The Maldives is the smallest of the South Asian countries. A true paradise in all its forms. The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, situated in the Arabian Sea. Malé is the capital and most populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location. A chain of 26 atolls approximately 1200 islands make the Maldives, it is the country where the sands are white, the water is crystal clear, and the smiles are as warm as the country. Tourism is a key contributor to the economy of the Maldives. What is the Maldives all about Sun, Sea & Sand.

Weather & Climate

The Maldives, the sunny side of life is blessed with sunshine for the better part of a year. Similar to all tropical countries they encounter two monsoon seasons. When is the best time to travel to the Maldives? It is all year round I would say.

 

What should I pack? What should I not?

You pack summer clothes, sunscreen, and definitely your camera to document this once in a lifetime holiday. Bringing Alcohol (served only in resorts), bringing pork items, or your dog to the Maldives is strictly prohibited by law. Credit cards are widely accepted but only global currencies are accepted in resorts such as USD, EUR, or GBP. It is advisable to change your local currency to a global currency before arriving. Unfortunately, travelers’ cheques are not accepted by banks in the Maldives. Travel Insurance yes or no? travel always can be unpredictable, it is your personal choice.

Visa & The Airport; What happens?

Let’s first break the myth Male Airport, officially known as Velana International Airport is not located in Male City but on a whole different island called Hulhule.

Tourists are issued free 30 days visa on arrival. Do bring a copy of your hotel voucher, return air tickets and passport valid 06 months from date of departure. Once you land in Velana International Airport unlike other destinations, you walk to the immigration. You stand in queue, hand over documents, get your visa stamped and collect your luggage.

Once you exit, you shall see airport representatives. Directly in front of you shall be airport counters, of resorts & tour operators. To your left are the help desk and the washroom. You shall be greeted by the airport representatives and take to your relevant form of transfers.

Is Wi-Fi free at the Airport? Yes it is now.

Do you get immediate transfers upon arrival?Due to the logistics of Maldives resort transfers are always combined with other passengers from different international flights. This results in a definite wait time which can be up to 02 hours. Seaplane operates till 04 pm, Domestic flight generally till 08 / 11 pm but can stop earlier or later according to the distance of the islands, and Speedboats all day round based on the international flight arrival. (Transfers may be delayed or canceled due to safety precautions during harsh weathers)

For those ladies and gentlemen who do not love queues, at immigration lines, there is a VIP service where you can pay and skip this hassle. You shall be directly taken to a lounge from the flight, the Maldives airport officers will get your visa and documentation sorted. You can chill at till your resort transfers are ready.

Common Transport Modes in the Maldives

Dhoni - This is used for inter-island transfers (Eg; Airport – Male) and Fishing trips and as a monumental part of culture for Sunset Cruising by certain resorts.

It was initially used as a sail boat by the Maldives.

Speedboats are used for inter-island transfers (Eg Hulhumale and Male) and by the resorts for transfer between Airport and Resorts or Island Domestic Airports and Resorts. Operates 24H, unless due to harsh weather conditions. if the captain has zero visibility or heavy waves due to rain.

Seaplane, it's a twin otter flight that lands on water. Occupancy varying from 10 to 14 passengers. Operates till 04 pm due to sunlight as they cannot operate in the dark.

Seaplane transfers are always combinabile with other passengers, but YES it can be chartered just for your privacy & discretion as well.

Arriving at Male International Airport, immigration would require your Travel voucher for visa formalities.

Once baggage cleared and collected you shall be exiting.

Walking out you shall see a paging board by your resort or travel company. You shall be greeted and you shall be facing all resort and DMC counters. Once your names have been crossed checked against the arrival list. You shall be taken to the seaplane check-in counters that are situated on the right.

Your passport shall be requested and where they shall be issuing your seaplane tickets. Though it is not an International airline, yes they have a baggage allowance as per policy 20kg +5kg, especially those who travel on the business class note, and per extra kg should be paid at counters. Check-in shall be collected and hand luggage tagged and returned to you.

The airport team shall now walk you to their transport which will escort you to the seaplane lounge. 99% of resorts in the Maldives have seaplane lounges where you can refresh, chill, have refreshments, and complimentary Wi-Fi as you stay. Once your flight is ready you shall be taking that breathtaking flight to your resort. Yes a view to die for: Maldives Seaplane ride, an experience which I think is a must for your Maldives holiday.

Will not operate due to heavy rains, or harsh weather conditions.

Domestic flight transfers are a normal flight that lands in an airport. Transfers are always combinable with other passengers, but YES it can be chartered just for your privacy & discretion as well. Operating hours can vary due to the distance of the resort you are traveling to.

Arriving at Male International Airport, immigration would require your Travel voucher for visa formalities.

Once baggage cleared and collected you shall be exiting.

Walking out you shall see a paging board by your resort or travel company. You shall be greeted and you shall be facing all resort and DMC counters. Once your names have been crossed checked against the arrival list. You shall be taken to the domestic terminal (which is right next to the international terminal) that is situated on the right.

Your passport shall be requested and where they shall be issuing your domestic tickets. Though it is not an International airline, yes they have a baggage allowance as per policy 20kg +7kg, especially those who travel on the business class note, and per extra kg should be paid at counters. Check-in shall be collected and hand luggage tagged and returned to you.

The airport team shall now walk you to their transport which will escort you the seating area outside of the lounge as per resort you are traveling to. The domestic lounge has refreshments and complimentary Wi-Fi as you stay. Once your flight is ready you shall be boarding and getting off at the domestic airport.

As one resort is one island, after landing at the airport you shall be paged by the airport representatives, and taken to your speedboat which takes you to your dream island.

Will not operate due to heavy rains, or harsh weather conditions.

What happens when harsh weather conditions occur or you arrive later than the transfer operational hours?

When you arrive later or your transfers are canceled due to weather conditions, you have to book your accommodation for one night at Hulhule, Hulhumale or Male city.

 

The Island and Villas - Maldives

The Maldives take pride in the concept of one resort one island.

The Maldives has two major forms of villas: beach villas and water villas. Some of these are called beach bungalow, beach studio, beach villa but they are the same villas on the beach.

Beach villas are situated on the beach with direct access to the beach and waters. Villas are covered by lush green or fences to ensure privacy. They are built on the out circle of the island. One thing as the beach stretch is around the island its common ground for all guests to walk around rest assured your privacy shall be secured. 

Next are the world-famous Villas on stilts, Water Villas. Yes, Villas built in the lagoon or in the ocean of the respective Resort Island. Fascinating isn’t it? Access to the ocean, the turquoise waters they speak of, the coral you dream of, and the Nemos you are longing to find.

Here are a few names they are known by water bungalow, water villas, lagoon villas, ocean villas, ocean studios, InOcean villas. The Maldives is one of the destinations that specialize in this unique villa form.

Why choose an overwater villa? They offer the luxury of peace and solitude.

Is it suitable for Children? Yes, some do accommodate children above a certain age in certain resorts. This would be accommodated only if a waiver form is signed by parents. Preferably not recommended for children due to safety reasons.

From the resort how do I get to my overwater villa, if it is built on top of the water? Some resorts have a bridge that connects the overwater villas to the main island. Some resorts have stand-alone villas built in the middle of the ocean, this they would provide a boat to access in and out of your respective villa.

What happens to the middle of the island, is where the restaurants, the kid’s club, the gyms, and Spa are. It is mandatory all resorts, have a prayer room.

Quick things to know about Maldives

• Maldives off day is Friday.

• Working Hours are 9 am - 6 pm.

• Non-negotiable on payment policies.

• Non-negotiable on cancellation policy.

• Rates are higher November - April.

• Rates are lower May – October.

• Not a shopping Destination.

• One Island One Resort.

• Inter Resort transfers usually are via the Airport. Airport -> Resort 01 -> Airport -> Resort 02 -> Airport.

• Usual turnaround time of resorts on confirmation is 24H.

• Availability of Maldives is always subject to change without prior notice, as they have less room counts and sold globally.

• Speedboat resorts are only resorts within Male Atoll.

• Seaplanes land on water, no they are not air-conditioned, and yes they are very scenic.

• How Domestic transfers work are; Land in International terminal, come out, walk to the domestic terminal, land in the domestic airport, and take a speedboat to the resort. Why take a speedboat after landing in the domestic airport? As the concept says One Island One Resort.

• Resorts accept payments only in USD.

• The airport is not in Male, it is in Hulhule Island. Male city is a boat ride (Dhoni) away, or a taxi rides away from Hulhule.

• No there are no cars in resorts.

• Maldives is not famous for its night life, but for its aquatic life, no there are no jungles or mountains.

• Maldives resorts are very strict on their exclusivity agreements.

• Maldives offers and rates, are mostly segmented market wise. (Holding Passport)

• Maldives Resorts, it is always better to know client budget. Prices vary vastly even within a singular star category e.g.: 05 Star.

• Male City Tour is only done on foot.

• The Maldives for speedboat resorts, once check-out they do not drop you straight to the airport till the time of your flight they keep you in the resort, you can pay and use their services. This is slightly different from the seaplane and domestic flights as they have operating hours.

• Seaplane & Domestic flight timings are given the one day prior usually in the evening. Domestic flight at times resort does provide upon booking confirmation.

• Maldives transfers are not arranged on times, but on International flight numbers.