Great Maldives Itineraries: How Many Days to Spend?


An isolated archipelago near Sri Lanka, the Maldives is surrounded by crystalline waters and punctuated by secluded accommodation. With remote beaches and an endless ocean, one week in the Maldives is enough to take it all in while enjoying a variety of water sports that this place has to offer, ranging from snorkeling and fishing to standup paddleboarding and cruising.

However, the beauty of this location means that you will want to stay a little longer, tanning yourself in the sun and diving into the ocean. But regardless of how you choose to spend your time in the country, you will constantly be immersed in its paradisal spirit that is only made better by the kindheartedness of its people.

How much time should I spend in the Maldives?

As the Maldives is a small archipelago, there is a limitation on things to do. For those that are short on time, a few days of snorkeling, swimming and sprawling on a beach is enough. However, we recommend spending one week in the archipelago. With seven days to spare, you can enjoy a variety of experiences ranging from cruising to scuba diving. Set sail in azure waters, visit different islands that dot the archipelago and find the best snorkeling spots around.

If you are planning a longer trip, then combine the Maldives with Sri Lanka. While the former is all about sun, sand and sea, the latter rivals any other destination in the world in terms of greenery and wildlife. You might also want to go cruising in the Indian Ocean if you have time to spare. As an archipelago, the Maldives makes for a great cruising destination. Cruises in the Maldives usually last between two and six days and offer the extra benefit of taking you to lesser-known parts of the archipelago.

Maldives in 7 days

Male, the capital of Maldives.
An aerial view of the beautiful island Male, the capital of Maldives

A seven-day Maldives itinerary can be on land or at sea. Whatever you choose, you will start and finish in Male, the capital city and the main island of the country. Take a day out of your itinerary to explore the capital. You can catch glimpses of the daily life of the people on the island at the Malé Fish Market and even buy some fresh catch for dinner. Artificial Beach, popular among the residents of the city, offers numerous water sport options along with lounging areas and cafes.

Ease into the island way of life, relaxing on beaches and discovering picturesque atolls and lagoons. Hop between Rasdhoo, Maafushi, Gulhi and Ukulhas islands for a more comprehensive experience. Lovers of water sports will adore the magnificent Banana Reef, located to the west of Farukolhufushi Island, while those looking for white sandy beaches will be lost for words at Fulhadhoo.

Maldives in 10 days

Traditional Dhoni Boats in Maldives.
Relax and sail around in the Dhoni boat to witness the landscape of beautiful Maldives island

Take it easy — you are in paradise! With ten days in the Maldives, you can choose multiple islands and really tap into the local culture. Given the small size of Male (it is less than seven square kilometers in area) you can easily cover the capital by foot. Secret Paradise, located to the north of the capital’s airport, is worth exploring for those who want to experience the local culture and learn more about the people. Next, hop on a traditional dhoni boat and head out into the open ocean to explore far-flung islands and remote villages. Fish Head, located in the North Ari Atoll, is one of the best diving spots in the world that comes with numerous underwater caves and rock formations, while Vaadhoo Island is famous for a unique natural phenomenon whereby the waters around the island glow under moonlight. Find the best spot at the end of each day to see the sun disappear off the horizon.

Maldives in 2 weeks

Family scuba diving in Maldives.
Explore the great reefs and marine life while on a vacation in Maldives
People surfing in the clear blue sea in Maldives.
Enjoy the magnificent landscape of both land and sea while SUP boarding in the Maldives

A two-week Maldives vacation could as well be an extension of the ten-day itinerary above with some minor changes. Add Alimatha Island, located in the Felidhe Atoll, to your itinerary for more fun. This island is as well known for its beaches as it is for scuba diving. Similarly, Thulusdhoo, which is barely 28 kilometers away from the capital city, is popular among surfing enthusiasts. For a secluded spot to rest and relax, look no further than Fuvahmulah.

Head for Sri Lanka if you still have a few more days left. Kandy, Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, is a feast to the senses and home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, while Nuwara Eliya is the gateway to those who want to hike through Horton Plains National Park. For wildlife sightings, we suggest a trip to Yala National Park, while those that want to discover the secrets of the famous Ceylon tea can travel to Uda Pussellawa.

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  • Evanjalin Fernando
    Evanjalin Fernando
    Travel Expert in Sri Lanka & Maldives
  • Ruth Franklin
    Ruth Franklin
    Travel Expert in Maldives
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Travel Expert in Sri Lanka & Maldives
Evanjalin Fernando Travel Expert in Sri Lanka & Maldives
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Ruth Franklin Travel Expert in Maldives
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