Yes.  Just that. The Maldives. The simple mention of the name suffices to unleash the wildest dreams of crystal clear blue water, lagoons and endless white pristine beaches. And guess what. The dream comes true. It’s all there.

The place is unique. You cannot really compare it to another beach destination. Maldives is not one island, it’s not even dozens of beautiful islands, it’s that set of 1192 coral islands grouped in 26 atolls.

The Maldives are closer to Singapore than you think. You can get to Malé with a direct flight in less than 5 hours. You will then need to transfer from Malé airport to your resort by boat or seaplane. This should not take you more than 1 or 2 hours.

Singapore to Maldives journey details

Although it’s technically feasible in 3 days (but half your first and last day will be transfer) we would recommend a minimum of 4 days. Note that transfers by seaplane are only possible during day time. So you may have to sleep one night close to the airport if your flight lands or departs during night time.

You can stay as long as you want but your banker may give you a call after a few days. The place is beautiful but most resorts are very (very) expensive. It’s a luxury destination and it may also be a temporary destination… Maldives highest point is 2.4 meters above sea level so the islands may not still be around in a few decades if the water levels rise. It would be a shame to miss that, so book your trip now!

Season wise, the best months to visit Maldives are: January, February, March, April If you go there to surf, target April to October.

Connections from Maldives

Maldives is typically a standalone destination from Singapore since there are direct flights. However you can combine this trip with a trip to Sri Lanka. A lot of tourists coming from Europe would actually combine the two.

Getting from Singapore to Maldives

Fly from Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) to Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (MLE).

Singapore Airlines & Tigerair have daily flights there.  Tiger has great offers and good timing.

Getting there: SIN to MLE : Tigerair :9:20 AM – 11:10AM (4h50 flight)
Coming back: MLE  to SIN: Tigerair 11:55PM – 7.50PM
Return tickets from SGD 380.

Get your ticket NOW to enjoy the best fares. Use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flight or check directly on the airlines websites (as some flights may not be visible on Skyscanner).

Getting from Male airport to your resort

Food, money change & souvenir shops are available at the airport. The airport has undergone some renovation and immigration is quite efficient. It’s a small airport and this means you can be out in a few minutes. Ibrahim Nasir International airport is on its own island close to Male.

You need to arrange your transfer with your resort before your fly to Male. The staff will pick you up at the arrival and take you to either a boat or a lounge in another building if you take a seaplane transfer. You don’t really need to worry about it because this will be arranged by your resort.

  • Boat transfers are usually from 30 minutes to 1.30 hours
  • Seaplane transfers could be anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the distance from the airport to your resort.  Seaplanes only operate in daylight hours (so keep this in mind when you book your flights, if  you arrive late, you will have to spend the night somewhere around the airport, same thing if you leave very early in the morning. The seaplane transfers are managed by Transmaldivian, the local airline and can be very costly. A return trip by seaplane will cost from USD 250 to SGD 500 for per person.  These can only be arranged through your resort so make sure that you book them when you get your tickets. Prices are crazy but there is no other choice (the beauty of monopoly).  There is no point trying to negotiate or arrange your transfer on your own. It will be a very small plane (16 seats) with no aircon and very tight seats. But… you will get to see the Maldives from the air and that’s priceless (well actually it has a -high -price).
  • For resorts that are really out of the way, there are also domestic flights

Where to stay in Maldives?

That’s the million dollar question! We probably spent more time researching our hotel than time in our hotel! Budget will obviously be a key consideration (including the question regarding the half board/full board) but should not be the only one. Take a look at the food & drink menu before you book so that you are mentally prepared when you go. You don’t want this to ruin your holidays but you will be 100% captive of your resort. So, unless you plan to starve yourself to death, you will have to purchase food and beverages from them.

Depending on what you want to do (snorkel, dive, surf) or see (sharks or mantas), you will need to pick your atoll accordingly.

In addition to the usual review websites, you can also take a look at Sevenholidays to see which resort better fits your profile and needs. As always, we can only recommend our friends from Agoda to book. Given the amount the rewards points you get are not to be missed!

Or book your hotel with

To see & to do in Maldives

Do nothing

The Maldive are not the kind of destination where you want to have a 1 meter long to do list. It’s a place to relax. Chances are you will be in an amazing environment in a luxury resort so why not just enjoy it?

Snorkeling and diving

Of course, these 2 activities come on top of the list given the uniqueness of the Maldives. Every resort arrange snorkeling and diving excursions. You can check on their website before you go if you are looking for something specific (mantas or sharks). Now, seasoned divers and snorkelers may find some spots nice but not as exceptional as some other places.

Sailing

We had a very good time sailing a catamaran in the lagoon. Check if your resort offers windsurfing, sailing or any other water sport. It’s usually the case.

Surfing

If you are a surfer (or want to be one), there are some nice spots in the Maldives. Check the Wavehunters website for more details on spots and best seasons

Relax again

Maldives is a top destination for honeymooners. No need to say that you may feel a  bit lonely if you are in the mood for a crazy party with free flow of alcohol and people going wild. Chances are you will end up getting massage in a spa between 2 cocktails.

Visiting Male?

Most tourists visiting the Maldives skip Male, the capital city. There are a few things to see in the city but to be honest, it’s probably wise to spend more time on the beach, under the sea or sailing than in Male.

More info to prepare your trip

Internet access is available in all hotels (but please turn it OFF!)

What to pack for Maldives

Your main bag

That’s the one you leave at the hotel. Ideally you want to avoid checking in your luggage when flying. So check the weight and dimensions for hand carry luggage with your airlines (some airlines will allow only 7kg, some will allow up to 10kg). From head to toes.

  • Short sleeves tops: your main outfit. Everybody will see them on all your pictures. You really want to take that old Mickey Mouse T-shirt? Be mindful that you will be in a different environment so it might be a good idea to adjust your wardrobe.
  • Long sleeves tops: to protect yourself from the sun (if you’ve stayed for 5 hours on a motorbike with short sleeves you know what I mean) or to enter religious buildings or to protect yourself from mosquitoes in the evening.
  • Pullover. Yes I know, you’re going to a country where the temperature never goes down below 25 degrees and you need to pack a pullover? You will thank us when you’re back. Remember that flight during which  you were freezing? Or this museum where the aircon is set to the “polar bear” temperature?
  • Short/skirt (you should be able to chose the appropriate one by yourself).
  • Trousers for the same reasons you need to take long sleeves tops. Jeans are usually not a good option. They are heavy and keep you too warm.
  • Underwear: well, you know. If you plan to walk or ride motorbikes for long hours, take something comfortable as the combination heat + friction can make you regret this sophisticated silk underwear. Cotton is good.
  • Shoes: one pair of flip flap and one pair of confortable shoes. Remember that you are going to spend most of the time on your feet. Forget about high heels and leave your Westons at home.
  • Swimsuit: even if you don’t plan to go to the beach, you never know. A nice river, a swimming pool, a heavy rain? Always have one with you.
  • Raincoat and protection for your bag. Even if you are visiting the country during the “best season”, you never know what the sky will be like.
  • Torch: take a pocket torch with you if you visit countries where the power is not reliable… Can come very handy when stuck in the dark in your room.
  • Toilet bag: Shampoo, soap, toothbrush & toothpath, deodorant, sun screen, tiger balm. Ideally, all these in miniature formats.
  • Sleeping bag liner (if you plan to stay in very cheap or dirty places, not required if you are staying in a 5-star hotel…)
  • Your IT stuff: iPad, eBook, laptop, chargers, memory card, batteries, etc.
  • Dryer sheets: they will help keep a fresh smell in your bag.

Your small bag

That’s the one you keep with you, all the time. Hence, a backpack is the best option.

  • Your passportcashcredit cards and other life saving items like your insurance card with emergency contact details. Not a bad idea to put them in a zip-lock bag  in case it rains. It will keep your documents dry.
  • Your driver’s licence if you plan to rent a car or a motorbike (some countries are quite particular about this so take it with you in case you are not sure, even for a motorbike rental).
  • Your emergency medical kit: painkillers, mosquitoes repellent, dressing/plaster, disinfectant, anti diarrhea, eyewash
  • Tissues and toilet paper (you will thank me later). Remember that in a lot of countries, you will not be provided napkins when having a meal.
  • Water – plastic bottles are a good option as they are lighter than a gourd/flask.
  • Biscuits (always buy some before you go when you are not sure what you will find. Always have “emergency” biscuit  and water in case you cannot find food around and need to recharge batteries)
  • Sunglasses: you’ll need them. Take them even if it’s raining. Weather can change very fast in the region.
  • Scarf (krama, or any kind of fabric that you can use to put around your neck, put on your head to protect it from the sun, cover your shoulders in temples, dry your sweat, etc). Can come very handy in some situation. It will not stay clean for long so it’s wise to pick a dark color…
  • Camera and its protection.

Beach pack

Remember that this one comes on top of the Regular pack (above)

  • Beach towel or equivalent (pareos / sarongs are lighter)
  • Snorkeling equipment: mask, scuba, (fins?)
  • Shoes you can wear on the beach or in the water (to protect your feet from being cut by corals)
  • Dry bag if you plan to go on a boat and want to keep your stuff dry.

Well, you will probably adjust your bag after a few trips. Remove the stuff that you have not used and add the one that you missed. Post a comment to share your tips!

Happy packing (it’s the worse part of the trip but it’s worth it…) and travelling!

The Maldives

Maldives

  • Language: Maldivian (but all tourist related people speak English)
  • Time zone:   GMT + 5 for Male. Some resort have decided to adjust their hour one hour ahead or later than Malé so check with your resort what time they are using.
  • Currency: Maldivian rufiyaa (MYR) but all prices are in USD and you will pay in USD
  • Phone: + 960
  • Electricity: 230V 50 Hz

Immigration

No visa is required to enter the Maldives. All nationalities are granted a free 30 day visa  on arrival provided you have a ticket out of Maldives and a hotel reservation or proof that you can cover the cost of your stay in the Maldives. You can check the latest regulation on the Maldivian Government immigration website

National Public Holidays in the Maldives

2015 Public Holiday
1 January New Year Day
3 January Mouloud
24 January National Day
7 March The Day Maldives Embraced Islam
18 June Beginning of Ramadan
17 July Eid ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr
26 July Independence Day
23 September Eid al-Adha
14 October Islamic New Year
24 October Hajj Day
3 November Victory Day
11 November Republic Day

* check the exact date as it varies from one year to another.