Maldives Tourism

Spend your honeymoon scuba diving, snorkelling, or just lazing in the endless blue sea!

Maldives is famous for

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Review and Ratings (39)

Read 39 Maldives reviews with average rating of 4.6/5
Sanchita bhartiya

Sanchita bhartiyaratingratingratingratingratingrating4.3/5

3 reviews

A Maldivian Honeymoon

Maldives is certainly a heaven for vacation lovers. The bioluminescent waters, the pristine beaches, the crystal clear seas, the relaxing spas, the plethora of water sports and activities & the list is endless.
If you want to relax in real essence, Maldives is a perfect destination to get away.
You can be soo close to nature that you would be surrounded by the oceans all the time.
We went there for a week to escape all the hustles post wedding, since we were staying at a water villa, we had a private deck at our disposal, where we spent most of the part of our day, gazing the waters, or taking a dip in the sea or even feeding fishes at times.
The only constraint Maldives offer is food, being vegetarians we had limited options & there wasn't a possibility of going to a restaurant outside our resort. We had an Italian restaurant and survived on Margheritas. We even carried food along with us after all Indians go more on a picnic than a vacation.
Being in the heart of ocean, A Maldivian holiday doesn't promise shopping and is really expensive, so all you shopaholics shop from the airport itself.

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Shweta singh

Shweta singh

1 review

Exotic locale + wonderful resort = total paradise. Natural beauty, tranquillity, the various

Maldives was one holiday destination I was truly excited about and was determined to find the jewel in the crown so to speak. Since it was to be a dream vacation I was a little anxious to make sure that the resort we selected was perfect for us. And boy was it perfect.
Let’s get a few facts straight.
We had read the previous reviews and were not sure what the travellers were trying to say because there were at times contradicting reviews. So I hope to address some of those concerns/questions. I hope this helps people who are planning a visit to this slice of paradise.
1. Drinking Water : Many reviews said that water was not provided by the resort and had to be purchased. Like everything else it isn’t cheap…… We didn’t want to spend the holiday worrying about money with every sip. The good news is that there was plenty of water (in-house brand) at-least 4 to 6 glass bottles were provided in the room. There is plenty of water and other drinks served at breakfast. Though you do need to buy water/drink at lunch and dinner. Do remember that a bottle of water may cost anywhere from $7 to $10 (depending on it size) and a can of coke is $6. Also after most water related activities that are available there - that you have paid for like snorkelling, banana boat, fun-tub etc… - they give you a small complimentary bottle of water. So don’t worry too much.
2. Go full board : In our experience it is best to opt for full board. It means all the meals are included – as opposed to half board that includes breakfast and dinner only – however it does not include drinks, they are extra, which was just fine with us as none of us drink and would have max a bottle of water or a can of coke with our meal. But there is also an all-inclusive, which includes drinks( with some exceptions). So you can choose the option that best suits your needs, though obviously all-inclusive is dearly priced as compared to full board. The mock-tails were priced at $11 and $12 so this should give you some idea about the alcoholic drinks. The other really good part is that children eat free (from the kids menu, which is pretty good) with paying adults. Check with their reservations before booking because at times they have schemes where they upgrade your half board to full board. Full board has two options : 1) set menu and 2) food allowance. Set menu means you have to choose one dish from the appetizers, main course and desserts (not all dishes are part of set menu, they are indicated by certain bullet points). The second option allows you to order ‘a la carte’ up to a specific amount that is given to you as food allowance. Obviously if you exceed the allowance amount then only the extra is added to your final bill. It does not include drinks. We found the second option better as some dishes we wanted to order were not part of the set menu. I am writing about this because it was on day two when we realised that this was another option available and far better than just ordering from the set menu. When you check in you are bombarded with so much info about the resort and your room that it’s difficult to retain all of it, luckily they provide a letter to explain these options that you can go through at your leisure which is how we realised that there was this option on the second day.
3. Food : The food is pretty good. B/F is at Iru and the spread is extensive, so even if you don’t find something that interests you (which is highly unlikely) you will not starve. Then you have the choice of 7 restaurants for lunch and dinner. There’s Italian, French, Indian, Vietnamese, Seafood, all day Snacks at Poolside and finally buffet dinner at Iru (different cuisine every night). The Indian restaurant ‘Taste of India’ opens only for dinner and we loved the food there. Please make sure you make a booking for dinner if you want to visit any of the restaurants apart from Iru.
4. Extra bed : For families of four who have children who cannot share the bed with the parents any more, there is the facility of an extra bed and along with the day bed that is already a part of the room, gives both children a separate bed of their own and parents get to sleep in their king sized bed. For us the package included the extra bed as complimentary.
5. Family resort : This is a wonderful resort to come to with your family – this does not mean that couples will not enjoy it – because a lot of attention has been given to the needs of the families. There is a children’s club, a recreational area – has table tennis, chess, pool table, video games and library, then there is swimming pool, lawn tennis and badminton courts, free equipment for snorkelling, a dive centre and a water sports centre and the best of all babysitting facilities.
These were the major concerns we had when we were looking at various resorts in Maldives and particularly while opting for Sun Siyam. As expected in an exotic and remote destination things are not cheap - everything in the country is probably imported from outside - and Sun Siyam is pretty far from Male, a 45 min seaplane ride, but having said that, every penny spent was worth it. Natural beauty, tranquillity, the various shades of blue green of the ocean and the blue greys of the sky were to die for. Their service was very good too. From the time we stepped outside the Male airport to the time we walked in again for our return flight there was some one always guiding and helping. Once you reach the resort they assign a butler to you, who shows you around and is basically your one point contact for all your needs. We stayed in the Deluxe Beach Villa with a pool (with a beach view) and then shifted to a Water Villa later. Both were awesome but water villa was the best. Every day we saw fishes through the glass panel on the floor of our water villa. It was really amazing. We also took the snorkel ling tour which was equally fun and we had the great fortune of seeing manta rays. That was a complete thriller.

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Getting to Maldives

Transit

Transit time: 6hrs from major cities

Cost ₹12,000 per person

Maldives Overview

The personification of a spectacular beach destination, Maldives is a great place to unwind and spend quality time with family. It is also one of the top choices for a quick romantic getaway or an adventure vacation. Choose from one or more of the 1,200 islands in this archipelago to spend your holiday at.

History

The earliest settlers of the Maldives are believed to have been Dravidians from the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka. Written records dated from 543 BC indicates a strong link between Sri Lanka and Maldives. Buddhism flourished in the archipelago during this time and continued till the 12thcentury AD when Islam began to gain popularity. In 1887, Maldives turned into a British Protectorate and stayed this way until July 1965.

Focus moved to tourism in the 1970s with the first resort on the island opening its doors to tourists in 1972. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was elected president in 1978 and continued to hold the post till 2008, winning six consecutive elections without any opposition! There were a couple of coup attempts but they failed to succeed due to various reasons.

The massive tsunami of December 2004 devastated the archipelago geographically and economically. Gayoom’s successors failed to secure the people’s confidence and Maldives plunged into political insecurity from 2008 onwards. The current President Abdulla Yameen survived an assassination attempt in September 2015 following which the country was in a state of emergency. In November 2015, he revoked the state of emergency clarifying that no imminent threats remained in the nation.

Why You Should Visit

Beach tourism is the primary reason why people visit Maldives. But there is much more to the country than surf and sand.

It is the ideal destination to soak in secluded luxury. The archipelago is known for its super luxurious accommodations and spectacular service.

The very definition of paradise on earth, Maldives offers every visitor a peaceful sanctuary from the chaos of daily life. The gentle breeze rustling through the coconut palms while the sea waves lap on the pristine sand are the only sounds that will intrude on your solitude.

Savour exotic seafood caught fresh from the ocean and delicately cooked in fragrant spices. Experience casual dining or gourmet meals from the choice of international cuisines on offer.

Commune with nature and get up close and personal with her fiercest species including sharks and manta rays. Admire the colourful coral reefs and dive into crystal clear waters to converse with schools of fish.

Tourist Hotspots

Male, Maafushi, Southern Ari Atoll, North Male Atoll, and Hulhumale are some of the popular spots on the tourism circuit.

The country’s capital, Male is a busy city in direct contrast to the beach destination image of the Maldives. Buzzing with activity, Male is packed with buildings and the centre of political upheavals. The bars here do not serve alcohol and there are plenty of restaurants and markets to indulge you.

Perfect for snorkeling and sunbathing, Maafushi Island in the South Male Atoll is home to numerous guest houses and resorts. The many sandbars in its vicinity provide great opportunities for reef explorations.

Spectacular dive sites dot the Southern Ari Atoll area. The ruins of a Buddhist temple as well as a beautiful mosque are the other main attractions on this island.

Slowly emerging as a surfer destination, North Male Atoll includes four islands. Handicraft shops, a couple of mosques, and the Coca Cola factory are the popular sights to take in.

The reclaimed island of Hulhumale is being linked to Male by means of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge which is due to open soon. Once completed, it will provide an easy continuous access link road with Male.

Local Attractions

The National Museum in Male is a treasure trove of historic artefacts that narrate testify to the cultural heritage of the country. Weapons, religious paraphernalia, and lacquer-work boxes tell the tale of the many events that have occurred in this small nation.

Satiate your thirst for adventure with a few lessons at the shark diving school on Maafushi island. Most of the dive sites have to be accessed by boat giving you the opportunity of feeling the wind blaze through your hair as you zip over the clear waters.

Sun Island Beach is known for the rich and varied marine life it shelters in its spectacular coral atolls. Southern Ari Atoll is a must visit for those seeking to interact with various species of sea life without the crowds.

A visit to North Male Atoll can involve small excursions to nearby islands. The area also abounds in plenty of dive sites.

A relaxing sunset cruise aboard a luxury catamaran is something you can enjoy in Hulhumale especially when travelling with a group of friends or family.

Favourite Local Foods

Coconut, fish, and starches give Maldivian cuisine its unique flavours.

A clear, fish broth, Garudhiya uses tuna which is found in plenty in the waters near the archipelago. This Maldivian staple is usually made from just fish, water and salt though variations include flavouring with chilies, curry leaves, and onions.

Mashuni is typically had for breakfast and is accompanied by chappathi or roshi and black tea. The key ingredients are tuna, coconut, and chili with the preparation being similar to that of a salad. The vegetarian version substitutes the green leaves of certain plants for the fish.

Made from steamed breadfruit, onion, chili, and coconut, Banbukeylu Harisa, this is sure to appeal to vegetarians. This dish is also served on festive occasions.

For those with a sweet tooth, Handulu Bondibai is a must try. This dessert is made and distributed to friends and neighbours on festive occasions such as the birth of a child or a betrothal. Here, sweetened rice is flavoured with coconut cream and rose water.

Since there are quite a few similarities in Maldivian and Indian cuisine, most Indian travelers have no issues as far as food goes. But, should you crave authentic Indian food during your holiday, there are quite a few Indian restaurants sprinkled on the different islands with male having the most number.

Favourite Local Things to Buy

The influence of the sea is evident in the kind of souvenirs on offer at the stalls and stores in the Maldives.

Jewellery makes for good souvenirs and gifts. Seashells, pearls, and corals are just some of the materials used to embellish the jewellery crafted in this country. Chandaanee Maagu, formerly known as Singapore Bazaar, is a good place to look for these as well as Thudu Kuna, the traditional Maldivian mat.

Choose from a wide range of spices to give your dishes the authentic Maldivian flavour back home. Get your picks packed in attractive jars or bottles to transport them home safely.

Handwoven and embroidered clothes and fabrics are available in plenty. Decorative handicrafts such as vases, boxes, and baskets featuring seashells and other embellishments can also be bought at the local markets or the mobile markets that come to the different resorts regularly.

If electronics, perfumes, handbags, and the like are what you are looking for, then head for Majeedhe Maagu located on the main street in Male. Shops stay open till 11 pm, so you can shop till you drop quite literally!

Things to do in Maldives

There is a wide array of activities to keep you occupied during your Maldives visit.

Sleeping over water is something you get to do in Maldives. Quite a few of the accommodations in upscale resorts are on water and the glass floors bring the ocean into your room. And deep blue lagoons are just a jump away!

Try your hand at surfing which is fast catching on as a tourist attraction. The unexplored Thaa Atoll is one place to hone your skills.

Get some much-needed pampering at one of the exclusive spas with glass floors that allow you to gaze on life in the water while you relax. Some offer Ayurvedic treatments and the world’s first underwater spa is also in Maldives.

Go aboard a submarine and dive into the depths of the reef to get up close with varied sea life. A good way to experience the underwater world without getting wet.

A speedboat can take you out to try your skills at big game fishing. Tuna and sail fish can be snagged on day trips while night fishing will fetch you grouper, snapper, and barracuda.

Experience life on an uninhabited island where you can enjoy undiluted solitude.

Ideal Tour Package

An itinerary of about five days is all you need to really get to know the Maldives. The Male-Maafushi -Southern Ari Atoll -North Male Atoll-Male route should cover it all and acquaint you with the best of all that Maldives has to offer. Male is the point of entry for all visitors to the archipelago. Ferries, boats, and sea planes are the best way to go island hopping. All other locations within the islands are easily accessible on foot. The few island cities with motorable roads have taxis to take you around. The only vehicles on the roads other than cars are motorcycles.

VISA and Travel

Tourism and related services contribute about 33% to the GDP of the nation. With around 84 islands developed for tourism, about one million tourists visited the country in 2014. As a result, the Maldives government has rolled out the red carpet for all tourists.

There is no pre-arrival visa required when visiting the Maldives as tourists. People of all nationalities get a 30-day free visa provided they fulfill the following conditions:

Possession of a valid passport with Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) and validity of at least 6 months.

A valid ticket to continue the journey out of Maldives.

Have enough funds to cover their expenses for the duration of their stay in Maldives. (US$100 + $50 dollars per day) or a confirmation of reservation in a tourist resort or a hotel.

The period for which the tourist visa is issued will be at the discretion of immigration. Extensions are granted for up to 90 days based upon a reassessment of the applicant’s financial standing and other factors. A visa fee of MVR 750 is applicable on extensions.

Note: Maldivian Rufiyaa is the currency of Malaysia. The current exchange rate is 1 MVR= 4.8 INR.

Best Time to Visit

The warm, tropical climate of Maldives does not see temperatures go below 24ºC at any time of year. The peak tourist season is from December to April when it is summer in Maldives and the rains have subsided. But if a little rain is no deterrent, then you could book your tickets sometime between May to November. There will be next to no crowds and you will get great deals on resort prices too.

February to April is the best season for diving and snorkeling given the good visibility and low humidity. If more adventurous activities such as swimming with the sharks is on your agenda then October-November increase your chances of spotting these.


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