Don’t we all dream of visiting the Maldives at least once in our lifetime? This dream destination, located near the southern tip of India, definitely counts as one of the most beautiful in the world. Palm covered islands with white beaches, clear turquoise waters, countless coral reefs and unique fauna – it truly is a heavenly mirage. The Maldives are one of the most expensive places to travel to, but I wouldn’t be your HolidayGuru if I didn’t have some great advice about how to make your trip to the Maldives that little more cheaper, right? After all, you don’t need a luxurious 5 star hotel when you’re surrounded by the heavenly landscapes. You can also spend your holiday on the island surrounded by locals and get to know the land and the people better! Travelling to the area actually used to be impossible as regulations were put in place to separate the tourists from local life. Thankfully these regulations were lifted! But anyway, that’s enough chat – here come the best tips to make your dream holiday in the Maldives an unforgettable bargain. Stop dreaming, it’s time to wake up!
A short overview of the Maldives
The name Maldives simply means ‘a chain of islands’, and you’ll find it a fitting name when flying over the island wonderland. The capital of the Maldives is Malé, but you won’t find the airport there – it’s actually on the neighbouring island of Hulhule. From there buses and taxis help tourists get to the water planes, which carry them to resorts where their package holidays begin. The planes provide a breathtaking view of the islands, keeping the excitement levels high! The resort hosts care for their customers every step of the way, accompanying them from check-in through to the doors of the overwater villa. Dazzling pictures of overwater villas and bungalows pop up all over the internet and glossy magazines – they’re typical features of the Maldives!
When to visit
Due to their minor climate fluctuations the islands are a great holiday destination all year round, with the exception of periods between May/July and September/October. These are the monsoon periods, when storms and hurricanes are a frequent occurrence. The best time to visit the Maldives actually coincides with winter in Europe. Isn’t that perfect? Autumn time after the monsoon and likewise the early months of the year will prove a disappointment to surfers – usually a windless calm follows the tumultuous monsoon period and lasts for two weeks. However this calm after the storm provides the perfect conditions for divers, who want to discover the lush underwater world.
Cheap flights to the Maldives
Expensive flights and holiday packages putting you off? If you’re lucky you can find cheap flights for under €600. If you’re having any problems finding a flight to suit your budget, just head over to my Deal Finder – I’ll quickly find the best offers for free, with accommodation of course. Soon nothing will get in the way of your luxury holiday to paradise!
All flights land close to the capital city island of Malé. The island is full of plenty of things to see, but those who yearn for real paradise should search for accommodation on the neighbouring islands. Depending on which one you choose you may be able to commute from island to island along with the locals. If not, there are always the famous water planes and speedboats, though they will naturally be more expensive.
Sightseeing in the Maldives – more than just beaches and resorts
There is a myriad of fascinating places in the Maldives! Head over to the vibrant fish market in Malé to experience the life of the locals first hand. The locals bring the caught fish to the market to sell to the tourists, hotel chefs and other locals, and there’s also a fruit and vegetable market too. Since not much food is grown on Maldives themselves, a lot of food is imported from India, Sri Lanka and even Singapore. That’s a world cuisine tasting session right under your nose!
The beautiful Grand Friday Mosque in Malé is the biggest building of its kind in Maldives. Go ahead and explore its beauty, provided you visit in suitable modest clothing and outside prayer hours. Still hungry for culture? Malé also houses a small National Museum containing some peculiar and interesting objects such as a stone fragment by the entrance which lead a Norwegian researcher to conclude that Buddhism was widespread across the Maldives before Islam.
Unique underwater world
I suspect many people would eagerly try their hands at diving, especially in a place as breathtaking as this! The Maldives are known as a true paradise for divers and are one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world. With coral reefs, dolphins, colourful fish, tortoises and mussels everywhere you’ll surely be mesmerised by the rich underwater world. Diving courses are available for less than €300 and there are great spots for diving on almost every island, since almost all have their own reefs. The beaches are also great for trying your hand at diving and snorkelling. And did you know that there are tons of dolphins and whales in the Indian Ocean? The Maldives are among the top location for dolphin and whale sighting – not surprising considering there’s roughly 20 different species to be found in the Indian Ocean alone. The odds of spotting one of them are definitely in your favour!
Inexpensive hotels in the Maldives
It’s possible to find hotels in beautiful locations for a much less heartbreaking price than the luxury resorts on other islands. The Seahouse Topdeck in Malé is a lovely 3 star hotel, only 110m away from a gorgeous beach. On Maafushi Island the 3 star Whiteshell Beach Inn fetches only £35- 107 per night. Such a bargain! Islands such as Villingili and Maafushi are home to some of the local population, so prepare yourself for total immersion in the customs of every day life. Basking in the sun in your new bikini might be harder than you think (but more on this later). Embudu Village offers a more luxury than the other two hotels and it’s slightly more expensive, but it’s still going to be far more reasonable than the top luxury resorts. There are no public ferries which go to this resort island – instead you’ll be taking a speedboat, but it will work out a lot more expensive than the usual ferries. A 2.5 star hotel on Biyadhoo offers inclusive airport transfers. Biyadhoo Island Resort also happens to be perfect for snorkelling and diving with its own coral reef and wonderful waters!
Beware of the Bikini-Ban
Watch out! Although you won’t end up in prison for showing off that gorgeous tan, wearing bikinis is illegal on the islands. The Maldives are a conservative Muslim country where Sharia law applies. Alcohol and excessive indulgence are prohibited. Bikinis are also banned on inhabited islands and in public. When venturing out into the capital or other inhabited islands, wear sensible clothes to avoid upsetting the locals and fellow holidaymakers. Men should dig out their trousers and fancy shirts; for women, a knee-length skirt and a blouse covering up the arms are a way to go. The resorts are a safe place though where you can enjoy a Sex On the Beach in your bikini without a care in the world!
And the award for the most expensive Resort in the Maldives goes to…
If you’ve got the money, the Maldives will make you feel like you own this paradise – the whole world even! Pretty much 90% of hotels in the Maldives boast five stars and first-class service. One and Only Reeti Rah belongs to the best of hotels on the islands. You know the drill: professional and caring staff, tonnes of privacy and delicious five-star food. You can choose to spend your holiday in one of the villas by the beach or on the water. This divine abode has an impressive price tag – over £900 per night!
Surely by now you can’t wait to to spend some time in an earthly paradise, away from the chaos of everyday life, surrounded by the wonder of nature… doesn’t it just sound perfect? I’m sure you’ll be filled with longing, especially after looking at the pictures! So, now that you’re equipped with fresh knowledge of what to expect and yearning for adventure, keep an eye out for my amazing Maldives offers. I’ve got plenty of them!