Very sunny year round, however, the Maldives are very humid too. From November to March the northeast monsoon brings dry weather, while the southwest monsoon brings rain between June and August. Temperatures average 30 degrees throughout the year.
When to fly to Maldives
Between December and April. Christmas and New Year is the most popular – and expensive – time to book Maldives flights.
Between May and November, the weather is less guaranteed with cloudy skies, higher humidity and greater chance of rain. Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and marks 30 days of fasting. Independence Day is July 26 and is marked by marches by the armed forces, traditional dances performed by school children and processions.
November and April. These months are popular with divers because the water is clearer and there is greater visibility. Republic Day is celebrated on November 11.
Getting around Maldives
Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi (PTE) Ltd offer inter-island Maldives flights. Boat is unsurprisingly the most popular way to get around. There is a ferry service from the airport island to Male, the capital. The main form of local transport is a dhoni, a traditional vessel, and for longer trips vedis (larger boats) are used.
Maldives insider information
- The Maldives is very popular with divers and snorkellers due to the warm temperatures, high levels of visibility and sheer richness of sea life. Some of the top-rated dive sites are Girifushi Thila (for experienced divers), Nassimo Thila, Middle Point and Okobe Thila. There is also the Maldives Victory dive (for experienced divers). The Victory was a cargo vessel that sank in 1981. The dive descends 12 metres (39 feet) and the sunken ship is home to several species of marine life including tuna, groupers and turtles. Scuba diving, surfing, fishing, dolphin and whale watching are other popular pursuits.
- Male, the capital, is just 1.24 miles long and less than a mile wide. It has no natural beach, but the artificial beach is a popular spot with the locals, especially on a Friday. The Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiy) was built in 1656 and houses the tombs of royalty and national heroes. Much newer, the Islamic Centre, with its beautiful gold dome, dates from 1984. It is the Maldives’ biggest mosque. Sultan Park, the public garden, is home to the Presidential Palace and National Museum. Republic Square is where the flag of the Maldives flies, the largest flag in the country. The square is where many locals go to relax and children to play.
- Male has a couple of lively shopping streets. Majeedhee Magu is Male’s main road and has popular shops that stay open until 11pm. For souvenirs, go to Chaandanee Magu. For a taste of local life, the Local Market and Male’ Fish Market are must-visits.
- Traveller tips: the Maldives is a Muslim country, alcohol is available only in resorts and you are not allowed to bring it into the country with you. Travellers should dress modestly (covering thighs and upper body), but the resort islands are more relaxed.