Maldives for everyone. How to relax on the islands on a budget, but with pleasure

You can go to the Maldives even with a fairly modest budget. Learned all the secrets of economical vacation from choosing guesthouses and hotels to inexpensive resorts. And also about which islands will attract budget travelers, and why you should learn to ride a bike.


In the last few years, the Maldives, which has always been associated with the most expensive and luxurious vacation, has become more accessible for people with a moderate budget.

This was largely facilitated by the relaxation of the rules for conducting tourist activities, after which full-fledged tourist facilities began to appear not only on uninhabited islands.

And although the traditional concept of “1 island – 1 resort” still exists and is very popular, the so-called on the “local islands”, where the Maldivians themselves already live, you can safely reserve guesthouses and hotels for tourists. Most of them are in the Great Male area.

The price per night in a guest house starts on average from 30 dollars per day, however, it is worth considering that guest houses can be very different – from elegant boutiques with spa services to inexpensive and very affordable rooms.

In the Maldives, you can live comfortably in an inexpensive hotel or guesthouse. Photo by Visit Maldives

A good room in a 3* hotel on a local island with breakfast can be found from 60 dollars per day, in a 4* hotel on the first line with breakfast, a pool on the roof and a panoramic view of paradise – from 85 dollars.

Hotels and guesthouses have conditions for young couples, families with children, and groups of friends. The main thing that distinguishes such a stay among the locals is complete immersion in the culture of the Maldives.

For example, in many places it will not be possible to sunbathe on a public beach in a swimsuit (although special bikini beaches may be set aside for tourists), walk in too short shorts or skirts, and drink alcohol.

By the way, there will be absolutely no alcohol in guesthouses and hotels on the local islands. The same is the case with food – with budget accommodation, breakfast is mainly offered, and lunch or dinner is available for a separate fee.

But in such places, everyone can go to a new local restaurant, observe the everyday life of the population, go on excursions, incl. to the neighboring resort islands, engage in all kinds of water sports and enjoy the main thing that the Maldives has – the beautiful ocean and sandy beaches.

Lunch at a local restaurant is a great opportunity to try local cuisine. Photo by Visit Maldives

Which local islands of the Maldives can be the most interesting for economic tourists

Many local islands offer hotel and guest house services in the Maldives, but they have their own “rating” among tourists.

For example, small Rasdu Island on Alif-Alif or Northern Ari atoll. It was one of the first to accept budget travelers, so now it has a developed tourist infrastructure.

The island, which can be visited in 1.5 hours, has everything – shops, cafes, more than 20 hotels and guesthouses, dive centers, water sports center, post office, hospital, bank, ATM and even a mobile operator’s office.

The island is located near Malé and can be reached by public ferry (from $5 per ticket) or speedboat (from $40), which allows for significant savings on transportation.

From entertainment – snorkeling safaris, fishing, swimming with manta rays, turtles and whale sharks, various water sports, as well as sea walks. There are also almost 20 places for diving near the island, including the famous spot Madivaru Corner, where tourists dive in the midst of a large number of reef sharks and eagle rays.

The whale shark is a frequent visitor to the North Ari Atoll. Photo by Visit Maldives

Tourists are offered various excursions to the nearest resorts or uninhabited islands. Among them is a miniature island Madivar 1 km from Rasdu, with the unspoiled sandy shoal of Madivar Finolhu, where you can dive and swim.

In the evenings, a short safari starts from the island. The ship goes to a special place between the islands of Rasdu and Todu, where a school of dolphins often gathers.

Fuvahmulah – another picturesque Maldivian island. It is unique to all – its location is already almost on the equator between Addu and Huvadhu atolls, the underwater world – it is here that the most interesting diving with tiger sharks takes place, as well as the origin.

The fact is that Fuvahmulah is not a coral island, but a volcanic island with the only freshwater lakes in the Maldives. Its white pebbly beach shocks the imagination and is even included in the top ten unique beaches of the world.

The lakes on Fuwahmulah Island are unique to the Maldives. Photo by Visit Maldives

There are also many guest houses here, the most top of which is considered Marina Boutique Hotel. In addition to very comfortable rooms, the hotel administration offers interesting excursions around the island.

The best way to get to Fuwahmulu is by domestic flight from Velana International Airport. A flight from Male Airport is also possible. Travel time – 1 hour and 10 minutes.

A bite – an island that budget travelers must pay attention to. It is located at a distance of a little more than 70 kilometers from Male and has about 30 hotels and guest houses of different price categories.

In addition, there is a medical center, a pharmacy, small shops and cafes, a park for walking, including with children. Among the sights – a mosque, and an interesting place on the pier where you can see sharks.

Ukulhas is one of the most beautiful local islands in the Maldives. Photo by Visit Maldives

The main attraction of the island is the beach. Its length is 1 km, and here you can sunbathe in a bikini in almost all places. Hotels and guesthouses are also located no further than 100 m from the beach, making Ukulhas ideal for families with small children.

In addition, Ukulhas is considered to be home to sea turtles and the best fishing for yellowfin tuna and blue marlin.


However, resort islands are also affordable. If desired and depending on the season, accommodation in them can be from 100 to 350 dollars per day for two.

When choosing a resort, in addition to its good qualities, such as a house reef or a diving school, it is very important to specify the proposed power system.

For example, if the island is located far enough from some settlements, then you should choose at least half-board, because it will not be so easy for tourists to go to another island for dinner or for groceries.

Malahini Where? Bandos Resort

A tiny island in Northern Male, 9 km from the main airport. It is considered one of the best value for money resorts in the Maldives. Here you can choose rooms of different categories, including villas.

There are many places on the island where you can spend a pleasant evening. Photo – from the hotel website

A big plus is its proximity to the capital, so tourists will be offered many excursions and entertainment in Male.

Equator Village Resort.

This small resort with 80 rooms is located on the island of Gan in the Addoon Atoll, the southernmost part of the Maldivian archipelago. The island has its own airport.

Rest here is supposed to be very quiet and leisurely – the main type of rooms are bungalows with a view of the ocean or a tropical garden. The resort is ideal for newlyweds.

Summer Island Maldives Resort

The resort is located on a private island in Northern Male. Type of accommodation – bungalows and water villas.

The famous 3D reef of Summer Island Maldives Resort. Photo – hotel website

The resort offers many excursions and entertainment, including fishing and sea walks. And the main feature for divers is a real reef printed on a 3D printer, which helps to restore the natural coral ecosystem.

Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma

The hotel is located on South Male Atoll and is named after the local Kandu tree.

The resort is considered one of the most affordable and convenient places to relax with children – there is a lot of entertainment for them, including a “dry” pool and children’s rooms.

Ellaidhoo Maldives by Cinnamon

The hotel is located on the atoll of Northern Ari (Alif-Alif). There are spacious rooms with a view of the ocean and a SPA center.

The proximity of the home reef, where you can make interesting dives, as well as daily diving tours to the North Male Atoll, should be recognized as the “draw” of the resort hotel.

Proximity to the home reef is always a big plus of a holiday in the Maldives. Photo by Visit Maldives

Sun Island Resort and Spa

The resort is located on Ari Atoll and can be attractive for vacations with children and with a company of friends. This is one of the most interesting places where you can swim with whale sharks.

Adaaran Select Meedhupparu

The hotel is located on a beautiful green island in Raa Atoll. Its main “feature” is a rich house reef and its own diving school. The hotel is considered an ideal place for married couples and lovers.

Gangehi Island Resort

The hotel is located on a resort island on the edge of the Northern Ari atoll in a very beautiful location. It also has its own diving school and even the services of a marine biologist who can provide appropriate advice to tourists.


However, regardless of the chosen type of accommodation, you can save money on your vacation in the Maldives, getting additional pleasure.

So, the experts of the tour operator PAC Group are sure that you should think about traveling to the Maldives in advance, at least 2-3 months before arrival. It should be remembered that early booking will make the trip even cheaper by up to 40%.

In addition, tourists should track airline tickets on airline websites and book them immediately. Although in this matter it is better to trust the professionals.

PAC Group, for example, has guaranteed blocks of seats to the Maldives on low-cost Aeroflot flights for September and October, so their customers really won’t be left without cheap tickets that sell out very quickly.

Maldives experts offer other good tips for staying on a budget:

  • Come on vacation in the low season from May to October – at this time many hotels make good discounts on accommodation. And, although this period is considered the rainy season, precipitation will not fall for more than 30 minutes and will fall more at night than during the day.
  • Consider the distance from the airport of arrival to your resort. For example, if the whole family has to fly by seaplane there and back, then there is no need to talk about saving money.
  • Use traditional Maldivian public transport – ferries. The cheapest of them are the state ones, which depart from the ferry terminal Willingili (Vilingili Ferry Terminal) from Male Airport. The terminal can be reached on foot or by taxi. This is the only terminal open daily. There are ferries to the islands from other terminals every day of the week except Friday.
  • Choose “full board” as a food system in your hotel when staying on the local islands. It’s often much cheaper than eating at nearby restaurants and cafes. In addition, hotels are interested in their guests and, as a bonus, allow them to order food until a certain time.

A bicycle is probably the best form of transportation in the Maldives. Photo by Visit Maldives

  • When staying in guest houses on local islands, you can prefer a bicycle. By the way, this is quite a popular trend even on expensive resort islands, since this type of transport allows you to simultaneously admire the surroundings and quickly move to the desired place, for example, to the pier. Bicycles are very cheap to rent all over the Maldives, and some hotels provide them for free.

Olga Pegasova

Photo: provided Visit Maldiveshotels of the Maldives

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *