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Travelling to The Maldives from Sri Lanka

The Maldives has the reputation of being an ultra expensive honeymoon destination. Although this is true, did you know it also has a lot of potential to travel on a budget? When flying from Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) in Sri Lanka, the flights don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg! There are also many local islands with affordable hotels and home stays to avoid the humongous prices of the private resorts. So when you are already planning to go to Sri Lanka and the Maldives is still on your bucket list, read further and find out how to combine these two amazing destinations creating your dream holiday!


Flights to The Maldives

As we said before, flights from Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) are some of the cheapest in the world! This is no surprise when it’s just a 2 hour flight away! Many travellers like us choose to include the Maldives at the end of their Sri Lanka travels to finish the trip in complete relaxation. As flights from Malé Airport (The Maldives) to for example Europe can get quite pricey, it might be more beneficial to book two return flights. This would work out to be: Home to Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka to Maldives – Maldives to Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka to home. This can also work to your advantage as we believe Sri Lanka is too big to travel in 30 days. The Visa accepts two entries for 30 day periods, so you could potentially spend more time in Sri Lanka without extending your Visa. Just research prior and work out the best option for you. Read our blog ‘Everything you need to know about booking flights’ to find out how we book our flights as cheap as possible.

Accommodation in The Maldives

Who doesn’t love the idea of sliding down the waterslide of your own private bungalow into the clearest waters you will ever see? Sounds incredible, but it will be hugely expensive. If you want to experience all that Maldives has to offer without the massive price tag, you might want to settle down on one of the local islands. From here, you can instead organise a day trip to one of these luxury resorts and enjoy the all inclusive lifestyle for a fraction of the cost. Islands like Maafushi are a perfect base for your stay with hotels, hostels and home stays for every budget. Take a look at the following link to find out what Maafushi has to offer!


Which islands to choose?

Truthfully, choosing your island’s is going to be difficult… Most islands look the same and offer the same experiences. Maafushi is one of the more popular islands and so we do recommend choosing to stay here. It is popular with budget backpackers/tourists as the island offers a huge variety of tours for very reasonable prices! You could also consider Fulidhoo, Thulusdhoo, Rhasdhoo, Thoddoo, Dhiffushi and Guraidhoo. Originally we chose to visit Maafushi and Fulidhoo, but had to change last minute. We ended up choosing Thulusdhoo instead of Fulidhoo, which was amazing for snorkelling off the beach. Read more about Maafushi HERE.


As you might have guessed, waving down a tuk tuk like in Sri Lanka, is impossible in The Maldives. When you arrive in Malé airport you can take the public ferry (depending on whether it is running, for us it was not) or a shared speedboat to your island. If you did book with a resort you will likely take a private speedboat to your specific island resort. Sometimes you’ll even travel by seaplane (this will be organised prior with your hotel). We were completely confused on our arrival to the airport with desks and counters showing different hotel signs and names everywhere.
If you’re travelling to a local island then just ask around and you will be guided to the right place to book your shared speedboat or ferry. For the ferry time table and schedule, follow this link. The system of regulating the speedboats seemed a bit flawed in our opinion. There were so many tourists, including us, arriving at the airport and not knowing where to go. There are also no signs or screens with information. Just remain calm and ask for help! You can also ask your accommodation to reserve a seat for you on a shared speedboat. Ensure you have the name of the company/operator and the estimated(!) time of departure as all speedboats look the same… You won’t have the same issue on your return to Malé airport as it is very easy to book transport back through your hotel.

How long to stay in the Maldives?

This all depends on the amount of time you can spare and if you get bored quickly. After you have been on a few snorkelling/diving trips, seen some sandbanks and taken part in some water sport activities, there is not much more to do than soak in the sun and relax. Such activities can be found in the Maldives through this link. We would suggest keeping your visit around 10 days, divided over +/-3 islands.

If adding The Maldives to your trip sounds like a bit of you, then you can follow our adventures in Maafushi, a backpackers paradise!

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