Best Time to Visit the Maldives

June 23, 2024

If you're planning to visit the Maldives, the best time to go is from December to April. During this period, the weather is near perfect, with clear blue skies, plenty of sunshine, and comfortable humidity levels.

Average temperatures in the country range from a comfortable 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) to a balmy 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit).

Choosing the right time to visit can be confusing, as the short answer is that the weather is fantastic all year round.

This guide will help you understand the different seasons and pick the best time for your ideal holiday, whether you want to enjoy sunny days, go diving, or even try some thrilling surfing during the monsoon season.

Best time to visit the Maldives: Key Points

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  • When is the high season in the Maldives? December to March.
  • What are the shoulder months in the Maldives? October, November, April, and May.
  • When is the low season in the Maldives? May to September.
  • What is the cheapest month to visit the Maldives? May to September.
  • What is the best time to visit the Maldives for snorkelling and diving? December to April.
  • What is the best time to go surfing in the Maldives? July to October.

The High Season in the Maldives

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The high season in the Maldives stretches from December to March. This is a great time to visit, as the weather is hot and dry, offering the idyllic, picture-perfect weather that the Maldives is known for. It is also the busiest season as it coincides with Christmas, the New Year, Orthodox Christmas, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, and Easter.

During this time of the year, the sea is calm, which makes it perfect for activities such as snorkelling, diving, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. The water is warm, safe, and inviting, and above all, it offers great visibility to enjoy the colourful coral reefs and fish.

The Weather in the High Season

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  • Drier conditions with minimal rainfall.
  • Plenty of sunshine, averaging around 10 hours a day.
  • Warm temperatures range from up to 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Calm seas, perfect for water activities like snorkelling, diving, and swimming.

The Best Activities to enjoy in the High Season

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This period offers excellent underwater visibility for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. The vibrant coral reefs and marine life come alive during this period.

This is the ideal time for swimming and lounging on the beach, with minimal chances of rain showers interrupting your relaxation.

Perfect weather for various water sports activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.

Best reasons to travel to the Maldives during the High Season

  • These are the ideal weather conditions for engaging in outdoor and water activities.
  • Clear skies guarantee stunning sunsets and sunrises.

Reasons to reconsider travelling to the Maldives during the High Season

  • Peak season coincides with higher prices for flights and accommodations.
  • Resorts tend to be crowded, especially during Christmas, New Year, and school holidays.

A Month-by-Month Breakdown of the High Season in the Maldives

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  • December: This is the start of the high season, with beautiful weather and fewer crowds compared to the following months.
  • January: Prime time for winter sun seekers, with prices reaching their peak around Christmas and New Year's.
  • February: Generally considered the driest month in the Maldives, with excellent visibility for diving and snorkelling. More families tend to travel in February and March.
  • March: Temperatures start to rise, making it ideal for those who prefer warm weather. The tail end of March also marks the beginning of the surfing season.

During the high season, the skies are at their clearest, the seas are calmest, and the humidity is at its lowest. Many resorts go all out with festive decorations, special holiday menus, and exciting events, creating a magical atmosphere for celebrating Christmas and New Year's.

The Low Season in the Maldives

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The low season runs from May to October. These are the traditional monsoon months. During this time, you can expect short sharp rain showers usually early in the morning and early evening and the occasional tropical storm. However, the low lying nature of the Maldivian Islands does allow that storms pass over quickly. The south westerly winds also bring bigger waves during these months, making it the perfect conditions for surfing.

This is still a great time to travel to the Maldives as the prices are usually 30 to 5 percent lower. So, it might be a good option for price-conscious travellers.

The Weather in the Low Season

  • You will notice more short sharp rain showers in the early morning and evenings.
  • There are higher humidity levels compared to the dry season.
  • Sunshine is still prevalent, with occasional cloud cover.
  • Temperatures reach the up to 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Seas have bigger waves and can be choppier, affecting some water activities, but with favourable conditions for surfing.

The Best Activities to enjoy in the Low Season

  • While diving and snorkelling visibility might be slightly reduced due to occasional plankton blooms, it does offer the chance to snorkel and dive with manta rays and whale sharks that are attracted by the planktons.
  • Surfing enthusiasts can take advantage of the monsoon winds, which create ideal waves from July to October.

Best Reasons to travel to the Maldives during the Low Season

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  • The lower cost of travel - Significantly lower prices on flights and accommodation compared to the peak season.
  • There are better offers - You can find great promotional bonuses and offers on resort stays.
  • It is perfect for couples - Fewer crowds, creating a more intimate atmosphere, it is a great time to honeymoon.
  • There are more chances to encounter rare marine animals - It is the whale shark and manta ray season.

Reasons to reconsider travelling to the Maldives during the Low Season

  • There is a higher chance of rain showers impacting outdoor activities.
  • Increased humidity levels might be uncomfortable for some visitors.
  • Rougher seas may limit some water sports and excursions.

The Shoulder Months in the Maldives

Travel during the shoulder months of October, November, April, and May. These months offer slightly better deals and fewer crowds compared to the height of the season.

  • April: The weather remains sunny, but there's a slight increase in the chance of short afternoon showers. Prices start to dip slightly compared to the peak winter months.
  • May: Shoulder month with some rain showers, good deals, and possible manta ray sightings.
  • October: Rainfall decreases, more sunshine with occasional showers, and good surfing waves.
  • November: With less frequent rain and more sunshine, prices start to rise in preparation for peak season.

Cheapest Time to Visit the Maldives

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For the absolute cheapest rates in the Maldives, you'll want to target the low season, which runs from May to September. Here's a breakdown to help you decide the exact month that might be the best fit for you:

  • The Absolute Cheapest Time: June is the wettest month in the Maldives with the most frequent rain showers. However, it also boasts the lowest accommodation prices. Be prepared for potential disruptions to outdoor activities due to rain and rougher seas.
  • April, May, October, and November: These shoulder months offer a good compromise. You might encounter some rain showers, but there's also plenty of sunshine and lower prices compared to the peak season.
  • July & August: While rain is still possible during these months, prices remain lower than the peak season. You can also take advantage of the prime surfing conditions, especially if you're a surfing enthusiast.

If you can't stand the idea of getting caught in rain showers during your vacation, June might not be the best choice. Moreover, some water activities like diving and snorkelling might be impacted by reduced visibility due to plankton blooms during the low season.

If surfing is a priority, remember July to October offers the best waves.

Tips for Finding the Cheapest Deals

  • Be Flexible with Your Dates: Traveling during weekdays or shoulder seasons can lead to better deals compared to weekends and peak holidays.
  • Consider Alternative Accommodation: Local guesthouses or guesthouses on inhabited islands can be significantly cheaper than luxury resorts on private islands.
  • Look for Early Booking Deals or Last-Minute Offers: Many resorts offer discounts for booking well in advance or for grabbing last-minute cancellations.

Best Time to Visit the Maldives for Snorkelling and Scuba Diving

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If you're planning a trip to the Maldives and want to enjoy snorkelling or diving, the best time to go is between December and April. During this period, the weather is usually sunny with calm seas, and the water is clear.

With good visibility you can see clearly as far down as 15 to 30 metres, which is perfect for observing colourful tropical fish and other marine life. So, you'll have a great time exploring the beautiful underwater world of the Maldives during these months.

If you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider visiting the Maldives during the shoulder months of May or November. These months offer a good balance of decent weather and lower prices if you book a few months prior.

May to September is also a good time to spot manta rays and whale sharks across the Maldives. You can frequently spot manta rays and oftentimes whale sharks around cleaning stations like the famous UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll which is known for massive feeding aggregations during the southwest monsoon (peaking July to October).

Whale Shark sightings are possible year-round in South Ari Atoll, with a peak season from August to November.

No matter when you choose to visit the Maldives, you're sure to have an incredible experience. The underwater world here is truly amazing, and there's something to see for everyone.

Best Time to Visit the Maldives for Surfing

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The Maldives is not only a beautiful place with calm lagoons and colourful coral reefs, but it is also a great destination for those who love surfing. The country offers some of the best waves and breathtaking island views that any surfer would love. If you are a surfing enthusiast, here's some information on the best time to visit the Maldives for an epic surfing experience.

Peak Surf Season (May to September)

  • Consistent Swells: The Southern Hemisphere winter brings consistent swells to the Maldives, creating ideal conditions for experienced surfers. Powerful waves roll in from the south, offering opportunities for barrel riding and manoeuvring.
  • Variety of Breaks: Different atolls offer varying wave experiences. North Male Atoll boasts consistent right-hand breaks, while South Male Atoll provides a mix of right and left-hand breaks. More remote atolls, like Southern Atolls, cater to adventurous surfers with challenging breaks.

Shoulder Season (March/April and October/November)

  • Balanced Conditions: These shoulder months offer a good compromise between wave quality and weather. Swells start picking up compared to the dry season, while the weather remains pleasant with less humidity and occasional rain showers.
  • Fewer Crowds: Compared to peak season, the shoulder months see a decrease in crowds, allowing surfers more space to enjoy the waves.

If you're planning to go surfing in the Maldives, it's important to know that the waves are quite powerful, which makes it a great spot for experienced surfers. However, if you're a beginner or intermediate surfer, you might want to consider participating in surf camps or guided tours offered by some resorts.

The Maldives boasts many resorts specifically designed for surfers. These resorts provide experienced surf guides, boat transfers to the best surfing spots, and equipment rentals, all of which can make your surfing experience much more enjoyable and safe.

Please keep in mind that the information provided here is only a general guideline. The conditions of the ocean waves can vary depending on weather patterns. Therefore, we always recommend checking the latest surf forecasts before your trip.

Worst Time to Visit the Maldives

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When we talk about the Maldives' rainy season (Monsoon Season, late May to mid-October), we often think that it's not a good time to visit. But actually, the conditions may be perfect for you if you don't particularly like hot weather, as the days with overcast skies shield you from direct sunlight.

The truth is that there is generally no bad time of year to visit the Maldives for a holiday, but if you want to be more specific, there are better weather conditions at certain times of the year for surfers, divers, and guests who want to simply bask in the sun and tan.

If you are looking for a relaxing holiday that doesn’t cost you a fortune, visit the Maldives during the summer months. Rain's natural sounds have proven to have a calming effect. Nothing is quite as satisfying as unwinding under the shade of a veranda with a book, completely disconnected from networks, emails, and social media.

Although there are more rain showers during the months of May to October, they are usually short and refreshing. In fact, they often last only an hour or less, and then the sun comes out again.

It's very unlikely to have a full day of rain, and even during a shower, the sun can still shine through, creating a magical and enchanting atmosphere. So don't let the rainy season stop you from experiencing the beauty of the Maldives.

The islands come alive with a vibrant green hue as the lush vegetation flourishes with the increased rainfall.

If you happen to find yourself in the Maldives on a rainy day, don't worry! There are plenty of things you can do to make the most of your time:

  • Treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment at your resort. Many resorts have incredible spa facilities that offer a variety of treatments to help you unwind and feel refreshed.
  • If you prefer to stay indoors, most resorts have a variety of indoor activities and entertainment options, such as movie nights. You could also catch up on some reading or simply relax in your overwater bungalow while enjoying the stunning view.
  • If you're feeling adventurous, don't let a little rain stop you! You could go for a refreshing swim after a downpour. Sometimes, you might even get lucky and witness a breathtaking rainbow arching over the turquoise waters.

While the rainy season might not be the best time for all water activities, it can be a great time to visit for budget-conscious travellers. Hotel rates and resort packages tend to be more affordable during this period. The crowds are also thinner, so you can enjoy a more secluded and peaceful Maldivian experience.


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