Tourists booking flights to Maldives can expect tropical island resorts and blue lagoons that stretch for miles. Those travelers booking flights to Maldives for a stay in paradise won’t be disappointed. The Maldives is made up of 1190 coral islands and is a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers wanting to explore marine life.
The Maldives is predominately Muslim and holds Islam values sacred. Tourists heading to the region should familiarize themselves with proper etiquette on the flight to Maldives. For example, alcohol is prohibited on many islands and proper dress (usually long pants and shirts) are required on island tours. Television broadcasts stop five times a day so Muslims can pray and under no circumstances are travelers allowed to bring symbols of other religions into the country. Fish and rice are the staple foods, but Maldivians eat meat and chicken on special occasions. If you’re staying on a resort island, you’re likely to find plenty of cross-cultural food and drink. Travelers booking flights to Maldives should know that alcohol is only available in tourist resorts, and most of the food served at these Maldives resorts is imported.
Still, a trip to the Maldives is worth the experience. Book Maldives flights and resort accommodations and spend a little time in a faraway paradise.
The Maldives is very sunny all year round, but also very humid. From November to March the northeast monsoon brings dry weather, while the southwest monsoon brings rain from June to August. Temperatures average 86 degrees throughout the year.
A tropical haven in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are an archipelago consisting of 1,192 islets of which 200 are inhabited. Flights to the Maldives are booked by honeymooners, divers, snorkelers and sun-seekers from all over the world who wish to enjoy a holiday in one of the luxury island resorts. There are a quantity of 4 star and 5 star hotels to choose from, so a stay in the Maldives is guaranteed to involve pampering and relaxation fit for a king or queen. It’s not all massages and mud packs either, as the major resort islands have a vibrant nightlife with underwater night clubs, beach parties and organized entertainment for guests. There are numerous restaurants where you can savor first class local and international cuisine. The islands also offer some of the best dive spots in the world with a rich marine life, pristine coral reefs and shipwrecks to explore. Between December and April is considered the peak tourist season with Christmas and New Year’s the most expensive time to book flights to the Maldives. August also coincides with the European summer holidays so expect flight ticket prices to rise and book well in advance.
If you plan on spending most of your stay under water, you might want to plan your flight to Maldives during the damp months of June and July for a cheaper rate. High humidity, rain, and cloudy skies offset the sunshine, but cheap flights to the Maldives are commonly available.
Between May and November, the weather is less guaranteed in the Maldives with cloudy skies, higher humidity and greater chance of rain. The southwest monsoon brings rain between June and August. You may be lucky enough to find sales offering the cheapest flights to the Maldives at this time if you get in quick.
There’s no bad time to book flights to the Maldives. The islands are sunny year round with the temperature averaging 86 degrees. If you had to pick a time, then November through April is optimal with the northeast monsoon bringing dry weather. November and April themselves are popular months with divers due to the excellent water visibility. Note that the Maldives is a strict Muslim country and does celebrate Ramadan but this shouldn’t greatly affect your stay in a resort.
When traveling from New York City to the Maldives, you can expect flight times of 18-1/2 hours. Those departing from Dallas typically reach their destination in just under 21 hours as do those leaving from Los Angeles. Fliers in Portland usually arrive in the Maldives in just under 19 hours. Keep in mind that since no direct flights to the Maldives originate in the United States, so you should plan ahead for layovers and connecting flights to the islands.
While no U.S. airlines offer flights to the Maldives, many airlines in Europe and Asia take on U.S. passengers via connecting flights. Some of these airlines include Korean Air, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Condor, China Eastern, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Aeroflot, Air India, and Turkish Airlines.
Since visitors to the Maldives typically take connecting sea plane flights to reach their final island destinations, keep in mind that these planes require lighter baggage than allowed on typical flights. This means that if you take along more than the allowed weight, you have to pay extra to get your luggage to its final destination.
The Maldives are a Muslim country, so women should take along more conservative clothing for visits to local villages and while traveling to resorts from the airport. This means light, loose pants or longer flowing skirts along with a scarf you can wear around your shoulders or drape over your hair. Once you get to your hotel, you can loosen up with holiday clothing such as shorts and T-shirts as most people in these areas are typically tourists.
Be sure to take along swimwear that’s comfortable and convenient if you plan on doing more than lounging around the beaches. While a bikini works great for sun bathing, one-piece suits work better for activities such as snorkeling and diving. With that in mind, packing an underwater camera to capture your adventures beneath the surf’s a good idea, and be sure to take along a sun hat, coverup, sunglasses and some sunscreen.
Island weather runs hot, so men should pack shorts and T-shirts. Women can get by with caftans, shorts, tees, lightweight blouses and sundresses. Take along some comfortable shoes, but don’t be surprised if you spend lots of time barefoot while enjoying the sand and surf. Since some resorts have dress-up restaurants, pack some dress-up clothes so you can enjoy every aspect of your holiday hassle-free. Along with your clothing, pack copies of your personal documentation and any prescriptions you must take regularly.
Flights to the Maldives land at Male International Airport (MLE) on Hulhule Island in the North Male Atoll. A ferry service operates regularly to and from the airport to Male city or there are speedboat transfers to nearby resorts. Some resorts offer complimentary transport from the airport with package holiday deals. Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi (PTE) Ltd offer inter-island Maldives flights.
Although independent travel in Maldives is sometimes discouraged because tourism is strictly regulated, you can acquire an Inter Atoll Travel Permit in order to visit the surrounding islands. But keep in mind, it’s easiest to attain a permit if you are sponsored by a resident. For more inter-island Maldives flights, use Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi (PTE) Ltd. Helicopters and sea planes help get tourists to and from popular resorts, but the most common form of transportation is called a dhoni, a diesel engine vehicle used for longer trips. On land, taxis, motorcycles, and bicycles are available to just about every determined adventurer.
One of the main draws for travelers visiting the Maldives is the amazing diving. One of the top scuba-diving destination in the world, the islands offer a wide array of PADI dive centers that don’t break the bank where uncertified individuals can discovery dive and more experienced divers can explore numerous reefs. Crystal-clear waters provide amazing visibility, and you don’t need a wet suit thanks to the warm, inviting blue waters. While diving, you can expect to see stingrays, whale sharks and sea turtles along with sea horses, crabs, lobsters, eels and more.
If you’re unsure about diving or inexperienced, try snorkeling. The same clear, pristine waters that make the Maldives great for scuba diving make the islands equally well suited for snorkeling. Enjoy swimming with sea turtles and vibrant fish along the reefs and in the tides, which can make you feel like you’re navigating your own personal salt-water aquarium.
Surfers also appreciate the Maldives renown as a top-notch surfing destination. With this in mind, most surfing here requires at least intermediate skill levels, so if you’re not experienced, plan to watch and learn, especially on Dhonveli. You can also take lessons on some of the other islands if you’re looking to boost your skills. Water activities for those who don’t enjoy getting in the water include dolphin spotting from boats that take tourists out for a better look at the ocean.
While visitors typically stay on private resort islands, such as Meemu Atoll, many of them explore villages and communities on the public islands. You can rent boats or join tours that take you island hopping, but when you take this option, be sure to dress more conservatively as the Maldives are a Muslim country and you’re expected to respect the locals when visiting their spaces. Some of these islands include Mule, the capital of Atoll, and the fishing village Naalaafushee. Though these islands are small, they’re mostly busy and full of local color. You can also take scenic flights to view all the islands if you just want to check them out and not visit.
Most flights in and out of the Maldives happen at Male International Airport located on Hulhule Island in the North Male Atoll. When departing the Maldives, you can get to the airport in a wide variety of ways, including by speed boat, sea plane transfers and the airport ferry, which runs from Male City to the airport every 10, 15 or 30 minutes, depending on the time of day. Since there are no direct flights to or from the United States, you must fly on international airlines departing the islands, such as China Eastern, China Southern, Cathay Pacific, Aeroflot, Air India, Turkish Air and Qatar Airlines, among others.
(prices quoted are from London)