The Maldives is one of those destinations that immediately sparks images of sun-drenched beaches, swaying palm trees and sugar-white sand. And while that’s certainly the case some of the year, that definitely doesn’t mean that rain never falls here. On the contrary, there’s plenty of rain – but while that’s important for creating those lush landscapes, I think it’s fair to say that most of us want to avoid downpours when on holiday here. After all, it’s the ultimate sunny paradise destination.
So, today I’m going to give you a few tips on avoiding rain in the Maldives, as well as sharing some handy hints on the best things to do no matter what the weather. You could also find a decent dollop of wisdom at Hayes and Jarvis, which suggests that seaplane adventures and dhoni cruises are some of the best ways to see the country. Plus, you can find some absolutely gorgeous luxury hotels on this website too – and after all, luxury is what the Maldives is all about! But in case you’re watching the pennies, TravelSupermarket is a reliable place to compare deals.
The rainy season in the Maldives
So, we’ve established that contrary to popular opinion, the sun doesn’t always shine in the Maldives. The question on your lips is bound to be ‘When does it rain?’.
A good question indeed. The Maldives’ climate can broadly be divided into two seasons – the dry and wet (also known as the dry north-east monsoon and the wet south-western monsoon. And yes, I know that ‘dry monsoon’ sounds a little odd, but that is indeed the technical term!).
The wet is the one we’re interested in at the moment, and it generally falls between May and November. As well as ushering in a period of heavy showers, the monsoon can also bring with it its friends strong winds and thunderstorms (though the latter are relatively few and far between, thankfully).
Of course, the thing is that any weather predictions can never be taken as gospel – you only need to think of how often they’re wrong in the UK to understand what I mean! The rainy season in the Maldives can be somewhat unpredictable since you just don’t know how wet and blustery it’s going to get; in fact, even during the rainy season you can get some gorgeous blue skies and dry periods.
It’s also quite hard to tell when it’s going to end. Usually, it’s winding down by November, but sometimes it can be surprisingly persistent until the dry monsoon arrives.
So when’s the best time to travel?
For most people, the best time to travel is when the weather’s at its finest, and that’s during the dry season/north-east monsoon of November to April. December and January are the peak months, thanks to Christmas and New Year and the fact that they’re pretty safe bets when it comes to avoiding the rain, so you’ll often find prices are higher over this period.
That said, while most hotels will be close to capacity during the high season, you don’t need to worry about the place feeling overcrowded. In fact, that’s a major part of the Maldives’ charm – the limit of one resort per island means that it always feels like a tranquil slice of paradise. Pretty cool, hey?
Just before I move on to tips on getting the most from your stay in all weathers, I’d like to point out that there are advantages to travelling outside of the peak season. No doubt you’ve guessed that lower prices is one of the key benefits, but it’s also worth remembering that you can still get good weather in the wet season. Plus, the temperature stays around the 30 degrees C mark all year round, while there are plenty of year-round activities you can get your teeth stuck into too.
Making the most of your stay, whatever the weather
Despite the changes in weather, the Maldives is still an all-year destination – though of course you need to be prepared for heavy downpours if you’re not travelling in the dry season. Fortunately, there’s loads to do in all weathers, though as you’d expect some are better suited to sunshine.
These ideas are the ultimate ways to make the most of the sunshine during your holiday.
A seaplane adventure – Seeing the Maldives from the air is an unforgettable experience, and one that’s definitely best when the weather is glorious. Book yourself on to a seaplane photo flight and you’ll soar up above the islands for unrivalled views – you see, the plane is designed to give you the best shots, with its high wings, large windows and very clear glass. If you’re very lucky, you’ll see things like schools of dolphins playing in the water while you’re up there.
Visiting a deserted island – Most of the islands in the Maldives are actually uninhabited, and hiring a boat to go to one of these is a magical experience. You can ask the locals to take you fishing first, then head to a deserted beach to cook your catch and lie on the sand in complete seclusion.
Sunbathing – I think this one is pretty self-explanatory!
Spas – The Maldives is famous for its spas, and you’ll find there’s one in every resort. You can enjoy them in any weather, but personally I think when the sun is shining you’re best off on the beach or out on the water, so rainy days are absolutely perfect for a little pampering indoors.
Scuba diving – You can scuba dive in the Maldives at any time of the year – the water visibility is reliably high and the variety of marine life is pretty astounding. That said, it’s worth bearing in mind the monsoons can affect where the best places to go are; generally speaking, the east side of the atolls is better in the dry season and the west side in the wet.
Swimming – At first glance, swimming might seem like an activity for a sunny day – but just hear me out. There’s something really magical about swimming in the rain, and the water often seems even warmer when you do so. In many ways, it’s even better than swimming in the sun!