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  • Claire Vorster

Tiger Air to the Maldives. Secret holiday tips

Ready for a beach holiday? If so, no-frills airline Tiger Airways has just the ticket. Fresh from the success of launching sun, sea and sand flights to Langkawi and Boracay, Tiger has now introduced weekly direct flights to Malé - in the utterly gorgeous Maldives. Ticket prices start from $169 each way. Nice! If you are already half way to booking your ticket, here are our secret tips to get your dream holiday on a roll.

1. The Maldives – Paradise on Earth

The Republic of Maldives maybe Asia’s smallest country by population and land area, but the islands have won worldwide affection for their perfect white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, hospitable people and gorgeous sunsets.

A sanctuary for both the casual sunbather and serious diver, the Maldives sits at the heart of the Indian Ocean. These sparkling waters are home to a vibrant underwater world of around almost 2,000 species of marine life in an outrageous variety of shapes and colours including clown fish, cuttlefish, dolphins, turtles and manta rays.

“The dry season is from November to April. The wet season is May to October, when prices go down. For all this talk of monsoons, it does not get very heavy rainfall experienced by some of its nearby neighbours. Because the Equator runs through it, the temperature varies very little between an average daily maximum of 30.4 degrees Celsius (86.7F) and the minimum at 25.9 degrees Celsius (78.6F).”

2. Whatever Island Holiday You Want – It’s Yours

The Maldives offers over 90 (yes that’s 90!) self-contained resort islands, with a tempting suite of activities from high-adrenaline water sports to revitalizing spas where you will often find an unobstructed view of the sun setting over the Indian Ocean.

Some resorts even feature private villas with glass bottom floors suspended over the Ocean for an unparalleled view of the wild wonder of the marine world. For beginner or experienced divers and snorkelers, the Maldives islands consistently rank amongst the best diving destinations in the world. These lagoons boast more than three quarters of the world’s reef and marine species.

3. Local Knowledge

Malé – Capital City

The island of is Malé is just 1.7 km long and 1.0 km wide, but with over 100,000 people crammed onto it, it is the fifth most densely populated island in the world. It will take you about 40 minutes to walk the whole city. By far the best way to take in the famous The Hukuru Miskiyy, (Friday Mosque), quirky houses and shops. Please bear in mind that the Maldives is Muslim Country. That means no alcohol and respectful attire.

Eating Out

The local version of fast-food is served in Sai-Hotaas (teashops) serving ‘short-eats’: you can choose from local bread ‘roshi’ to be eaten with a variety of side dishes, or a variety of savoury or sweet finger-food, often fish and coconut based. The Hotaas have a loyal clientele and serve food on communal tables. The atmosphere is extremely informal so this may be the place to converse with a friendly local.

Traditional Dancing

The traditional Maldivian dance is called 'Bodul Baru', consisting of an intricate mix of Arabic and Hindi movements. Watch out for a performance in the city of Malé or at your local resort.

Protect The Wildlife Important Note Many Maldivians will ask you to please, help to preserve their local wildlife. To help out, don’t buy coral, sharks teeth or anything made from turtles.

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