Maldives is home to the most picturesque beaches in the world and a top honeymoon destination. It’s like walking into those stock desktop photos you see all over the Internet. Crystal clear water, powder soft, white sand, coral reefs full of colorful fish, stingrays and baby sharks. We all know the dreams that Maldives are made of, but there are a few things you may not know about this island nation. Weather you are planning your future dream trip or the Maldives are on your bucket list, here are 16 things you’ll want to know.
1) There are no direct flights to resorts
You must fly into the city of Male and then take a connecting domestic flight, seaplane, or boat ride to your final destination. All three of these options will most likely be costly, so take this into consideration while choosing your resort. If your resort is close enough, you may only need a boat ride. Other wise domestic flights will be cheaper then seaplanes, but it will take longer for you to arrive to your final destination. In my opinion the seaplanes were worth the few extra $100.
2) Maldives is located just below India in the Indian Ocean
- 4 hours from Dubai
- 5 Hours from India
- 12 hours from London
- 18-20 hours from New York
3) There are no schedules for seaplane flights
So with seaplane flights, you may end up having to wait a few hours at the small and hot Male airport before hoping on. The reason for this is because the flight loads change daily for pickups and drop-offs, resulting in no set schedule for the flights. Male airport is veryyy sparse, so a little tip is to book a hotel that has an airport lounge. Some hotels that offer that are the W Hotel and Constance Moofushi.
4) Overwater villas are as amazing as they look, but…
In my opinion if you are traveling all the way to the Maldives, then you have to stay in the overwater villas at least one night. They offer amazing views and your own private steps into the ocean. A few things to keep in mind are that they are that they may not be as private as you would expect. I saw my neighbors swim by a few times and could hear them as well. Your bathroom may also be a little smelly since it is over the ocean. Additionally, the overwater villas are usually located on the far end of a resort, and may be a bit of a hike to get to other facilities. The particular resort I stayed at however offered golf cart shuttles to the other side of the island as well as bikes to rent. Just be sure to do your research before choosing your resort and room type!
5) Pretty much every resort is on its own private island
Unless you decide to do an excursion, you are pretty much stuck on the island of your choice. Again, make sure you research your resort well. I like to take a virtual walk around the island on Google maps to help me deicide on a destination.
6) Maldives is made up of almost 1,190 small islands
Yup, I didn’t know this either until I was booking my trip. The Maldives is made up of around 1,190 individual islands, scattered across the Indian Ocean.
7) Not all of the islands are inhabited
Out of all those 1,190 islands, only about 200 are actually populated by people. Some of the uninhabited islands are used as industrial areas, farmland or excursion islands for resorts.
8) Not all of the islands are natural
It’s believed that volcanoes formed most of the islands in the Maldives, but some islands are actually manmade. One of these manmade islands is Hulhumalé, located close to the main airport. It was created by dumping tons of sand and concrete, to meet the needs for housing, industrial and commercial development. Today, it’s a fully advanced town with a beach, paved roads, a hospital, mosques, stores and housing.
9) Some islands are disappearing
Yup, sad but true. The ocean is slowly swallowing up the Maldives islands. Actually, over 100 islands have already disappeared due to erosion and rising water levels. Since this is the case, you may see seawalls built around the islands to help break waves or pumps on the beaches, pumping sand back onto the land.
10) There’s bioluminescent beaches
During certain times of the year, the shore glows with twinkling lights, giving off a starry sky look in the water. You can try to capture this phenomenon at the following islands:
11) Maldives is a Muslim country – Alcohol, bathing suits, and public displays of affection are illegal (This Excludes the Resorts!)
Since the Maldives is a Muslim country, there is no alcohol available. Strict Muslims aren’t even allowed to touch anything that contains alcohol. Women are banded from wearing bathing suits or revealing clothing. Homosexuality is frowned upon and illegal. There are no pork products allowed, as well as public displays of affection.
Don’t worry; all of the above rules do not apply to the resorts! You’re free to do and wear whatever you please. Keep in mind, if you decide to take a day trip to a local island, you’ll be expected to follow the local customs, especially women’s attire restrictions.
12) You can’t fly with certain items
Since Maldives is a Muslim country, there are specific bans on things you may bring into the Maldives. To avoid any disputes at the airport, do not bring any pork products, alcohol (even duty-free), tobacco products (without a health warning printed on them), and any religious texts (i.e. the Bible).
13) The Maldives has some of the best marine life
Depending where you decide to stay you’ll spot anything from whale sharks, dolphins, manta rays, stingrays, and hammerhead sharks. As well as sea turtles, colorful fish, and reef sharks that are usually spotted along most resort reefs.
14) There are all-inclusive resorts
Although a lot of the resorts are not all-inclusive, you can find some decently priced all-inclusive resorts if you do a little research. This may be your best bet if you are on a budget.
15) Most of the food and drinks are imported from other countries
This is one main reason why the cost of food and drink is so expensive in the Maldives. Food/drink items are imported from India, Sri Lanka, Australia and Europe. Some ingredients that are local are coconuts, bananas, watermelon, papaya and salad.
16) The Maldives can experience Tsunamis
Yes, the Maldives can experience Tsunamis, but the last time a tsunami hit the Maldives was December of 2004. It’s rare and unpredictable, but it’s something to keep in mind. For the most part, the Maldives is hot and sunny all year round, with average temperatures of 75ºF-88ºF. The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April. The high season falls between December and March. Monsoon season runs from May to October, peaking in June. The northern islands have highest rainfall May-November, while the southern islands is from November-March. When I went in February it actually rained more then expected. When I say it rained, it POURED and the ground shook with thunder! A little scary when your sleeping in a over water villa at night. Overall, we had plenty of sun for our weeklong trip.
What are some other interesting facts about the Maldives? Share them in the comments below!
Next I will be sharing all about my visit to the Maldives and how my husband and I chose an all-inclusive resort and why.
For more photos from my trip visit my Instagram page!
*All photos are mine, unless otherwise stated