handy.
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