When is the best time to visit the Maldives?

Finance Journalist · 23 October 2019

With its white sand beaches, crystal-clear water and colourful sea life, it’s no wonder the Maldives is at the top of many bucket lists.

In fact, from January to August of this year, over 26,000 Australian tourists visited the Maldives, according to its Ministry of Tourism. If you’re considering visiting the idyllic getaway and want perfect weather to match, when is the best time to go?

When to go to the Maldives

As a tropical location, the Maldives enjoys warm weather year-round. According to Condé Nast Traveller, temperatures will typically hover between 23 to 31 degrees Celsius. That being said, the best weather and best time to visit the Maldives is generally between November and April. This is during the dry season, meaning the weather is sunny and there is less chance of rainfall.

Maldives travel
Source: Sven Hansche (Shutterstock)

Weather in the Maldives

In the Maldives, the year is split into two seasons the dry season (which goes from December through to April) and the wet season (from May to November). 

Dry season (December to April)

During the dry season, visitors can typically expect hot, sunny days with low humidity and little chance of rain. In these months, the ocean is also clear with high visibility. This can be ideal if you want to explore the Maldives’ underwater marine life through snorkelling or scuba diving. 

Wet season (May to November) 

The wet season (or monsoon season) brings with it a higher chance of storms, rain and unpredictable weather. The likelihood of rain may also be influenced by which island you choose to stay at. The Maldives is made up of around 1,190 islands spread across 26 coral atolls. According to Condé Nast Traveller, the northern atolls have the highest rainfall in May to November, while the southern atolls experience the highest rainfall from November to March. 

Maldives diving
Source: Andrey Armyagov (Shutterstock)

Snorkelling and diving during the wet season may still be pleasant, however, Visit Maldives notes that there are more plankton in the region between October and November, which can make the sea murkier. On the upside, this can also mean that bigger fish, like manta rays and whale sharks, are more active and easier to spot. 

When is the most expensive time to visit the Maldives?

According to the Lonely Planet, December through to March is high season. Additionally, during the Christmas and New Year period there are often large price hikes and minimum stays of five days or more at a number of resorts.

Skyscanner data found that flights from Australia to Malé (the capital of the Maldives) generally tend to peak in December and January. For example, at the time of writing, the most expensive time to travel from Sydney to Malé is in January when return economy flights are on average $1,793. 

Source: donvictorio (Shutterstock)

When is the cheapest time to visit the Maldives?

The cheapest time to visit the Maldives is typically during the wet season from May to November. According to the Lonely Planet, this is the low season and is when resorts will be at their cheapest. However, prices do tend to spike in August, in line with the European summer holidays. 

According to Skyscanner, flights from Australia were typically the cheapest towards the start and end of the wet season. For example, at the time of writing, travelling from Sydney is generally the cheapest in November when return economy flights are $1,032 on average. 

While booking your trip during the wet season could save you money, you may also want to weigh up whether this is worth it, given many of the Maldives’ attractions are outdoors. 

Source: jannoon028 (Shutterstock)

Travel insurance for the Maldives 

To help cover you against some unexpected events and costs, you may also want to consider taking out travel insurance. This can help cover you for emergencies or accidents that happen while you’re on holiday. For example, if your luggage gets lost or you’re injured and need to go to the hospital. 

If you’re planning to visit the Maldives at a time of year that’s suitable for scuba diving, be aware that some travel insurance policies will not cover this, as they may consider it a “dangerous activity”. In this case, you may need to purchase a separate policy in order to be covered.

Main image source: icemanphotos (Shutterstock)

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