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Maldives - Frequently Asked Questions

Table of contents

  1. When is the best time to go?
  2. Do you need a visa?
  3. How can I get there?
  4. What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
  5. What is there to see and do?
  6. Where is the Maldives?
  7. Is it expensive to drink there?
  8. Will I be expected to tip? And if so, how much?

When is the best time to go?

The Maldives is really a year-round destination, experiencing warm weather and plenty of sunshine during most seasons. The most popular time to visit is between December and April, when it is driest. You can, however, visit outside of this period, although the possibility of storms is more likely. Even so, you can still look forward to warm temperatures and lots of sunshine, although be prepared to see a few more clouds in the sky.

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Do you need a visa?

British citizens, and as a matter of fact anyone of any nationality, will be granted a 30-day tourist visa on arrival. Make sure you know the details of your hotel and have an onward or return air ticket that you can show to immigration officials if asked.

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How can I get there?

British Airways offer several direct flights to the Maldives' capital Male each week and Thomson also flies there direct from London Gatwick. Many other international carriers run indirect services to the Maldives via the likes of Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka and Singapore. A direct flight typically takes a little over 10 hours.

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What is the local currency and what currency should I take?

The local currency is the Maldives rufiyaa, which is pegged to the US dollar. Generally, US dollars are preferred and your hotel bill will normally be presented in dollars. International debit and credit cards are widely accepted at the resorts if you'd prefer not to carry cash.

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What is there to see and do?

The Maldives boasts true paradise islands (also known as atolls) and there are two main reasons to travel to the destination - to relax on its pristine beaches and go scuba diving. The reefs that surround its coral atolls are considered to be some of the best in the world, so diving beneath the surface is a real must. Snorkelling is an alternative option to scuba diving if you don't feel ready to take the plunge. Another popular water sport here is surfing, but it's only advisable for those with experience to get on a board, as the waves break onto the coral reefs. Within the main resorts there are often amazing spas where you can be utterly pampered. Because there's only one resort per island, you can simply enjoy soaking up the amazing scenery of the white-sand beaches fringed by waving palm trees as you sunbathe. The Maldives is very popular with couples and honeymooners due to its exclusivity and seclusion.

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Where is the Maldives?

The Maldives is situated in the Indian Ocean, with its 1,190 coral islands spread across an area of 90,000 sq km. Only around 200 of these islands are inhabited, with a further 90 having been developed as tourist resorts.

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Is it expensive to drink there?

Drinking in the Maldives is expensive, with the price of alcohol usually marked up quite considerably at the resorts. Be aware that because the population is predominantly Muslim, you will not be able to buy alcohol anywhere except the resort islands.

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Will I be expected to tip? And if so, how much?

A ten per cent service tax is generally added to restaurant bills, drink prices and even room rates, but in some cases it is still a good idea to leave a tip. Room staff (such as butlers) in the high-end resorts should be tipped a few US dollars per day for their services, while it's customary to offer around $1 per bag for any porters. When you're eating at a restaurant that adds a service charge to the bill, don't feel obliged to tip.

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The Residence Maldives resort on the island of Falhumaafushi in the Gaafu Alifu atoll has launched new "Maldives After Dark" stays, where guests can enjoy a range of activities at night. These include snorkelling and scuba diving along coral reefs at night with biofluorescence lights, tranquil full moon yoga classes, and sunset stand-up paddle boarding excursions.