Believe it or not, paradise gets even better at certain points of the year and it’s important when planning a trip to know the best time to visit the Maldives. More than half the year (November to April) counts as the dry season, and even when it’s officially the rainy season, there’s still plenty of sunshine.
Everyone’s idea of the Maldives is invariably dazzlingly sunny skies, white sugary sands, palm trees and tiny desert islands in the middle of the ocean – and no one wants a monsoon putting a (literal) dampener on their trip. Holiday snaps will undeniably be improved by bright blue skies and heavy grey clouds have no place in paradise (especially if you’re planning on some underwater activities).
But the destination is not just about sun and sand, even if it is the ultimate place on the planet to live out any stranded Robinson Crusoe fantasies (many of the islands have a total area of just one or two square kilometres).
As well as the classic beach lounging, the Maldives’ many atolls are the perfect destination to scuba and snorkel, or to learn watersports such as surfing, paddleboarding and windsurfing – they’re also home to underwater spas and restaurants, over-water villas and bedrooms with slides leading straight into the sea. It’s not hard to see why the country is the dream honeymoon destination.
You’ll also be able to enjoy sunrise yoga, sunset cruises and delicious food, from barbecued lobster on the beach, reef fish and super-fresh sashimi to spicy local flavours and classic Indian dishes.
And these days, desert islands come with a whole lot more luxury (sorry, Robinson) – the remote coral islets are home to some of the finest luxury resorts in the world.
When is the best month to visit the Maldives?
Luckily for northern-hemisphere dwellers who haven’t seen the sun in a while by this point, December, January and February in the Maldives have some of the islands’ warmest (and driest) weather, with dry days and clear blue skies. But the official ‘high’ season is from November all the way up until April, when you can expect consistently dry, sunny weather.
The warm, tropical climate means average highs of 30 degrees, with the mercury rarely dipping below 24 degrees. Hotels are at their busiest over Christmas and into New Year – and if you can’t handle the relentless grey days of January, it’s a whole lot brighter then over in the Maldives.
Wildlife lovers coming in search of whale sharks should time their visit for October or November.
What is the rainy season in the Maldives?
The rainy season is between May and November, but don’t let that put you off – the islands will be quieter at this time of the year, with fewer tourists, and the temperatures are still high.
And there’s lots to do on rainy days, whether it’s a trip to the hotel’s spa – some of which are underwater, or have glass-bottom floors to look through while you’re face-down on the treatment bed, so you can watch the tropical fish flit by during your massage – or simply enjoying endless cocktails in a horizon-facing bar.
When is the dry season?
Officially, the dry season runs from November to April, so you’ll have plenty of time to get in a shower-free stay between these months.
This time of year also has the lowest humidity. Within this period, the driest months are between January and April, and this is when the resorts will be at their busiest. February sees the least rainfall (52mm), with the most precipitation occurring in October (224mm).
When is the hottest month?
Temperatures stay at around 30 degrees throughout the dry season. And it’s not all bad news during the wet season: it’s still warm between May and December, there’s just a higher chance of rain and more storms. But even at this time of the year, visitors still enjoy long spells of sunshine (along with lower prices).
Is there a worst time to visit the Maldives?
September and October see the most rainfall, which could class as a bad time to visit for some people (grey backdrops to your over-water villa may not cut it). The wet season is also known as the ‘South West Monsoon’ and this is officially the worst time to visit the country, but since temperatures stay at a consistent 30-or-so degrees all year long, this may be somewhat of an oxymoron.
Keen divers should note that plankton may mean reduced visibility during the wetter months. However, even at this time of year, the showers can be short and the sun can find a way through. Plus, you’re more likely to have the islands to yourself – and hotel rates will of course be lower.
The best time to visit Maldives for honeymoons
For rain-free and tropical sunny days, a winter wedding followed by a Maldives honeymoon between December and February is your best bet. If you are having a classic summer wedding though, don’t despair – you’ll still enjoy the islands’ balmy beach life, just with more showers and clouds breaking up the blue skies and bursts of sunshine.
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