With flights from Australia to Singapore having restarted (the connecting point to the Maldives) the island paradise of the Maldives is back on the radar for Aussie travellers. Here’s what to consider before you book.
Table of Contents
- What are the Maldives Covid entry requirements?
- How do I get to the Maldives from Australia?
- Where actually is the Maldives?
- Why is the Maldives so famous?
- How do you pronounce Maldives?
- When is the best time to visit the Maldives?
- What should I wear?
- What else should I pack?
- What shouldn’t I bring?
- Can I buy alcohol in the Maldives?
- Is the Maldives safe for gay travellers?
- Is the Maldives expensive?
- Which Maldives island is best?
- What is there to do in the Maldives?
What are the Maldives Covid entry requirements?
To enter the Maldives and be issued a free 30-day tourist visa, travellers need a confirmed hotel booking, sufficient funds to cover their stay and an onward/return ticket. Before travelling to the Maldives, visitors need to have a PCR test within 96 hours of travel, and submit an electronic Traveller Health Declaration (within 24 hours prior to travel). Tourists are only allowed to stay in the Greater Male region for a maximum of 48 hours in approved transit accommodation, en route to their island resort accommodation. Check the official Maldives tourism site for the latest requirements. Also check the Australian Government’s Smartraveller site for up-to-date travel advice.
See also: I broke the one rule of the Maldives
See also: 5 myths about the Maldives busted
How do I get to the Maldives from Australia?
It’s not quite as simple as boarding a plane and grabbing a quick Uber to your resort at the other end. Currently, Singapore Airlines is the only airline flying from Singapore to the Maldives. From Australia, you’ll have a stopover of several hours in Singapore. Once you arrive to Male, you’ll need to take a seaplane or boat to your resort (likely to become a holiday highlight in itself), which you’ll pre-arrange with your resort.
Where actually is the Maldives?
If you can’t point to it on a map, you’re forgiven – the Maldives is actually the smallest country in Asia. Southwest of Sri Lanka and India, the Maldives is an archipelago of more than 1000 islands in the Indian Ocean. Many are tiny, though, and only about 200 are inhabited, with tourist resorts located on about 120. Home to about half a million people, it’s Asia’s second smallest country by population (after Brunei).
Why is the Maldives so famous?
For such a tiny country, it sure punches above its weight when it comes to tourism. It’s globally recognised as one of the world’s best honeymoon destinations – thanks to its picture-postcard scenery and world-class overwater bungalow resorts. Brilliant blue water, coral reefs and incredible wildlife (the Maldives boasts the world’s largest population of reef manta rays) make it one of the world’s top dive and snorkel locations. Home to some of the best waves in the world, it’s popular with surfers, too.
How do you pronounce Maldives?
As great as the scuba diving is in the Maldives, the “dive” in its name isn’t actually pronounced that way. To be correct, go with Mol-deevs.
When is the best time to visit the Maldives?
A tropical climate means the Maldives has two basic seasons – dry and rainy. January to March get the least rain and most sunshine, with average temperatures high temps about 30C and lows around 25C. It’s warm (OK, hot!) all year round though – and even during the rainiest months you can expect a decent amount of sunshine, averaging at least six hours a day. The most affordable times are generally between May and November.
What should I wear?
The Maldives is a majority Muslim country. Outside of private resorts, travellers are advised to dress conservatively – choose tops that cover shoulders and save your short shorts for lazing around your overwater bungalow or resort pool. It’s hot and humid, so it’s a good idea to opt for natural fabrics such as cotton or linen.
What else should I pack?
Reef-safe sunscreen. It’s important to protect the coral reefs you’ll likely be visiting from harmful chemicals, and sunscreen can be frighteningly expensive on the islands.
What shouldn’t I bring?
Alcohol. As tempting as it is to try given alcoholic beverages aren’t cheap in the Maldives, you’re not allowed to bring alcohol in to the Maldives.
Can I buy alcohol in the Maldives?
Yes, you can buy alcoholic drinks at island resorts – for a price. You won’t find alcohol in shops, though.
Is the Maldives safe for gay travellers?
Yes. Officially, homosexuality is illegal in the Maldives, but in reality, same-sex couples are welcomed by resorts. However, it is a conservative country and outside of resorts, public displays of affection are discouraged – this goes for both straight and same-sex couples.
Is the Maldives expensive?
The Maldives has a reputation for being expensive, and is most famous for its luxury private island resorts. However, it is possible to visit the Maldives on a budget. The sheer number of resorts leads to tight competition, with some incredible deals on offer to lure holiday-makers back. Recent examples include a five-night package at the five-star Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa from $4499 for two, including transfers, daily breakfast, dinner and happy hour drinks – a saving of more 50 per cent. Visiting outside of peak season can offer budget perks – for example, during low season, guests can nab a seven-night stay for two at Embudu Village resort for less than $1000. Although including half- or full-board (meals) with accommodation makes your initial booking cost more expensive, it can save you money in the long run, as self-catering or eating outside of the resort are rarely an option.
Which Maldives island is best?
The best island in the Maldives depends on your interests, travel style and budget. In 2021, TripAdvisor listed Kandolhu (No.4) and Mirihi Island (No.13) among the world’s best, based on TripAdvisor reviews. For diving, consider Moofushi Island, home to Constance Moofushi – named the Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Resort in the 2021 World Travel Awards. For romance, look to the private island of Manafaru – home to JA Manafaru, named the region’s Leading Honeymoon Resort. Travellers with kids may like Vihamanaafushi, where Kurumba Maldives was named the region’s Leading Family Resort.
What is there to do in the Maldives?
Besides relaxing, of course, water activities such as swimming, snorkelling, diving and surfing top most visitors’ to-do list. Excursions such as fishing trips, dolphin watching, and visiting nearby lagoons are popular, too. Another unique Maldives attraction is its bioluminescent beaches, a natural phenomenon where phytoplankton causes the water to glow at night. Away from the water, music and dance are important in Maldivian culture, with many resorts offering cultural performances.
For more tips on travel to the Maldives, see visitmaldives.com
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