Maldives

Maldives; exquisite beaches fringed by palm trees, snow-white sand cascading into azure tropical waters and a haven for pure relaxation in every sense. While this is, without a doubt, the primary reason to visit Maldives, there is more to discover in this breathtaking archipelago of 1,200 islands.

                                                         

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activities & experiences

If you aren’t a thalassophile (a lover of the ocean), you may find Maldives a little lacking in activities, though there are plenty of experiences to also be enjoyed on terra firma. Maldives is a haven for watersports enthusiasts, but with so many islands to choose from, it is not only the big blue yonder that offers such appeal.

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Maldives exudes romance, and the island chain is a favourite destination for honeymooners and those celebrating their love. However, families, singles and other travellers will be far from lacking in things to do. An exceptional destination to conclude a more extensive itinerary, there is plenty to keep you entertained for a week or more.

  • Observe the archipelago from the best perspective on a seaplane excursion
  • Discover local villages and a more traditional way of life
  • Learn the history of Maldives in the capital, Malé
  • Visit local craft and produce markets
  • See some of the other Maldivian locals on a snorkeling adventure
  • Swim with the largest fish in the sea, the whale shark
  • Take a luxurious sunset champagne cruise
  • Have a romantic stroll, dinner or even cinema experience on the white-sand beaches.
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destinations

While visiting many of Maldives’ destinations begins with first donning swimwear or a wetsuit, there are also numerous attractions that allow you to stay dry. Maldives has become a modern-day Robinson Crusoe luxury tropical escape, but a rich history and island culture provide a wonderful, if often overlooked, backdrop to the more glamorous contemporary aspects of the archipelago.

Malé


Begin in the islands’ capital, it is worth taking a day or so to enjoy Malé. With Portguese influences, religious heritage and the cosmopolitan ‘Manhattan of the Indian Ocean’ combining, Malé is incredibly diverse. Stroll the wealthy marina district, visit local fruit and fish markets, take time to discover some of the islands’ history in the national museum or simply enjoy the wonderfully fresh seafood in one of the many exceptional restaurants. With a little advice from your hotel staff or guides, you might be lucky enough to observe a Boduberu – the traditional dance of Maldives, thought to be almost 1,000 years old, that conveys historical stories and culture.

Thimphu


The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is wonderfully intriguing. The architecture is highly distinctive and tradition can be found at every turn. Museums and libraries share the history of the country, while the city’s Clock Tower Square hosts regular concerts and performances, with dances telling the tales of Butanese folklore. Here, you will also be able to sample Bhutanese traditional dishes, both at small cafes and fine-dining restaurants, and also take in some shopping for arts, crafts and the many, many carved phalluses on display! (Explanation in FAQs)

Naalaafushi


For a taste of local life, Naalaafushi and a handful of small inhabited islands well worth visiting. The glitz and luxury of Malé and the resort islands gives way to a more grounded lifestyle, thriving on the abundance of food provided by the surrounding ocean. Though perfectly well established, it can be refreshing, intriguing and highly enjoyable to explore these small towns where the real Maldivians live.

Resort Islands


Malé is the gateway to the smaller outer islands of Maldives. Private resorts have, thankfully sensitively, established themselves on many of Maldives’ diminutive atolls. These island paradises provide all you could wish for of your tropical vacations, including underwater bars, forested pathways, and stilted lodges levitating above the tranquil ocean. With watersports equipment included, world-class restaurants, indulgent spas and even pop-up cinemas right on the white sand, it is almost inevitable that you will wish to never leave.

Any Beach, Anywhere


With over 1,000 islands to choose from, it is possible to find your very own private stretch of sand upon which to sip a coconut, unwind and forget about the world for a while. From there, you can stand-up paddleboard or kayak on the calm ocean, grab a snorkel and mask or cast a line. Find space, peace and pure serenity.

accommodations

Maldives has been frequented by foreigners for several centuries, but it is only relatively recently that tourism has flourished. Contemporary residences have set the standard incredibly high, in accommodations, service and cuisine. On Malé, you can find a handful of more traditional European-inspired hotels, but several of the big names in hoteliers have made their mark on Maldives, and numerous independent properties have created breathtaking retreats that are stunning beyond comprehension.

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Gili Lankanfushi is one of our favourite accommodations in Maldives. The small sand island features a palm grove at its centre, just large enough to enjoy a casual cycle ride through and timber boardwalks fan out from the shore to private timber lodges featuring glass-bottomed plunge pools allowing you to watch the sealife pass by as you cool off.

Some resorts cater specifically to families, with kids’ clubs, large communal pools and a wide range of activities, all while still taking advantage of all that Maldives has to offer. But even the more exclusive retreats also provide private residences designed for family groups, and the ocean is a perpetual source of entertainment for youngsters of all ages.

Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives

MALDIVES ESSENTIALS

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BEST TIME: Oct-Mar

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CLIMATE: 76-92ºF (25-33ºC) year-round

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SEASONS: DRY: Jan-Apr / WET: May-Dec

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BEST FOR:
Romantics, tropical relaxation, ocean lovers

International flights will transfer through some European, Middle Eastern and Asian airport and visas are required for most visitors. These are available upon arrival, so no preemptive paperwork is required, though it is always best to consult your travel designer. If travelling to Maldives as part of a more extended itinerary, you may require proof of inoculations, including COVID, but again, your travel designer or a medical travel specialist will be able to advise.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

HOW LONG SHOULD I SPEND IN MALDIVES?

For honeymooners and romantics, the appeal of Maldives never ends, but for the most part, we recommend taking between four days and a week to enjoy all the islands have to offer. For this reason, it is recommended to add Maldives as the relaxing conclusion to a more extensive itinerary.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Rain is a part of life in Maldives, and most months will see some precipitation. Temperatures remain roughly the same throughout the year, and in the wet months, torrential downpours rapidly give way to bright blue skies. If you don’t mind the occasional monsoonal deluge, Maldives is suitable at any time of the year, and with watersports being so integral, you’ll likely already be wet! From December to April, rainfall drops from 230mm of rain in the wettest months to a monthly average of 75mm, so these months are definitely the preferred times to visit.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM ACCOMMODATION IN MALDIVES?

With so many islands, there are equally as many accommodation options to choose from. While these vary in style, luxury and budget, the standard of service and facilities varies comparatively little, and you are all but guaranteed to be both pleasantly surprised and profoundly satisfied with almost any villa or resort you visit, especially when staying with our preferred and recommended partners.

OTHER DETAILS:

If you aren’t a fan of the ocean and tropical beaches, Maldives might not be an ideal destination, but if this is the case, you are very unlikely to choose it, nor would we recommend it, anyway. It is a wonderful place to relax and unwind, but equally filled with waterborne adventure and entertainment. Food is of an exceptional standard, with seafood playing a significant part on the menu, though most resorts and accommodations will satisfyingly provide for all diets. Though it is paradise wherever you go, it is worthwhile investing that little bit extra to achieve what will truly be an unforgettably magical island experience.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

Wow, wow, wow!! We are back in LA now, recovering from jet lag and still in shock and awe regarding our experience. From the moment we landed in South Africa to the moment we touched down in LA, our experience was seamless and amazing. 

- Amy Lundberg

We were thrilled with the trip. It was as good as or better than described at every turn. The prep, attention to detail, willingness to make changes and ensure we were ready and prepared was outstanding. Our Travel Designer was awesome! 

- Betsy Robertson

Choosing a safari expert is never easy given the choice and lists upon lists of "top suppliers"....but we made the BEST choice for us....why....because above all, Rothschild listened ....really listened to what we wanted to experience.

- Dawn Jacobs

It was a well organized trip. It was easy to get around since we were guided through all of our itinerary. Everyone was pleasant and very helpful. This is an excellent way to travel. Rothschild Safari did very well and brought a fantastic African experience to us.

- George Kowalski

My trip was beyond AMAZING! I truly enjoyed every moment. The itinerary allowed me to experience a variety of different activities all of which I enjoyed! When I originally thought of going to Africa I was just thinking of safaris. This trip opened my eyes (and my family/friend's) to so much more Africa has to offer.

- Jackie Smith

Trip was PERFECT!! Every single detail was planned out and the accommodations and people were wonderful. This trip exceeded all of our wildest expectations. Every place we stayed was just lovely and each each camp had a different vibe, which was really neat. Everyone we worked with was outstanding. 

Jamie Scarlett

On behalf of the Moravec’s and the Stone’s……thank you for arranging a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was accounted for and all the recommendations were perfect. It honestly could not have gone any better.

Joe Moravec

Meggan Woody and Kim Killick were extraordinary at crafting THE PERFECT safari for our family of 8. They both listened (actually 'read' my email) to EXACTLY what we wanted, within the budget that we needed, and miraculously pulled off miracles in obtaining the properties that we wanted! 

Kim Mather

Every aspect of my trip went according to plan and the plan Rothschild's help me to orchestrate was magnificent! I loved every lodge that I was blessed to be in! They were all very different yet all high end and very accommodating.

Lisa Anderson

It was the most exciting, scenic, inspiring trip we've ever taken. To say it was a trip of a lifetime doesn't begin to capture our experience. Pam Langhoff and the Rothschild team did an outstanding job of helping us plan this trip.

Mary & Rob Johannigman (& family)