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Maldives

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MALDIVES TOURS

Thoughts of Maldives holidays evoke pictures of beautiful palm-fringed islands with great beaches, stunning coral reefs, hot sunshine and warm turquoise seas; and high prices! Well, we've devised a program of Maldives tours that see and experience a lot more of this beautiful island nation than most holiday makers ever do, and at much cheaper prices as well.

Instead of staying in one resort, our Maldives tours visit various different local islands and stay in comfortable friendly guesthouses or on board safari boats. We include a wide range of activities so you see the best of the Maldives' classic attractions as well as gaining an insight into the local way of life. These include several snorkelling trips; day trips to beautiful palm-fringed picnic islands; beach BBQs; a sunset picnic meal on a deserted sandbar; several meals with local families where you can try the local cuisine; evening fishing trips with local fishermen where you can try some traditional hand and line fishing and cook your catch afterwards; and tours of Male city and various inhabited local islands.

You also have plenty of free time to relax on the beach or try some more watersports activities including a wide range of scuba-diving options, more snorkelling, sea kayaking, surfing, windsurfing and catamaran sailing. Various extension options are available to add more days on the local islands, or to visit one of the Maldives' famous luxury resort islands.

All in all, our small group tours to the Maldives offer you an interesting, fun and exciting alternative to the average beach holiday at a much lower cost, and at the same time give you plenty of time to unwind and relax in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

These tours are also available to book privately, and don't forget to also check out our Maldives on a Shoestring tour (formerly Maldives Magic).

TOP Maldives TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is it safe to visit the Maldives?

Despite political unrest in the capital, the Maldives Ministry of Tourism has declared the country safe for tourists.

What is the official currency of the Maldives?

The currency of the Maldives is the rufiyaa, which is divided into 100 laari.

When is the best time of the year to visit the Maldives?

The best time to visit the Maldives is between November and April, as the weather is warm and there is little precipitation.

What to wear in the Maldives?

In resorts, you can be casual, and swimwear is acceptable. If you are visiting an inhabited island, you should dress conservatively and cover your legs and shoulders.

Is the tap water safe to drink in the Maldives?

The tap water is not safe to drink in the Maldives and it is advised to drink only bottled water.

TOUR REVIEWS

Excellent from the initial planning to every step along the way on the trip! Worry free in every way! Islam, Hussein and Mahmoud were the greatest! Please check out my review on Trip Advisor! FIve stars from this girl!
Excellent

I liked the fact we were met at the airport and helped thru customs and getting a visa and then upon leaving taken to where we needed to go. Its always tough to figure out where everything is in a foreign airport when you do not travel much
We had a wonderful time and great memories. We felt safe the whole time and would recommend this trip to anyone of any age as long as you can walk a lot. They are with you from arrival to departure and any problems that arose the guides would try their best to solve. They also showed remarkable patience for other people in other groups we saw that were acting like idiots.

There was a lot of communication from the beginning. The encounters staff was very responsive and the tour guide was great and very accommodating. Encounters was also able to help me with last minute changes to my itinerary while I was on the trip.

This is our first travel through Encounters Travel and so far the arrangement is working very well. Our travel is not until April 2017 so I am more than hopeful all will continue to run as smoothly as it has so far.

Ant provided excellent service. He always responded as quickly as he could, attending to the questions I had for him. He was also very patient and pleasant. I depended on his knowledge and service to make the trip.
I liked the service and the tour guide & driver on the tour. They were professional and provided very good service. I thought 1-2 hotels on the trip were not quite 4-star. It also happened that this group of people was always late for schedule and our walk pace was too slow. It really needs the guide to make people on schedule and be punctual for the activity. Overall I think the time management of this tour needs improvement.

ratings

Maldives Country Guide

Maldives Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT+5
Dial Code: +960
Area: 298 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in the Maldives is the Indian Ocean at 0m | The highest point in the Maldives is an unnamed location on Viligili in the Addu Atholhu at 2.4m (7.88 ft.)
Population: 444,259 (2018
Capital: Malé
Governemnt: Republic, Presidential system, Unitary stat
Language: Maldivian (Dhivehi)

The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a South Asian sovereign state, positioned in the Arabian Sea. The Maldives is made up of a chain of 26 atolls that stretch from the Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu City in the south.

The country is one of the world's most geographically dispersed countries as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and population. Malé is the capital and the most populated city in the Maldives.

The Maldives archipelago is located atop Chagos-Laccadive Ridge - an expansive marine range in the Indian Ocean. Given the country's average ground elevation of 1.5 metres (4 ft.) above sea level, the Maldives is the world's lowest country.

The dominant economic activity in the Maldives is fishing and it remains the largest sector. Tourism is the second rapidly growing industry. The World Bank classifies the Maldives as having an upper middle-income economy.

The country is made up 1,192 coral islands grouped in a double chain. The largest island is called Gan and more than 80% of the Maldives' land is composed of coral islands.

The Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate and two seasons dominate the weather: the dry season associated with the winter northeastern monsoon and the rainy season, which includes storms and strong winds.

There are a diverse variety of habitats, including reef ecosystems and shallow coast. This part of the Indian Ocean is home to 1,100 species of fish and 187 species of coral.

Highlights

  • Old Friday Mosque – one of the oldest and most decorative mosques in Malé, built with coral boulders.
  • Utheemu Ganduvaru - this former palace and museum is the childhood home of the Maldivian national hero, Mohammed Thakurufaanu.
  • National Museum – the first national museum that opened in 1952 with a large collection of artefacts.
  • Gulhi – a serene local island of Kaafu Atoll with fine stretches of sand and excellent snorkelling.
  • Thulusdhoo – an inhabited island with a Coca-Cola factory, popular for surfing.
  • China-Maldives Friendship Bridge – a causeway linking the islands of Malé and Hulhule, constructed with funding from China.
  • Swimming with whale sharks – a popular activity in the Maldives, best experienced by the South Ari Atoll.
  • Ari Atoll – one of the biggest atolls in the Maldives, famous for its sublime beaches and diving spots.

Tips

  • Surf season is from March to October when there are bigger waves and better swells.
  • Non-Muslims are generally not allowed to enter mosques anywhere in the Maldives, except by invite.
  • Eat with your right hand on an inhabited island, as the left hand is considered unclean.
  • Bring sun cream and other toiletries, as everything is expensive at the resort shops.
  • There are strict rules regarding the consumption of alcohol on inhabited islands.
  • Use high-factor sun cream, as the sun in the Maldives is extremely strong.
  • Majority of Maldivians are Muslims, so you won't find pork in any hotels or restaurants.
  • Do an open-water referral course at home so you don’t have to waste time studying.

Shoestring Maldives TOURS

Private Maldives TOURS

TAILOR-MADE Maldives TOURS

Map

Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

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Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

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