Maldives travel information including maps of the Maldives, food, drink and where to stay in the Maldives as well as the best time to travel to the Maldives

Since the advent of tourism here in the 1970s, the Maldives have run a policy of one island, one resort, and have been successful in separating visitors from inhabited islands. Using a smooth-running machine, tourists were transported by seaplane or speedboat to their packed vacation. Now, with more mid-range options, adventurous travelers discovering the islands, for the first time, can stay in guesthouses, popping up all over the country, and travel outside designated “tourist areas”.

The attraction for travelers is enormous with 1,200 islands and only about 100 of them are used as inhabited islands or as exclusive resorts. It’s safe to say that much of the Maldives remains unexplored – one last frontier. The Indian Ocean is dotted with pristine islands that have not seen a human footprint for many years. It is certainly not an easy place to negotiate travel, being geographically, politically and socially challenged, but travelers are now arriving in the thousands, hoping to experience the Robinson Crusoe way of life and engage with the locals. local.

The capital of the Maldives, Male, is a melting pot of activity – a vibrant commercial hub where 80% of the county’s population is in a hurry. Teahouses are not a place for a female traveler – if you are a woman and brave enough to venture there. , expect long, unwelcome glances. The younger generation can be seen hanging out at Sea House, sporting their permanent poodle haircuts and skinny jeans. Male is unlike any other place in the Maldives. People love gadgets and everyone will have a cooler phone than you do!

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A good place to start is Hulhule Island Hotel (HIH), which adjoins the airport. This 70s themed bar is the one and only watering hole for expats in Male. It’s easy to strike up a conversation with one of the established expats who know the country inside out and can point you on an adventure.

Addu, originally a British RAF base, is by far the most economical atoll. Unique to the Maldives, the British built a causeway across six islands. Rent a bicycle and explore the islands, connecting with the locals.

Get off the beaten track and discover the Shaviyani Atoll. Near Komandoo Island – where a chain of five uninhabited islands are connected by a sandbar. At low tide, it’s like walking through a long white desert crossing from one island to another.

Maldivian culture and heritage can be found on Ari Atoll, home to communities that have lived on these islands for centuries. Some of these islands have ruins and artifacts from ancient Buddhist and Hindu settlements before the arrival of Islam.

Tips for wanting to travel

Remember it is a Muslim country. Be aware of local customs. On the local islands, it is illegal to wear bikinis on the beach – there are huge signs prohibiting the wearing of swimsuits or revealing clothing.

During prayer time, shops close and buses stop at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and early evening. During Ramadan, tourists are not allowed to eat or drink in public, as everyone observes a strict fast during the day.

On the more remote local islands, it is recommended to learn a few basic words and phrases as some traders do not always speak English.