Tailor-made Maldives Diving Holidays.

The Maldives is one of the great bucket list dive destinations. Dive, snorkel or swim from your own luxury island resorts or step off perfectly positioned liveaboards: scuba diving holidays in the Maldives are unforgettable diving experiences.

Thanks to its 26 atolls, Maldivian diving is very diverse, with channel diving attracting large marine life such as sharks and rays and fast drift dives propelling divers past amazing walls and overhangs, there’s something for every diver and every level of dive experience.

Here’s our guide to where’s best in this world class dive paradise… 

With a wide range of accommodation the Maldives has choices to suit most tastes and budget but it’s important to decide what you want to see and how you want to see it. Not every Atoll was created equal. 

So whether it’s a relaxed beach holiday, a luxury water villa resort or gorgeous liveaboard holiday we can give you a tailor-made quote in minutes.

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What divers say about diving holidays to the Maldives

“I thought the Maldives was all high end resorts and pretty fish until I went on one of the Emperor liveabords. Sharks, Mantas, and even a Hammerhead. Challenging but sooooo rewarding.” 

“Hooking on and floated in space as the sharks swan up and past. A lifetime high.”

“Definitely liveaboard. I think resorts can be limiting but on a boat, it’s always changing but then I was on my own and loved the fact I could just dive 3 times a day and relax without the hotel chat”. 

What divers love about the Maldives

  • Paradise for pelagic lovers; sharks, manta rays and whale sharks
  • Fantastic location for both shore and liveaboard diving
  • Stunning house reefs on most islands
  • Recognised as one of the world’s most spectacular marine ecosystems

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The Maldives Diving Guide
World famous home for lovers of incredible marine life and luxury holidays

In the middle of the Indian Ocean, perfectly placed to attract some of the most majestic marine life, The Maldives is spread across 26 Atolls. With crystal clear waters and legendary lagoons these islands are a picture perfect postcard of Robinson Crusoe style luxury travel, but the surreal view from your exclusive seaplane transfer is just a glimpse of what awaits scuba divers below the water. 

With a wide range of resorts and liveaboards there’s more to the Maldives than just diving. Resorts range from luxury adults-only to family islands, perfect for snorkeling and swimming in shallow lagoons and incredible house reefs on the doorstep of your ocean front bungalow. Here’s our guide to diving in the Maldives

Learning to dive and dive courses in the Maldives

The Maldives is a classic dive destination where you come to relax and find by the end of your holiday you’re a qualified diver. 

 

Maldives Diving Essentials

Dive season:  Holiday all year
Best time to dive: January-March 

Flight time from UK: 10+ hours
Diving levels: Beginners (resorts), intermediates, expert (liveaboards)
Would suit: Singles, couples, families wanting luxury. 

Notable for: Day boats, easy shore access, liveaboards. 

Accommodation: Resorts, liveaboards. 

What you’ll see: Everything! Big, bigger and the biggest.

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The Region

With an incredible number of dive and snorkel sites The Maldives stretches from North to South, centred around Male for all international arrivals.  Diversity of diving means the Maldives is suitable for most divers. From sheltered lagoons to amazing drop offs, most resorts have enough to offer divers and snorkelers alike.

For more experienced divers liveaboards are a great choice giving scuba divers access to some amazing drift dives, drop offs and overhangs. Currents flow through and around the atolls attracting shark, ray and an abundance of fish species. It’s a dive destinations giving you to experience some of the planet’s greatest marine life, right before your very eyes.

Where are the best places to dive in the Maldives?

Exploring the Maldives Region

All scuba diving holidays in the Maldives start from Male, the Maldives’ International airport, sitting roughly in the middle of the archipelago. From your international arrival transfers to resorts and liveaboards are via boat, seaplane or tender. It’s a great way to start your holiday cruising through aquamarine waters and sunny skies.

Choosing your resort or liveaboard can be a little overwhelming with so much on offer. The good news is, our selection gives you a range of holiday experiences with little reputation – each resort is unique, each liveaboard different. Also, like many dive destinations, your choice will depend on time of year, the marine life you want to see and whether or not you’d like to experience more than diving. We’ve been there, so give us a call and we can tell you what’s in the water right now.

Resort holidays are based on individual islands. Each island coming with it’s own style of diving from shore based to day boats. See more… 

Liveaboard divers are spoilt for choice in the Maldives with a wide range of boats to suit the diver and non-diver alike. Some with luxury levels of accommodation, inclusive of massage and facilities as well as to ala carte dining. It’s also a great destination for a solo diver who wants to take their experience to the next level.

Learning to dive and dive courses in the Maldives

The Maldives is a classic dive destination where you come to relax and find by the end of your holiday you’re a qualified diver. The temptation to stroll out of your water front bungalow amble down the beach and walk into the dive centre for your first lesson is often just too tempting.

Safe lagoons mean learning to dive from the shore is a great option and with a long history in dive tourism the Maldives has plenty of international dive instructors speaking English and knowing exactly how to teach people in these crystal clear waters.

Of course no Maldivian holiday experience would be complete until the novice diver or snorkeller takes their first trip “over the edge” of the house reef to witness the splendours of the drop off. It’s a real Finding Nemo moment.

More than just a dive holiday destination.

With it’s position in the Indian Ocean the Maldives is a great base to reach other holiday destination such as Sri Lanka and South Africa. Stopovers in Dubai with airlines such as Emirates mean you can combine a dive holiday with other vibrant holiday destinations. 

Want to discuss diving holidays in The Maldives? 

Get in touch with our diving holiday experts for inspiration, advice and the latest deals

Northern Atolls

What is diving like in the Maldives Northern Atolls?

Generally diving in the North is technically more challenging, with stronger currents, but as divers know, stronger currents often mean bigger and more diverse marine life.

If you like easier diving, snorkeling and swimming with the family, choosing a resort with a great house reef is a must, as many offer unlimited diving based on availability and experience. 

Classic resorts in the North are Komandoo and Kuredu. 

As a resort, Kuredu has something for everyone. Various room categories each have their own reception, restaurant and beach. A white-sand beach almost encircles the island where there is a host of activities from a spa to 6-hole golf course and swimming pools with infinity pool for 18 years+. Kuredu restaurants cater to a range of tastes from buffet to a la carte. 

Boat diving here is provided by a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre, catering for beginners and experienced divers alike. Diving takes place from a custom built dive ‘dhoni’, equipped with Nitrox. Dive sites vary each day but include some of the best the

House reef diving: Diving on the house reef relies on diving with a buddy, unguided. Due to the nature of the depth and sometimes challenging dive sites, most dive centres insist on a minimum of around 40 logged dives to make the most of this dive pack, or you may pay for a guide locally. Entering and exiting at designated points on the reef in the areas safe for diving, the dive centre will give daily advice on which dive points are safe, what the currents are doing and the team assists with the kit.

Liveaboard trips to the North: Liveaboard trips to the North are provided by our trusted specialists with Emperor Divers leading the way. Emperor have been diving in the Maldives for more than twenty years and their friendly and knowledgeable crews take liveaboard diving to another level.

MV Emperor Explorer offers Northern Hi – lights. This itinerary combines some of the best and most famous dives sites from our Best of Maldives and Hanifaru & North itineraries, creating a trip with highlights from what is generally referred to as the ‘Northern Atolls’ and it delivers exactly that.

Maldives Diving Holiday Eriyadu Island Resort - Sunset
Maldives Diving Holiday Eagle Ray
Maldives Diving Holiday Eriyadu Island Resort fish

Want to discuss diving holidays in The Maldives? 

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Maldives Diving Holiday Lux South Ari villas

Central Atolls

Diverse tip:

When booking a 2 centred resort stay, choose a speedboat transfer and you can be back in the waters of your resort within the day?

What is diving like in the Maldives Central Atolls?

For those holiday makers looking for shorter transfers, boats rather than seaplanes and the option to island hop the central Atolls are a great starting destination. 

A large proportion of the top hotels in the Maldives are concentrated around Malé and the central atolls of the Maldives, most notably the Malé atolls, Ari Atolls and Felidhoo. Some are so close to the airport you can hop on a speedboat and be in your hotel room within 30 minutes.

South Ari Atoll is one of the most famous for divers – it is here that at the right time of year you have a great chance of mantas and whale sharks.

Although busier than the North and far South there are an incredible amount of dive sites in the central area and if you don’t mind a more popular site this area of the Maldives can give divers a very large amount of choices.

Sites such as Fish Head in North Ari Atoll where you often find grey reef sharks; Faafu where you should watch out for whale sharks; and Dhiyamigili Corner where you may come across hammerheads early in the morning, all offer something for divers no matter your experience level.

House reef diving: Diving on house reefs follow the same rules and conditions as many Northern resorts –  diving with a buddy, unguided, with most dive centres insist on a minimum of around 40 logged dives to make the most of this dive pack, or you may pay for a guide locally. Entering and exiting at designated points on the reef in the areas safe for diving, the dive centre will give daily advice on which dive points are safe, what the currents are doing and the team assists with the kit.

Liveaboard trips from Male – The Best of the Maldives is a classic and does exactly what the title suggests. Dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a week of wonderful liveaboard diving across Male and Ari atolls.

Enjoy a dive holiday that gives you all you could wish for from the iconic sites of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll. Awaiting you are channels, drifts and pinnacles where you have every chance of meeting mantas, whale sharks and mesmerising marine life of so many varieties. Liveaboards don’t follow an exact itinerary; flexibility is the word so that no matter what time of the year you visit, this underwater world is yours for the exploring.

Diverse tip:

A stay in Male Atoll, with its proximity to the airport means you can hop from island to island in an hour

Want to discuss the right Maldives diving holiday for you?

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Southern Atolls

Diverse tip:

A warm friendly welcome and an excellent house reef.


What is diving like in the Maldives Southern Atolls?

World famous for the chances to see whale shark and rays, the southern Atolls are for those looking to get away from it all. At the same time some of the resorts in the south can also take luxury to a new level with helicopter pads and semi isolated beaches. The South also has some spectacular and challenging diving.

Considered to be the “up and coming” area of the Maldives it is generally reached by seaplane – unless you choose a liveaboard – and resorts tend to be classic example of the Robinson Crusoe post card desert island.  

In complete contrast in the Southern Ari Atol Vilamendhoo resort is an excellent value for money dive resort and an ideal base for a Maldives diving holiday.

A relaxed and laid-back dive resort it offers a wide range of facilities with a great house reef and boats to other locations. In a world of luxury resorts this affordable jewel gives you everything you need for the perfect Maldivian dive holiday.

House reef:  This area is the classic example of house reef diving which makes the transfer time well worth while. If you have the experience and confidence to dive with your buddy unguided you will  have the reef to yourself. 

Learning to dive: Another excellent reason to visit the South with resorts such as Vilamendhoo teaching PADI courses for over 20 years. 

Boat diving: With short transfers of under an hour boat diving in the south is a very popular step up from the beginners level of diving and combined with healthy house reefs there’s a lot to offer the divers who still wants to keep two feet on dry land for a candle lit meals and the privacy of their own accommodation. 

Liveaboard diving in the South: Probably some of the most challenging and adventurous diving in the Maldives diving in the South comes with rich rewards. 

Diverse tip:

Think about diving the South if you have a lot of experience or if you're looking for something different from your Maldivian dive holiday.

Maldives Liveaboards

The best choice of liveaboards in one of the world’s most famous holiday dive destinations.  

Maldives Diving Resorts

From small and intimate to life enhancing luxury the Maldives has a resort to suit your style. 

Want to discuss the right Maldives diving holiday for you?

Get in touch with our diving holiday experts for inspiration, advice and the latest deals

Offers

Book your diving holidays with the experts. Fantastic offers from the Diverse Travel team for you!

 

 

 

 

 

EMPEROR MALDIVES 
BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY WITH ZERO DEPOSIT

EMPEROR RED SEA 
BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY WITH ZERO DEPOSIT

EMPEROR INDONESIA 
BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY WITH ZERO DEPOSIT

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The Dive Diaries

Insights, recommendations and dive experiences from our team.