The Maldives archipelago spans over 800kms from north to south in the vast Indian Ocean. Each island has its own microclimate but there are general patterns that apply to all islands throughout the year. The Maldives is a year-round destination with temperatures usually staying between 25-30°, only dropping a few degrees at night.
The dry north-east monsoon extends from November to April and the islands are less windy and the temperatures at their highest. Most people tend to visit the Maldives during this period of beautiful clear skies and low rainfall. Visibility in the sea is clear and makes for excellent snorkelling and scuba diving.
The wet south-east monsoon runs from May to October and the islands experience a little more tropical rain showers. Temperatures are still warm and there is plenty of sun to soak up. As the plankton spawns in June and July, whale sharks, manta rays and other marine animals come to feed them making it easier to see the beautiful ocean giants.
Transfers in the Maldives
Due to the nature of the Maldives archipelago, the transfer to your chosen island will be by either speedboat or seaplane. This journey will form a major part of your holiday experience.
Islands located closest to Malé Airport usually operate speedboats to their resorts. There are a variety of boats but all offer a warm welcome and a comfortable journey. Depending on your resort, you may pass other islands on your way and do look out for dolphins and turtles.
For the more far flung islands, a seaplane journey is recommended. This journey is an amazing experience as you get see these stunning island from the sky. The seaplanes have luggage limit of 20kgs per person and only operate in daylight hours.
What is a house reef? The Maldives is made up of blocks of coral that broke the surface of the water and collected sediment leading to plant growth. The house reef is the living part of this coral beneath the surface that is close to the vertical drop off. The shallow water enclosed by the house reef serves a natural swimming pool and is not affected by the currents and tides of the sea.
Whether you are a snorkeller or a diver, the house reefs provide some of the best underwater experiences in the Maldives. The house reefs attract thousands of different species and in turn the larger rays and whale sharks.
Language and culture
The local language in the Maldives is Dhivehi, although English is widely spoken. The culture of the Maldives was shaped by the by the different ethnicities who have settled on the islands over time. Muslim traders from Arabia introduced Islam to the Maldives in the mid-12th century. During the month of Ramadan all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset so it is important to respect the local customs during this time.
Currency and time difference
The currency of the Maldives is the Maldivian Rufiyaa. All resorts widely accept all major credit cards. The time difference is GMT+5 hours.
No vaccinations are recommended for the Maldives. However, if you are entering the Maldives from a Yellow Fever area, you should have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. For any other medical advise, please contact your GP.
UK passport holders do not require a visa before arriving into the Maldives. These are issued free on arrival into the islands. You will need at least six month validity on your passport.
What to pack
The Maldives has a year-round hot topical climate so we’d recommend light clothing. It is handy to have some light clothing in your hand luggage on your arrival so you are not too hot on your transfer to your chosen resort. Most restaurants operate a relaxed dress code of smart-casual, some don’t require shoes at all. If you’re taking any excursions to local villages, be sure to take something to cover your shoulders. And finally, the seaplanes that operate to some resorts usually have a weight restriction of 20kgs, so no Victoria Beckham quantities of luggage.