Updated: Jan 13
When it comes to honeymoon, there are few places that come easily into someone's mind. And Maldives is definitely one of them!
For most of the people, the honeymoon is that luxurious vacation after the wedding, on a tropical island, in an all inclusive 5 star hotel, where everything has to be perfect.
For us, it was just the beginning of a series of traveling experiences that we want to share now in order for others to have the chance to enjoy these things as well.
"How did you get there?", "Is it expensive?", "Did you use a travel agency?" ,"Who is taking all those pictures of you?" are few of the questions we are often asked.
The truth is, we are doing all planning by ourselves and it can be expensive sometimes but it also depends of each person`s standards and will to get out of the comfort zone.
Maldives can be one of the most expensive destinations but if you know a few tips and tricks you can make it quite affordable.
First things first. Whenever you are going somewhere, you need to find a decent place to stay, right?
So, if you are not really keen to stay in a resort, the cheapest places to stay are always on the local islands. The local islands in Maldives are the inhabited islands where the local people live. As far as we are aware, there are about 200 islands which are inhabited and only 80 of them have tourist guest houses.
We stayed on Maafushi Island, which one of them. The island itself is not exactly the Maldivian cliche but it has clean guest houses, an amazing diving center and plenty of options to do around. On top of that, it has a local port with ferries departing every morning to and from Male, which makes the airport transfer more affordable. Alternatively, you can always use speed boats, but these cost around 150 - 200 USD per transfer.
In 2014, we stayed in the small Beachwood hotel which was not amazing but ok and clean, the staff was helpful and it costed around 300- 350 euros for a week. The price hasn`t grown too much ever since and there are few other hotels on the island for about the same price. For more options, check out on Booking.
Tip: do not expect amazing breakfast out there, as since they have to import everything, the food is pretty basic.
For those of you who want a but more comfort, there is an island next to Maafushi - Biyadhoo. The resort is basically the entire island, it is pretty nice, the food is better than on local islands. It costs about twice as much as Maafushi, but the price is still decent. Another option for the same price is Paradise Island which I`ve heard it`s nice as well.
All the resorts need a private transfer.
Things to do
Well, despite the general impression, 90 percent of the beauty of the archipelago is below the sea level, which makes scuba diving a MUST DO activity.
There is a very nice diving center in Maafushi - Maldives Passions and it`s staff will make your diving experience amazing.
For the days you are not diving, snorkeling is a good way to spend the day as well.
If you want to explore the surrounding islands, go to a sand bank, see whale sharks or have a picnic on an uninhabited island you can ask the reception of any of the hotels and they can provide you with a day trip. Alternatively, you can go to Maafushi port and ask a local for a cheap transfer wherever you need.
Also, in Maldives is very popular to take trips to different resorts and spend the day there. Depending on how luxurious is the resort, you can pay a tax starting from 30-40 USD up to 200 USD and enjoy the facilities of the resort. Usually, in this price is included either a meal or some drinks or even both.
During our stay, we opted for 2 days or diving, 2 resorts, a picnic on an uninhabited island, a day in Male and a lot of snorkeling wherever we went. We went to Biyadhoo Resort and to Anantara Resort which were just 20-30 minutes by boat from Maafushi and both of them were amazing.
But all the resorts in Maldives have all these cool props for taking pictures! ❤️
This is how a picnic island looks like. No one, literally no one! Apart from tiny little crabs, of course. ☺
A typical portrait of a local in the Male market.
P.S: don`t forget to look for traditional coconut chocolate if you go there. It`s delicious!
When to go
The best weather is in between November and April with the high season mainly between December and March. The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking around June.
We went there in November and the weather was absolutely great. I had a layover there in March and the weather was good as well. You can always expect some thunderstorms at midday but they usually not last more than 1-2 hrs.
What to expect
The Maldives are an archipelago on 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. As much as this might sound, they are inhabited by only 300,000 people which live on only 185 islands. Their main religion is Islam, therefore do not expect to any find alcoholic drinks apart from resorts.
Also, the local islands usually have a public beach and a locals` beach. Try to stick to wearing bikinis on the public beach mainly. No one will tell you anything but it`s a form of respect for their culture.
Expect to eat a lot of fish and coconut because this is what Maldives basically can offer. All the rest are imported and tend to cost a lot in the resorts.
Once you land in Male airport, you can find some locals offering day trips and transfers. It is generally safe to take one of those, as well.
Be prepared for the "not so bright side" of the local islands, as you would encounter some dumped garbage on some parts of the islands. This is not cool, we know! ☹
And last but not least, expect to get some sun burns no matter how tanned you are unless you use a high SPF!
Now, we invite you to have a look at our photo gallery! We used an Olympus OM-D M5 camera with 2 prime lenses ( 75 mm + 25 mm ) and a Go Pro. Enjoy!