So you have decided to ignore the tempting all-inclusive Maldives packages that agencies are offering to book the trip and make every travel arrangement on your own. While the first option might seem simpler and certainly save you a good deal of stress and worries when it comes to planning, the flexible nature of the second one will surely enable you to customise the whole experience at your will and, at the same time, let you unleash your inner free-spirit adventure traveller.
Flying to the Maldives
When searching for flights to the Maldives, you need to look for routes ending in Male airport –also known as Velana International-, which is located in Hulhulé island in the capital city of the Republic of Maldives. Today, the majority of airlines that handle international operations offer direct flights to Male, either seasonal or scheduled. However, you may want to check in advance whether you can fly to the Maldives with your airline of choice or if you will need to make a connection.
How to get to your island in the Maldives
Unless you are staying in the capital, Male, you will need to transfer to the atoll in the Maldives where your accommodation is located, and you can do so by plane, ferry or speedboat. While ferries are probably the cheapest way to commute, we strongly recommend catching a domestic flight from Male airport to your island in the Maldives if they are available, as it is the fastest means and ferry transfers get cancelled when the weather conditions are not favourable. For a more stylish commute, you can always book a speedboat ride or a private jet for you and your travel mates.
What to do in the Maldives
A considerable number of tourists go to the Maldives to disconnect and unwind, choosing beach resorts or overwater villas where they can just relax, be pampered at the spa centres and indulge in the finest seafood and champagne. However, the Maldives is also a place for thrill-seekers who would love to go scuba diving in the Arabian Sea, snorkel in the Indian Ocean and swim in its warm turquoise waters near sea turtles, stingrays and whale sharks. Besides, the Maldives islands are a popular destination for surfers and SUP lovers.
In view of all of the above, and in case you still think that this trip is exclusively for luxury travellers, we must add that you will find different sorts of accommodation in the Maldives to suit your travel budget. By way of example, we have selected three places to stay on three islands of the archipelago and sorted them from lowest nightly rate to highest.
Where to stay in the Maldives: the Maafushi Inn
This 2-star accommodation in Maafushi island is a comfortable place to stay in the Maldives run by friendly hosts. In order to reach it you can take one of the public ferries departing from Male International airport. The journey will take one hour and a half, however, you will deem it well worth it when you arrive at this beachfront inn with direct access to the beach and cosy rooms featuring WiFi, air conditioning, free bottled water, coffee amenities and attached bathroom. Select units also afford beautiful ocean views. Travellers seeking a dynamic stay instead of a relaxing one may join their water sports gatherings and boat trip tours.
3-star accommodation in the Maldives: the Dhiguveli Guest House
The Dhiguveli guest house is on the Dhigurah Atoll and, even when you can take a ferry or speedboat to arrive, we recommend the convenience of a domestic flight from Male International airport. This recommended accommodation in the Maldives includes a private beach, an onsite restaurant and a garden area where you can sunbathe. The guest rooms have en suite toilet and shower, complimentary amenities, wireless internet connection at no extra charge and a water heater, and a daily buffet-style breakfast may be enjoyed inside the facilities.
Staying in a villa in the Maldives: the 4-star Adaaran Prestige Ocean Villas
Getting to these overwater villas in the Maldives from Male International airport is as easy as taking a 30-minute speedboat ride, which can be arranged by the establishment upon request. This more luxurious option features privileges such as a private deck for each unit, TV, DVD player, minibar, free WiFi and personal butler. During your stay, other extras will be put at your disposal, namely the various restaurants and bars on site, an open-air swimming pool and a spa centre, plus you will get the chance to join surfing, diving and water-ski activities.