The main airport in Maldives is the Male International Airport, also known as Velana International Airport, which connects the small country to various countries and cities in the world, especially South East Asian countries such as India, China and Sri Lanka. The airport is located in the North Male Atoll on Hulhule Island which is near the capital island of Male. These are the three international airports in the Maldives apart from the Male International Airport.
There are quite a few domestic airports as well which serve atolls like Laamu, Dhaalu and Gnaviyani to name just a few.
There are several direct flights from various Indian cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and even Kochi. People from Dubai, Europe and Singapore also fly in here regularly, either on direct flights or chartered flights.
Numerous airlines serve the country of Maldives including Air India, Air France, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Alitalia and Turkish Airlines to name just a few. Maldives has its own national airline which is Maldivian. It is a domestic and international airline, connecting various countries and cities.
As there are no scheduled routes between Maldives and its nearest neighbours – India and Sri Lanka, travelling to Maldives by boat isn’t very common. Nevertheless, there are cargo ships that come here often but they may not take passengers.
If you’re visiting the Maldives, it’s most likely that you’re headed to a resort on one of the many islands there and the best way to reach the island is by seaplane. A rather unique mode of transportation, the seaplane ride can be simply mesmerizing as it flies at a low altitude and the views of the gently swirling turquoise waters can be quite a breath taking as the islands come into view.
Also known as air-taxis, there are two main operators in Maldives – Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian Airways which can transport passengers, 15 at one time. The longest seaplane rides are no more than 90 minutes long. However, do note that these seaplanes do not operate at night.
With the many clusters of islands present here, it makes sense to travel by boat whenever you need to travel between different islands. There are a number of different kinds of boats that are used here, from speedboats to the local dhonis. You can charter any of these to travel to nearby islands. Also known as taxi boats, they are often used to transport tourists to the various islands in the north and south atolls. Boats also don’t operate after dark, so do bear this in mind before making sightseeing trips.
Male and Addu are the two cities where you will most likely see taxis on roads. There are several of them plying about and can easily be recognized by the taxi sign on top. Taxi drivers often pick up multiple passengers on the same trip as Male is so small. Do remember to carry change with you and although some taxi drivers do take US dollars, they may not give you back your change in dollars. Taxi drivers are also known to charge extra if you’re carrying luggage with you. Since Male is small, most places are within walkable distances.
If you want to hop between islands, then your best bet is to get on a dhoni, which is the local boat that is used everywhere here. It may not be as fast as a speedboat but it does the job and takes you from one island to the other. It can be a much gentler experience than going on a faster boat, but it’s charming nonetheless, with waves gently lapping against the hull.
The best place to find these dhonis would be at the airport ferry jetty where there are numerous dhonis waiting for passengers. Do remember and bargain before you hire any of these.
Maldives tourism is absolutely amazing and there are many places to visit in Maldives too. Before you book your resort on the island for a dream vacation, do check if children are allowed, as most resorts don’t allow children under the age of five. In fact, most honeymoon resorts even have an age requirement of at least 10 years.
Do brush up on your bargaining skills before you head over to the Maldives if you want to get some decent discounts. There are some amazing Maldives tour packages available and also check out the best time to visit the Maldives.