The Maldives, that blue paradise in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is the perfectly relaxing setup for your next holiday. With its 26 atolls (ring-shaped coral islands) and a great number of luxury hotels, the Maldives is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination. Choosing the right time to visit, though, is crucial to make the most out of your trip.
One question that comes up frequently is climate. Despite having an enviable weather that averages above 27ºC all year round, the Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate. This means that rainfall could ruin your trip.
But is weather everything you should take into consideration when planning your holiday to the Maldives?
Below you have a list of factors that will help you in choosing the best time of the year to make that special trip to the Maldives memorable.
Between November and April – the dry season – temperatures are high, humidity is low and you’ll find clear blue skies. During this time, the stretches of powder-white sand look even whiter and bright-blue waters look even bluer.
This season is popular amongst honeymooners and other holiday makers seeking the toasty temperatures and delightful weather conditions.
The Maldives boasts some of the best snorkeling opportunities in the world. With more than 2,500 reefs, there are plenty of locations to swim and discover the underwater fauna.
The dry season is the best time to go on a snorkeling adventure and explore the diverse marine ecosystem. The Maldives’ tropical ocean sea-life include Manta Rays, Green Sea Turtles and Clownfish.
Love snorkeling? Take a look at the best resorts in the Maldives for snorkeling.
Velana International Airport, located on Hulhulé Island in the North Malé Atoll, is where most regular flight connections are made.
Some islands have their own private airports but Hulhulé airport is the preferred one because of its location – central in the island complex – and size – two regular runways and four waterways.
International flights arrive and depart from Velana International Airport and some of the airlines with direct flights from major capital cities include British Airways, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines.
Flight prices tend to be stable throughout the year being slightly cheaper during the rainy season (May to November) and off-peak periods.
The most expensive flights from Europe and North America take place during Christmas and New Year’s Eve so if you are trying to avoid a costly flight, give these occasions a miss.
Find cheap flights to the Maldives via Skyscanner.
When it’s not crowded
Between November and April, most resorts are busy. However, between May and October, it’s a bit quieter. If you have some flexibility with the dates, it’s worth looking at the rainy season period too as you’ll find prices slightly cheaper and more options for accommodation.
The Maldives offer plenty of recreational activities during the monsoon season. Whilst it might rain (maximum average is 15 out of 30 days per month), temperatures are still high and the sea is warm enough for both swimming and snorkeling.
On the other hand, if it does rain, you’ll have the perfect excuse to treat yourself to the wonderful scenic spas across the islands.
Whether you choose a traditional or Maldivian therapies, you’ll most likely be surrounded by the naturally beautiful landscape: palapas on the beach, private romantic retreats, treatment rooms on stilts overlooking a lagoon and if you want the ultimate luxury, you can check The Conrad Maldives Rangali, the world’s first underwater spa.
Book a spa treatment in the Maldives.
Special events you shouldn’t miss
Whilst the balmy weather and paradisiac landscape is what attracts most visitors, Maldives is full to the brim of history, culture and surprisingly tasty local cuisine too.
Since the 12th century, three regions have influenced the lifestyle of the Maldives: The Arabian Peninsula, India and Sri Lanka.
A good number of religious festivities are celebrated throughout the year such as the Maahefun Festival (celebrating the beginning of Ramadan around the end of April), the Islamic New Year (around the end of August) and Mawlid or the Birth of the Prophet (November).
Other remarkable and secular events are the Maldives’ Independence Day (June 26-27), where colourful processions and performances take place, Victory Day (November 3), in which armed forces march in a parade and Republic Day (November 11), where music bands promenade and children wear their finest.
During these festivities locals and visitors celebrate together and share the traditional foods of the Maldives. Delicious dishes you might want to try are the huni hakuri folhi (a coconut sweet snack), masroshi (a small pancake made of fish typically found in breakfast or afternoon tea) and bodibaiy (sugary sweet rice).
Read more about the top events in the Maldives.
Where to stay
With so many islands and choice for accommodation, choosing a hotel in the Maldives can be overwhelming. Whether you are seeking an all-inclusive island retreat for your honeymoon or an island with a stunning house reef to do snorkeling with children, the Maldives offer plenty of choices for all types of travelers.
The most popular islands are the following: Biyadhoo, offering the best on-site snorkelling. Maldives Conrad Rangali Island, has the first underwater spa in the world and first all-glass undersea restaurant.
If you are looking for luxury, Baros is for you too. On the other hand, if you are traveling as a family, Kurumba has been voted as the most suitable for children (it’s also just a ten-minute speedboat ride from the airport).
And last but not least, if you are after the sugar-white sands and swaying palms, Finolhu has the best untouched beaches.
Check all the islands of the Maldives in this guide.
Whether you want to relax in a luxurious island retreat, indulge in a bespoke culinary experience or learn how to dive, the timing is crucial for making the most out of your choice.
Every month of the year offers a uniquely different opportunity to cater to your interests. So whatever your preference, are you ready to unwind?