Sprawling across the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives with it’s white sand beaches and exotic sea-life is every traveler’s dream destination to relax and unwind in style. With pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine, the upscale beach resorts provide the ideal remote island retreat for travelers seeking to switch off their phones and take time-out. Whether you wish to indulge in a luxurious vacation or explore the mainland, Jetset Bunny delves deeper so read on for some practical Maldives travel tips.
MALDIVES TOP 5 THINGS TO DO
The Maldives is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world with several affordable PADI dive centers. The Maldives is famous for its whale shark migration, stingrays,and sea turtles. The waters are crystal clear and offer extreme visibility. Choose various diving options to the reefs. A bonus about diving in the Maldives is that you do not even need a wetsuit as the water is so wonderfully warm.
The dolphin excursions in the Maldives are without a doubt one of the best things to do here. Just before sunset choose your lookout spot for pods of Dolphins. Watching dolphins leaping and playing is the most spectacular sight. Just maintain a respectable distance and let them flip and twirl at their own pace. Intruding too much into their territory and chasing them will spoil the show and scare them away.
Explore the Malé Fish Market
On the island of Malé to the west of Republican Square is the Malé fish market. Away from the glitz and glamour of the Maldives resorts, this is the best way to interact with the locals as they go about their daily lives. There are no set hours for the market but it’s best to visit during afternoons or early evenings because this is when most fishermen come with their catches. The most popular fish caught and sold here is tuna. Grab some fresh fish and vegetables and prepare an authentic Maldivian meal for yourself if the resort dining prices are putting a major dent in your budget.
The Maldives have large settlements, and a large number of locals live and work on the island. If you are staying on a private island, ensure that you book an excursion to visit the nearby local communities. Since the Maldives has a strict Muslim culture, dress conservatively when on these islands.
Fly Over the Maldives
Seeing the different shades of the tropical ocean sparkling below you as you fly over them all is truly mesmerizing. Some resorts require a flight on a twin-engine float plane to reach them. The islands form a pattern in the sea with the deep ocean crashing into coral reefs and sandbars. An aerial view gives the real feel of how beautiful and isolated the Maldives islands really are so book a scenic flight over the archipelago because this is truly a sight for sore eyes.
Read more: Top 10 things to do in the Maldives
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MALDIVES TOP 3 FESTIVALS
Eid-al-Adha is one of the most prominent religious festivals of Maldives. You will get to hear different names for the same as Eid-e-Qurban, Festival of Sacrifice or Qurbani Eid. As per the Islamic Calendar, people celebrate it on the tenth day of the month of Zul Hijjah.
Muhammad’s birthday is a day of immense significance for all Muslims. It falls on the twelfth day of the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal as per the Islamic Calendar. The Prophet’s birthday is marked by partying, decorating houses, streets and is celebrated across the Maldives. People visit each other and share the delicacies prepared and arranged at each other’s homes.
The Maldives was a British Protectorate for nearly 78 years and accomplished freedom on 26th July 1965. Independence Day is celebrated annually since this date at the Republic Square. The celebrations begin at night with a march past the National Cadet Corps and National Security Services which is followed by a drill and fun exhibitions by Maldivian school children.
Language: The official language of the Maldives is Dhivehi. It is also the most commonly spoken languages in The Maldives. Arabic is spoken by Muslims and is taught in schools and mosques. English is also a popular language here and is widely spoken by the locals.
Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa.
Visa: Tourists from every nationality are issued a 30 day Visa on arrival at The Maldives. The Visa is issued by the immigration department of The Maldives. If you want to double check then use these free online visa checker and calculator tools so you know if a visa for the Maldives is required, how long it will take to process your visa and the cost.
Electricity: The Maldives receives electricity supply between 220V to 240V with 50Hz AC. The standard socket is a three pin plug. However there can be some variations in it. Most resorts will provide guests with adapters. I recommend bringing a Universal Travel Adapter so you don’t need to keep buying new adapters for each new country you visit.
Lonely Planet Maldives: Check price on Amazon
Some of the most delicious, traditional dishes that you must try when in the Maldives are listed below.
Bis Keemiya: This is a pastry puff stuffed with sautéed cabbage, spiced onions and hard-boiled eggs. The pastry is flaky and pleasantly chewy. This snack is something between a samosa and a spring roll and is extremely easy to prepare for something that is so tasty.
Garudhiya (fragrant fish soup): This recipe is a must try for all the miso and dashi fans. It’s a traditional fish soup with spices and lemon juice. The primary ingredient is fresh tuna which gives the soup it’s preferred umami flavor. Season the dish with crunchy fried onions and some lime.
Boshi Mashuni: Also known as banana flower salad, this is a mix of a salsa and a salad. Made out of a blend of fresh coconut, banana flower and spices, it’s hot and zingy due to the inclusion of Maldivian chili and lime. The dish is savory thanks to turmeric, cumin and curry leaves.
Huni Roshi (Chapatti bread): The Maldives is close to Sri Lanka where pol roti is a staple, so it’s not surprising that it has it’s own version of coconut bread. Huni Roshi is a flatbread that has crispy fried coconut added to it. The texture and the gentle flavor are down to the coconut that is an integral part of this tasty local bread.
Saagu Bondibai: Sago is a popular part of the Maldivian natives diet. Saagu bondibai is a traditional sago pudding made of coconut milk, rose and cardamom and topped with creamy condensed milk. This dessert will make you realize why sago is the favorite desert option for the locals in the Maldives.
The Maldives are a very expensive place to visit.
If you have a high travel budget then you can really experience the ultimate in luxury at the Maldives. This is a well-known honeymoon destination but people vacation here knowing that paradise comes with a high price tag. Expect to pay from $300 to well over $1000 a night for a room at one of the Maldives luxury resorts. If you have a set amount to spend on your Maldives vacation then it’s recommended to make sure your resort offers an all-inclusive package so you don’t need to pay extra for food and drinks. The reason for this is that all drinks and cuisine at these resorts need to be shipped in, making it very expensive and pushing up dining prices for any visitors that don’t have an inclusive deal.
To be honest, if you’re on a backpackers budget then you might want to forget about visiting the Maldives the traditional way, ie: spending a fortune for a glamorous resort stay. If you’re planning to visit the Maldives it’s really wise to book your accommodation well in advance to get the best deals and to take advantage of any special offers available. The Maldives is a once in a lifetime experience, so now is the time to splash out! Besides, it may soon be completely submerged in water, thanks to global warming, so time is of the essence if you wish to experience this ultimate island paradise.
Jetset Bunny recommends using Booking.com for the best accommodation deals in the Maldives.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE MALDIVES
The Maldives is warm and sunny all year round but has a dry season and a rainy season. The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April however there are pros and cons to visiting in each season. You’ll experience the best weather between November and April but this is also the busiest time of year and therefore most expensive. May to October is the rainy season which also brings strong winds. For this reason travelers to the Maldives will get better deals for this time of year even though a deal in the Maldives is still going to be quite expensive for the average tourist. If you’re a surfer then the rainy season is a great time to visit the Maldives because you’ll get great waves during this time.
MALDIVES TRAVEL BUDGET
Babes, honestly, if you’re on a budget don’t even bother. Lol, I’m kinda joking. Maldives is really expensive for the majority of visitors, no question about it. The amount of money you spend really depends on how much you want to indulge yourself and the level of luxury you want. There’s mid-range luxury and then there’s the blow your mind luxury. The Maldives is not really a great destination for backpackers or anyone on a budget however there are occasional deals to be had and you may be able to take advantage of a special offer if you book about one year in advance. Just make sure, if you’re not looking to spend a lot of money, that the Maldives resort you book includes an all-inclusive package otherwise you will get seriously stung by the cost of dining.
- Budget: Forget it.
- Mid-range: $300-$1000
- Splurge: $1000+
Meal For One
- Budget: $10.00-$35.00 (in mainland Male)
- Mid-range: $35-$100
- Splurge: $100+
IS THE MALDIVES SAFE FOR FEMALE TRAVELERS?
Safety for travelers visiting The Maldives is not really a concern for most people. Pick-pocketing, bag-snatching and other scams to take advantage of travelers are not common here. The Maldives is a Muslim country so women travelers should take care to dress appropriately when on the mainland. The main safety issues in the Maldives would more likely be involving water sports accidents, and other injuries from island activities. Based on many years of solo travel in South Asia I would never leave home without travel insurance and recommend checking out the travel insurance plan that World Nomads can offer you a few months before your Maldives vacation.
GET YOUR VISA
MALDIVES FLIGHT DEALS
MALDIVES TOURS & ACTIVITIES
Packing for a trip to the Maldives, like most other places in South Asia, is a breeze.
In the Maldives resorts most women will be wearing bikinis and throwing a kaftan over themselves when eating lunch in one of the resort restaurants. Go all out glam or boho beach babe while you’re here if you want to fit in with other vacationers. So if you’re traveling to the Maldives then it’s necessary to pack clothing that’s lightweight, breathable and if you’re visiting Male, conservative. Remember, the Maldives is a Muslim country.
You really don’t need as much travel gear as you may think for a trip to the Maldives and it’s always best to travel light whenever possible. That said, the gear you do bring on your trip should be the very best option available for you and that doesn’t always mean the most expensive. Jetset Bunnies around the globe are always discovering the latest and the greatest in travel gear for women and this is where we share our fabulous finds with you. Shop our top picks of travel accessories, luggage, clothing, cosmetics, shoes and tech. Or just hop straight on over to Bunny Bling … YOU MALDIVES JETSETTER!
Last but not least and perhaps the most fun part of the trip planning journey is packing!
If you’ve found your Maldives travel inspiration (it was a white sand beach obviously), figured out the practicalities and got the travel gear it’s time to stuff it all in a bag and go right? Well, no, hold your horses, you see there’s an art to packing which we have (almost, kinda, nearly) perfected.
Hop to our Travel Packing Tips for all of the latest on this topic.