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One Week in the Maldives Itinerary

One week itinerary for the Maldives

For a short vacation to the Maldives you could consider the below one week itinerary for your Maldives trip.

Is a week long enough to visit the Maldives?

I think it is definitely enough time to visit two islands in your one week trip without feeling rushed. You can also experience snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing within this itinerary, and all within 30 minutes by speedboat from Male airport so you won’t waste your week in the Maldives travelling around.

I recommend visiting two islands in one week. If you are planning a budget trip to the Maldives then visit local islands near Male so that you can take speedboats and ferries rather than a domestic flight which can be expensive.

 

Photo of local island Thulusdhoo
Visit Thulusdhoo: One of my favourite local islands only 30 minutes from Male airport
Where to go for one week in the Maldives?

If you love water activities and are happy to stay on local islands then stay on Thulusdhoo or Gulhi which are islands close to Male airport.

One week trip to the Maldives: Visit Thulusdhoo local island

Thulusdhoo is one of the best islands to visit in the Maldives as it is great for surfing, has some decent scuba diving sites and some gorgeous boutique guesthouses. It also has a floating bar which is a nearby party boat where you can still drink alcohol which you cannot when on Thulusdhoo island itself.

One week in the Maldives: Visit Gulhi

Gulhi is one of the best island destinations for beautiful bikini beaches, it even has swings for your Instagram shots. It is a much quieter island but still offers some surfing and scuba diving and great local Maldivian food.

local island Gulhi beautiful beach
The beautiful bikini beach in Gulhi – local island near Male
Resort Day Pass

If you want a taste of the a resort experience but without the high price of a luxury resort in the Maldives, try a resort day pass like at Club Med. For a fraction of the price of staying overnight you can use the facilities, all inclusive drinks and food and sometimes transfers can be included too. Message them on their Facebook page for up-to-date prices.

How much is a week in the Maldives?

The cost of a 1 week Maldives vacation will depend totally on if you decide to stay at a luxury resort. The price of Maldives resorts usually range from $300 per night up to $18,000 and more.

One week budget itinerary – the Maldives local islands

The cost of a Maldives trip if on a budget can be around $70 per day depending on activities. On local islands, guesthouses can cost around $50 per room so the cost for a couple visiting the Maldives will be around $25 per night for accommodation.

 

One week budget trip to the Maldives

Eating local food on islands can be around $5 per meal so very budget friendly and breakfast is usually included in the room price. Snorkelling trips can cost around $20 per person, the price of scuba dives from around $40+.

One week luxury Maldives

If you want to stay at a luxury resort in the Maldives then I recommend staying for 6 nights and having your final night visiting a local island to experience the authentic Maldives. Lots of resorts offer package and all-inclusive deals so compare them for the best Maldives package. I think it is great to experience a resort for the luxury holiday side but local islands will always be my favourite islands to explore especially for a budget Maldives trip.


Booking.com

Maldives on the cheap Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives
The best rooftop infinity pool in the Maldives
One Week in the Maldives itinerary – evening at Crossroads

Another alternative to a resort and local islands is to visit Crossroads. This up and coming island is home to several different resorts, bars and restaurants so is worth exploring and will have much more going on in the evening than local islands. You can take the ferry here from Male Ferry terminal, ferries take 15 minutes, leave every 30 minutes from 11am-11.30pm and costs approximately $42 return for tourists. Work Permit Holders and Locals cost is 160 Rufiya/ $10 return.

One week itinerary in Baa Atoll, Maldives

If you only have one week to visit the Maldives but are keen to snorkel with manta rays in the best spot in the world – Hanifaru Bay then book domestic flights from Male to Dharavandhoo and spend 7 days in Baa atoll. For more information on snorkelling with mantas in the Maldives read my blog post here.

underwater photo of snorkelling with a manta
Snorkel trips to see manta rays in the Maldives
Where to stay in Male, Maldives

I would personally avoid staying in Male unless necessary. I think it can be worth a day trip if you have time to spare but it is extremely busy and crowded. That said there are some great restaurants, cafes and boutique shops that are worth visiting for a day trip in Male. Hulhumale has much nicer accommodation for similar prices. Male has a lot of hotels but most of them are very expensive, they can cost from $150+ per night and the cheap hotels are not particularly nice. The cheapest hotels in Male are usually around $60 per night for work permit holders/locals and will be more expensive for tourist rate.


Booking.com

 

One week diving trip in the Maldives

Fuvahmulah in the south of the Maldives is the best scuba diving in the world, and definitely in the Maldives. The marine megafauna in this area is so incredible, in three days of diving we saw thresher sharks, tiger sharks, whale sharks and oceanic manta rays. Read my Maldives blog post here for how to get to Fuvahmulah, the best diving destination in the Maldives.

Cheap diving in the Maldives with oceanic manta rays
Me admiring an oceanic manta ray while scuba diving on a budget in the Maldives

For more information about the best islands in the Maldives for budget trips, read here for island advice about Gulhi, Maafushi and Thulusdhoo.

For more information about visiting local islands, what to wear on local islands and where you can drink alcohol in the Maldives, read this blog post

For what to pack for the Maldives, consult my Maldives packing guide.

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Maldives Packing List: What to Bring to the Maldives


What to Bring to the Maldives: Packing List

When visiting luxury resorts or local islands I recommend this Maldives packing guide to help you decide what to pack for your Maldives holiday.

Essentials to Pack for the Maldives: Mosquito repellent

While most Maldives resort islands fumigate for mosquitoes even the most 5 star luxury resorts have an ongoing battle against the mosquito population so be sure to bring mosquito repellent that contains DEET. I recommend a 50% DEET mosquito spray like this one from Amazon. The Maldives does have incidents of dengue fever which is spread by mosquitoes so be vigilant with mosquito repellent on both resorts and local islands.

Essential Items for the Maldives: Suncream

It is very easy to get sunburnt in the Maldives even when using suncream. It is best to use factor 30 or SPF50 especially if spending extended time in the water or on a boat. Coral reefs in the Maldives are under a huge amount of pressure due to rising water temperatures so I try to use a reef-friendly suncream that is also gentle on the skin. I love this Cerave one which a dermatologist recommended to a friend.

Maldives: What to Pack-  Sunglasses

Even on cloudy days, the sun, sky and white sand beaches are incredibly bright. I’ve recently stopped buying cheap sunglasses at markets because they don’t protect your eyes properly. I actually bought these ones from Amazon in the hope they would suit me and I love them!

Packing List: Bring snorkelling gear to the Maldives

I suggest bringing snorkelling gear if you have your own. I love my mask and I think it is the best scuba diving mask for small faces. I bought it from Simply Scuba in the UK and the brand is Oceanic mini ice. I definitely recommend it as it fits perfectly and I love the hammerhead on the back. You can always borrow from the hotel, resort or guesthouse but even in the top resorts the snorkelling equipment is not as decent as buying your own.

Maldives Packing List: Sun hat/ Sun cap

Particularly if you have thin hair like me, I strongly recommend a hat during the midday sun. I have had a painful burnt scalp before!

What plug do I need for the Maldives?

Electricity adapters – most resorts will have British 3 pin plugs but on local islands and guesthouses there can be a whole range so I recommend bringing a multi-use electricity plug – these ones from Amazon

Maldives Trip Packing List: Underwater camera

Because of the amazing marine life in the Maldives, I strongly recommend bringing a Gopro or similar underwater video camera to video marine life like turtles, sharks and manta rays. Always use a red filter if you’re scuba diving to bring out the vibrant coral colours.


Maldives Packing Guide: Dry Bag

A dry bag is one of my essentials when travelling Asia, especially places like the Maldives and South East Asia where rain can appear suddenly and I spend a lot of time on boats! I love 5l bags as they aren’t too big and can still fit a reusable water bottle and other diving essentials. Check out some dry bags here. 

Inflatables for your Maldives packing list

My favourite is this whale shark that I ordered from Amazon but they have so many different types of inflatables. The Maldives is the perfect setting for photos and fun with these floats as the crystal clear water and lagoon environments mean the currents are not strong and the waves can be non-existent at times.

Maldives Packing List: Small Lightweight Speaker

I bought this one from Amazon last year and I really recommend this speaker as it is perfect for travel. It’s so light and the sound quality is still so good for something that cost around $30 dollars. I definitely would buy it again for such a cheap price. I have also had bluetooth issues with other speakers but not with this one so far!

Pack for the Maldives: Ear Plugs

Local islands can be noisy with generators and lots of islands have awesome but noisy fruit bats so I recommend bringing ear plugs to the Maldives to help get a good night’s sleep.

Maldives Packing List

As the Maldives has over 1000 islands, getting and feeling seasick can happen very easily. Instead of seasick pills I use these seasick travel bands which for me are the best item for dealing with travel sickness. I use them for mountain roads and have also used them on boats when feeling seasick. How do travel seasick bands work? Supposedly, the bead in the band pushes on a pressure point which can help with nausea. It might just be psychological but either way – it works for me! I bought mine from Boots but these are an Amazon example.

What currency to bring to the Maldives:

I recommend bringing US dollars as they are used widely in resorts and local islands. Be aware that on local islands you will likely receive change in Maldivian Rufiya (the notes are really beautiful!). In some shops in Male, only Maldivian Rufiya is accepted but in tourist areas US dollars are always accepted. For resorts you can bay by debit or credit card at the end of your Maldives trip. To pay for local guesthouses I recommend paying in cash as foreign cards don’t always work and there will usually be a 3% card fee.

And finally what not to bring to the Maldives

The Maldives is a Muslim country and has strict laws prohibiting certain items. Therefore, you cannot bring alcohol, pork products or pornography into the Maldives.

For more posts about the Maldives:

For the best diving in the Maldives check out this blog post all about Fuvahmulah island and the cheapest diving in the Maldives!

For more information about local islands, a great alternative to expensive resort islands, read here.

For the most beautiful beach in the Maldives, check out Gulhi island

For two local islands in the Maldives with lots of water sports, scuba diving, surfing and party boats where you can drink, visit and stay on Maafushi and Thulusdhoo islands. These are great to visit as they are near Male and the airport.

Whale Shark Inflatable Gift
Messing on my whale shark float in the Maldives

 

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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my Maldives travel blog!