All you need to know before visiting the Maldives

The Maldives is a dreamy destinations, here is everything you need to know before going 
  • High budget destination

The Maldives are on the pricey side of the travel destinations. It is a conscious choice to limit the amount of visitors and to allow the environment and coral reefs to be preserved. When we stayed we could see how it benefited local employment prosperity and all the ocean projects each hotel we visited had. It’s more of a quality over quantity type of destination.

  • One island  = One Hotel 🌴

Exceptions apart most of the time each hotel you visit own the whole island. Some big islands are shared by 2 hotels or more but the idea is that when you pick an island you pick it for the hotel. There are no big differences in terms of fauna and flora or landscape between all the islands of the Maldives. You simply pick the design and concept of the hotel you enjoy the most and the differences of services they offer is what will make your stay different from another. You don’t really visit the local islands. Sometimes your hotel can offer a cultural tour on the islands around but tourists are not really mixed with locals.

  • Manners and behaviour

The Maldives is a conservative country do not show up at the airport in mini shorts and high cleavage.

    • Wear modest clothing when outside of your hotel to respect the local culture.
    • Alcohol is prohibited outside of your hotel (it will be confiscated if you arrive with it at the airport) and it is very expensive at the hotel as well as cigarettes. They are overtaxed so either skip or plan it in your budget.
    • They are very strict regarding Drugs and any sexual display which penalty is prison.
    • LGTB rights are denied in the Maldives, that doesn't mean you cannot travel there as your hotel will accept you. It means that LGTB display outside our your hotel will not be accepted.

  • A very safe country

The country is very safe to travel, it is the ideal destination for a couple / honeymoon or holidays at a slow rhythm with small children. We never felt insecure, the arrivals are very well organized someone from your hotel will pick you up on arrival for your speedboat or to your domestic flight connection to guide you.

  • A short stay destination

One week is enough to recharge. I would recommend to take at least 2 different hotels for a different experience if you stay for 10 days. If you stay a week or less keep it to 1 island otherwise you will have to rush and you would not enjoy your trip

  • The North of the Maldives has more marine life than the south

The north waters seems to be more rich with marine life than the south of the country, we saw much more sharks on the northern part than when in the south.

 

  • Wear a coral friendly sunscreen 🧴

The sun is very strong 🌞, I tan very well and I can tell you those radiations don't joke. If I didn't apply sunscreen I would have burn. However the coral reefs in the Maldives are very fragile so please don't put your chemicals in there and get a ocean friendly sunscreen before leaving. (See my blog post on my travel essentials)

  • Tap water and plugs

    • Do not drink the tap water it comes from treated rain water. Stick to your hotel bottles which are usually complimentary.
    • The plugs and sockets are type G it's the same as the UK, so you might need an adaptor. 

  • Distances

Keep in mind that the islands are very spread out from one to another and you will probably take an hydroplane or a domestic flight to join your hotel. Plan this in your budget as well. Most of the time your hotel can arrange this flight for you.

  • Local time.

It's funny to experience but most island have a different time than the mainland they are usually 1h ahead of Malé. However your phone will not display this time as it’s their local agreement. Simply keep it in mind for your eating times and appointments to the spa or other. 

  • Drone laws :

You can bring your drone to the Maldives but you need the authorization of the army with a specific documentation to provide 3weeks to 1 month before arriving. Click here for the procedure  Once they agree you will only need to inform your hotel before doing your flight and get their ok. There are a lot of hydroplane around the island so the flight zones are delimited and numerous and your drone cannot interfere with it.  Simply give your schedule and place of flight (your hotel island) and you should be fine for the permit.