Maldives Tourism

Have you ever answered the question – if you were stuck on an island, what would you bring? Books, people, food, some form of entertainment. Well, luckily, the island we’re going to describe today needs none of the above. You only step onto the soft, warm sand of the beaches, feel the blue green waves slip under your feet and in between your toes, hear the beat of the music, smell the lime, coconut and chilly of a tangy fish soup to understand that this island nation needs nothing to make it better. 

So, if there was ever an island to be stuck on (or visit) the Maldives it is. Today, we’re going to give you a small insight into this ocean bound treasure. We’ll dive under the water, we’ll walk the streets, learn about the history and explore the best of Maldives Tourism. Let’s dive in!

Maldives Tourism- A Quick Overview

Continent

Asia

Capital City

Male

Official Language

Dhivehi

Dial Code

+960

Population

530, 953

Currency

Maldivian rufiyaa

Time Zone

(GMT+5)

Area

297.8 sq. km

 

Highlights of Maldives

Cities and Islands in Maldives

The Maldives island nation is a cluster of precious jewels – discovering each of them is a pleasure and delight. Start with Malé – the capital city. Thrumming with energy, this is a city filled with beautiful buildings, like the 17th century Friday Mosque, energetic markets like Male Market and the lovely Mulee aage Palace. Cross the sparkling waters that surround Male and you’ll arrive at the Hulhumale Island, with its spectacular beaches, glass topped mosque, a beautiful promenade and serene, green neighbourhoods. If you’re going slightly off the well-trodden path, then Maafushi is the destination to visit. Once ravaged by the tsunami, this island is climbing back on its feet, with a variety of beautiful resorts springing up. This is a quiet, beautiful pocket of the world to tuck yourself into. Stroll on the beaches, laze at the guesthouse and enjoy coffee at its small coffeehouses. For a little history, head to the northernmost of the Maldivian island chains to the island of Utheemu – once the home of Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu, the leader who drove the Portuguese invaders from the islands in the 16th century. Other places to visit are Feydhoo, Maradhoo, Veligandu Island, Banana Reef, Thulusdhoo Island and more. 

 

Shopping at Maldives

The Maldives isn’t the shopping hub of the world, but there are beautiful souvenirs to buy from the many markets that crowd the islands. The first place to visit is the Male Local Market. This exciting bazaar sells gorgeous handicrafts, mementos and more. Pick up packaged sweetmeats, boat souvenirs, seashell home décor and silky coconut milk. The next market on your list should be Majeedhee Magu, where local cosmetics, dried fish chips, canned smoked fish, jewellery, electronics, clothes are all yours for the choosing. Forgotten your toiletries at home? Then wander over to Le Cute – the Maldivess most famous beauty and cosmetics shop. Healthcare, herbal, perfumes and more – you’ll find them all here. For a more curated shopping experience, visit Island Bazaar – classy, elegant and expensive, you’ll find intricate handicrafts, bags, décor, handmade jewellery, scarves and handmade dishes. 

 

Nature and Wildlife in Maldives

The blue and green of Maldives conceal worlds of wildlife and marine life. Fruit bats, lizards of every colour, slinky snakes, turtles swirling their way under the water, beautiful pelagic birds, whales and dolphins twisting in the water, hammerhead sharks shyly slipping through the massive coral reefs, sting rays gliding across the ocean floor, thousands and thousands of schools of colourful fish. You need to plunge into the wonder of this environment to see them all. Explore the underwater kingdom from popular dive sites like Sun Island, Broken Rock, Maaya Thila, Banana Reef and Alimatha Jetty. 

 

Cuisine of Maldives

Light, fresh, tinged with every kind of spice – the cuisine in the Maldives is delicious. You must try Garudhiya at least once during your trip. This fragrant fish soup is served with rice, chilli, lemon and onions. For more seafood specials, go for a plate of Mas Huni – smoked and shredded tuna sprinkled with lemon, coconut and onions. For a lighter fare, Masroshi is a must – chapati stuffed with flaky tuna and coconut. For that crunchy, crispy goodness Bis Keemiya is on point – a crisp pastry stuffed with hardboiled egg (or tuna), sliced onions and shredded cabbage. For a healthier option, try Boshi Mashuni – a mix of shredded banana flowers, coconut all gently spiked with turmeric, cumin, lime and Maldivian chilli. For a mid-day snack, you can’t do better than crispy fried yams served with a variety of dips. End on a sweet note with Saagu Bondibai – sago softened with coconut milk and condensed milk, flooded with the essence of cardamom and rose.

 

Interesting facts about Maldives

  • The world’s first underwater cabinet meeting was held here, to highlight climate change and rising ocean levels.
  • The island was formed by an exiled Indian prince – Sri Soorudasaruna Adeettiya - according to legend.
  • The Maldives is comprised of more than 1190 coral islands.
  • You will only find alcohol in hotels and resorts as the country is an Islamic nation.
  • The literacy rate here is close to 98 percent.

 

Location of Maldives

Found in the swirling Arabian Sea (part of the larger Indian ocean) this small South Asian island nation lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India and around 1,000 kilometres from the Asian continent. The Maldives is comprised of 26 atolls (a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon partially or completely). Some atolls form islands and some are isolated reefs.

 

Best time to visit Maldives

The sun loves Maldives! Blue skies, gentle waves and the warm sun - perfect weather for all those great beach days. However, the best time to visit this island nation is from November to April (with the best weather conditions peaking between December and March). The Maldives do experience a monsoon season – between May and October. The rains hamper a lot of activity around the beaches and in the water, so it’s best to book your tickets for the drier season.

So choose the best time to visit Maldives wishly  

How to reach the Maldives

By Air: Booking a flight to the Maldives? You’ll either land at Malé Airport – the largest airport in the country or Gan Airport in Addu city. There are domestic airports, like Kaadedhdhoo Airport and Hanimaadhoo Airport, in case you want to travel within the country. The International Airports are well connected, with flights from India, China and Sri Lanka. You can also catch a direct flight from Dubai, or chartered flights from Singapore or Europe. Do note, that exporting sand, seashells or coral is forbidden and a punishable offense. 

You can also check out more ways on How to Reach Maldives

History of Maldives

Although early Maldivians did not leave any archaeological artefacts, experts believed that their homes and settlements were decimated in the tropical climate. Studies have suggested, though, that the first settlers were from the neighbouring Indian subcontinent – with strong Tamilian and Malayalam influences seen in the language, poetry, names, dance and religious beliefs. In the 12th century, Islam was introduced to the Maldives and was consolidated as a Sultanate. During the 16th century, the nation slid under European colonial powers. The Maldives officially became a British protectorate in 1887. It was in 1965 that the country was granted independence from the United Kingdom. A presidential republic was established in 1968.

Language Spoken

Dhivehi (Maldivian)

Currency used:

Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR)

DEC-APR 28 - 30oC
MAY-NOV 25 - 28oC

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Best Maldives Tourism Guide

 

Cost and Money

Credit cards are widely accepted in the Maldives, especially in resorts, guesthouses, and restaurants. ATMs are most commonly found in Malé, making it better to carry cash when in other islands. While service tax is applied on almost every transaction, tipping is a common practice, where service people expect you to be a little polite on charity. Being an exquisite island resort, accommodation in the Maldives can be a little expensive. Approximately from Rs. 14,000, prices can go all the way up to Rs. 99,000 for a night. This is in a way, a pleasant surprise of sorts considering the fact that tourism in the Maldives is very recent in terms of its origin. It first started with two resorts in the early 1970s and now, it boasts of being one of the most sophisticated tourism destinations in the world.

Apart from the picturesque locations, Instagram-worthy backdrops, and local delicacies, what you will take home from your stay at the Maldives is the smile of the locals. Be it the housekeeping professionals who pass a warm hello when you pass by your hotel corridor, the in-room dining waiter who makes you coffee or just the people on streets who wave at you while on the move, these instances are sure to resonate with you for a long time after you leave the island. This is like a gift from tourism in the Maldives.

Besides, one of the most peaceful aspects of Maldives tourism is simply the fact that there are no intrusive hawkers or guides trying to sell their services while you’re immersed in your world. Unless and until you go and ask for services, you can be sure that tourism in the Maldives will pamper you by leaving you to yourself.

There are also amazing Maldives Tour Packages to choose from,here at Thomas Cook

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