No prior visa is required to enter the Republic of Maldives. Entry permit is granted to visitors on arrival at designated ports of entry, based on the immigration requirements.

Getting there

Emirates Airlines flies daily via Dubai from Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Belfast.

Qatar Airways flies daily via Doha from Manchester and London. Cities served by codeshare partners include Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, Durham Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jersey.

Sri Lankan Airlines serves Male on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Heathrow and on Friday and Saturday from Heathrow via Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, Monarch Airways operates weekly flights from Gatwick and British Airways flies three times weekly - also from Gatwick.

From the airport

A regular ferry service is available from the airport island to the capital every 15 minutes which changes to one every 30 minutes after midnight. Since the airport island is geographically separate from the capital the only means of transport to the capital is by sea. If required a dhoni ferry can be chartered by for transfer to the capital at set rates. Further details cab be attained from the ferry terminal at the jetty of the airport.

Air Transport

Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian Airways operate special air transfer trips to most of the resorts. This mode of transport is best arranged prior to arrival. Normally resort operators have arrangements for chartered flights to their resort with either of these parties.

Getting around

Tourism is strictly regulated, and independent travel is discouraged because it is seen as disruptive to traditional island communities.Those wanting to see the Maldivian way of life can visit Malé, the capital city, and make daytime visits to island communities close to resort islands.

"It's not impossible to visit the outer islands, but it's difficult enough to deter all but the most dedicated and determined. An Inter Atoll Travel Permit is required to visit islands outside the tourist zone, and the Ministry of Atolls Administration will only issue them to those whose visit is sponsored by a resident of the island concerned."

Air Maldives, the small national airline, has regular and scenic flights to the four air strips in the outer atolls, while sea plane resort transfers are operated by Maldivian Air Taxi. Helicopters and seaplanes are used to transfer guests to some of the remoter resorts.The main form of local transport is the dhoni, a traditional all-purpose vessel. Larger boats called vedis are used for longer trips to outer atolls. Safari cruises in live-aboard dhonis are increasingly popular, especially with dive groups who want to reach more remote sites. Most safari trips cruise around the tourist zone, but it is possible to arrange longer trips to the outer atolls. Most islands are so small that transport is not a problem, but there are taxis, mopeds and bicycles in the capital.

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