Maldives Travel Guide: Beyond postcards of luxury island style

The Maldives is all about rejuvenation of the soul. This tropical paradise is an idyllic archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Its magnetic allure beckons anyone seeking relaxation, discovery and a unique experience of luxury. It must be realized that the charm of the Maldives extends far beyond its pristine beaches and turquoise waters. Regardless of budget or background, everyone should enjoy the beauty of this oceanic destination. Travelers can indulge in an all-inclusive luxury island resort to create extraordinary memories in truly unforgettable places.

  • Best time to travel: November to April (high season), May and October (low season), June and September (low season), July and August (rainy/dry season)
  • Time zonee: Maldives Time (MVT)
  • currency: Maldivian Rupee (MVR)
  • It is worth noting that: Maldives Independence Day (July), Maldives Surfing Championships (August), Maldives Whale Shark Festival (December),
  • Most suitable: Beach vacations, romantic honeymoons, adventure and water sports lovers, nature lovers, luxury travelers

Play: Things to do in the Maldives

Sandbar Snorkeling and Sunset Cruise

The Sandbank Snorkeling and Sunset Cruise is a small group tour that includes snorkeling, sunbathing and a sunset dolphin cruise from Hulhumale. Start the day with a visit to a picturesque sandbar to learn or refresh your snorkeling skills. Two vibrant snorkeling spots near Male are home to colorful tropical fish, turtles, reef sharks, stingrays and coral formations.

As the sun starts to set, playful dolphins poke their heads out of the water to see what’s going on. Knowledgeable guides share stories about the island and fish identification cards. Snorkeling equipment and local taxes are included in the main price.

underwater photography

Book this tour for the ultimate souvenir of your trip to the Maldives. Adventurous and artistic, this unique underwater photo opportunity is a must. Surrounded by stunning crystal-clear waters, guests wade into the waters, accompanied by professional photographers.

Guests receive a complimentary bottle of water to stay hydrated. The final print includes an edited video and up to 20 edited images. To participate in this activity, visitors must rent their own snorkeling equipment. They also take care of booking boat transfers to and from filming.

2-Hour Maldives Submarine Tour from Male

Most tourists who love water sports will enjoy this submarine trip from Male. This is an extraordinary underwater adventure with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. This tour takes guests aboard a luxury submarine that can comfortably accommodate up to 50 people.

This German-built passenger submarine can dive to a depth of 100 feet below the surface. The crew was there for easy port pickup and easy drop off. With multiple departure times to choose from, this tour guarantees an unforgettable adventure into the depths of the Maldives.

Male National Museum

For history-loving travelers, the Male National Museum is a great way to experience local culture. Located in picturesque Sultan Park, the museum was once part of the historic 17th-century Maldivian royal palace compound. The three-story building has been a prominent attraction since the 1950s.

The museum’s mission is to preserve the rich culture and history of the Maldives. They have a large collection of historical artifacts. From stone tools to royal relics, exhibits depict the Maldivian heritage and global connections.

Bath Spa

A true understanding of true Maldivian luxury, Baani Spa Complex is the premier spa experience in the region. This spa is located on Kagi Maldives Spa Island, an adults-only boutique resort. The five-star resort offers 50 beach and overwater villas, a state-of-the-art gym, two restaurants, three bars and a PADI dive center.

A skilled therapist performs a holistic cleansing ritual to release stress and negative energy. They have three goals for each guest: release, restore and rejuvenate. Treatments include massages, facials, body treatments, salt and mud baths, and sound immersion therapy. Guests can savor fresh juices and healthy menu items to feel nourished from the inside out. This is a must for any trip to the Maldives.

Food: Best restaurants in the Maldives

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant

Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is a unique dining experience on the island. Guests are surrounded by vibrant coral gardens and stunning views of marine life. Guests can enjoy an intimate experience as there are only 14 tables.

Reservations are required to experience this underwater restaurant. From morning cocktails to mouth-watering lunches and private dinners, there is a view and menu for everyone. The fusion menu combines local and western flavors for an unforgettable island twist.

Just Veg by Atmosphere Kanifushi Restaurant

Just Veg by Atmosphere Kanifushi is the first vegetarian restaurant in the Maldives. The modern vegetarian restaurant offers a menu that meat-eaters will love. Located in Lhaviyani Atoll, the stunning backdrop creates the most relaxing atmosphere. The menu features experimental flavor combinations inspired by the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Indian Ocean regions.

The menu includes dishes such as cauliflower soup, local Maldivian curry and mango sticky rice with fresh coconut milk. Just a 30-minute scenic seaplane ride from Male.

Blue Beach Club

Blue Beach Club is located in Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru. It sits on the expansive Maldivian beach for breathtaking sunsets over the azure waters. Executive Chef Gaetano Trovato has created a delicious Italian menu with Sardinian roots and unique recipes. There are breakfast, lunch and dinner options on the menu.

Breakfast includes items such as Landaa eggs benedict and tomato bean casserole. Tempting dinner dishes include lobster fettuccine with herring caviar and slow-cooked rainbow racer with cauliflower and roasted lemon. An authentic Sardinian wine list accompanies each course perfectly.

shell beans

Shell Beans is a great restaurant for early risers. The first floor is air-conditioned and serene, with balcony seating offering sparkling ocean views. The international fusion menu includes filling snacks such as sandwiches and juices.

There’s also Wi-Fi for traveling digital nomads, and a relaxing nook to sit and read a book. From healthy drinks to healthy smoothies, there’s a refreshing drink to suit every taste. Enjoy breakfast and dinner featuring island-style French toast, masala omelets, homemade breakfast granola, and their signature shell bean breakfast.

Seagull Cafe Restaurant

The famous Seagull Café House Restaurant started as an ice cream shop and offers a variety of American, Asian and Maldivian dishes. They have over 18 local and unique ice cream flavors, as well as a variety of fresh fruit bowls and toppings. Dinner options include spicy chicken ramen, pumpkin and lentil soup, and meat or fish curry with white rice. The bakery has a selection of cakes, muffins, pies and tarts.

Where to Stay: Best Places to Stay in the Maldives

soneva wrath

Soneva Fushi has one of the largest solar power plants in the Maldives. 90% of this carbon neutral hotel wastes nothing. The hotel participates in a glass blowing workshop to recycle discarded bottles. The 64 private island villas are set amidst lush jungle with breathtaking views.

There are three house reef entrances for snorkelers on the sunset side of the villa. If guests want more privacy, they can enjoy unobstructed ocean views on the tranquil sunrise side. Guests also have access to a private swimming pool and shared beach. There are limitless dining options, as well as the rejuvenating Soneva Soul Spa for pampering.

Gili Lankanfushi

Gili Lankanfushi is a remarkable luxury accommodation designed to be every traveller’s dream getaway. From romantic vibes to family-friendly excursions, there’s something for everyone. The resort’s commitment to sustainability is reflected in every aspect of its operations, making it ideal for environmentally conscious travelers.

Gili Lankanfushi minimizes plastic use and waste by responsibly sourcing local materials and refillable pottery containers. Locally sourced ingredients ensure fresh and nutritious meals throughout their multiple dining and bar experiences. Guests can also participate in coral cleanups and contribute to scientific sustainability initiatives.

private residence for rent

This private residence is the perfect oasis for guests looking for a more personalized stay. The house is located in Ukulhas and consists of a fully equipped kitchen, a living room, 2 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a dining room. There is a dedicated work area with WiFi, an outdoor entertaining area with BBQ grill and seating area. The villa comes with a built-in washing machine, curtains to darken the room and a private entrance to the shared beach.

Departure: Travel to the Maldives and surrounding areas

air transport

The Maldives has one main international airport, Velana International Airport, also known as Male International Airport. It is located near the capital. There are direct international flights to the archipelago from major world cities. The recommended time to visit the Maldives is the dry season from November to April. Be aware of the monsoon season from May to October. Always check with airlines and travel agents for accurate and up-to-date information on weather forecasts.

by car

Driving around the Maldives is not the most common or practical form of transportation. The country is a chain of islands with a limited road network. Due to the scattered islands, local transportation mostly relies on boats and seaplanes.

Some local islands have smaller road networks and offer car rental services. You can rent a car from local suppliers on these islands and explore the surroundings. Luxury resorts located on the more popular and larger private islands often offer car rental services to their guests.

take public transport

Taxis are a common form of transportation in the Maldives, especially in densely populated areas. Tourists can find taxis at the airport, ferry terminal, and major tourist areas. It is important to negotiate the fare beforehand and make sure the driver uses the meter to avoid any misunderstandings. Public buses operate on local islands with an adequate road network, but services may be limited on inaccessible routes. Please consult a local or the administration on the island to plan bus schedules and routes accordingly.

Explore the Maldives on foot

When visiting the Maldives, exploring the most beautiful regions on foot is undoubtedly the first choice. Some of the inhabited islands are small enough for a leisurely stroll, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes for the sandy terrain. Locals and accommodation staff often share popular local attractions and the best and safest walking paths.

Wear sunscreen and other sun protection as the tropical climate can be intense. If walking is not feasible, use local transport such as dhonis or island hopping ferries.

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