If you are looking forward to a holiday filled with captivating views, endless relaxation, and tepid warm waters to bathe in, then the Maldives is just the place. Pair this with a host of fun activities, delicious food, and top-class hotels, and you’ve got yourself a pretty ideal getaway. To avoid any stress or hassle during your trip of a lifetime, it is worth doing some research into the best time to travel to any country, and the Maldives is no exception, so let us guide you with an overview of the seasons and local holidays you can expect in this multi-island country.
If you didn’t already know, this incredible country is situated in the Indian Ocean, just southwest of India and Sri Lanka, however, this archipelago country is one of the most dispersed countries in the world, with just under 2,000 coral islands making up the Maldives. If you have been to any of the neighboring countries, you may expect some similarities, but the Maldives has some special characteristics, including its climate.
Here you will experience a tropical monsoon climate, which essentially means that you will notice that the temperature is almost always hot and humid, given that it is a country with one of the lowest elevations in the world. But what about the seasons, and what is the best time to go? Let us delve a little deeper.
The Maldives has two main seasons, and if you want to have the holiday of a lifetime, then you will want to plan carefully. While surrounding countries have monsoon climates too, especially India and Sri Lanka, The Maldives doesn’t specifically confirm the patterns of those countries, so knowing these factors, will certainly put your mind at ease when planning a trip there, after all getting washed away by heavy rains while sunbathing is not the situation you had in mind we think.
Wet Season (May - November):
As you can imagine by the climate type, the Maldives experiences a monsoon of some kind, but knowing exactly when this can happen, can save your entire trip. While this is a year-round destination, you can expect the months between May and November to serve you up a few rain storms in between the sunshine, which may not be ideal, however, this is of course the low season so if you are traveling on a budget, you will save a lot of money travelling during these months and still get a real Maldivian experience.
Dry Season (December – April):
The high season is between December and February, due to the lack of rain, the constant sunshine, and the perfect temperatures, which is essentially part of the dry season, but this will be the most popular and most expensive time to travel there. If you are traveling during the high season, especially during the holidays such as Christmas and New Year, you can expect the prices to be hiked up even more – just as you would expect in any other destination, but you will be guaranteed blue skies and low humidity in return.
Best time to go
There are a few ‘best times to go’, to the Maldives depending on what you want to experience from your holiday so let us break it down.
- Budget Travelers – Best during the low season May – November
- Shoulder Season – Best during the shoulder season March – April.
- High Season – The best time for sun worshippers and heat seekers.
- Whale Spotting and Surfing – The best time to surf and spot whales is from May-August in the North and South Male Atolls in particular. This is also the coolest time of the year temperature-wise.
Top tip: If you find yourself still unsure of which time best suits you to travel to the Maldives, ensure you plan a tailor-made trip with your Destination Expert, who can advise on all things local, especially the weather and local expertise. Tailor-made eco-friendly trips to The Maldives can be found here.
The Maldives is a Muslim country which means that there will be certain holidays that may occur during your trip, all of which are worth knowing about beforehand. Holidays mean that prices can be higher, schedules may differ, businesses may be closed, etc., so it is best to know a little bit about these major days of the year while planning a trip. On the flip side, if you want to integrate into the culture of the country, then these may be local festivities that you may not want to miss.
Let’s take a look at the main local holidays and festivities you may encounter.
Signifying the end of Ramadan, you can expect big celebrations in the Maldives when the 23rd/24th of May comes around. The celebrations which generally last around three days, involve visiting family members, dining together, saying prayers, and joining in a sermon at the local mosque. This is a very family-orientated day and is a day of great significance, which is engrained in Maldivian culture.
Ramadan, which takes place during April and May, could well be the holiday that you have already heard about, considering people of the Islamic religion observe this fast throughout the world. Due to the majority of Maldivians being Muslim, these 30 days are significant in this island culture and you may notice that small changes can occur in regular schedules during this time, though perhaps not so much at the major resorts.
This is one of the best times to visit the Maldives for a real taste of culture, with many cultural activities to experience, special Ramadan delicacies and juices to try and so much more. It is worth noting that while big resorts and private companies may not be affected by the holiday, local businesses may close early (3 pm) or close altogether on some days.
Independence Day of the Maldives:
If there is any perfect time to visit a country, it has to be on their Independence Day, which in the case of The Maldives, falls on July 26th each year. This is the time to witness marvelous parades, and as history goes, the island nation was once under the control of the British, until it became fully independent in 1965 when the president signed an agreement with Britain. Today, this is a proud day for the islanders and is a fantastic festivity to enjoy.
Taking place on the 1st day of the 3rd month in the Islamic calendar, National Day celebrates the day that the local army fought off the Portuguese who had taken over in 1558. It was 1573, when this took place, after a 15 yearlong rule by the Portuguese. Although this was a great feat for the nation, it wasn’t long until the Dutch and the British took over.