Maldives Holiday Information
As Maldives holiday experts we get asked a lot of questions. You'll find our teams know pretty much the answer to most things, and if we don't know we'll enjoy finding out the answers for you. Here are a few of the questions we get asked most often. However if you still have a questions please feel free to call us (number shown above) or use the contact us link above to ask us a question.
Maldives Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long are the flights?
A. Direct flights are around 11 hours. Indirect flights take longer, depending on the stopover en route. Watch out for some flights combinations which may have 8 or more hours changeover in Dubai or Doha.
Q. Which are the best flights?
A. The charter flights are with Monarch or Thomson. They are good value, but not long on luxury. Both offer upgraded seats at a price, which are worthwhile if you require extra room. The upgraded seats do sell out quickly, so if these are important to you, book early. They travel once a week, so holiday durations of 7, 14 and 21 nights etc are all that are available.
The Scheduled flights are with Sri Lankan Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and from 2010 British Airways. Emirates and Qatar are always via Dubai and Doha respectively, and so stopovers may be relevant.
Generally the scheduled flights cost more, but not always. They also offer more regional options, and are deemed more comfortable.
Q. How do I get to my Island?
A. All Ready made Packages include transfers to your Island. This will be by Dhoni, Speedboat or Seaplane, depending on the distance involved. Dhonis are the local workhorse boats – slow but steady and spacious. Speedboats are obviously faster, but quite bouncy. The Seaplanes are great fun as you get to see the island from the air, but are not to everyone's taste, and may not take all your luggage (the rest may follow by boat). Keep an eye on transfer times – boat transfers maybe 45 minutes up to 5 hours! Seaplane is usually 20 minutes to 1 hour.
When booking a Dynamic Package or tailor making your own itinerary, make sure transfers are included as they are very difficult to arrange locally on arrival.
Q. What sort of holiday will I get in the Maldives?
A. A typical Maldives holiday will be very relaxing and laid back, with plenty of snorkeling and diving, or lying around on soft sand beaches. Each Island is a resort on its own, so facilities and style will vary, but none of them are huge, and all of them are remote from each other, so the facilities of the Resort you choose will be your limit for the duration.
The Maldives provides the classic romantic holiday setting for couples of all ages. They do cater for children, but not to a huge extent – if you are taking children they need to be relaxed and adaptable, and not expect full-on entertainment all the time.
Excursions are fairly limited – you may have the opportunity to visit a local Island for a day, or do twilight cruises or fishing trips. Shopping is very limited, and there are no historical sites to visit. It is likely that your only option for food and drink will be the hotel you are staying at.
Q. I have heard drink is expensive – is this true?
A. Basically, yes! The Maldives are a Muslim country – no alcohol is produced there, and all imported booze is heavily taxed. Think £5 per beer and £40 for a bottle of wine. If you drink a fair amount it is well worth going all inclusive to avoid the surprise of the drinks bill at the end. Equally, if you don't drink, it is well worth going Half Board or Full board, as otherwise you are paying a lot for alcohol you will not be consuming. Don't be tempted to take alcohol with you on the flights – import of alcohol is strictly banned, and if you are caught you may spend your vacation in a police cell!
Q. Are there any Health or medical issues?
A. Generally – No. The Maldives are not malarial, and there are no special vaccinations required, although you should check with your GP for the most up to date information. As with all tourist hotels in a tropical environment, they can suffer occasional outbreaks of food poisoning. If you are vulnerable to this, as in any tropical environment, avoid salads and drink only bottled water.
Although there are no mosquitoes, some islands do suffer from Sand flies – they are not dangerous, but their bites itch like mad! Bring insect repellants for the legs.
Q. It is a Muslim country – is this a problem?
A. Not really. The tourist islands are generally pretty laid back, and allow drinking (see above). Topless and nude bathing is not permitted, and most islands expect a decent level of dress in the restaurants. If you take a day trip to Male, the capital, you will be expected to conform with normal Muslim codes.
Q. What Money do I need to take to the Maldives?
A.The simple answer is "not a lot"! Any bills you incur with the hotel (eg drinks and extras if you are not on All Inclusive) are best settled on a debit or credit card at the end of your stay. As with most destinations, the use of Travellers cheques has almost died out. You will need some cash to tip the room boys and restaurant staff, if you want to do this. They prefer "hard" currency, particularly US Dollars, to their own Maldive Rufiyaa. They will also take UK Pounds and Euros.
The only time you are likely to need Rufiyaa is if you visit a local Island, or the Capital Male on a shopping trip. In this case, you can get Rufiyaa from your hotel reception either in exchange for US dollars, or against your card.