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Best time to visit Maldives

Discussion in 'Maldives' started by PrernaChabbar, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. PrernaChabbar

    PrernaChabbar New Member

    I would like to know what the best time to visit Maldives is?

    I want to go with my husband, and it is our babymoon, so on this holiday we would be able to relax as much as we can until member number three appears.

    The worst thing to happen would be booking the holiday and going to Maldives and finding out it was the wrong time to visit and there can be so many reasons such as weather, festivals, etc. So I think it would be best to know what the best time to be in Maldives is.
     
  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there, welcome to the forum!

    Overview

    The Maldives is actually an all-year round destination, much like Goa or Kerala. Each season offers something different for travellers, so you can enjoy each one of them. It still depends on your interests though, which season would best fit you. The good news is, whatever season you visit, you're bound to enjoy the pristine beauty of the Maldives. And the islands rarely get crowded too, so you can have a private and secluded vacation regardless of the season you're visiting. Generally, the Maldives has a tropical climate all-year round, so the weather is usually sunny and crisp. Barring a few months where rains are rampant, the Maldives has a warm climate that is eased by sea breeze.

    The Best Time to Visit Maldives

    There are only two main seasons in the Maldives, namely: a dry season and a wet season. In between these two seasons, you get the transitional season wherein it's harder to predict the weather patterns in the country. Temperatures remain roughly the same all-year round. Rainfall can occur mainly during the wet season but even in dry season, you can get unexpected rainfalls. This shouldn't worry you though as even if it rains for a few hours or a few days, the sun always shines through. Now, let's go to the main descriptions of these two seasons:

    1. Dry Season (Northeast Monsoon)

    The dry season extends from December to March. Day time temperatures range between 26°C to 31°C while night time temperatures range between 25°C to 26°C. December is the start of the dry season but you can still expect some rains here and there. Usually though, rains occur by late afternoon until evening so you can still enjoy excursions out of the island you're staying in. That being said, this is the Maldives so the weather can be a bit unpredictable. During the month of December, the National Day is celebrated in Male and other islands of the country. The victory of Mohammed Thakurufaan over the Portuguese is celebrated through parades and other festivities.

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    National Day in Maldives (Image Courtesy of Rymas)

    January and February are usually the driest months though so they're a safer bet if you would like to enjoy water sports, sightseeing, swimming, snorkelling, diving or island hopping. Temperatures remain roughly the same, between 27°C to 31°C with night time temperatures a bit lower. Tourists usually start flocking to the region by January so it is considered as the peak tourist season. Hotel rates are definitely higher during this time and if you pick last minute flights, expect the rates to be higher too. One festival celebrated during this season is the Haj and Bodu Eid during the month of January. This is one of the most important festivals as it celebrates the pilgrimage season for the Muslims, where they need to reach Mecca at least once in their lifetime. The festival is celebrated with food sharing and games as well.

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    Dry Season in Maldives (Image Courtesy of Travel Centre Maldives)

    March is also usually a dry month, although by the end of it, rain showers are inevitable due to the transition to the rainy season. Temperatures remain the same, between 28°C to 32°C. Hotel rates are still on the higher side as March is still one of the peak tourist months. You can still enjoy lots of activities though like snorkelling, diving, sightseeing and also island hopping. The Eid Milad Nnabi is celebrated during this month, wherein the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad is celebrated. Almost all islands indulge in the festivities of this festival so you can witness the local culture from wherever island you visit.
    • Best Season For - Water Sports, Sightseeing, Swimming, Snorkelling, Diving and Island Hopping.
    • Known As - Peak Tourist Season & Hot Climates.
    • Festivals Celebrated - National Day (December), Haj and Bodu Eid (January) and Eid Milad Nnabi (March).
    2. Transition Season (Unpredictable Weather)

    This extends from April until the middle of May, sometimes until the end of May. Temperatures are between 28°C to 32°C so there's little variation if you compare it to the previous season. Although these months are relatively dry, rain showers can occur too as this is the transitional period before the monsoon season begins in the country. It's very unpredictable and you never know when the rains can occur. However, the good news is that rains rarely occur for more than a few days, at the most maybe three. If you're planning a week long or more vacation to the Maldives, there's a higher chance of experiencing more sunshine than rains. For diving, it is believed that the month of April is the best for that especially for the eastern and western atolls in the Maldives. The eastern atolls have great visibility especially for reef sharks during this month. You can also indulge in other activities like sightseeing, swimming and island hopping during this time.
    • Best Season For - Sightseeing, Swimming, Snorkelling, Diving and Island Hopping.
    • Known For - Unpredictable Weathers.
    • Festivals Celebrated - None.
    3. Wet Season (Southwest Monsoon)

    This season extends from the middle of May until October. As you can see, this is the longest season as it includes six months in a year. Cloudy skies are a common feature during this season along with onsets of rain showers. During the middle of May, temperatures range between 28°C to 30°C with lower night time temperatures. Rains occur during this time already, although you get interludes of sunshine as well. Despite this, the islands of the country remain picturesque and you can enjoy swimming still. If you enjoy surfing, then you would rejoice at the wonderful waves around the different beaches of the Maldives too. Diving might not be as good during this month due to the lower visibility but still possible.

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    Wet Season in Maldives (Image Courtesy of Omupie)

    June is also part of the wet season, with roughly the same temperatures as above. Rainfalls are more rampant during this time, although it still depends on luck. Your best bet would be to book a vacation for at least 10 days so even if you get rainy days, you have buffer days for that and the remaining days can be enjoyed in sunshine. The rates for hotels and resorts start getting lower during this month too. You can enjoy the Maldives even if you are in a tight budget especially if you choose the guest houses. If your goal is just to enjoy the beaches, then this might be a good month to visit.

    Next is July, which also has the same temperatures as above. It's a bit tricky to go to the Maldives during the remaining months as rainfalls can be as heavy as can be. If you're that unlucky, it might rain the whole week of your vacation and if you're lucky, it might rain for just a few days or not at all. It depends purely on luck as the weather is very unpredictable. If you don't want to take that risk, avoid this month and even the succeeding months. But if you want some great discounts, consider the remaining months. Diving is not that great during this time too, but you might be able to spot mantas and shark rays in certain diving areas as they tend to flock to feed during this month. Snorkelling and island hopping might prove to be difficult during this time. Even sightseeing can be difficult but just pack an umbrella and you're good to go. This is also the month when the Independence Day is celebrated in the country. Parades, performances and other festivities happen to celebrate the independence of the country from the British rule.

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    Independence Day in Maldives (Image Courtesy of Travel Centre Maldives)

    August and September are some of the wettest months but the temperatures remain warm and humid. While rainfalls can be notorious, sometimes extending for a week long, there are still interludes of sunshine. Diving is a good activity if you're staying in the western atolls. But the other atolls might have lower visibility for both snorkelling and diving. Surfing is a good activity during this month but you still need to reach the surfing spots in Maldives which are a bit further away from the main islands. Again, rates for hotels are at their lowest during this time so good for budget travellers. Do keep in mind that September is the Ramadan month so you might find restrictions when it comes to food options as plenty of restaurants are closed during this month.

    October is the last month for this season and it receives rainfall still. Some island receive more rainfall than the other but it's unpredictable which ones do get heavier rainfalls. Snorkelling, sightseeing, island hopping and diving might not be as feasible during this month. If you would just like to laze around and enjoy the beach, then you can consider this month. The seas might be too rough to enjoy though except if you enjoy surfing. For other water sports though, they won't be available during the rainy days. October also marks the end of Ramadan season with the Kuda Eid so you can enjoy the colourful festival complete with lots of foods to celebrate the end of the fasting season.
    • Best Season For - Lazing in the Beach and Surfing.
    • Known For - Heavy Rain Falls.
    • Festivals Celebrated - Independence Day (July), Ramadan (September) and Kuda Eid (October).
    4. Transition Season (Unpredictable Weather)

    November is the transition season, which sometimes lasts until the middle of December. Temperatures remain the same, between 27°C to 30°C. Rains, winds and cloudy skies are rampant but there are also sunny days. It's harder to predict especially with the climate change for the past few years. Some experience purely sunny days, some experience purely rainy days and some experience a mixture of both. Sightseeing is doable though if you stay in Male. Island hopping depends on the weather conditions during that day. Snorkelling and diving can be done but visibility might be lower. Hotel rates remain low during this time though so if you want to save some money and also avoid the crowds, November can be a good time to visit. November is also the month that Republic Day is celebrated, wherein the Sultanate system was abolished and the Republican system took over. Parades, food stalls and performances mark this important day in the Maldives.
    • Best Season For - Enjoying the Beach.
    • Known For - Rain Falls with Mix of Sunshines.
    • Festivals Celebrated - Republic Day (November).
    Conclusion

    As you can see, the Maldives is really an all-year round destination. Whether you're into diving or snorkelling, make sure you visit the country during the dry season. Or maybe you enjoy huge discounts, then you must visit the country during the wet season. Transition seasons are a bit unpredictable but are good options for avoiding the crowds, if you can take the risk. And each season has its fair share of festivals too which you can enjoy to understand the unique culture and heritage of the country.

    Enjoy the Maldives!
     

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