All You Need to Know About Taking a Maldives Holiday
A Maldives holiday is a dream for many people. Picture in your mind, long stretches of white sand beaches, year-round sunshine, ultra-luxury resorts and romantic sunsets. The Maldives have become one of the world’s most desirable destinations for honeymooning in dramatic over-water bungalows. But how much do you really know about your dream destination? There’s much more to the Maldives than sun, sea and sand. Read on to have your top questions answered about when to go and how to make the most of your journey.
What Is the Best Time of the Year to Visit the Maldives?
The Maldives is a great destination for a holiday all year round. It’s a tropical paradise with hot sunny weather almost guaranteed whichever month you visit. However, most people choose to visit in the dry season which is between November and April, with the high season being December to March. May to November is monsoon season.
Doesn’t sound like a great deal of time to visit? Don’t be too quick to dismiss the idea of visiting the Maldives monsoon season. Temperatures will still be balmy and downpours are often short-lived. During a one or two week stay, you may well get plenty of dry days and there are some great Maldives deals to be found during this period. Be prepared though. It’s impossible to predict the weather and you could have some full days of rain as well.
There’s still plenty to do on rainy days — scuba dive, enjoy the spa facilities at your resort, take a Maldivian cooking class, go shopping in Malé. If you’re a surfer, the best time to go is monsoon season as this is when the most impressive swells of the year appear.
Which Airlines Fly Direct to the Maldives?
British Airways is the only airline to offer direct flights from London Gatwick to the Maldives. There are currently no other options for direct flights. If you’re prepared to consider non-direct flights, there is a wide range of options to choose from including a number of Asian and Middle Eastern airlines such as Qatar Airlines and Emirates. These airlines fly out of several locations in the UK. If you’re traveling from the United States, Qatar Airlines will have the most flights to offer, usually traveling through Dubai.
How Do You Get to the Maldives?
Direct flights from London to Male take ten to eleven hours. From Male airport, you can take a speed boat transfer, a seaplane or an internal flight to your resort. The Maldives is a collection of islands and many resorts take up their own island. So which option you choose will depend on the island resort you’ll be staying at and how far it is from the Male airport. Most resorts will send a representative to meet you at the airport when you arrive. Transit times vary but are mostly between fifteen and thirty minutes.
Are the Maldives Safe?
The Foreign Office currently advises tourists to “exercise caution and avoid any protests or rallies” in the capital, Malé. This is due to a previously volatile political situation which has since abated significantly with the inauguration of a new president in November 2018. However, they also state that Malé airport and the outlying islands are unlikely to be affected by any political unrest that might arise.
The Zika virus poses a health risk and pregnant women (or women planning on becoming pregnant) are currently being advised not to travel to the Maldives because of this.
There is also a risk of terrorism and tourists are advised to be vigilant. However, according to Foreign Office advice, “most visits to the Maldives are trouble-free”. You should check with your State Department to read any new advisories on safety, vaccines and health concerns before purchasing your travel arrangements.
Can You Carry Alcohol into the Maldives?
Islam is the state religion of the Maldives and it is illegal to bring alcohol into the country. So if you stocked up at the duty-free shop, you’ll be asked to leave any alcohol with customs at the airport and collect it on your return flight home. It is also not permitted to buy or drink alcohol on any of the inhabited islands. However, most of these are home to at least one resort and private resorts are licensed to serve alcohol to tourists. So a Maldives holiday need not be a dry one as long as you are enjoying your cocktails at your resort.
What Is “Island Time”?
Most resorts take up one island and they set their own ”island time”. This could be one or two hours different from the time in Malé. The reason for this is that the resorts try to make the most of the sunlight hours to ensure maximum holiday time in the sun for guests. It might seem confusing at first and it’s something to keep in mind if you’re island hopping or visiting the capital — but a few days into your break you’ll be so relaxed that clock watching will be the last thing on your mind! Just be sure you know your timing for your homeward flight out of Malé.
These are some of the most common questions we hear about Maldives holidays. There’s plenty more to learn about these beautiful islands. And of course, you need to choose which island resort to visit! The range of resorts can be overwhelming. Think carefully about the kind of holiday you want to have and compare transportation costs, tax and travel time as these can vary between islands. Whether you’re travelling alone, with family or seeking a romantic getaway, there’s a perfect Maldives holiday for you.
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