International Flights arrive in the Maldives at the Male Ibrahim Nasir International Airport on the island of Hule, the whole island being the airport, runway and a few buildings around it, with a short ferry ride away to Male, the Capital, which you can see across the water.

It is an exciting Airport to land at, with the runway set out on a long strip of land, with the island below you and the blue Indian Ocean on both sides.

Flights also leave from this airport to the Gan International Airport in the south of the Maldives and to the smaller airports of Kadhoo, Kaadedhdhoo, Fuvahmulah and Hanimaadhoo and there are also seaplanes that leave from the seaplane Terminal next to the Male Airport. The flights to these other parts of the Maldives take mostly around an hour or so.

The Maldives have a very distinctly different boat, used throughout the Maldives for both fishing and carrying goods and passengers, what are called 'dhoni ' – (pronounced 'Doni') which is a bit like a dhow, with a sweeping front prow, that looks a bit like the front of Sinbad's shoe, sweeping up and backwards in the air. These boats are made in wood, traditionally using the wood from coconut trees and you may see them being built on some of the islands. They were traditionally using sails, but most that you see will be motorised. Use them for island hopping, or to come into Male from one of the nearby islands if you ae staying nearby.

At the airport you will see different Dhonis waiting for passengers and also Speedboats and Ferries that take passengers to some of the main resort islands, or it may be that your transport will be from Male, in which case you would be taking a Ferry boat to Male, before leaving from there to your island hotel or resort.

Before coming to the Maldives, it is best to pre-book accommodation, so that you know what to expect, the costs involved and what are included and excluded costs, also what transport arrangements there are for you to get to and from your destination, hotel or resort.

If you don't have the transit/transport as part of a package, it can be very expensive, depending on how far from the airport or airports your island destination is located.

As with any holiday planning, you want to spend as much time at your destination as possible, not sitting in an airport lounge and wasting a whole day of your holiday – so check out the times when your flights arrive and depart and how much of a day will be spent in travelling to your island destination, before you lock in a booking, and don't forget to get Travel Insurance, particularly if you intend to go diving. Some of the more remote islands may involve a flight from Male on a seaplane and then a speedboat ride before you even set foot on the island of your choice – so a lot of time travelling. Flying at low altitude over the Maldives however can be quite beautiful.

Maldives is the same as the UK – the 3 point electricity power plug, (3 solid square pins not round pins) if you need to charge your phone or use an appliance.
Happy Travelling!

Geoff Stuart

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