Travel Info Maldives


It is most likely that the first settlers in the Southern atolls of the Maldives were Sinhalese people. The dialect spoken in the Maldives today shows great similarities to the dialect of Sinhala. Some traditions and archaeological Buddhist indicate this.


Historical Facts in Brief:

500 BC Possibly the first settles arrive on the islands.
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.


Capital Male

Male is the capital of the Maldives and at the same time their economical and administrational centre. The main island has about 120,000 inhabitants and covers an area of about 1.7 square km.


Position and Size

The Maldives consists of a group of about 1.190 coral islands grouped into atolls covering an area of approx. 90,000 square km of which nearly 300 square km are land area. About 190 of the islands are so-called native islands and about 90 are touristic resort islands.



The Maldives mainly lives on tourism. Touristic islands are strictly separated from native islands. Thus, there have been hardly any cultural changes. More and more employees are needed in the touristic sector and it is mostly the men who work as waiters, cleaners, boat captains, etc. on the resort islands. Usually they are separated from their families for several months.


Entry regulations / Visa

European tourists require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after leaving the Maldives. The entry is also possible with a temporary passport. Children do need their own passports.
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.


Getting There

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

The currency is the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR). 1 EUR = 21.215 MVR (as of October 2013)
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



The national language is Dhivehi, but English is spoken everywhere.


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.





Sun protection is very important in the Maldives. Due to the proximity to the equator, the sunlight is very intense and very often imprudent tourists get severe and painful sunburns. You should therefore use products with a high sun protection factor and make sure your liquid intake is adequate. For snorkelers it is advisable to always wear a T-Shirt or the like while being in the water.


We recommend that all travellers take out insurance to cover cancellation, lost or stolen luggage and medical or hospital costs.
Divers are advised to join DAN or a similar organisation.

Time Difference

The time difference to central Europe is + 4 hours (CET + 4) in winter and + 3 hours (CET + 3) in summer. There is no daylight saving time in the Maldives.

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).



The average water temperature in the Maldives is between 28-29°C (82-84°F)


220 – 240 Volt with a 3-pin wall socket. An international adapter is necessary but can usually be obtained at the hotel reception.

Food and Beverage

Most resorts offer an international menu that can be selected from a buffet. Almost always Maldivian meals and curries, which you should try at any rate, are offered as well.
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

The 26th of July is the Maldivian Independence day (July 26, 1965). This holiday does not have any effect on tourism.


Ramadan is the Islamic fasting month that takes place at a different time every year. Muslims do not eat, drink or smoke from sunrise to sunset during this period. Away from the touristic resort islands there might be certain restrictions. In 2014, Ramadan is likely to start on 28 June and end on 28 July. The end of Ramadan will be celebrated with the feast “Eid al-Fitr” on July 28, 2014.

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.