Looking for the perfect Maldives Itinerary? Here’s everything you need to plan the perfect 7-day island vacation!
The Maldives are a collection of 1,192 islands and 26 coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. This remote destination is beloved by travelers for its luxurious offerings, lush greenery, and idyllic beaches.
You can spend a week in the Maldives soaking in the sun and trying a variety of adventurous and relaxing activities.
The capital of the Maldives is Malé, and most visitors will pass through this island city because it is home to the country’s largest international airport.
Malé is the best place to experience Maldivian culture and learn about the country’s history. You’ll learn all about Malé and the Maldives on your full-day walking tour during your first day on the island.
No visit to the Maldives would be complete without a visit to a more remote island. As part of this itinerary, you’ll stay at a resort on the island of Helengeli in the North Malé Atoll. You can relax, explore, and treat yourself to a little added luxury for your last few days in the Maldives.
Maldives Itinerary: Trip Overview
This 7-day vacation itinerary in the Maldives includes a mix of culture, luxury, and adventure. From walking around the capital city of Malé to snorkeling to dining in an underwater restaurant, this is a trip you’ll never forget.
Day One: Explore Malé & Experience Local Life
You’ll spend your first day of this itinerary exploring the Maldivian capital of Malé. Get the lay of the land with a full-day walking tour, complete with a knowledgeable local guide, lunch, and a donation to Save the Beach, a local NGO.
After a long day of walking, you can unwind over dinner at a popular local restaurant.
Start your first day in Malé with artisan coffee and a light breakfast from Meraki Coffee Roasters. This local coffee roaster has friendly and knowledgeable staff, and the space is tasteful and modern.
After you’ve had a chance to fuel, head to Jetty Number 5 to meet your guide for your full-day walking tour of Malé. In addition to seeing most of the major sites of Malé, you’ll have a personal introduction to Maldivian culture, politics, and history from your guide.
You can learn about the importance of fishing to Maldivian culture and the local economy while visiting the Malé Fish Market. While you’re there, be sure to ask about the best fish to try so that you can sample them at the restaurants in Malé.
Lunch is included in your walking tour, so you’ll have a chance to sample some local foods from the market. You’ll also stop for afternoon tea with your guide, the perfect chance to try some traditional Malé treats. Treats and snacks are not available on the tour if you visit during Ramadan.
Over the course of the afternoon, you’ll visit additional landmarks in Malé, like the Grand Friday Mosque, to learn about the ways that Islam underpins daily life in the Maldives. One of the highlights of the tour is the Hukuru Miskiiy, the first mosque in Malé, built in the 17th century.
After a long day of walking and exploring Malé, you’ll be more than ready for dinner at The Cloud Restaurant. This local spot is set on the 10th floor, offering an incredible view of the city and the water while you eat.
The Cloud Restaurant’s menu is a mix of dishes, including many international favorites and some elements of Maldivian cuisine.
The tuna steak is especially popular. Although it’s not a budget restaurant, the prices are reasonable for the area. Like many other restaurants in Malé, alcohol is not served at The Cloud Restaurant.
Day Two: Daytime Swimming & Sunset Fishing
Spend your second day in the Maldives enjoying the beautiful coastline of Malé, and then head out in a boat for a different perspective. You’ll watch the sun dip out of sight while you fish for tropical fish, the perfect way to end your day.
Start your day with breakfast at Cypress Café and Bistro, a charming little restaurant that’s just steps from Tsunami Monument.
Cypress Café and Bistro is a delightfully local spot that serves a traditional Maldivian breakfast at modest prices. If you’d prefer a more Western breakfast, you’ll find staples like an eggs benedict, waffles, or even shakshuka on the menu.
After you’ve fueled, take the ferry to Villingili, a small island just off the coast of Malé. The ferry typically runs throughout the day, but be sure to check the schedule before you set off so that you can plan your return journey.
You can spend the rest of your day exploring the small island of Villingili, with its calm waters and laid-back vibe.
Swim at Villingili Public Beach, a local spot with vibrant, blue water. This public beach is popular with tourists and locals alike, so you may even get a chance to chat with some Maldivians while you’re here.
When you’re ready for a break, explore the quiet streets of Villingili and sample hedika or Maldivian tapas at one of the cafes in the area. Hedika is typically served between 3pm and 5pm, the perfect time for a quick snack before your sunset fishing tour.
When you’ve had your fill of swimming and exploring Villingili, catch the ferry back to Malé. Be sure to leave yourself enough time to travel to Hulhumale to catch your evening tour. From central Malé, it takes about 20 minutes to get to Hulhumale by taxi.
From Hulhamale, take a sunset fishing tour, where you can bait and reel the tropical fish that surround the island of Malé.
Enjoy incredible views of the Maldivian coastline and Indian Ocean while you patiently wait for the fish to bite. This is a great activity for experienced and inexperienced fishermen alike.
Snacks and drinks are provided on the boat, but you’ll need to pre-book a BBQ dinner so that the supplies are available. Dinner is not included in the tour, so expect to pay an additional fee for the meal. The drinks provided do not contain alcohol.
Day Three: Beach Day & Underwater Photoshoot
Your third day in the Maldives starts off with a fresh breakfast, a museum visit, and then it’s off to the beach. To remember your time in the Maldives, you might even spend a session with a professional photographer to capture the trip.
Start your day off with breakfast at Seagull Café, a memorable restaurant with a large tree growing in the middle of the dining area.
There, you can have pancakes topped with fresh fruit, smoothies, or more traditional Maldivian cuisine, served by friendly and welcoming staff.
Next, visit the National Museum, Maldives; you will have passed it during your initial walking tour on your first day in Malé. Here, you can spend an hour or two exploring the exhibits, learning about marine life on the islands, and getting a feel for the culture and ecosystem of the Maldives.
Spend some time at one of the incredible Maldivian beaches. There are a number of beaches to choose from, but Hulhumale Public Beach offers incredible blue waters and white sand beaches. When you’re ready to move on, you can visit Eastern Beach for even more picturesque views.
If you want some truly fabulous photos to remember your trip, you can book an underwater photoshoot with a local photographer. Whether you’re traveling with family or with a loved one, you’ll have professional quality photos that you can cherish for years to come.
An experienced photographer will know how to get the best shots so that the photos really stand out and capture the magic of your trip. You’ll also receive a 60-second edited video, which you can share on social media or send to family and friends.
For dinner, head to The Maldive Kitchen for authentic Maldivian cuisine. This restaurant offers a fixed menu, and the food is fabulous and unpretentious. Further, the staff at the Maldive Kitchen are known for being exceptionally friendly and kind.
Guests love the curries at the Maldive Kitchen, which are spicy and flavorful. There are also local specialties, like screwpine juice, available when they’re in season.
Be sure to make a reservation, as the restaurant is quite small. Guests noted that the food is rather slow to come out of the kitchen, so this restaurant is not the best option for anyone dining in a hurry.
Day Four: Snorkeling Safari & Stargazing
Spend a day learning about all of the tropical fish that make up the fragile ecosystem of the Maldives on a full-day snorkeling tour. At the end of the day, you can enjoy an unforgettable sunset dolphin cruise.
Have breakfast in your hotel or at a local spot in Malé ahead of your tour. Then, make your way by car or taxi to Hulhumale for your full-day snorkeling tour.
While on your tour, you can alternate between relaxing under a sun umbrella and diving into the tropical water to watch the fish. Tour attendees are provided with fish identification cards, so you’ll be able to learn about the marine life that you see while you’re snorkeling.
All snorkeling equipment is included, as well as a buoyancy aid. You’ll spend the day with a knowledgeable local guide who can answer questions about the islands and life in the Maldives.
You’ll stop for lunch at the nearby island of Huraa to see a new Maldivian island. Then, it’s back into the water to see sea turtles, reef sharks, and rays that live near the islands.
The guides know some of the best snorkeling spots in the area, so you will have plenty of chances to see active marine life. Tours are limited to 8 passengers, so you’ll be able to ask questions and connect with your guide.
The day ends with an incredible sunset dolphin cruise. You can watch playful dolphins jump and swim near the boat, an experience you’ll probably never forget.
Either return to one of your favorite restaurants in Malé for dinner or try the Thai food from Sala Thai. Located next to the Sala Boutique Hotel, this restaurant is known for serving fabulous and authentic Thai classics in a romantic and cozy dining room.
After dinner, make your way to the beach (or your hotel’s pool if you’re far from the beach) for a little stargazing.
The night sky in the Maldives is simply incredible. Because there’s so much less light pollution in the Maldives than you’ll find in most other cities, you’ll have a chance to see more of the incredible night sky from the island.
If you enjoy a little celestial gazing, you can also make a point of stargazing from the more remote beaches when you stay on Helengeli.
Day Five: Visit Helengeli Island & Stay In An Overwater Villa
You’ll spend your fifth day in the Maldives making your way to and relaxing at the incredible OBLU NATURE Helengeli-All-Inclusive Resort. You’ll be able to look out over the aquamarine waters of the Maldives and enjoy a few blissful, worry-free days while staying in an overwater villa.
Enjoy a final breakfast in Malé, either at your hotel or your favorite spot on the island. You might even want to grab one final coffee at Meraki Coffee Roasters or go for a final stroll on the artificial beach.
Once you’ve eaten and said goodbye to Malé, start to make your way to OBLU Nature Helengeli in the North Malé Atoll. This resort is known for having an incredible house reef that circles the island, offering incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities.
The resort will arrange a transfer for you, but it’s best to let them know ahead of time when you’ll be ready to leave Malé. The transfer to Helengeli takes about 50 minutes by speedboat.
After you’ve had a chance to check in to your villa at OBLU NATURE Helengeli, the restful and relaxing portion of your trip begins. You’ll feel immediately at home with a warm welcome, face towels, and a drink when you first arrive.
Next, get settled into your villa. The Lagoon Villas are overwater accommodations that are shaped like dhoni or traditional Maldivian boats.
Whenever you’d like, you can step off of your balcony and directly into the water, or go for a stroll along the wooden jetty that connects you to the rest of the resort.
At this point in your trip, you may have already gotten used to having your daily hedika or late afternoon Maldivian snack. You can find traditional snacks served daily from 4-6:40 pm at the Hedhikaa Hut.
Go for dinner at The Spice, the onsite restaurant at OBLU. This laid-back restaurant offers a blend of international cuisines, Maldivian dishes, and desserts.
Fridays are Indian Ocean Nights, with a special selection of foods and signature cocktails for guests to enjoy.
After dinner, enjoy some live music or a DJ set. Entertainment is offered five nights a week at OBLU, and a movie night is available on Fridays.
While at OBLU, you can enjoy your fill of snacks and drinks (including alcohol) as part of their all-inclusive package. However, don’t choose this resort for their signature cocktails; they’re passable but not exciting.
Day Six: Water Sports Or Diving From Helengeli
You’ll spend your penultimate day in the Maldives, which is the perfect time to enjoy some watersports or go diving. The area around Helengeli is renowned for being a top dive location in the Maldives, but you can also enjoy motorized and non-motorized water sports if you prefer to stay closer to the surface.
Yogis can enjoy a session of sunrise yoga by the pool if they’re feeling still and want to move and stretch a bit. Otherwise, start your morning with an early breakfast at the Spice, OBLU’s onsite restaurant. Then, get ready to spend a full day in the water.
Divers can plan an excursion for a few hours or a full day from OBLU. If you want to go diving, it’s strongly recommended that you book this activity in advance so that the OBLU team can coordinate with TGI Dive & Water Sports Centre.
From a boat dive, you can see a host of reef fish, turtles, octopus, and manta rays as they swim beneath you. Alternatively, you can head out as the sun sets for a night dive to see the water light up with bioluminescence.
Either continue your diving experience or spend some time enjoying the resort’s water sports. Use of the resort’s kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, pedalos, and snorkeling equipment are included in your stay.
You can kayak or paddle board over the crystal blue waters of Helengeli, stopping whenever you see a colorful school of fish.
For something a little faster-paced, you can rent jet skis and zip along the lagoon. Flyboarding, kneeboarding, wakeboarding, waterskiing, and parasailing are also available.
Additionally, your stay includes a complimentary line fishing excursion, which could be the perfect afternoon activity on Helengeli.
If the weather is clear, you can head out for a sunset ride on a dhoni, a type of traditional Maldivian boat. Be sure to capture the experience with a few photos.
Afterward, enjoy dinner at the Spice, the resort’s restaurant. For a little island nightlife, head to Helen’s Bar, which is surrounded by incredible views of the lagoon. From Helen’s Bar, you can snorkel out and around the nearby reef or simply go for a dip in the lagoon.
When the stars come out, you can grab a few drinks from your villa’s minifridge and find a secluded spot in the sand. So long as the sky is clear, the stargazing should be even better in Helengeli than it was in Malé.
Day Seven: Relaxing Spa Day & Underwater Dining
Spend your final day in the Maldives relaxing at the luxurious OBLU NATURE Helengeli resort. Enjoy a spa day and then dine at an underwater restaurant, a truly magical experience.
Enjoy a wonderful breakfast at Element X, the onsite restaurant that serves Western, Central Asian, and Far East cuisine. There are also pastries and baked goods available, along with juice and coffee.
Then, you can make your way around the island, exploring the beaches, lush natural areas, and beautiful corals of the Maldives. Wade in the ocean, lay in the sand, or swim in the pools; the choice is yours.
Treat yourself to ELE | NA, the organic and sustainability-minded spa at OBLU NATURE Helengeli. You can choose from relaxing treatments like facials, manicures, and massages.
There are also traditional Maldivian treatments, like the Journey of Holistic Wellness package, which includes a mix of Ayurvedic massage, yoga, and meditation.
However you choose to unwind, you’ll return to your villa refreshed and relaxed.
After your treatment, spend your final hours in the Maldives relaxing by the water or swimming in the pool. You could even squeeze in an hour or two of snorkeling over the reefs or have a drink at the bar.
Spend your final evening of this Maldives itinerary having a truly memorable meal at Only BLU, an underwater restaurant. At Only BLU, you’ll find incredible modern cuisine served in an unforgettable setting, surrounded by schools of curious tropical fish.
Some diners have even seen sharks as they swam past. This once-in-a-lifetime experience is made even better by the restaurant’s incredible staff, who will go out of their way to ensure that your visit is as close to perfect as possible.
Dinner at Only BLU is not included in the dining package at OBLU NATURE, so be prepared to pay extra for this experience. If you know you want to visit the restaurant, make a reservation in advance so that you can be sure to get a table.
Note: You can usually visit Only BLU for lunch if you’re not staying at an OBLU NATURE Resort. You’ll need to pre-arrange your visit, ideally as far in advance as possible.
Are The Maldives Really Worth It?
Yes, the Maldives are worth visiting, especially if you’re looking for a romantic and special place to spend your honeymoon.
You can find a mix of incredibly luxurious and adventurous experiences for an unforgettable trip. The white sand beaches, incredible jungle views, and amazing dive spots are all hard to beat; more than enough reason to visit the Maldives.
For better or worse, the Maldives are an expensive place to visit. Even if you forgo some of the luxuries that the islands are known to offer, you’ll still find yourself paying high prices to enjoy this sliver of paradise in the Indian Ocean.
If you’re traveling on a budget, there are other destinations that are more affordable and, therefore, could be a better option for your trip. Unlike other island destinations that are only expensive to get to, the resorts, hotels, and activities are expensive after you arrive in the Maldives.
Where To Stay In The Maldives
Here are some of the top places to stay in Malé, the Maldivian capital.
📍Budget Option: Tourist Inn Grand
The Tourist Inn Grand Hotel in Malé is basic but has all of the essentials you’ll need, making it the perfect budget-friendly option. This hotel is clean, comfortable, and centrally located so that you can make the most of your time in the Maldivian capital.
📍Mid-Range Option: Sala Boutique Hotel
The Sala Boutique Hotel is a centrally located and beautifully decorated hotel in Malé. You can enjoy a fabulous breakfast at this hotel or have dinner at the adjacent Thai restaurant.
📍Luxury Option: Samann Grand
The Samann Grand is a beautiful hotel near Male’s artificial beach, just a 9-minute walk from Republic Square. You can enjoy modern amenities at this hotel, and the rooms even have their own terraces that overlook the city.
Can You Visit The Maldives During Ramadan?
Yes, you certainly can visit the Maldives during Ramadan. If you’re looking for a more local experience and are willing to be flexible, a visit during Ramadan could offer far more insight into life and customs in the Maldives than you’d find during other times of the year.
However, you will likely run into logistical challenges if you visit the Maldives during Ramadan. Most Muslims fast throughout the day for the duration of the holiday, breaking fast after sundown with family and friends.
During Ramadan, many cafes and restaurants are closed during the day, opening after sundown when it’s time to break fast. Some tours, activities, and other excursions could be canceled because of the holiday.
If you decide to visit during this holiday period, double-check your tour and restaurant reservations.
Visiting The Maldives: FAQs
Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about visiting the Maldives.
How Many Days Do You Need In Maldives?
Plan to spend 4-8 days in the Maldives. You can see the capital of Malé in a few days, then spend the rest of your time exploring the other islands in the Maldivian Archipelago.
How Much Does It Cost To Spend 7 Days In The Maldives?
Generally speaking, the Maldives is a luxury destination that comes with a hefty price tag.
The cost of a 7-day trip to the Maldives can vary wildly based on the time of year you visit, the types of hotels you stay in, and the activities you choose. Budget at least $300 per person per day for your trip to the Maldives.
Which Is the Best Month To Visit The Maldives?
The Maldives is a year-round destination for travelers, but April is one of the best months to visit because it’s just at the end of the high season (December to April). Prices will start to decrease in late April, but the weather should still be sunny and dry most days.
You can also visit outside of the high season, but be aware that the monsoon season runs from May to October. Usually, there are plenty of sunny days in between the rain spells, but it could still dampen your trip.
Is There A Dress Code In The Maldives?
There’s no formal dress code in the Maldives, but be aware that it is an Islamic country where locals dress conservatively, and nudity is illegal. In populated areas like Malé, it’s expected that women will cover their thighs and chests.
Bikinis are not allowed on most public beaches but are acceptable at most private resorts.
The Wrap-Up: Maldives Itinerary
The Maldives is an incredible destination for travelers looking for a unique and luxurious experience in the Indian Ocean.
To make the most of your trip, spend some time learning about the unique ecosystem and challenges of the Maldives. You can do this by visiting a museum, taking an eco-conscious tour, or reading about the country before you go.
This 7-day Maldives itinerary will give insight into both the local history and culture in the Maldives and the incredible luxury options available in the area.
You’ll spend time enjoying local spots and experiences in Malé, offering insight into both urban and small island life in the Maldives.
Spending the last few nights of your trip to the Maldives at an island resort like OBLU NATURE Resort. The resort will be a great time for you to relax and enjoy some of the amenities that the Maldives are known for, in addition to the paradisical island views.