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What you need to know for your dream trip to the Maldives

maldives over water bungalow

The Maldives has been a dream vacation (mainly for my daughter) since we first started travelling when the kids were little. Not sure how or where this dream came alive; however, we had attempted to travel there many years ago when we lived in Hong Kong. You could say this is our third attempt, with our previous plans of a girl’s vacation vanished with a positive reading the day before we were due to fly there. We had thought our bucket list item was never going to be ticked off, but somehow our stars aligned, and we were able to head out on our Maldives vacation.

How Do You Choose The Right Island For You?

The hardest decision to make when you decide to visit The Maldives is which island to choose; there are so many that the choice can become overwhelming. Trust me; I spent ages asking everyone I knew which is the best location for that lifetime experience that my baby girl and I have dreamed of for years. 

Before you begin, perhaps you need to list the things you are looking for before arriving in the Maldives. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before planning your trip. 

Is it pure luxury? Are you travelling with your loved one? Or are you looking for a family-friendly location? Are you after a resort with plenty of activities, or do you prefer your time to relax? You may also consider how much time you have in the Maldives; your island of choice could be a ferry ride away, or you may have to catch a seaplane to your dream island in the Maldives. 

maldives

Things to know before you go

Special note: Please check immigration requirements before travelling to the Maldives. When writing this blog post, a declaration form was to be filled out before you arrive and before you depart. 

Arrival and Departure

Pick your times wisely; you may not have the luxury of choice but if you do, try to arrive before the sun goes down to avoid an overnight stay in Male. When departing, try not to leave too late at night; there isn’t much at the airport, and there isn’t anywhere to store your bags if you are thinking of going into Male for the day to explore. 

If this can not be avoided, book your stay close to the airport. Hullhule Island Hotel has a bus that will pick you up outside Velana International Airport. The buses stop running around 1030pm, so ensure the hotel knows your arrival time. 

If you arrive back on a seaplane and have a late-night flight, you will likely have many hours to wait in and around the airport. If this is the case, consider booking a hotel near the airport to freshen up, or if you plan on exploring Male, consider booking a day hotel (more affordable than booking the entire night). You can either ask your resort to organise this or book direct with the hotel (do not forget to mention you only want it for a few hours). Hullhumale is also a close option if you’re going to have a sleep and some dinner only (with most hotels offering dinner in the package), like H78 hotel as an example. 

Maldives seaplane

Flights from Singapore

The approximate flight duration from Singapore is 4 hours, 45 minutes. The airlines that fly to Maldives direct are: Singapore Airlines and Saudia Airlines. Other airlines fly but not direct (at the moment) however, this may change over time.

Location 

What is an Atoll?

An Atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that is surrounded by a lagoon. They are located in warm tropical oceans and seas where coral grows. Four hundred forty atolls worldwide are found in the Pacific Ocean due to the tropical and subtropical weather conditions. 

The largest Atoll in the world, with 255 islands, is found in Huvadhu Atoll in the south of the Maldives; pretty spectacular when you think about it. The formation of an atoll has been a prolonged process and can sometimes take millions of years to develop. They would have formed originally by an underwater volcano eruption that creates a build-up of lava at the bottom of the sea. Over time due to continued volcano eruptions, the lava builds up and eventually surfaces through the top of the ocean, forming these magnificent islands. 

Maldives from the air

Which island is right for you? 

While the Maldives is approximately 90,000 square kilometres, but only 298 square kilometres of land, this means that the islands are grouped into 26 atolls, and only 200 islands are inhabited. To give you an idea, I have listed a couple of the Atoll selections below.

Maldives water

Malé Atoll

Everyone who arrives in the Maldives will arrive at Velana International Airport in Male, and from here, you will do one of three things. You can stay in Male Atoll and do a little island hopping, catch a boat to an island within the area or catch a seaplane to surrounding areas. 

Male Atoll consists of two separate atolls: North Malé Atoll and South Malé Atoll. This island is the most well-developed Atoll in the Maldives; there are plenty of options in and around this area. If you want the convenience of proximity to Male, with only a 30-minute speedboat in North Male Atoll, you will find The Four Seasons Resort at Kuda Huraa.

However, you can not go past Hardrock Hotels Maldives if you bring the kids. Travel time is 15 minutes by speedboat from Male; this family-friendly resort has a kids (and teens) club for children aged 3-to 17 years; however, it has activities to suit the entire family.

W hotel Maldives

Ari Atoll 

Ari Atoll is divided into two separate areas North Ari Atoll, including Rasdhoo Atoll and Thoddoo Atoll, and South Ari Atoll. There are 70 islands in the Ari Atoll area, with only 28 of these inhabited islands.  

After a short 25-minute seaplane ride, you will find yourself in south 

Ari Atoll at Constance Moofushi. This resort has romance written all over it; with all-inclusive stays and amazing overwater bungalows, this part of the Maldives is breathtaking. 

Approximately at the same distance, you will find The W Maldives in North Ari Atoll on the island of Fesdu. Here is where I spent my time on vacation, and here is where I will go into more detail about what to expect here.

W maldives villa

Laamu Atoll 

For total luxury, you can not go by Six Senses Laamu. It’s the only resort on the remote Laamu Atoll in the south of the Maldives. The trip is a little longer than the others I mentioned, with a 35-minute flight and then a 15-minute boat ride. 

Want something a little different?

If one island doesn’t seem enough, or you do not want to be isolated and trapped on one island when you have so many to choose from in the Maldives, why not cruise the islands instead? There are many options; however, Le Picasso is affordable and a fun way to experience the Maldives. Located in Vaadhoo and is only 19.3 km from Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.

Travel Tip

Visit at the perfect time and visit between the months of November and April when the temperatures average between 29°C to 31°C. With peak season between January to April, there is less rain, and humidity isn’t so high; however, if you are looking for deals, head to the Maldives outside of these months. Typically known as the wet season, or South West Monsoon, where you will find Monsoons make a frequent appearance. 

overwater bungalow

Things to do 

Scuba diving 

If you are into scuba diving, you have come to the right place, with pristine clear waters and beautiful coral with amazing marine life; this part of the world becomes magical underwater and is known to come to life at night. However, if you are there to find the whale sharks, aim to stay around the South Ari Atoll. 

Snorkelling

If scuba diving is not your thing, however, you are desperate to see the amazing marine life, then snorkelling is a must on any island you stay on. Most resorts will offer the use of free snorkelling gear (check before you go), or you may rent for a small fee. Remember to pack your waterproof phone case or go pro because what you see under the sea, you will want to keep the memory forever. 

Time to relax

If all you want to do is relax, then pick your island resort wisely. Many resorts offer adults-only resorts or small islands with few villas. You have no other choice but to relax, unwind and slow down for a while. Leave the world behind when you grab a book, find a hammock and spend the afternoon dozing under a palm tree. 

Maldives relaxing

Visit a private island 

Yes, you heard me right! Most resorts will offer day trips to a private island if you are there on your honeymoon or have a special occasion to celebrate. Here you can spend time enjoying a romantic picnic, swimming in the crystal clear ocean and enjoying the secluded beach all on your own. 

Water sports

There are a plethora of water sports to choose from in the Maldives; most resorts will offer non-motorised sports such as Stand Up Paddleboards or kayaks for free. With motorised water sports such as jet skis and Parasailing. There is something for everyone; whether you are looking to get the adrenalin pumping or spend an afternoon in a more relaxed environment, you will find it all in the Maldives.

Sailing

There are many sailing options, and each resort will offer something different. However, you can spend the day sailing or indulge in an overnight sailing experience for you and your loved one. Your concierge can assist once you arrive; however, I suggest booking before your arrival during high season to avoid disappointment. 

maldives drinks by the water

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!

Other things you need to know

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what you need to know for your dream trip to maldives

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