Maldives - Travel Information and Tips

The Maldives

Essential Travel Information Before You Go


The Maldives belong to the small and exclusive list of
the Ultimate Place to see.

From the sky, the Maldives Islands appear like an emeralds necklace set on navy blue background.

Ultimate paradise, their name itself is enough to make us dream and the surreal natural beauty of their landscapes make this dream a reality.

Travel information Maldives Paradise IslandMaldives...Ultimate Paradise

 

The ideal beauty of their crystal-clear lagoons, beaches of fine white sand, combined with the splendour of their aerial views make it an absolute paradise and one of the most popular Dream destinations on Earth.

For centuries, Maldives splendour has inspired and captivated generations of travelers.

 

Maldives offers

Maldives Geography

Located in the heart of the Indian Ocean, at the South of India and West of Sri Lanka, the Maldives owe their beauty to a unique geological formation.
All 823 km ( 512 miles ) of the Maldivian archipelago is exclusively composed of Atolls, about 26 in total, protecting in their hearts some marvelous 1200 small and perfectly drawn tropical islands and thousands of kilometres of coral reefs.

Travel information Maldives Atolls and ReefsMaldives Atoll Reefs. Aerial view

The origin of the word "atoll" itself derives from the Dhivehi - Maldives language - "Atholhu" and is now used in many languages worldwide...
Of these 1200 islands, about 200 are inhabited by Maldivian people, about 800 islands and sandbanks remain completely deserted and a bit more than 100 are allocated to Resorts.
The islands can be very tiny with only a few tens of meters in diameter.
The largest reach more than a kilometre like Male, the capital, with 1.5 km or others, like Gan, the largest, located in the Southernmost part of Maldives, in the beautiful Addu Atoll, with 6 kilometres long and 3.4 kilometres wide.
Most of the resorts barely reach an average of 400 meters and home of the largest resorts include Kuredu, Meeru, Kuramathi and Sun Island whose lengths are between 1 to 1.7 kms.

 

99% of Water, 1% of Land

Although the Maldives cover an area of ​​90,000 km2, the total land area is only about 300 km2 in total, including the surface, made of coral , and reaches an average of 1.5 meters above the sea level.

 

The Island Kingdom

Travel information Maldives The Island KingdomMaldives...The Island Kingdom

Their name comes from the word "Maladiv", given by the first Indian merchants and literally means "Garland of Islands" in Sanskrit. Nowadays and since the beginning of tourism in Maldives (70's), travelers have also beautifully named them the "Indian Ocean Pearls".
The Maldivian refer to their country as "Dhivehi Raajje" which means in Dhivehi, "The Island Kingdom".
Inspiring, no ?

From "Robinson-Back-to-Nature" to "Robinson-Chic"

Secret destination of well informed travelers and divers in the early 70s, the Maldives opened their first international Resort in 1972 with Kurumba. Few of these travelers have resisted their beauty and many shared their amazing experiences on their return, bringing each year more and more curious adventurers in search of a perfect paradise.

Tourism Boom

Travel information Maldives - Luxury HotelsMaldives. One of the largest concentration of luxury Hotels in the world. Here, Huvafen Fushi.

Maldives tourism boom has rapidly continued and increased in the years that followed.
Many deserted islands, the closest to the capital Male, were then transformed into Resorts to accommodate a growing number of visitors.
Until the early 90's, Maldives Resorts were mostly simple and charming 3 stars and a few ones were offering 4 and 5 stars comfort.
In 2012, the Maldives are home to the largest concentration of luxury Hotels in the world with some the most prestigious names in the hospitality industry.
From a few thousands of visitors in the early 70's, Maldives were welcoming around 200 000 tourists in 1990 and in 2012, 1 000 000.

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Maldives Quick Facts


Number of islands and Atolls

Approximately 1200 Islands. 26 Atolls.
The word Atoll ( Atolhu in Dhivehi ) means circular groups of coral islets.

Smallest Atoll

"Fuvamulha" : only 4.5 km width

Largest Atoll

"Gaafu" 3152 km². It's also one of the largest Atoll in the World.

Maldives currency

The Maldives currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR).
Approximate main exchange rates :
1 GBP = 20.9057 MVR.
1 EUR = 19.53773 MVR.
1 USD = 12.850 MVR

Time Zone

UTC+5.

Time difference / Jet lag

UK - Maldives : Plus 4 hours in Summer time / Plus 5 hours in Winter time
NYC. USA - Maldives : Plus 9 hours in Summer time / Plus 10 hours in Winter time
LA. USA - Maldives : Plus 12 hours in Summer time / Plus 13 hours in Winter time

Dress Code

In Resorts : Summer Casual. General trend is quite relaxed...but Island Chic style is welcome and even required in some Resorts, mostly in the evenings.
No swim wear allowed in restaurants.
Male and Maldivian local Islands :
Women and men should keep their thighs and shoulders covered. No transparent clothes.

Area Code / Cell Phones:

The area code for Maldives is 00 960 +.
Cell phone coverage is today available in most places of the archipelago.

Internet access

Available today in all Hotels and Resorts and almost everywhere from North to South.
This service is chargeable or free according to the Resorts.

Tipping

A minimum of 1US$ / 0.63GBP£ / 0.80€ / per day for the room boy + the same amount for waiters is advised. The same amount to your luggage porter at arrival.
Butler services in luxury Resorts are generally more rewarded.


Location

Indian Ocean.
Maldives are located astride the Equator, in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Coordinates : 3°15 N 73°00 E.
700 Km (435 mi) South-West of Sri Lanka and 400 Km (250 mi) South-West of India.

Population

Approximately 380 000 inhabitants living on about 200 Islands.

Religion

100 % Sunni Muslims

Official Language

Dhivehi. English is widely spread and learnt as second language at a young age.
See here to learn basic words before your holidays !

The Territory

Superficy : 90,000 square kilometres.
Length and Width :
- North to South : app. 820 km (512 mi)
- East to West : between 80 km and 120 km ( 50 to 75 mi)


Capital

Male


Sunrise and Sunset times

According to the period of the year :
Sunrise : From 05.45 am to 06.15 am.
Sunset : From 05.45 pm a 06.15 pm.


Climate

Tropical equatorial.
Average temperatures :
25.9 to 31 °C ( 78.62˚-88˚ F ).

Maldives have 2 seasons called Monsoons :
- The Southwest monsoon from May to October also called the rainy season.
- The North-East monsoon, the dry season, from October to April.

Read more about Maldives Weather and Climate on our special page here

Locate Maldives
Explore our Maldives Map featuring Resorts,Airports and points of interests Here.
Maldives Map
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Maldives Weather and Climate
Did You Know ?
  • Maldives Coins...
    Maldives coins

    Cowry shells can be found by millions in Maldives. They were used as units of money during medieval times. This is why nowadays shells commonly ornate Maldivian coins.

Maldives offers
Do you speak Dhivehi ?
Small English-Dhivehi Lexicon for your holidays
Thaana characters, written in Dhivehi, the Maldivian languageThaana characters, written in Dhivehi, the Maldivian language.

- Hello : " Assalaamu alaikum ". pronounce : Assalamualaikum. Rarely used.
- Thank you : " Shukuriyaa ". pronounce : ( with the u as in- put ) Shukureeya.
- How are you ? : " Kihineh ? " pronounce : Kee-Hee-Nay. Mostly used.
- How are you doing ? : " Haalu kihineh? " pronounce : Haalu-Kee-Heenay. Formal.
- I feel good : " Ran'galhu ". pronounce : Raangaalu.
- I feel very good :" Barabaru ". pronounce : Baaraabaaru.
- If you feel extremely well : " Varah Ran'galhu ! " or better, "Varah barabaru !".
pronounce :
Vaaraa baaraabaru /Vaaraa Rangaalu
- Bye bye : " Dhanee ". pronounce : Daanee
- Yes : " Aan ". pronounce : Aan'
- No : " Noon ". pronounce : Nun'


Don't forget to roll Your "R"s.

Maldives Guide - photo Book Dreaming of Maldives

Find the most beautiful Maldives Photos in our Photo Book Dreaming of Maldives 3.

2014 Wall Calendar with Photos of Maldives

Dream all your round with the 2014 Maldives Wall Calendars, featuring 13 photos.

 

Maldives Photo Gallery

Discover our Maldives
Photo Gallery



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