Maldives is a hot Indian Ocean destination, an archipelago of around 1192 largely submerged coral islands located on 26 Atolls. These islands offer ultimate in the luxury holidays and although Maldives is considered expensive, yet this island destination is popular with travellers all across the world mainly honeymooners and water sports enthusiasts. Maldives is famed for lending the honeymooners an opportunity to spend their vacations in isolation and away from the hustle bustle of a busy tourist destination as only 200 of its islands are inhabited. Sprawling sandy beaches, crystal clear and bright blue-green waters, some of the rarest underwater marine life and coral reefs, and an unparalleled and captivating views of the Indian Ocean, Maldives is a paradise for the sun seekers. You will find the capital city Male’ to be a pretty modern city with skyscrapers, shops, monuments and government buildings. The city is clean and green with paved roads and is home to one-third of the country’s population. Male international airport is located on the Hulhule Island, adjacent to the capital island.
Maldives offers quite a few interesting options to visitors which include the National Museum in Sultan Palace, Grand Friday Mosque, Baa Atoll, Fuamulaku, Kudahuvadhoo and the Rhivelli resort. The Islamic Centre is one of the most astounding architectural marvel that dominates the skyline in the capital Male’ and is worth a visit. Not to be missed on a sightseeing tour of Maldives are the ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands that offer a treat to the senses. Take a ferry to the man-made island of Hulhumalé or Villigili island where you can watch cricket matches along with the locals or if you are a diving enthusiast, simply head to the beautiful Addu Atoll. Mushimasmingili Thila is famous for watching the sharks in the waters including the giant snappers and the grey reef sharks.
Shopping Attractions in Maldives
For bargain hunters there is no dearth of shopping options in Maldives. The best places to shop in Maldives are Majeedhee Magu & Chaandanee Magu where you can shop for all sorts of items like garments, perfumes, cosmetics, purses, handbags and electronic gadgets. Chaandanee Maguis, in fact is a great place for some souvenir shopping.
Eating out in Maldives
The island archipelago of Maldives offers a lot of options to discerning gourmets. A few interesting ones have been listed below:
- Athamaa Palace
- Departure Restaurant (Airport)
- Farivalhu Restaurant (Central Hotel)
- Haruge Café
- Island Foods
- Kings Corner
- Mariyaad Restaurant (Airport)
- Nanhai Chinese Restaurant
- Park View Restaurant
Tourists can choose to stay in hotels in Maldives that range from top end 5 star luxury hotel resorts to some of the budget hotels. The budget hotels offer ample facilities and conveniences to perceptive travellers. Some of the hotels are in Maldives are:
Find the latest airfares and discounted offers on flights to Maldives operating from UK.
Preferred Airlines to Maldives from UK
Airports in Maldives
Maldives has only one airport known as the Male International Airport located on the Hulhule Island, adjacent to the capital island of Male’. The airport is equipped with facilities such as medical care, recreation, shower rooms, trolleys, shopping, business services such as internet, telephone, postal and banking services. For detailed information on the Male International Airport, visit the airport’s website at http://www.airports.com.mv/
Best Time to Visit Maldives
Though, holidays to Maldives are available round the year, period between December and April is considered ideal time to visit this island nation. Maldives experiences a fairly dry season during this period that is ideal for tourists to explore this fascinating archipelago in all its splendour. Christmas is indeed one of the best time to visit the destination. Although it remains sunny, Maldives experiences strong winds, rain and more humid conditions between May and early November. This is a good time for water sports lovers to visit Maldives.
Transport in Maldives
Tourists in Maldives depend on three modes of transport: boats, sea planes and private yachts to commute between the islands. Boats are akin to cars in Maldives while planes and private yachts are mainly reserved for tourists.
The population is largely Muslim and people observe usual rituals of the religion. The indigenous Muslim population here which is not related to tourism prefers maintaining high degree of privacy. If required, greeting the locals by shaking hands is a common practice.
You may find people of these islands to be reserved and somewhat conservative who do not mix with the travellers unless they are somehow related to travel business. People are friendly in Malé.
You can dress is informally, ensure that you don’t offend the locals here with scanty clothing and nudity. Bikinis and scanty clothing is not acceptable in Malé or on any of the inhabited islands and is restricted to the resorts.
Ensure that you are dressed in such a way that your legs and the body, except the neck and the face, should be covered when you enter a Mosque.
Ramadan is observed with much fervour and faith as in the rest of the Muslim countries. Travellers should ensure that they abide by the norms of behaviour, clothing, eating, smoking etc especially during the holy month of Ramadan as most of the inhabitants focus on fasting and praying during this time.
Smoking is also common however ensure that you don’t smoke openly during religious period of Ramadan.
Tipping is not customary at the fine restaurants in Malé as they add a 10% service charge. You may still tip the staff serving you directly and not at the cash counter. However, the porters at the airport and the room staff at the hotel carrying your bags for you do expect to be tipped. Foreign currency like USD and Euros are acceptable.