Maldives

Holidays

Find your island paradise in the beautiful Maldives

With its year-round sunshine and easy way of life, the Maldives offers a dream-like escape from the everyday. Made up of more than 1,000 tiny islands, filled with relaxing resorts on white sands that fringe the impossibly blue waters of the Indian Ocean - welcome to your very own slice of heaven on earth.

From taking in the sights and sounds of cosmopolitan capital Malé, to experiencing the luxury of your own private island, the Maldives is a destination like no other. Discover enchanting coral reefs, immerse yourself in 3,000 years of history and embark on an island-hopping adventure from one tropical paradise to the next.

Whether you’re looking to unwind and sink your toes into soothing sands or experience adventure on the waves, the Maldives is truly a trip for the senses. Browse our luxurious packages and prepare to lose yourself in your own personal paradise.

The weather in the Maldives

The Maldives is blessed with an average year-round temperature of 30ºC, but the best time to visit is the dry season, typically between December and April. The clear skies make this the busiest time on the islands, especially during the holiday period, so be sure to book in advance.

Monsoon season runs from May to November, when the weather is hot and humid. There’s also the risk of some heavy downpours, strong winds and stormy conditions. Late summer has short heavy showers interspersed with plenty of sunshine, whilst the early summer months are subject to full days of rainfall. There are short showers in November too, as the season moves from wet to dry. 

Things to do in the Maldives

From those looking for a romantic getaway to sports enthusiasts, the Maldives caters to a whole host of travellers. What type of holiday will you choose? 

Breathtaking beaches

Nestled in its own corner of paradise, it’s no wonder every beach in the Maldives is magical. From sands so white they light up at night to cyan blue waters ideal for snorkelling alongside colourful shoals of fish, there are no better beaches on the planet.

Sunbathe in style while sipping a refreshing drink beneath the tropical palm trees on the powder-white beach of Hulhumale. Stick around till sunset to see the sky erupt in bright orange hues, its reflection shimmering off the clear, tranquil water.

Sink into luxury at Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru resort. The perfect romantic getaway, this private island has everything you need to unwind. Each villa is perched on the soft sands, allowing you to step from the bedroom to the warm waters in seconds. As well as its exquisite beach, you can explore Vabbinfaru’s fascinating marine centre or take relaxation to the next level in its wellness spa.

Where to stay in the Maldives

Culture

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the Maldives’ culture, head to the heart of its capital. Away from the peaceful island resorts, bustling Malé is filled with colourful buildings and historic architecture. There are a number of top hotels just moments away from all the action. The Somerset Hotel is a 4-star resort right in the centre of Malé. Its chic design is perfect for a holiday in the capital, with facilities that give you the best of the Maldives’ laid-back way of life.

Luxury

The Maldives is as luxurious as it comes. It’s a place where you can indulge in the finer things in life, from relaxing spas to exceptional cuisine, and of course, magical beaches.

Perhaps the height of opulence can be found at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, a 5-star hotel on its own private island with everything you need to enjoy the holiday of your dreams. You’ll have your own resort butler, ready to wait on you day or night, so all you have to worry about is which activities to indulge in.

Enjoy your exclusive terrace overlooking the beach or tropical gardens. Alternatively, choose an overwater suite to get closer to the marine life.

There are six restaurants to dine in here, each one featuring dishes from around the world, as well as giving you the option to dine at your own villa. Spend your days on the private beach, get pampered at the wellness spa or enjoy a friendly game of tennis on the outdoor court, surrounded by tropical vegetation.  

Active

The Maldives is well known for its spectacular waters. Mövenpick Resort on Kuredhivaru Island has everything you need to relax, including a spa and your own private plunge pool as well as the opportunity to explore the ocean. With its own water sports centre, adventure lovers don’t need to look too far to find excitement. 

Get your adrenaline pumping with a number of activities led by experts including windsurfing, water skiing and kayaking. You can even head to nearby islands for some dolphin spotting or a romantic sunset cruise.

All you need to know about the Maldives

Currency

The local currency in the Maldives is the Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR), however, most tourist resorts accept and deal in US dollars. Usually, all resort costs are billable to your room, but it’s a good idea to take dollars in small notes for tipping. You’ll only need Maldivian rufiyaa if you choose to use local shops and services on inhabited islands.

Time Difference

The Maldives is four hours ahead of Ireland, so you may experience some jetlag when you first arrive, but your body should soon adjust.

Flight time

As there are no direct flights to the Maldives from Dublin you can expect to be in the air for just over 12 hours. Abu Dhabi is perfectly placed for a stopover. Stay for two nights en route and soak up the city’s culture, architecture and energy.

Visa

On arrival in the Maldives, Irish nationals can obtain a tourist visa for up to 30 days – just as long as you have a valid onward or return ticket and enough funds to cover you during your stay. Check the latest government guidance for travelling to the Maldives. 

Language

The language spoken in the Maldives is Dhivehi, although English is spoken in the resorts and at tourist hotspots. 

More about the Maldives

An oasis of peace and tranquillity, there’s more to the Maldives than meets the eye. 

Local cuisine

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, freshly caught fish is a staple of the Maldivian diet. Traditional dishes have a heavy influence of spice, taken from neighbouring countries such as India and Sri Lanka, as well as featuring the coconuts grown on the islands. The best place to sample the local delicacies is in the capital, Malé, filled with fish stalls displaying the catch of the day and markets teeming with sweet aromas and colourful produce.

There are plenty of traditional restaurants dotted across the islands too, if you want to sample local cuisine in a more formal setting. Don’t worry if spice and seafood aren’t your thing, each resort offers you a choice of dishes from around the world.

Cultural traditions

Sitting between Asia and Africa, the Maldives’ cultural heritage takes its cue from a variety of sources. You’ll find Arabic, Indian and Indonesian influences here, making it a fascinating place to visit. Each of the 1,000 small islands wears its own unique traditions and customs with pride.

And the sea is at the heart of Maldivian culture, reflected in paintings, sculptures and folklore featuring tales of sea monsters and mystical seafarers. You can also take a piece of the local culture home with you in the form of colourful jewellery and mats woven from indigenous reeds.

Music and dance also play a major role in Maldivian life. If you can, grab the chance to take in a traditional performance at one of the many festivals and events. 

Religion

Islam is the state religion in the Maldives. Part of the experience of visiting the Maldives is witnessing and respecting its religious customs and traditions, especially when travelling to locally inhabited islands. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • At resorts, or on private islands, there are no restrictions when it comes to what you wear, so go with the flow. Be mindful however, that in the capital or inhabited islands, women must cover their shoulders and thighs.
  • Resorts serve alcohol across their bars and restaurants so you can get into the holiday spirit. However, in the capital and on local inhabited islands alcohol is prohibited.
  • Shops often close on a Friday so residents can attend religious services.

We recommend

“Of course, Maldives is all about the luxury, but I’m never one to say no to street
food. Finolu at Baa Atoll serves up the best banh mi every Monday – with a
unique French twist. I love them.” 

Katie, Atlas Digital Editor

Multi-destination holidays: Abu Dhabi and the Maldives

Why not extend your trip to the Maldives by spending a few nights in the dynamic capital of the United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi? Just a four-hour flight away from the UK, this is a city of culture, cuisine and comfort.

Enjoy the year-round sunshine and buzzing restaurants – Zuma is our favourite! Visit the beautiful and peaceful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or seek out Louvre Abu Dhabi, filled with masterpieces from around the globe. Or relax on tranquil white sands overlooking gorgeous turquoise waters.

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