Diving in the Maldives: An Overview

The Maldives is arguably the most happening luxury destination on the planet right now, a fact reflected in the frenzied acquisition of ever more of these idyllic desert islands by the big hotel groups. Every year sees another grand unveiling as increasingly glamorous and sophisticated resorts jostle for the attention of the discerning traveller.

Louisa, Charlie and Amy are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The Maldives is the quintessential desert island hideaway destination. If you are looking for white sands and blue seas then look no further.
  • The coral can be excellent in places, but the big draw here for divers is big fish - mantas, whale sharks and more.
  • Add in some of the world's swankiest hotels and you can see the appeal of a luxury Maldives diving holiday.

Our Guide to Maldives Diving Holidays

After two recent research trips, we at Original Diving have chosen the best of a very, very good bunch of hotels, be the requirement a honeymoon haven, the ultimate dive destination, or just the quintessential desert island experience.

If you were lucky enough to enjoy diving the Maldives ten years ago, you would have found them utterly spectacular. In 1998 they were devastated by El Niño, which is said to have destroyed 95 per cent of the region's coral. Thankfully nature is making an amazing comeback, largely thanks to the nutrient-rich currents that sweep the area. Soft corals are once again plentiful, while hard varieties, including cabbage and staghorn corals, are slowly but surely reappearing.

What has not changed is the sheer quantity and diversity of marine life. Diving the Maldives used to be truly magical, a real fairytale, but today it remains fantastic by anyone's standards. You will come across everything from nudibranchs to manta ray, frogfish and stonefish - these islands have it all.

Go now while you still can. These low-lying islands off the west coast of Sri Lanka will be among the first to disappear as sea levels rise due to global warming. The loss will be devastating, not only to the Maldivians but also to the 300,000 annual divers and visitors. These 1,190 unique jewels are strung out like a necklace from north to south, spread over some 500 miles of the Indian Ocean. Totally unspoilt, they offer a breathtaking sight from the plane before you even touch down.


Original Highlight

Snorkelling in the crystal clear warm waters exploring coral reefs is like something from 'Finding Nemo' -amazing colours and creatures everywhere you look. I even came face to face with a (very friendly) turtle.

Louisa, Original Diver

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 27°C / 80°F
  • Rainfall — 8cm / 3.3 inches
  • Water Temp. — 28°C / 82°F

Divehi; Dhivehi; Maldivian;



Visa Requirements

Not required for stays under 30 nights



Food & Drink

Fish, fish and more fish

What to pack

Lots of sun cream and a good beach read

Flight from London

10:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +6 hrs

Best visit months

December to April

Client Reviews


of our Maldives clients give our holidays a positive rating

Read client reviews

Top picks for Maldives

Picture of beach and turquoise water Northern Atolls

Northern Atolls


Choose the right season and this is the place for mantas and whale sharks.

Where to go

Picture of Mulaku Atoll Maldives

Southern Atolls


Venture south to uncharted territories and you are in for a treat.

Where to go

Picture of Resort in the central atolls Maldives

Central Atolls


The islands, hotels and diving of the central atolls are all first-class.

Where to go

Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi


If Robinson Crusoe was in hotel development, he would have built Soneva Fushi. A luxury hideaway on the island of Kunfunadhoo in the Baa Atoll reached by a half-hour scenic seaplane flight from the sanctity of the private lounge in Malé, the only international airport.

Where to stay

Dining at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru


Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll, with its verdant, beach-fringed coral islands, is a quintessential Maldivean paradise.

Where to stay

Picture of Massage Treatment from Four Seasons Explorer

Four Seasons Explorer

Northern Atolls

Launched in 2002 the Four Seasons Explorer is a 128-ft catamaran – a floating Four Seasons basically. Cruising the central and northern atolls, this is one of the best liveaboards in the world.

Where to stay

Park Hyatt Hadahaa, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Park Hyatt Hadahaa


At least 10km away from any other inhabited island, sitting on an untouched atoll, surrounded by one of the most beautiful reefs you will find in the tropics sits the Park Hyatt Hadahaa. There are few better or more impressive havens to be found in the Maldives.

Where to stay

Baros Maldives, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Baros Maldives


Baros Maldives is an immaculate resort on a private, palm-fringed island surrounded by a shallow lagoon.

Where to stay

Picture of a Water Villa at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Kuda Huraa

Central Atolls

Experience luxury and impeccable service with excellent diving at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa that occupies a private coral island in the Central Maldives.

Where to stay

Aerial view of Constance Halaveli Resort, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Constance Halaveli, Maldives


The Constance Halaveli Resort in the Maldives has villas either on stilts over a beautiful lagoon or on the pristine beach.

Where to stay

Water villa at Huvafen Fushi, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Huvafen Fushi


One of the most luxurious resorts in the Maldives, Huvafen Fushi is located half an hour by speedboat from the international airport. This is a modern, trendy resort and not for those looking for the Robinson Crusoe experience.

Where to stay

Thank you so so much for all your help with our holiday; I cannot recommend all your efforts highly enough. Everything went so smoothly.

Fiona & James

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