Travel Info Maldives
Historical Facts in Brief:
1152 AD Conversion to Islam; start of the sultanate.
1558 The Maldivian nation enters a dark era under the Portuguese that lasts for approximately 15 years.
1573 Portuguese rule comes to an end after a successful Maldivian uprising. 1887 Maldives becomes a British protectorate.
1956 The British lease the island of Gan in the southern-most atoll of Seenu (Addu).
1957 Ibrahim Nasir is elected prime minister. He changes the conditions of the lease on Gan and demands that the British stop employing local labour.
1965 The British relinquish protectorate status. Maldives becomes independent.
1968 The second republic is formed with Ibrahim Nasir as president.
1972 The country is opened to tourism.
1974 On 24th June a crowd gathers to protest against the rising food prices. Nasir orders the police to open fire.
1978 Fearing for his life, Nasir retires to Singapore. Abdul Gayyoom is elected the new president. He denounces Nasir’s regime and banishes its corrupt members.
1980 An attempted coup against coup Gayyoom fails and more people are banished including foreign mercenaries.
1988 Gayyoom is re-elected for his third term of office. A few months later local businessmen, aided by Sri Lankan mercenaries, try to overthrow the government. The National Security Service manages to apprehend the perpetrators.
1993 President Abdul Gayyoom is re-elected for the fourth term.
1998 President Abdul Gayyoom is re-elected for the fifth term.
Position and Size
Entry regulations / Visa
A tourist visa (valid for 30 days) is granted upon arrival. Under certain circumstances this visa can be prolonged, but this can only be done at the department of immigration in Male.
The international airport is at Hulule in close vicinity to the capital Male. A variety of direct flights to the Maldives are available from Europe. Flights with stopovers (e.g. via Dubai) are available, too. A direct flight from Germany takes about 10 hours.
The journey from Male to the respective island is done by speedboat or by Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA). Luggage allowance on the domestic flights is 20kg plus hand luggage. Excess luggage is charged with 4 USD per kilo.
Money / Currency / Credit Cards
In Male and the island resorts US Dollars and the standard credit cards (Visa, Amex, MasterCard) are commonly accepted. In many places Euros are accepted as well, but usually at a bad exchange rate.
Currency Converter by OANDA
Fore many years the tour operator Neckermann informs their clients that they have to present a physician’s prescription for medications upon arrival. This is correct, but for many years Maldivian customs have not been interested in checking this. So please don’t worry about it too much!
In any case, your first aid travel kit must contain ear drops!!!!!! Most effective are antibiotic ear drops which are available only on prescription, but only those cure ear infections. You should also bring a broad-spectrum antibiotic, nose drops and disinfectant with you.
In general special vaccinations and precautions are not necessary when coming from Europe. It is recommended, however, to check if your standard immunisations are up to date.
The following vaccinations are recommended: Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, mumps, measles, influenza and Hepatitis A and B.
When coming from a country where yellow fever is present, a valid vaccination against yellow fever is required.
Dengue fever also exists in the Maldives. Day-active mosquitos transmit it. Fever, headaches, pain in the extremities and skin rashes are signs and symptoms of the Dengue fever. The only protection is mosquito sprays and protective clothing, also and especially in daytime! The risk exists all-year-round, but especially during the rainy season. There is no cure for dengue fever, only symptomatic treatment.
Divers are advised to join DAN or a similar organisation.
Climate / Weather
The Maldives is a year-round holiday destination. The climate is tropical with high humidity. The seasons are defined by monsoons with the best travelling period being the time of the dry northeast monsoon (November until March/April). During the southwest monsoon (June until September/October) rainfall is more frequent. For divers some of the atolls are also interesting during the southwest monsoon since the water is rich in plankton attracting Manta rays and whale sharks.
The average yearly temperature in the Maldives is between 25-30°C (77-86°F).
Food and Beverage
Many resorts have additional à-la-carte restaurants.
It is forbidden to bring alcohol to the Maldives. Alcohol is strictly forbidden outside of the touristic resorts. However, alcohol is served in the hotel bars.
Mobile networks are working in the Maldives, but charges can be high.
The international dialling code for the Maldives is +960.
Religion and Mores
As in all Moslem countries only clothes covering knees and shoulders should be worn during excursions to Male or to native islands.
Nudism and swimming topless is officially prohibited. Fines for breaching this law can be high. Meanwhile most resorts turn a blind eye to violations, but the restrictions should nevertheless be accepted out of respect for the culture.
Festivals and National Holidays
Flora and Fauna
However, the underwater world of the Maldives is really spectacular ensnaring divers and snorkelers. Colourful coral reefs being composed of numerous hard and soft corals and a huge fish stock are typical for the Maldives.
Underwater we distinguish between Giris, Thilas, Kandus and Farus.
A reef reaching nearly to the surface is called a Giri.
Thilas are located mostly in channels and lie markedly deeper than giris. Depending on the current, dives at Thilas mostly start in the blue. Due to their location in the channels encounters with big fishes are common. It can be advisable to use a reef hook.
A channel separating two islands is called a Kandu. Currents are often very strong, especially at the channel’s entrance. Crossing a channel is very interesting for experienced divers. Wit an incoming tide, big fish like sharks and eagle rays can usually be seen at the channel’s entrance.
A Faru is a reef ‘s edge, e.g. an outer reef.