Surfing In The Maldives: Everything You Need To Know – With some of the cleanest waters in the world, pristine white sand beaches, blue lagoons with world-class waves and diving – this is surfing in the Maldives.
Maldives is the lowest and lowest country in the world with one of the most impressive mountains. Beside these mountains there are coral peaks, no snow… and the average height is 1.5 meters. Located in the southwest of India, this tropical country consists of 26 flat atolls with more than 1,192 atolls spread over a 2,200 km north-south vertical line. In the Indian Ocean – making it one of the most geographically dispersed countries in the world. Surfing in the Maldives should be on every surfer’s bucket list.
Surfing In The Maldives: Everything You Need To Know
The surfing season starts in March and ends in November, however from May to October the most waves arrive and the peak season begins. Christmas is prime season for honeymooners and cruisers. However, northern, central and southern continents have their peak periods. Corals in the south are smaller
Review: Jailbreak Surf Inn, Himmafushi
High Season (March/April and October/November) – This will bring clear skies and light winds. Central and northern Athlone have constant waves from April to October. Northern Adventures tend to be more crowded due to the number of land camps, but thin out on big days.
Maldives is a Muslim country. Dress codes apply when going out in public, but in some northern islands where surfing is popular, it’s more relaxed.
There is no alcohol on the islands although boat charters serve alcohol and some land-based campsites bring a barge of Coke that you can drink on board ($5 per beer).
During Ramadan, no restaurants are open all day and you must respectfully not eat or drink in public (tough when you’re on the island for ice cream!). It is better to travel as a woman. I found the locals friendly, although in the south, where there is less tourism, I felt a little uncomfortable walking alone down the sandy road.
Cruise And Surf In The Maldives
Everything has to be imported to the Maldives so it’s expensive ($35 for sunscreen in the male airport – avoid airport pharmacies at all costs!).
Bring all the essentials – read our detailed surf packing list so you don’t forget anything!
It is possible to surf the Maldives on a budget. But not as cheap as Indonesia. Surf Camp at Men’s Atlas will be your best choice. Either on Himafushi Island where the prisons are (along the Sultan), or on Tulsado Island where there is a coke (and easy access via the surf pier). Expect to pay around $50 – $85 USD per night. Some include 3 meals a day and others include boat trips to nearby waves –
), late at night, which means an overnight stay is common before boarding your surf charter or seaplane the next morning. Note that Male Airport is not in Male City!
Review; Surfing The Maldives At Season Paradise
If your flight is delayed at Male Airport, don’t panic. You have many cheap hotels or accommodation options. The airport itself is located on Holol Island, a short boat ride from Male City. Hotels on Holol Island are expensive (around $200), but there are some cheaper options on Holol Island, which is connected to Holol. Take a taxi or arrange a pickup to your accommodation.
Check out Kayak or Expedia to find cheap flights to Male. Kayak-on-Flat can also set up price alerts to make sure you get the best deal.
It is very easy. Upon arrival, turn right and walk 50 meters. There are two shops on your right. Both offer a data-only SIM for 7 or 14 days. By listening I got a 14 day 17GB package for $32. Just put the SIM in your (unlocked) mobile phone and you are good to go.
The Maldives accepts the US dollar and its own currency, the Maldivian Rufiyaa. For tourists, most things are quoted in dollars and expected. There are two ATMs at the airport that will give you Maldivian Rufiyaa, as well as a currency exchange (all open late at night). If you’re not staying at an all-inclusive resort, get yourself some local currency to pay for the ferry, water, snacks, etc. Some cruises/resorts only accept USD so check who you book with.
The Complete Guide To Surfing The Maldives For All Budgets & Skill Levels
At the time of writing 1 USD = 15.67 MDR, 1 British Pound = 212.4 MDR, 1 Australian Dollar = 118.49 MDR.
Traditional Maldivian cuisine is based on three main ingredients: coconut, fish (mainly tuna) and starch. Flavors include Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental influences. If you’re on a surfboard charter, all your meals will be provided, like most resorts (I recommend bringing extra snacks like nuts). If you stay in a cheap surf hostel, expect cheap white bread, chicken and plastic cheese – I struggled! Dining in the capital of Male will be a completely different experience with local dishes such as Tuna Curry Pancakes (Riha Foli), Falafel, Curries and various wraps. Curry tastes like dessert.
If something goes wrong in the remote areas of the Maldives, you’ll have to fly to Sri Lanka’s capital, Mal or nearby Colombo. Make sure you are covered by travel insurance. We offer worldwide nomads and all STILL STOKED readers to use the code STOKED5 for a 5% discount when using this link (unfortunately not available to US or Canadian residents or with any other offer). International Nomads offers comprehensive travel insurance in plain English, covering all the activities you need including surfing, diving and sea sports. You can also make purchases after leaving the country. Check it out and get a quick quote here.
Having said that, I needed 7 stitches from the dirty cut as we went further and further south. The Maldives has free medical care for citizens and so their hospital on the small island I visited was full and very clean. It cost me $12 to sew. I was incredibly grateful! – See what I keep in my surfing first aid kit.
Surfing In The Maldives
If your charter does not arrange your arrival, you will need to travel to another island by private speedboat, ferry or seaplane. Easy – the marina for the ferry is 50m from arrival – no joke!
The public ferry costs about $3 – $7 depending on where you go. But it stops at 8pm, so if you’re late to Male Airport and need to get to another island, your only option is a private speed boat – about $100 one way (shared by passengers).
If you have a few days before leaving your charter boat, an easy option is to surf the nearby island of Himafushi.
My flight landed late and I had two nights to kill before leaving our surf boat on Sunday. My friend and I got a 20-minute private speedboat ($50 each) to Himafushi Island, about 15 kilometers from Male International Airport. We stayed at the Jailbreak Surf Inn ($65 with 3 meals) for two nights. The exact point of Jail Break (so named because it is in front of a prison in the Maldives!) is 3 minutes away. From here you can surf many waves of the North Reef (Gill, Honky, Sultan, Cox).
Best Surfing Spot In Maldives
For more detailed information on all the waves in the Maldives, check outsurfatoll.com – they have excellent logs and a good map of waves and wind direction, which we found useful.
You have to go by charter boat to reach the South Atoll waves (Huwadhu and Seenu)!
If you have some money to spend and want to surf the Maldives properly, you can’t beat a surf charter. Especially if you want to visit central and southern heroes. For the South, this is the only option. Surf charters aren’t cheap (even on par with some land-based camps!), but it’s the way to go.
I hope this article is helpful if you are considering surfing in the Maldives. Let us know in the comments below if we missed anything or if there’s anything we’d like to add!
Maldives Surf Camp
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Through this story we try to challenge the position of women in nature and the wider society. Shop » Bargains » Learn to Surf Maldives: 8-Day Surfing Lessons for Beginners Maldives – 1 USD, 199 p.p.
7 nights accommodation Sea view room with sea view balcony Daily breakfast Return airport transfer 5 x 2 hour surf lessons with guide and equipment
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