Not a lot of people in the world have heard of this little paradise called the Maldives and I don’t blame them because you can hardly see it on the map! But yes, it is there! For those who know about the Maldives, only 3 things come to mind: sun, sea and sand.
For those venturing out to this tiny wonder of a nation, there are a few things you must know to get the most out of your experience in this tropical heaven.
1) Plan ahead.
Maldives is a unique destination composed of over a thousand islands. Out of which, over a hundred of those are resorts where tourists can book. It mostly follows a one-island, one-resort concept so transferring from one island to another can be tricky. Depending on which island you book, transfers to and from the airport can either be by speedboat, by seaplane, or by domestic flight. It always pays to plan not only where to stay but also how to get there.
However, don’t let the complexity of logistics dampen your planning mood because if you are booking with a travel agent, the transfers usually come with the accommodations. To be on the safe side however, always clarify if transfers are already included in your reservation to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
2) Summer weather is (almost) year-round.
As important as any other thing to consider is the best time to visit the Maldives. Although generally you can expect the year-round temperature of 30* Celsius, it is always good to check if you will be expecting rains or strong winds during your visit. March and April tend to be the hottest but you could still get rains in between. Consequently, even during the “rainy” months of July and August you can still get patches of sunshine. Let us all remember that mother nature does play tricks with weather. The great thing about the Maldives though is that is has a “micro-climate” – it could be raining cats and dogs on one island while completely sunny on a nearby one! Regardless what time of year you are visiting – always, always bring a bottle of sunscreen!
3) Money matters.
While the Rufiyaa (pronounced “roo-fee-ya”) is the basic currency of the Maldives, you need not fret because US dollars and Euros are widely accepted in all establishments and resorts. Major credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and American Express are also accepted almost everywhere. Most resorts, if not all, do not even accept local currency.
Going to a local island however is another story – having the local currency is nifty so you get more out of your money’s worth as they have a fixed US Dollar exchange rate which may be lower than the day’s actual currency conversion.
The local language is called Dhivehi (pronounced “di-ve-hee”) but English is widely spoken and most resorts, especially the 4 star and 5 star ones, usually have staff who speaks multiple languages like German, Spanish, Russian, French, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. You may not find these foreign speakers all in one place but the resort you are staying at will try their best to find someone who speaks your native language. But if you can speak English, you will be more than fine. It is the universal language after all.
6) Be mindful of the local culture.
The Maldives is a Muslim nation. Therefore, there are a few restrictions when visiting, such as alcohol. Worry not though because wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages are available to consume at the resorts and at the local airport hotel.
Another thing to consider when visiting local islands is to be mindful of what clothes to wear. Most local islands still follow a more conservative way of life and women wear clothing that covers the shoulders and thighs, therefore tourists are expected to do the same.
Each tiny island in the Maldives is unique and so is your holiday! To help you realize your dream getaway, the leading luxury tour operator ITAW Travel and Tours is available to tailor fit your every travel needs. Get in touch with your very own ITAW personal travel consultant today!