Picture-perfect archipelago with striking blue waters, dazzling white-sand beaches, and magnificent sunsets makes the Maldives the perfect holiday destination. It is one of the most relished tourist spots among beach lovers.
I loved every bit of my Maldives trip. Both the private and busy spots were beautiful and had their perk. The trip also didn't cost much as I chose local islands for accommodation.
Are you wondering how to book cheap flights to this magical destination? You can reduce your expenses to a great extent if you plan your trip wisely.
I will tell you everything you need to know about the Maldives here before taking a flight to this paradise island.
A brief history of Maldives
The ancient history of the Maldives dates back to as early as the 5th century. The first inhabitants of this archipelago were Indians from Kalibanga. They were mainly Buddhist people.
The ancient articulates suggest that their present official religion, Islam, was adopted in 1153 CE.
The Portuguese forcibly settled in Male, the capital of Maldives, from 1558 to 1573. This island country has been a sultanate for most of the time.
In the 17th century, Maldives was first under the Dutch rulers of Ceylon. They couldn't circumvent the British as well. The Maldives became a British protectorate in 1796.
In 1965, the Maldive Islands achieved full political sovereignty from the British. And in 1968 the sultanate was finally demolished forming a new republic.
On March 29, 1976, the last British troops left. This day is celebrated in the Maldives as their Independence Day.
Geography of Maldives
Did you know that the Maldives is the lowest country in the world? The coral islands are mostly one meter above sea level, in fact even less. It is also the most dispersed country in the world.
There are around 1200 coral islands in this island country, and they are grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls. These atolls are further divided into 21 administrative divisions for governance.
These atolls are the apexes of swamped ancient volcanic sierra.
Where is Maldives?
It is situated in the Indian ocean. Many people think that it is a part of India or Srilanka. But it is not. It's an independent state, so tiny that you might not see it in some world maps. It's on the southwest of India map.
How expensive is the Maldives?
The average daily cost, according to the past travelers in the Maldives, is around 239 dollars. It includes the accommodation and transport cost. And the average cost per person for a week stands at about 1700 dollars. For a couple, the cost can be around 3340 dollars per week.
This cost will vary according to the resorts you choose and travel style. You can plan your trip wisely and pick cheap flights to minimize the expenses as much as possible.
Now that we have a brief idea about the Maldives let's talk about its top sights.
10 Best places to visit in the Maldives:
The Maldives has something for all types of travelers, be it honeymooners or leisure holidaymakers. You can pick the best spots as per your preference.
You must have heard of Maafushi as the budget Maldives. The local islands of the Maldives have their perks. Unlike the fancy resorts, you can stay with the local people on this island and experience their lifestyle in these small and pretty islands.
Maafushi is just 27 km far from the capital, Male. It's situated in the South Male Atoll. It is so tiny that you can walk around the whole island in just 20 minutes.
How to go to Maafushi?
As it's very close to Mali, you can directly go to Maafushi from the airport. The most common transport from Mali to Maafushi is the public ferry.
It leaves from Male at 3 pm every day, except Friday, for Maafushi plus 10 am on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The journey takes around 1.5 hours. The fare price is only 1.5 dollars.
You can also get on scheduled local speedboats. That would cost you around 25 dollars per way.
You can also hire private speedboats for 170 dollars per way.
Things to do in Maafushi:
You should try out these activities to experience the most of Maafushi.
The beautiful breathtaking reefs on this island are filled with marine life and colorful coral gardens. You can contact the water sport services for snorkeling; they have many packages. Or ask the guesthouses as they offer exciting trips in groups too.
As Maafushi is a local island, you can't wear revealing clothes or drink alcohol publicly there.
There is a separate beach for tourists called bikini beach with no restriction of clothing.
You can arrange a picnic or take a walk at the beautiful sandbanks enjoying the clean water.
It's a popular activity in Maafushi. The guesthouses would cook your caught fish for free. If you are a pro in fishing, you can catch pretty large fish there with the proper gear.
Like the bikini beach, it's another privilege for tourists. As it's prohibited to drink alcohol in public, they have arranged floating bars on safari boats for the travellers.
You have to try scuba diving if you are in the Maldives. You can see sharks, manta rays, turtles, and many other beautiful sea creatures, depending on the season.
Resort Day Visit
Many resorts in Maafushi have all-day visits for guests. You can stay there the whole day and explore all their amenities for 80-180 dollars per person.
2. Ari atoll
Ari Atoll is one of the most beautiful and largest atolls in the Maldives. It has 105 islands, of which 20 are designated tourist resorts.
It is divided into North and South Ari atoll for administrative purposes. The South atoll is famous for whale sharks, and the North atoll for hammerhead sharks. But there is much more to see here.
The North Ari atoll has 33 small coral islands, of which only eight are inhabited. This atoll is famous for diving, snorkeling, and its fascinating wildlife.
Top things to do in South Ari Atoll:
The South Ari atoll is renowned for its luxurious resorts. These best all-inclusive resorts are perfect for staying a week or so.
The best resorts in South Ari Atoll:
- • LUX South Ari Atoll
- • Lti Maafushivaru Maldives
- • Lily Beach Resort & Spa
- • Constance Moofushi Maldives
- • Centara Grand Island Resort & Spa Maldives
- • Mirihi Island Resort
- • Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Top things to do in North Ari Atoll:
These two islands are a must visit in North Ari Atoll.
Veligandu Island Beach
The Veligandu Island Resort & Spa is famous in North Ari Atoll. You can enjoy the snorkeling adventure and sightseeing on this beautiful island with the sumptuous amenities of the resort.
Diving and fishing in Ukulhas:
Ukulhas has become famous among backpackers with its affordable yet gorgeous guest houses, beaches, and biodiversities. This island has a population of around 900 only.
3. Malé Atoll:
Male Atoll is the most beautiful atoll in the Maldives. It is a diver's paradise. It comprises two distinct atolls, the North and South Male Atoll.
The North Male Atoll is famous for its luxurious hotels and resorts. The national capital of the Maldives is situated here too. It has some of the best diving spots and an incredible reef.
The wide corridors attach the vast sea to both the Atolls' large lagoons, separating the lagoon from the reef.
Both the north and south atolls offer lovely natural landscapes, such as Helengeli Thila and its teeming marine fauna.
There is Gaafaru Falhu in the North of North Malé with its unique underwater wrecks. Some of the most exciting surf breaks in the Maldives, such as Thulusdhoo, are here too. There are also places named after the local marine species, such as Manta Point or Shark Point.
4. Meeru Island:
It is situated on the easternmost tip of North Malé Atoll. The only resort on this island is the Meeru Island Resort & Spa. It has turquoise lagoons and white sandy beaches. There are all types of amenities for couples, families, and kids.
It is another island in the south of North Malé Atoll. It's an artificial island built with the sand pumped from the seafloor and the fourth largest island in the Maldives. It was built due to the shortage of living areas in the Maldives.
This island comprises a hotel, residential buildings, retail shops, and a convention hall. It is lively and warm, perfect for friends and family.
It has delicious dining spaces, and seafood in the famous Manhattan Fish Market restaurant is a must. The perfect vacation weather and white sand beach make this island worth a visit.
6. Hukuru Miskiy
It is one of the oldest and most embellished mosques in Male. It is also known as the Old Friday Mosque or Malé Friday Mosque.
What is special about Hukuru Miskiy?
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008 as a unique example of sea-culture architecture. It is a highly developed construction compared to the era of its construction.
If you are interested in craftwork, architecture, and history, you should take some time out to visit this mosque.
It is a holiday island resort island in the Rasdhoo Atoll. The beautiful resort is packed with beautiful pools and beach villas with all luxurious amenities. The spacious rooms have all modern facilities to ensure a comfortable stay with beautiful scenery.
The resort has eight restaurants, six bars, a cafe, a poolside bar, and much more. There are snorkeling facilities too.
It is undoubtedly the most spectacular island to visit in the Maldives. It is famous for the shimmering blue dots in the sea, making it look like the starlit night sky.
Why does Vaadhoo Island Glow?
It is the result of a natural phenomenon known as Bioluminescence. Tiny living organisms called Phytoplankton radiate blue light when they are disturbed. It is a defense mechanism against its predators to scare them off and attract larger animals.
Best Time to Visit Vaadhoo Island
Vaadhoo is warm and vibrant year-round. The most popular months for visiting are January and December.
However, if you want to see the sea of stars, it is best to go there between June to October. New moon nights between late summer and early winter are the perfect time for experiencing this splendor.
Things to do at Vaadhoo island:
- • Scuba Diving
- • Kayaking
- • Spa and Yoga
- • Experience the sea of stars
How to go to Vaadhoo Island?
It is just 8 km far from the capital, Male. A speedboat takes just 15 minutes from the Male International Airport.
This private island has the largest resort in the Maldives, the Sun Island Resort & Spa. It is situated in the South Ari Atoll. It has a beautiful beach and lagoon with spacious rooms and all other facilities.
Though the decor and rooms are all dated and basic, it gives an excellent budget-friendly experience.
10. Hulhule Island
This Hulhule island is very close to the capital, Male, and linked with a 2.1 km bridge. It has one hotel, and the Velana International Airport is located on this island. The hotel offers a private beach and all other modern facilities for its visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. When is the right time to go to the Maldives?
The best time to visit the Maldives is between April to November. It is sunny and warm at this time of the year in the Maldives.
2. Is the Maldives safe for travel?
The crime rate in the Maldives is low, and the tourists mainly stay in the dispersed Maldives resorts, so they got all the extra security.
3. How do I get around the Maldives?
Traveling inside the Maldives is easy as it has a bunch of transportations like seaplane, speedboat, bikes, and ferries.
4. Is the Maldives a good destination to take children?
Though the Maldives is a typical romantic destination, it has many family resorts convenient for children too.
5. What is the dress code in the Maldives?
There is no particular dress code in the Maldives, but it is encouraged to dress up modestly in the local islands as it is a Muslim nation. You can get on your holiday attire in the resorts later.
6. Are there any restrictions on buying alcohol in the Maldives?
It is illegal to drink alcohol publicly in Male as it is a Muslim nation. But most of the resort has a license and their own bar for the tourists.
Even though the Maldives is a small and dispersed archipelago, it has become a prosperous state since its independence, and tourism is the prime contributor to this country's economy.
It has made its way to the bucket list of every travel enthusiast. The breathtaking Maldives resort and beaches make it a paradise island.
The Maldives has been protecting its reputation as a paradise island by ensuring top-notch security of its tourists. But, as the islands are not so high from the sea level, it's on a constant threat. So, visit the Maldives ASAP, and don't forget to visit the top 10 places I mentioned earlier!