Loading...
  1. Main
  2. Articles
  3. Maldives
  4. Maldives weather or the best time to go to a paradise vacation

When planning a trip to the Maldives, it is important to choose the period that best suits your preferences and ideas about what an ideal vacation is.

Soak up the sun on the ocean? Go diving or snorkelling? Go on excursions? Staying in a luxurious room, calmly sipping an exquisite drink and reading a book to the sound of rain? Or you are inspired by fantastic sunsets and sunrises, which need to be captured for history? There are pedants who consider the vacation spoiled if the conditions of the transfer cannot be observed due to weather vagaries.

All of the above is important, but for everyone to a different extent.

In this article, we will tell in detail how to avoid uncertainty as much as possible and prepare for potential surprises. It is important to remember the main thing: the Maldives is beautiful in any period and season.

Vacation in the Maldives
Vacation in the Maldives

Climate: General Characteristics

The Republic of Maldives is located in the equator and right in the middle of the Indian Ocean, which means that the direction of the prevailing winds determines the tropical monsoon climate here. We should remember that the island state stretches along a length of almost 900 kilometres north-south direction and is completely flat. The highest point of this archipelago is 2.4 meters above sea level and is located on the territory of the southernmost atoll, Addu Atoll (Seenu Atoll). Because of this, there is no much temperature difference between the weather in the atolls. However, it can rain cats and dogs anywhere and anytime, while it will be dry several tens of kilometres away. The equatorial climate, ladies and gentlemen... At different times of the year, air and water temperatures remain stable and are in the range of 24-30°C. As for the amount of precipitation, each month is different, and the difference is significant.

One more thing: when choosing a location on the archipelago, you should take into account the fact that the influence of monsoons is more distinct on the northern atolls of the Maldives, for example, Haa Dhaalu Atoll with the administrative centre of Kulhudhuffushi when compared with the island of Gan located in Addu Atoll.

Sunny weather at Maldives beaches
Sunny weather at Maldives beaches

Seasons at the equator

The seasons as we used to understand them are almost indistinguishable on the Maldives archipelago. Winter at the equator? However, there are two main seasons. The dry season is the period from December to mid-April. At this time, northeast winds dominating the archipelago bring the heat. In April, the southwest monsoon begins taking the stage, and it comes with heavy rains and storms. At the beginning of the first summer month, this monsoon finally reaches the Maldives and literally “sets the weather” until the end of August. The maximum rainfall occurs in May, while the minimum rainfall is in February. Although there are nuances in the weather for months, and we will discuss them in a special section of this article.      

Heavy rain in the Maldives
Heavy rain in the Maldives

Tourist boom or high season - when and why (rain, wind, temperature, sea transparency)

The weather plays a great role in the tourism infrastructure of the Maldives, and the main wave of tourists arrive here in the most favourable season. After all, a vacation on the archipelago is worthy not because of the presence of cultural and historic sights (which are a few here), extreme entertainment or shopping, but good weather. Good weather allows you to give yourself maximum relaxation in a comfortable resort surrounded by magnificent nature.

For outdoor activities, certain conditions are needed: for diving and snorkelling - transparency of water, for windsurfing - the wind. There are also other factors affecting the ability to fly on a seaplane or use a yacht in the open ocean. Besides, the temperature is also essential - not everyone will like to walk in a jacket in a strong wind, and this sometimes happens in the Maldives.

  • The high tourist season on the islands traditionally lasts from November to April, with annual “peaks” falling on New Year and Christmas holidays. The high season (winter monsoon) is known as “Iruvai”, which means “sunny season” in Dhivehi. Occasionally, it rains heavily, but in general, the weather in this period can satisfy the demands of visitors as much as possible. Therefore, hotel and entertainment prices are rising.
  • Interestingly, August can be pricey too, although this month is far from ideal when it comes to climate. The matter is that at the end of summer, European tourists massively visit the Maldives, spending holidays or traditional vacations here.
  • Frequent rains and cloudy skies that may happen most likely between May and November mean the summer monsoon, or “Halhangu”. However, many vacationers are not afraid of the phrase “off-season”, and it is no coincidence because each month has its advantages and disadvantages. Let us consider the main ones.

Resort beach in the Maldives
Resort beach in the Maldives

Weather by months (short review)

January

The first month of the year in the Maldives has a clear sky, calm ocean and rare rains (according to statistics, 2-3 days a month). The temperature is between 27-30°C, and water - 25-28°C. Humidity is quite comfortable. There are almost no storms. It’s a perfect time for lovers of yacht trips. Besides, the sun in the Maldives lasts longer over the horizon in the winter.

January gives a fair shot of good weather, but you have to be ready for high prices, especially if you intend to visit the island state during Christmas time. However, this fact does not bother many people. Early booking will help avoid excessive financial losses and choose a resort at the best prices.

Yachting in the Maldives
Yachting in the Maldives | Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

February

February has the longest daylight - 10 hours. The weather is reminiscent of January, except that the precipitation is even less. The average temperature is 28-29°C. It’s the peak of the high season, so the prices are corresponding. Moreover, Valentine’s Day, which many couples come to celebrate in a romantic corner of the world. Toward the end of the month, the wind begins blowing up, and the waves rise higher.

Romantic vacation in the Maldives
Romantic vacation in the Maldives | Meeru Island Resort & Spa

March

In March, the winter monsoon season enters the home stretch, but the weather remains excellent. The Maldives in March is typically sunny. The probability of rain is about once a week or a little more, and it is quite possible that it will not be a short passing rain but a shower for the whole night or day. The daytime temperature stays around 30°C, and at night, it drops to 27-28°C. Given the humidity, this moment is unlikely to add comfort, although everything is relative.

Sunny weather in the Maldives
Sunny weather in the Maldives | Baglioni Resort Maldives

April

April, especially the second half of the month, no longer hints but says directly: the time for the trip you have chosen is not the most favourable one. April weather is best characterized by one word - unpredictable. On average, it includes 3-5 heavy but short rains within ten days. The amount of precipitation is doubled compared to March. The air gets hotter, and the humidity rises.

Despite all of the details above, some people prefer to rest in the Maldives in April.

  • First, it’s easier to acclimatize (than if you fly from winter to summer), and secondly, in their opinion, why go in the summer, when it’s also warm at home, and the archipelago has a low season? It’s logic. But if you still choose April, then let it be its first half. You should remember that the water is already more turbid than it was in winter (scuba divers and divers understand why this is important).
  • In April, high-season prices remain in many resorts, but inexpensive offers can already be found, as well as inexpensive air tickets. Apart from travelling during Easter time.

May

In May, the rainy season begins in the Maldives. The southwest monsoon has the upper hand. It rains for almost half a month. The temperature does not fall below 29°C, and the humidity is high. Therefore, it can be stuffy. Strong wind causes waves, which increase the turbidity of the water. In practice, it is always reflected in different ways. Due to heavy rain, your ferry can be cancelled, and if you really need to go, you have to order a private boat. The heat will make you want to hide in the water, but it’s important not to get sunburnt because the sun is very active. Nevertheless, even off-season, the sea is magnificent - warm, clean, turquoise and without waves. And it rains (rather showers) not so often, and mostly at night.

During the southwestern monsoon period in May, a strong wind often blows, which is another problem. Waves crash against the reef surrounding the island or located next to it. Meanwhile, in coastal waters, in the lagoon, it creates bumping, and the water becomes cloudy with a visibility of only 2-3 metres. In addition to the difficulty of seeing something at a depth, sand is clogged everywhere, and that irritates. However, the Maldives fans describe it in other words: the sea in this period is not cloudy, it’s just murkier than in the high season.

May also means the mosquito breeding season. As a rule, these are pretty harmless creatures. They are not present on the beaches, neither are they in the resorts because staff strictly monitors it. Meanwhile, restaurants and cafes put special scaring candles on the floor. If you are afraid of the consequences of a bite, take an insect repellent with you on a trip - they are still allowed.  

Rainy season in the Maldives
Rainy season in the Maldives

June

According to statistics, June is the rainiest month in the Maldives. Many believe that due to the instability of the weather, the sea is dirty, and the island vacation in June will be ruined. Whether it is so, you can check in practice. If you are lucky (and luck happens not so rarely), it will rain as scheduled, for ten minutes, and the sun will pop up between them. In the end, even in the high season, you can still get into the wet zone when the sky falls for a week.      

Fans of diving and snorkelling should remember that visibility underwater in the summer months, as well as in September and partly in November, is much better on the western side of any of the archipelago islands, while in winter, it's on the eastern one. Thus, the recipe for solving the problem is simple: if the sea is cloudy on one side of the island, you can just go to the opposite shore. Moreover, since all the islands are tiny, walking a few hundred meters is not hard.

July

July is about the cloudy sky. The wind stronger than average indulge surfers the most. Despite such wet weather, both islands and reefs give travellers deep impressions. As a rule, in the middle of July, the storms calm down, showers are a little less frequent than in previous months, and small waves even in bad weather do not interfere with swimming. Staying in bungalows for days, hiding from the rain, is quite realistic for July, so you should ask in advance whether your chosen resort has at least the minimum set of activities in case of wet weather. By the way, on July 26, the Maldives celebrate Independence Day - with parades, fireworks and other symbolic objects.

August

August is no different from the other summer months unless a bigger number of tourists. In the morning and evening, you can see drizzle turning into heavy rain. Nevertheless, the positive from the summer rain is that it neutralizes the humidity and stuffiness in the air. At the same time, the temperature remains high - around 28°C during the day and 25°C at night. The average number of days with precipitation is from 11 to 14.

Those who do not tolerate the August wet heat and prepare for the worst based on previous experience (for example, August Alanya) can calm down a little. The Maldives climate is much milder than the Turkey one. However, the sun is very active because of the equator...

September

In September, the Maldives suffers from rains, it is often windy, and the heat decreases. It is likely that on your dates, it will rain only 20 minutes a day, but you cannot predict it. The amount of precipitation in September reaches 200 millimetres. There are thunderstorms, but as a rule, it rarely showers during the day for more than an hour.

Regarding the turbidity of the water, it all depends on the direction of the wind. If it blows from the beach, then a lot of sand will fall into the sea. You can still find a solution in this situation - try to choose an island with other pieces of land nearby where you could escape to for a while (the water can be much clearer there).

Many islands in the archipelago have a lagoon in the centre, often called the “inland sea”. The peculiarity is that the ocean inside the lagoons is not as strong as in the open space. The lagoons are much quieter and calmer because the ocean wave breaks on reefs and almost does not reach the shore. Therefore, there is less turbidity of the water.

October

If you arrive on the archipelago in October, you need to prepare mentally for the rains. And it will definitely rain. However, it’s impossible to predict how often and with what intensity. Someone will think the weather is excellent, having caught just one day of rain and hurricane within two weeks. Then another day, it may rain changeably. And all the rest - as by order, with a clear sky...

Daylight hours in October are about 8 hours. The air warms up to +30°C in the afternoon, the ocean - up to +29°C. Divers are content with cloudy water due to plankton, and surfers disassemble the front because their season is over.

November

In November, the sun does not pamper the inhabitants and guests of the archipelago anymore because daylight hours are only about six hours. In the daytime (same as, by the way, at night), the sky is gloomy, and it often showers. But it can be clear and sunny too, of course. The temperature ranges from 28°C during the day and from 24°C at night. It is not very comfortable to bathe after a pouring rain because when you go out of the warm ocean, you feel cold because of the cold rain.

Despite anything, the high season begins in November. However, the climate on the planet brings such surprises in recent years that it is impossible to guess when the Maldivian weather is the most favourable. As the Maldivians say, there is no rain on the islands from January to April, and in the rest of the time, everything is possible.

December

December marks the beginning of this high season. However, if you want to be more confident that the weather will be smiling upon relaxation, it is better to plan a trip for the second half of the month. Prices go wild in December, but the sun, absence of rain and comfortable temperature in the last month of the year are almost guaranteed. In the morning, the thermometer shows +28°C, in the afternoon - already up to +32°C. Humidity decreases, and stuffiness fades. Nevertheless, sea storms are quite possible.

Weather during the holiday season in the Maldives
Weather during the holiday season in the Maldives | Amilla Fushi Resort Villas & Residences

Diving and snorkelling - where and when

Both diving and snorkelling are perhaps the most favourite activities for those who relax in the Maldives. And this is natural because it’s hard to find such a combination of super-comfortable recreational conditions with the opportunity to take a close look at the life of the underwater world. Yes, in comparison with the Red Sea, the Maldives cedes in the richness of species of flora and fauna. But no one in the world can compare with the magnificence of colours, hues and especially the size of marine life of the Maldives. Usually, you can see here turtles, whale sharks, fish and a whole kaleidoscope of tropical sea creatures. If diving requires serious training before immersing, ordinary snorkelling on a house reef, just a few meters from the beach, can give a lot of experience to a beginner.

  • Diving in the Maldives is open year-round, but experts recommend the period from November to May. At this time, there are mostly no clouds in the sky, and the ocean is calm. Underwater visibility on the eastern side of the atolls reaches 20-30 metres in depth, while on the western side, it is 15-20 metres.
  • Diving in the summer is so-so. The sea is disturbed until September. In October, the water is quite cloudy due to the huge amount of plankton. The ideal time for diving in the Indian Ocean is from January to April because of calm weather and maximum visibility in the water. It is important to remember that coastal waters in this corner of the world are characterized by strong currents at any time of the year, which means that you should not neglect the services of qualified instructors, even if you are a pro.
  • Meetings with marine inhabitants do not always depend on seasonal factors. For example, whale sharks can be found more often during high tides, and hammerhead sharks rise from the depths in shallow water at sunrise.

Snorkelling in the Maldives
Snorkelling in the Maldives

When and where to watch manta rays

The highlight of the archipelago is the manta rays or sea devils. Massive, about five metres wide, they live in the coastal zone, as well as next to coral reefs and island groups. The period when you have more chances to see them is from May to October on the eastern side of the atolls, and from December to March - on the western outskirts of the atolls. There is a big chance for you to see them in the waters near the atolls of Raa and Baa. And the best place to admire manta rays is Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll, where the only UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives is located.

Are manta rays dangerous to humans? Manta is definitely not, but some of their relatives are not so harmless. Not all stingrays have spikes, which are described in horror stories. Moreover, stingrays swim close to the bottom, so in good weather, they are not visible. In a sand lagoon, and if the sea is cloudy, visibility is even worse. But you should remember that even the Black Sea has a lot of stingrays, and no one sounds the alarm over it. While relaxing in the Maldives, you just need to follow the golden rule: you can look at everything underwater, but you can’t touch anything.

Manta ray in the Maldives
Manta ray in the Maldives | Kuredu Island Resort & Spa

Weather and transfers

Weather conditions play a massive role in the transport system of the Maldives archipelago because in most cases, it is water transport. Seaplanes require excellent weather conditions, so bad weather can prevent you from getting from one place to another in this romantic way. Just in case, it is advisable to always determine the time of departure from the hotel to the airport with a large margin (even if it is at an ungodly hour). Sometimes, due to heavy rain or storm, you have to wait for an hour or two for normal weather to depart by a seaplane. Speedboats are more predictable, especially when it comes to private transfers. Sometimes, ferries do not take the sea due to bad weather. Meanwhile, flights of local airlines are cancelled or rescheduled in exceptional cases.

Seaplane in the Maldives
Seaplane in the Maldives | Asad Photo Maldives

Wedding in perfect weather

A honeymoon in the Maldives is the dream of many newlyweds. It is possible to say which period will be optimal for the trip if we take into account the preferences of the bride and groom.  

  • But the best of the best wedding ceremonies will still be in the winter. There are minimum chances of rainy weather, which means that you can feel and capture what is happening as fully as possible.
  • But what if the wedding in the Maldives is planned for the summer? It’s a good option too, especially if you want to become the heroes of the Maldivian wedding ritual. After all, wedding ceremonies are a feature of many travel agencies, and they include every smallest detail. The weather will not be able to spoil the high moods and sensations of the holiday, and the organizers will ensure that even a speck of dust (or a raindrop) will not disturb you. Besides, even if the clouds embrace the sky, the white Maldivian beaches that look so beautiful in wedding photographs will still be at your service all year round.
  • You can also book in advance a celebration directly at one of the hotels - they provide a wedding ceremony subject to the minimum number of nights spent at them. For a rather big price, of course. But you will know for sure that you will be protected 100% from weather surprises.

Another important thing: after the ceremony, you will be given... a fake wedding certificate. The Maldives cannot officially register marriages, so a symbolic ceremony will not have legal force. Please note that wedding celebrations are not held on weekends and holidays, for example, New Year’s Eve.

Wedding ceremony in the Maldives
Wedding ceremony in the Maldives | Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Cruises and storm possibility

Many Maldivian hotels, as well as individual private companies, offer vacationers open ocean cruises on comfortable ships. As a rule, they include diving in unusual places or snorkelling on the most beautiful reefs. The ideal time for this type of outdoor activity is the winter, preferably January. In the summer, sea safaris can be overshadowed by poor water visibility, which makes it difficult to see underwater life in all its glory. Often, the ocean is so turbulent at this time that excursions are completely cancelled or rescheduled for a more favourable time. In case of a storm, strong wind gusts are frequent - up to 150 km/h. By the way, windsurfing fans prefer a vacation in the Maldives between March and October.

Windsurfing
Windsurfing

Fishing season

For fishers, the good news is that you can catch something in the Maldives. The only thing that you must keep in mind is that the archipelago law forbids fishing from the shore, as well as spearfishing. Therefore, in any case, you will have to rent a yacht or a boat from locals. Between September and May, a good catch is almost guaranteed.

Fishing at the resort
Fishing at the resort | Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Note to photographers

The summer monsoon season brings a lot of rain, so those who want to take plenty of photoshoots in the Maldives should take this into account. Sometimes, you will have to wait for an absolutely clear sky for a long time at this season. In the meantime, real pro photographers will be rewarded with the most colourful and spectacular sunsets in the summer. If you want to shoot a lot, without problems and actual fuss, take the photo and video equipment and go to the islands in winter.

Sunset in the Maldives
Sunset in the Maldives | Hideaway Beach Resort & Spa

Interrelation between weather and budget

Since holidays in the Maldives can hardly be called budgetary, it makes sense to think carefully about how to reduce spending.

  • Season or off-season. It's one of the most important things. In high season, the weather is excellent, so accommodation prices are the highest.
  • Transfer. In a downpour or storm, instead of an inexpensive ferry trip to the island, you will have to take a speedboat, which is much more expensive, or a plane of domestic airlines.
  • Upgrade and bonuses. In the off-season, many hotels and island resorts not only reduce prices but also make special offers to upgrade your room category. For example, you pay for a standard room, and they put you in deluxe - of course, subject to availability. The same way, it works with bonuses (for example, a free Spa procedure or an excursion and massage). Therefore, to attract potential guests, upgrades and bonuses are generously offered in the low season.
  • Entertainment. In good weather (sunny, no high humidity, calm sea), there are much more opportunities to have fun outdoors because most activities require comfortable weather conditions. Thus, the costs can significantly empty your wallet.
  • Number of days. It works as follows: the fewer days you plan to live on the island (for example, 3 or 5), the more chances are to ruin your vacation due to bad weather. Yes, you will be able to save money when coming for a few days, but will it be worth that? Experienced travellers advise going to the archipelago for at least two weeks to be sure to catch more sunny days, no matter what season - high or low - your vacation falls. In the meantime, you need to think carefully and in advance about where to live and how much to pay for accommodation.        

Weather websites and global climate change

  • Before your trip (especially if it is the first one), we advise you to monitor resources with weather information in the region. There are many such websites, for example: Maldives Meteorological Service.
  • A separate section on many resources shows relevant data on extremes - in the Maldives, these can be hurricanes and typhoons.
  • Useful information can also be easily obtained from satellite images.
  • You can also check archives about the weather in previous years at the place you have chosen.

Should you trust weather information on websites unconditionally? No, you shouldn’t. First, it is updated continuously when it comes to current weather. Secondly, the weather in the capital, Male, can differ significantly from what will happen on the islands of archipelagos located several hundred kilometres away. In the low season, weather websites often give a forecast for thunderstorms with a 90% probability, but in actual life, it may turn out that sunny days are ahead in the place where you are heading.

Practice shows that even nearby islands can have different weather conditions at the same time. For example, a seaplane does not run the risk of landing on the water next to one island, but near the neighbouring one, located 3-4 kilometres away, it’s quite doable.

Global climate changes make themselves felt not only by rising temperatures but, above all, by sharp changes in weather conditions that have been typical for a particular place for decades.

Windy weather in the Maldives
Windy weather in the Maldives | Asad Photo Maldives

How to minimize risks and have a great time

It is unlikely that there will be any hurricanes or typhoons in this part of the world. In rare cases, there may be destructive wind gusts - up to 150 km/h. The resorts are well equipped to cope with extreme weather conditions, and they will have an action plan in case of a hurricane.

Another rampant natural phenomenon - tsunami - is unlikely to happen on the archipelago since the Maldives has a natural barrier that protects it. Besides, a system of special artificial slopes that reduce the strength of ocean waves has been developed and implemented here. Thanks to all this, the Maldives did not suffer during the infamous tsunami in 2004.

The climate on the paradise islands is always warm, the sand is sugar-white, the water is blue with all shades, and the silence is incredible. What else do you need for a wonderful holiday? That’s right - only a good mood and a sense of celebration, which you are lucky to see with your own eyes. After all, the weather can disappoint here a little, but the Maldives themselves never will.

Vacation in the Maldives
Vacation in the Maldives

Tags:

Related articles