With international travel back in full swing, it’s time to tick off the ultimate bucket-list destination: the Maldives.
Crystal clear lagoons, powdery white beaches and overwater villas – the Maldives has long been an island paradise for loved-up honeymooners, family reunions and friends searching for the ultimate luxury escape. This remote archipelago in the Indian Ocean is made up of 26 atolls and 1,200 islands, with only 200 occupied. Despite this, getting to and around the Maldives is easier than you’d think.
Co-Founder + CEO of Luxury Escapes Adam Schwab recently experienced this for himself, making the journey to the paradise islands from London. “Unlike most countries, Maldives has been open since July 2020,” Adam reports. “It has just experienced a record year for tourism, with travellers enjoying the ultra-luxurious resorts and magnificent year-round weather.”
With decadent, world-renowned cuisine, breathtaking snorkelling moments from your resort, plus unbeatable luxury accommodation – what are you waiting for? Read on to discover how to get to the Maldives.
How to get there
Travelling to the Maldives from Australia or the US is surprisingly easy, often with just one stopover required. You could even add a quick trip to Singapore or Dubai onto your holiday to make the most of your journey. Travelling from India? This island paradise can be reached by direct flight in just a few hours. Bon voyage!
How to get to the Maldives: from Australia
Singapore Airlines and Emirates are the most popular airlines flying between Australian cities and Malé in the Maldives. Flights require a stopover in Singapore Airport (if travelling with Singapore Airlines), Dubai (if travelling Emirates), or Qatar (if travelling Qatar Airways). Flights are between 17 – 22 hours in duration, dependent on your departing city.
How to get to the Maldives: from the US
Qatar Airlines, Emirates and Turkish Airlines are the most popular carriers that fly between US cities and Malé in the Maldives. Flights require a stopover in Dubai (if travelling Emirates), Qatar (if travelling Qatar Airways) or Istanbul (with Turkish Airlines). Flights are between 18 – 21 hours in duration, dependent on your departing city.
How to get to the Maldives: from India
IndiGo Airlines and Go First are the most popular airlines flying between New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru and Malé in the Maldives. There are direct flights available, taking two to four hours, dependent on your departing city.
How to get to the Maldives: from the UK
British Airways, Gulf Air, SriLankan Airlines and Emirates are the most popular airline carriers that fly between UK cities and Malé in the Maldives. Flights require a stopover in Dubai (if travelling Emirates), Bahrain (if travelling Gulf Air) or Colombo (if travelling SriLankan Airlines). If travelling British Airways, direct flights are available, taking approximately 10 hours.
Connecting to the islands from Malé
Before you arrive in Malé, be sure to arrange airport transfers. Maldives resorts are often located on their own private island, so airport transfers are so much more than a simple taxi-style pick-up and drop-off.
Guaranteed to become a holiday highlight, transfers can take the form of an exhilarating seaplane ride over the sparkling lagoon, or a speedboat cruise past palm-fringed islands and overwater bungalows.
“Seaplanes only fly during daylight hours,” Adam advises, “So that’s always an important consideration in choosing your flight into the Maldives.”
Internal connecting flights between Malé and 16 other atolls are also available. Popular connections include Dharavandhoo domestic airport (DRV) on Baa Atoll, Maamigili or Villa international airport (VAM) on Alif Dhaal Atoll and Maafaru International Airport (NMF) on Noonu Atoll. On average, these flights take 50 minutes or less from Malé.
Where to stay
Now’s the best time to travel to the Maldives, according to Adam. “The Maldives has been the ultimate destination during the pandemic – each island is its own isolated resort.”
Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort | LUX* South Ari Atoll: Overwater Villas
It’s the perfect chance to pack up and escape the rest of the world, with an island and resort to suit every traveller. Our tip: start out at the five-star LUX* South Ari Atoll, home to overwater villas, infinity pools and eight eateries and bars. Snorkel along the coral reef, enjoy a tipple from any of the 80 wines hoisted on the wine wall, or zip across the ocean on a jet ski at Pullman Maldives Maamutaa Resort in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll. Go scuba diving, enjoy a round of volleyball and indulge in a luxe spa treatment at Lily Beach Resort & Spa.
Or, ramp it up to the max and stay at the decadent, out-of-this-world JA Manafaru on the private island of Manafaru, where you’ll find The Cellar, the Maldives' first and deepest subterranean wine cave, as well as ultra-luxurious ocean and beach residences. “It’s incomparable to anywhere else in the world in terms of opulence,” Adam says.
Looking for inspiration? Check out the Maldives’ Best All-Inclusive Resorts