Situated around a thousand kilometers from the Asian continent, the Maldives is an island nation that’s all about clear blue seas, white sand beaches, vibrant culture, and beautiful underwater scenery – from coral to marine life like manta rays. But just when is the best time to visit the Maldives?
That’s a good question. There are just two seasons that dominate this scattering of coral atolls – wet and dry. One is super rainy, and the other is super sunny. Other factors can really affect how unpredictable (or predictable) the weather is in the Maldives, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a guide to just when to visit these stunning islands.
When is The Best Time To Travel To The Maldives?
Weather in the Maldives in January
The Maldives are not at their hottest in January – in fact, January is frequently the coolest month of the year across the islands – but we’d say it’s still pretty damn hot.
Average daytime temperatures are 30°C, the sea temperature is a balmy 28°C, it’s pretty dry… So actually, all in all, January is a good time of year to visit the Maldives.
Being pretty much in the middle of the dry season, there’s not much rain to worry about. It’s also not that humid. It’s sunny, too, with nine hours of sunshine a day – any clouds that might be in the sky get blown away by winds from the northeast.
Weather in the Maldives in February
Like January, the temperatures in February stay pretty constant (during daylight hours at least) at around 30°C. Nights are a little cooler, being 26°C, but the sea is even warmer! How does 29°C sound? That’s practically bathtub level.
February is the driest month of the dry season (November to April) and sees a whole lot of sunshine. This makes it a popular time of year to visit the Maldives, with many consecutive days of sunshine and practically no clouds or rain. Any rain that does fall during February is likely to be a light scattering over the southeastern atolls.
Ten hours of sunshine a day, warm water to lounge around in, predictably good weather. What’s not to like?
Weather in the Maldives in March
Still very much in dry season, March is actually the hottest month of the year. Temperatures are in the low 30s, and the sea remains at a very warm 29°C. Bathtime, anyone?
Even temperatures at night time rarely dip below 27°C. There’s barely any rain, either. Again, any rain that does fall will occur in the south; there are only – on average – seven rainy days in March in the Maldives.
Though hot, it’s an excellent time to get out and about. Hike around the islands, go diving, it’s all good. Just make sure you cover up when the sun’s at its hottest, wear plenty of sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
Weather in the Maldives in April
During April, temperatures are an average of 29°C, and nighttime temperatures are about 26°C; you still won’t need anything to keep you warm in the evening. But the sea climbs up to the hottest it gets all year – 30°C. That’s hotter than the air temperature! Crazy.
It’s all about chilling on the beaches, watersports, and enjoying the great weather.
However, as April moves forward, the rain will increase as the dry season begins to break and come to an end. This happens sooner in the north, thanks to southwesterly monsoon winds. Still, only ten days out of April’s 31 see rain. And that’s just an average.
Expect few clouds because of those winds, however, which means a lot of sun!
Weather in the Maldives in May
That was the dry season. May heralds the beginning of the wet season. Southwesterly winds increase, so does cloud coverage and the number of rainy days that this month of the year is packing.
It’s still a warm month, however, but it gets a lot of rain. Humidity skyrockets, which makes the heat begin to feel just a little bit uncomfortable. You should definitely get a place with air conditioning.
The whole of the Maldivian archipelago begins to get affected by the monsoon, which is really what the wet season is. That humidity? It’s about 76% by now, and you’ll be affected by (on average) 15 days of rain with an average temperature of 30°C. Pretty sticky and not the greatest time to visit the Maldives.
Weather in the Maldives in June
The temperatures may not change a lot in June, but thanks to the rainy season, this is easily the wettest month of the year. Winds get up to speeds of 30mph and humidity is at a not-great 77% (average).
There is still, thankfully, quite a bit of sunshine. Rain tends to happen in short, albeit massive downpours in the afternoon. Also, most of the rain falls in the southern portions of the Maldives, meaning that the north stays relatively less wet than those parts.
Some days may be very grey, however, with huge monsoon clouds threatening rain all day.
Sea temperatures are still ridiculous: 29°C.
Weather in the Maldives in July
The Maldives are still right in the middle of the wet season in July. This means stronger winds, high humidity, and – of course – those big downpours.
Nevertheless, it’s still hot. Temperatures here are always high. The daily average in July is around 29°C, which (surprise, surprise) is the same temperature as the very-warm sea.
This is not really the best time of year to visit the Maldives, but with that in mind, it is one of the cheapest months to travel to the islands. If you’re more about budget than perfect weather, you may find July a good option for you.
Rain falls mainly in the southern and southeastern atolls, though all of the archipelago sees a downpour at some time or other.
Weather in the Maldives in August
August still means wet season, but by this point in the year, the winds are starting to ease off – in the north at least. Rain is still concentrated, for the most part, in the south of the island country.
Humidity is still high, so it’s sticky, and so are temperatures (around 30°C). Evenings, however, begin to cool down at 25°C.
It’s a very tropical time of year. Skies get grey with clouds, there’s a massive downpour. Repeat for the next however many days! Weather can be unpredictable in August.
It may not be the rainiest month, but when it rains… man, does it rain. Expect torrential downpours. Even if they only last 20 minutes.
Weather in the Maldives in September
The weather doesn’t change that much as the year goes on in the Maldives. It’s either hot and dry, or hot and wet, and the latter is exactly in which category September falls.
September means there are still southwesterly winds, there are still unpredictable downpours, it’s still wetter in the south than in the north and center of the islands, there are still big clouds… You know the drill by now. Roughly half of the days in September get rain.
It’s no wonder that tourist numbers experience a decline during September. Even the temperatures only reach around 27°C, making it one of the cooler months of the year.
Weather in the Maldives in October
The wet season is finally coming to a close when the year trundles on to October in the Maldives. That, however, does not mean that October is without its downpours. There are still a lot of those to be had; it’s the third-rainiest month of the year.
The southern islands will still get more rain. And it’s still relatively humid, at around 75% on average. You’ll still get around eight hours of sunshine a day, though the rains when they do come can be super heavy. They don’t make things any less hot either.
Nighttime temperatures are 25°C, and the sea temperatures are about 28°C. Basically, there’s not a lot of change, though it does start to get less rainy by the end of the month.
Weather in the Maldives in November
A mixed month, November means that the Maldives are no longer ‘officially’ in their rainy season… but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any rain. It’s during this month that things finally start to turn, with more sunny days than rainy days (yes, finally).
Tourists begin to visit a little more during November. The weather becomes more predictable, with the occasional tropical storm here and there.
Temperatures? They’re around the high-20s on average, while the sea is still the warm, briny bath you should be expecting when you visit the Maldives. Humidity is still pretty high, too. We visited the Maldives in November and only had a few days of rain (but not all day) and for the most part a sunny and enjoyable experience.
Weather in the Maldives in December
Tourists start to flock to the Maldives towards the end of December. It’s Christmas, after all, and who doesn’t want to spend the holiday vacation in the Maldives? It’s sunny, it’s beautiful, it’s awesome.
Then again, there is still some heavy rainfall going on in December. Not nearly as much as back in July though.
Daytime temperatures climb up to about 29°C, while after dark, the temperatures drop to 25°C. The ‘dry monsoon’ – otherwise simply known as the dry season – begins to properly set in by the end of the month. This means lower humidity, fewer clouds, less rain falling, and weather that’s a little more predictable. Perfect beach weather, basically.
Festivals in the Maldives
Dry season – or winter, as we know it in most of the northern hemisphere – is something of a joyous time in the Maldives. Rains cease, and the sun is out to play basically every day. What festivals in the Maldives in winter can you look forward to?
Christmas isn’t officially observed, being a Muslim country, but other international festivals do make an appearance. January 1st, however, is an official day off.
The Chinese community will be celebrating Chinese New Year (January 25th in 2020), and many hotels get into the spirit of it.
Depending on the lunar calendar (February 28th in 2020), Huravee Day celebrates the expulsion of the South Indian Malabars almost 900 years ago.
National Day (or Qaumee Dhuvas) falls sometime between February and March and is celebrated in Rabee-ul Awwal – the third month of the Islamic calendar. It commemorates the Maldivian victory over the Portuguese invaders in 1573. Expect parades and marches throughout the archipelago.
Festivals in the Maldives in spring – the end of the dry season – encompass a few celebrations. In April, there’s Martyr’s Day. Calculated by the Islamic (lunar) calendar, it celebrates and pays respects to all martyrs throughout Maldivian history.
Ramadan – also known in the Maldives as Ramazan – commences 28 days of daylight-hours fasting, culminating in…
Eid ul Fitr! Eid ul Fitr is typically a summery affair in other countries, but in the Maldives, this festival (sometimes in May, sometimes in June) occurs as the wet season sets in. Expect feasting and merrymaking.
Independence Day (July 26-27) celebrates the end of being a British protectorate, when an agreement was signed between the two (now) sovereign countries back in 1965. This is a great time to be in the Maldives, with a lot of festivities to see as people take to the streets in colorful garb.
Festivals in August in the Maldives include Bodu Eid. This falls 66 years after the end of Ramadan and marks the beginning of the traditional pilgrimage to Mecca.
Held at the end of September, after another lengthy session of fasting that is Ramadan, Kuda Eid is made up of three days of people coming together, mosque-visiting, feasting, and dancing. It’s very much based around food!
Towards the end of October/early November (November 10-11 in 2019), the Maldives celebrates the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday! As you may expect, there’s feasting and merriment. Head to the capital of Male to see the full extent of the celebrations.
As the Maldives begin to inch out of the rainy season (only just), November 11 sees the celebration of Republic Day. It’s the day that the current Maldive was founded back in 1968, three years after independence from the United Kingdom. This means brass bands, parades, and marches.
When is the Best Season to Travel Maldives?
High season (December-March): This is the high season in the Maldives and peak dry season. You’ll have less of a chance of rain than other months and be rewarded with summer days. However that does come at a price. The Maldives are already an expensive destination any time of year, but traveling during the high season will show you how expencive these islands can really get. Around the holidays expect high occupancy at the resorts.
Shoulder Season (November and April): November and April are both considered a “shoulder season” in the Maldives. It’s a short period to get some cheaper travel in. Once December hits prices will rise, but if you travel outside of November-April you stand a higher chance of getting rained on.
Low Season (May-October): This is the Maldivian low season. It’s a wet time, as noted above with a high chance of rain. However booking flights and accommodation during this time will save you big bucks. As long as you know going into it that it will probably rain you’ll still have an enjoyable time! Just remember that diving and snorkeling is good all year round – the marine life doesn’t care that it’s raining!
Best Time of Year to Visit Maldives?
In my opinion, the best time of the year to travel to the Maldives is November. Right before high season hits, but right after the rainy season.
When is the Cheapest Time to Visit Maldives?
The cheapest time to visit the Maldives is obviously when it’s raining. Between May and October will get you the best deals!
Best Time to Visit The Maldives for Honeymoon?
I would recommend going to the Maldives between December and March for your honeymoon. It’s your honeymoon after all and you don’t want to spend it sitting under an umbrella in the rain. You’ll pay more for sure, but it’s worth it to almost guarantee good weather.
Best Time to Visit Maldives for Diving and Snorkeling?
Anytime is good! So if you want to save some money and are going to the Maldives on a diving holiday it’s safe to book during the low season.
Quick Travel Tips for the Maldives
- Languages Spoken: Dhivehi is the official language of Maldives and also the most widely spoken language. English is commonly understood.
- Capital: Malé
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa, but almost everywhere accepts USD.
- Visa: Anyone from any country is granted a free 30 day tourist visa on arrival!
- What to Pack: Beach Clothes obviously! See our full guide here.
Where to Stay in the Maldives?
Budget: Cinnamon Ellaidhoo is a great property for those that want to do the Maldivian resort thing while still staying on budget. We were at Ellaidhoo for three nights and enjoyed our time here. The house reef is amazing and every time we went out to snorkel we discovered some new, bright fish. It’s also very far away from Male and the hustle and bustle of the countries capital. Check prices here!
Mid Range: Kurumba is one of the best places to stay in the Maldives! We had a fantastic time at Kurumba Maldives. This resort is only a five-minute speedboat ride away from the Male Airport. Meaning you could arrive in the Maldives and be at your resort a few minutes later it saves on additional airfare and time. It’s also the first resort ever in the Maldives, but it’s elegantly maintained and they have a great dive shop. Check prices here!
Luxury: Velassaru was our favorite resort in the Maldives. They have located just a 20-minute speedboat ride away from the capital so it’s a quick transfer in and out. The food here is to die for and the overwater bungalows are bigger than New York City apartment. You won’t regret a stay here! Check prices on Agoda.
What to Pack for the Maldives?
Bring a pair of comfortable flip-flops to wander around The Maldives.
I have sung praises about my Rainbow sandals for years. Since I bought them in 2009, I have only had to get a new pair once and that was only because my first pair got stolen in Thailand. They have arch support, are comfortable, and look great. Check out more of our favorite travel shoes here (for men and for women).
Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun since you’ll likely spend a lot of time outside. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.
We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses; however, we love ours and will never buy cheap ones again. Of course, there are always more affordable options!
Don’t forget a beach tote before you go to the beach in the Maldives! I love ones like thesethat pack up small in your suitcase. And they hold more than you can imagine. They are also water resistant!
Travel Water Bottle
Plastic pollution is a problem in the Maldives so it’s best not to contribute to the problem buying plastic water bottles everywhere – plus the water from the taps here is perfectly safe to drink. We’ve shifted to using an insulated aluminum water bottle as it handles the hot sun well. However, we also love filtered water bottles in areas we’re uncertain of the water supply. Read more about favorite water bottle for travel in our post.
You will absolutely need sunscreen for your trip to the Mediterranean. You can purchase it when you get there, but then you’ll be searching around for it and may pay a premium for a generic brand. Please consider spending a few extra dollars for reef safe sunscreen. The typical sunscreens like Coppertone, No Ad, and Banana Boat have many chemicals in them that will run off your body while swimming damaging the precious coral and marine life. We have this reef safe sunscreen for our ocean adventures.
We don’t travel without travel insurance and neither should you. You never know what can happen in a foreign country and it’s best to be prepared. World Nomads provides good short term coverage.
Check Out These Posts
Travel in the Maldives
- Best Time to Visit Maldives (2020) • Month By Month Breakdown
- 20 Maldives Travel Tips To Know Before You Go
- Maafushivaru Maldives Review • Finding Peace on the Ari Atoll
- Kurumba Maldives Review • Relax at the First Resort in the Maldives
- Velassaru Maldives Review • Our Favorite Luxury Resort in the Maldives
- Kuramathi Maldives Review • Enjoying One of Best Dives Spots in the World
- What to Wear in the Maldives • The Ultimate Maldives Packing List
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