The Maldives are famed for balancing beautiful natural scenery with a vibrant culture, making it an ideal holiday destination for travellers of all ages and interests. With bright green islands and golden sands scattered across the sparkling azure waters of the Indian Ocean, the 26 atolls that make up the Maldives each offer something unique. From the incredible architecture on land to the spectacular aquatic life below the waves, nothing quite compares.
To make sure you get the most out of your holiday here, we have put together this helpful travel guide. We’ll be covering the Maldives’ most popular attractions, along with the top hotels, best restaurants and more. We’ll also be offering practical travel advice to make sure you enjoy the best tropical escape possible.
- An interesting history: Well, it might go without saying that the Maldives have a rich past. Anyone with any interest in these stunning islands knows that their history is a fascinating one. But its origins in particular is an interesting one. The Maldives is said to have been founded by an exiled Indian prince sometime before 269 BC.
- Underwater cabinet meeting: Yes, you read that might. The first, and we believe only, underwater cabinet meeting was held by the government of the Maldives in 2009 to raise awareness for climate change.
- It’s the flattest country in the world: One of many reasons the the Maldives is so stunning is because its flat lands make it possible to see far off into the distance. In fact, it’s the flattest in the world, with an average ground level of 1.5 inches. This actually ties in with our previous entry, as it is believed by many that this makes the Maldives particularly vulnerable to climate change.
- You cannot drink alcohol in public: Although there are a number of excellent places to drink alcohol in the Maldives, all of these are in resort hotels. This is because the Maldives is a Muslim state and alcohol is banned everywhere else. And did you know, It’s also the smallest Muslim state in the world.
- A holiday destination in its infancy: While you can probably easily imagine that the Maldives wasn’t always a tourist hotspot, it might surprise you to know that it only became a holiday destination a mere 40 years or so ago.
- Choose your resort very wisely:
The Maldives is unique in many ways. However, one downside to this is that your resort will be the main hub of your holiday. This is due to the unique environmental makeup of the islands. With that in mind, view your accommodation as more than just a place to sleep.
- Budget your expenses:
Another downside to the Maldives is that it requires pretty much everything, with the exception of fish and a few other sources of food, to be imported. This means that the cost of meals in particular can be very expensive. Usually you settle your bill at the end so it’s up to you to keep tabs on how much you spend to avoid an unpleasant shock at the end of your trip.
- Get to grips with all the islands:
We know that if you’re planning a trip to the Maldives and this didn’t happen by throwing a dart at the map, you’ll know that it’s a series of islands. However, you might be surprised by the scale of things. There’s over 1,200 islands here, with 100 being inhabited by the local populace and a further 100 being tourist resorts. The remaining 900 are completely uninhabited.
Getting Around Maldives
The Maldives’ location is a truly special place in many ways. However, its uniqueness does lend it a couple of challenges in terms of getting around. There’s no bus services, car hire or taxis here. Luckily, there’s a couple of transport methods better suited to its aquatic surroundings.
Image source: ╚ DD╔
Did we say there were no taxis? Sorry, we meant there’s no taxis on land. Air taxis are the Maldives equivalent: better suited to not getting your best pair of shoes wet.
There’s two options here: Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi. They are identifiable by colour. The latter is blue and yellow and the former is red and white. They can take around 15 people at a time and can travel between islands in a few hours.
Image source: warrenski
Well, this transportation method is to expected. Yes, the most obvious way to travel around islands is via boat. You can choose from public ferries, taxi boats or service tours and day trips, although the last two aren’t actually very common. Taxi boats are expensive but do offer convenience, whereas public ferries are the opposite. They run rarely and are quite slow. However, they will save you quite a bit of money if you can catch them.
Flights to Maldives
Image source: Sarah_Ackerman
The Maldives has various airports across its islands, offering domestic journeys around the area. However, for international holidaymakers, they will arrive in the Male International Airport, which is also known as the Velana International Airport. From here, passengers can use boats or air taxis to reach their destinations on other islands.
There are around 19 flights per week from Singapore Changi Airport into the Velana International Airport. The average flight time between the two destinations is 4 hours and 25 minutes. The cost of your journey will vary depending on your flight provider and the time of the year you travel, but the cheapest ticket price is around SG$282.
Visit the Expedia website to find the best prices for flights to the Maldives.