2 weeks in the Maldives Itinerary

2 Weeks in the Maldives Itinerary – For Local Islands & Resort

This perfect 2 weeks in the Maldives itinerary starts by arriving at Velana International Airport on a Friday.  Friday isn’t the best day to arrive in the Maldives, I’ll explain why, there’s a reason for that.  And you certainly need a plan here, as there are 1,192 islands in Asia’s smallest nation.  That’s the smallest by landmass, by the way.  It definitely helps, when you’re planning a Maldives itinerary that only 187 of the islands are inhabited.  So here’s how we put together this tried and tested 2 weeks in the Maldives, the transport to use, the islands to visit easily, and why you should visit each of them.

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We spent a lot of time figuring out which islands we could visit in the Maldives in 14 days and also wanted to mix up local islands and visit a resort island.  We wanted to use the public ferry system here in the Maldives, stay on local islands, but also take a speedboat between islands, because well, why not?  And yes we wanted to dive and snorkel and experience some of the marine life that the Maldives is famous for.  And so we used this Maldives Itinerary planning guide to put together this perfect 14 day itinerary.  And then we tested it.  And it works.  Perfectly.

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Day 1:  Arrive at Velana International Airport – speedboat from Malé to Maafushi

Most visitors arrive into the Maldives main Velana International Airport near the capital city of Malé.  Our itinerary arrived here on a Friday.  This isn’t the best day to arrive in the Maldives, but this schedule is designed to work with the public ferry system AND to experience some of the speedboats but in a planned rather than knee-jerk (“Oops there’s no ferry today?”) way.

If you’ve bought an eSIM card ahead of time you’ll be covered for WiFi in the Maldives (my guide to SIMs and WiFi is here) for your trip, but if not, make sure to buy a SIM card at the airport before you start your itinerary.  It’s quite the easiest place to buy them. 

And this is also the best place to get yourself a travel adapter if you’ve not brought one with you. It’s easier to buy from home though. My guide to what you need is here.

Take a pre-booked speedboat from Malé Airport to Maafushi.  (there are no public ferries on Fridays).  The speedboat from Malé Airport to Maafushi is quick and your only option on a Friday.  There are more details about how you can get to Maafushi from Malé here (should you choose not to take a speedboat).

Speedboat to Maafushi

Maafushi is a great island to start your 14 day trip to the Maldives.  It’s the most developed of the local islands, has a great infrastructure, and has the most choices of places to stay.   I’ll narrow it down for you on places to stay on Maafushi.

To stay right on the beach where you’re allowed to wear swimwear (there are strict rules on the dress code away from bikini beaches in the Maldives), then head to the Kaani Palm, there are rooms with fantastic balconies and views down onto Bikini Beach.  There’s also a stunning rooftop infinity pool here, which is glorious.  Best to book your dates early as this is popular.

A second option is the Island Ambience which is the highest-rated place on Maafushi to stay, has a fabulous family team, and books out quickly in high season.

Your host will meet you at the boat harbor on Maafushi (there is just one), and transport you and your luggage to the hotel.  You should have time for a short exploration of the island (Maafushi is just 1270 meters by 265 meters (4166 feet by 869 feet) so it won’t take long.  Then you’ll want to watch the sunset and have dinner on the beach at the Triton Prestige Hotel. it is known for its special beach meals and your romantic beach dinner will cost from US$90 per couple for a three-course set dinner.

Maafushi Romantic Dinner

Before you make plans for spending the following day on Maafushi, take a read of our guide to Maafushi and what you can spend your time doing.

Day 2:  Explore Maafushi Island

Fill up on an excellent Maldivian breakfast at your hotel, then explore the island, take a watersports trip if you’d like, or head to Bikini Beach for some sun, swimming, and relaxation. 

You’ll need to cover up if you want to snorkel the house reef, as it’s located away from Bikini Beach, but it’s worth doing.  There are some interesting (and friendly) fish here.  There’s little to no current (the Maldives is known for its strong currents in certain places), so it’s easy swimming.  You can watch the sunset from the reef, but you’ll want to head in before it gets dark, as there is boat traffic here.

Maafushi Snorkel House Reef Sunset

You could head to one of the restaurants on the inside of the island.  Semili’s is excellent and delivers great value, but heck you’re in the Maldives, head back to the beach again.  Try the Sun Beach Café this time.  It’s next to the Triton Hotel from last night, and they serve fabulous food and amazing juices.

The restaurants and cafes here in Maafushi are open, in some parts of the island until midnight.  So make the most of it, all the other islands in this itinerary are much sleepier and you’ll be eating by 20:00.

Day 3:  Go from Maafushi Island to Fulidhoo

There’s no need to get up particularly early today, on day 3 of your 14 day itinerary in the Maldives as you’ll be taking the public ferry from Maafushi to Fulidhoo.  Your hosts will escort you (and your luggage) to the ferry so that you get on the right boat and also so that you don’t have to haul your bags along the sand roads.  These are all sand islands, and rollaboards don’t work too well here!

It’s about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from Maafushi to Fulidhoo – and this itinerary is planned around the fact that there are only ferries from Maafushi to Fulidhoo three days a week.  There are no public ferries in the Maldives (apart from the airport ferry) on Fridays at all, as this is a 100% Muslim nation.  You should read my guide to the Maldives public ferries here.  It’s not a difficult system to use, but it does need a little understanding.

This ferry takes just under two hours – you’ll be leaving Maafushi at 11:35 and arriving at Fulidhoo at 13:20.  If the weather is good, this is a really pleasant trip and you’re likely to see dolphins on the way (don’t worry the crew will point them out if you’ve not noticed them).

You’ll arrive on the single jetty on Fulidhoo Island, where, once again, you’ll be met by the hosts from your hotel.  Fulidhoo is a much smaller and quieter island than Maafushi.  But there are still a variety of places to stay.  For glorious beach views right from your room, then look no further than the Thundi Guest House.  We stayed at the Malas Island View in the center of the island, and got a great large room, with a super enormous bathroom.  Our breakfast was included each day and the team here was lovely.

Your ferry will arrive in time for you to be greeted by the rays that swim around the jetty.  It’s one of the top reasons to visit Fulidhoo

Rays at Fulidhoo Jetty

After you’ve dropped your bags at your hotel, head to the Dream Hut right on the beach for a late lunch.  They have great Lavazza coffee and a super selection of dishes and juices.  They (and many of the places on the island) do NOT take cards and there is no ATM here on Fulidhoo, so you’ll want to read our guide to ATMs in the Maldives and plan your expenditure.

After lunch, there’s time to explore the entirety of the island.  This is a lot smaller than Maafushi.  You can walk on the beach all the way around, although depending on the state of the tide you might get your feet a little wet.  Find Fulidhoo’s Bikini beach, perhaps spend some time relaxing in one of the Maldivian deck chairs, and then head for sunset.  Most visitors head to the west beach, but if you head to Sunset Point you’ll likely have the place to yourself. It’s glorious. 

Sunset Point Fuliidhoo

Before dinner, head to Fulidhoo Dive – they’re a great dive outfitters here on the island.  Arrange a trip with them for the following day if you haven’t already.  You can take beginner dives with them, you don’t need to be certified, or you can go on a snorkeling trip. 

And once that’s done head for dinner.  I recommend the lovely Bougainvillea Restaurant.  It’s upstairs, it’s quiet and they have a small if excellent selection of dishes to choose from.  Fulidhoo is a quiet local island, and most places to eat will close by 22:00 at the latest.  The beaches are also a perfect place for star gazing after dinner.

Don’t forget to tell your host at your hotel that you’re heading out on a dive or snorkeling trip in the morning.  Normally breakfast doesn’t start until 08:00 at most places, so you’ll need to pre-arrange an early one.

Day 4:  Diving Trip from Fulidhoo Island

You’ll need to be at the pier at 08:00 if you’re taking a morning dive trip with Fulidhoo Dive.  Here on Fulidhoo, it’s diving from the boat and you can sign up for one or two dives with all equipment provided.  It’s US$85 per dive per person.  If you don’t have insurance it’s a further US$12 per day, or US$20 for a week.  The insurance includes sea plane cover if it’s needed to get you to the nearest major medical center on Malé island.  Most clients here pay cash.  There’s a 3.5% charge if you want to use a credit or debit card.

The dive boat here is excellent.  Similar to the ferries with fewer seats.  The dive crew is excellent.  Your dive site will depend on the group, the weather, and the current, but you’re likely to see reef sharks, and a variety of fish, and experience (at least on the second dive) something of the stronger currents that can be found in the Maldives.

If you’ve taken a diving trip, then you’ll be back in time for lunch (although you’ll be snacked out with the dive crew providing fruit and food throughout the trip). 

The most popular place for lunch on Fulidhoo?  It’s back to where you were yesterday. The Dream Hut is consistently popular with visitors and locals.  There are limited options here on the island and this is a great budget option. 

Watching the rays and sharks at the jetty is a great thing to do here on Fulidhoo, you can also spend time at Bikini Beach, or head to snorkel the house reef on the other side of the island from the jetty. 

Don’t miss another glorious Fulidhoo sunset, and then head for dinner.   Try the lovely Shells Café, where the friendly parrot keeps everyone company.   And amused.

Day 5: Fulidhoo Island Relaxing

Either head out on a marine trip – there are options here to go snorkeling to Shark Point or diving again, but you could also just chill out and spend it reading in the unique Maldives sun chairs that you’ll find all over this island nation.   There are crabs galore in the sands here and they’re fascinating to watch.

Maldives Deck Chairs Fulidhoo Island

Just be aware that the sun is really strong here.  And if you’re sitting in the sun you’ll definitely want to have invested in some good sunscreen.  While you can buy products like that here on Fulidhoo and other islands it’s much more cost-effective to bring it from home.  And while we’re on things to consider when traveling to the Maldives.  Let’s talk about mosquitoes.  Because yes, unfortunately even in this little piece of paradise there are mosquitoes in the Maldives.  

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Head to the fabulous Faru Cafe, the only restaurant that we found that accepts cards, for dinner.  And enjoy a few of their Vietnamese-styled dishes.  Delicious!

Day 6:  Fulidhoo to Maafushi

Today’s trip is one of the reasons why arriving on a Friday in the Maldives works.  The public ferry from Fulidhoo to Maafushi (and back to Malé) only runs on Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday.  It leaves here at 10:45 and arrives in Maafushi at 12:25.  This ferry will cost you 53 Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR). 

Yes, I know that on this itinerary you’ve been in Maafushi before, but we’re heading back for one more night.   This is an attempt to work around the public ferry timetables, and you’ll get to snorkel that house reef again.  Or take another trip from Maafushi.  The ferry usually arrives and leaves on time, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore more of Maafushi, snorkel, and also relax.  There’s a lot of that going on here in the Maldives.

And as you’ve been to Maafushi before you’ll know the places to eat, and what to see.  But don’t make it a late night, you’re going to be on a ferry first thing in the morning.  And by the first thing I mean the ferry leaves at 07:25

Day 7:   Maafushi to Malé to Malé Airport to Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort

This is a Maldives itinerary with a difference because we’re mixing up staying on the local islands with staying on a resort.  Now if you don’t want to stay on a resort island, but just want to experience it, then you can take a day trip to one from Maafushi, from some of the other local islands or from the airport. The day usually includes all your food and drink (and yes alcohol) but you may have to pay extra for watersports, check the details carefully.  I’ve included options below with pick up at the airport.

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For our 14 day Maldives itinerary, we included two nights at an all-inclusive resort island. 

We’ve chosen the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort for two nights, all-inclusive.  There are two reasons for putting this in the middle of the itinerary.  The first is that there’s a Friday in those two nights and it means that you don’t have to worry about public ferries not running.  The second, we decided to schedule two nights of luxury in the middle of our visits to the local islands.

You can book the Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort here.  We opted for a superior room.  And it was lovely.  You can also opt for a sunrise or sunset beachfront suite.  Want to know what it’s like?  I wrote about the resort island experience here.

So you’ll take the 07:25 public ferry from Maafushi to Malé, then hop on the Malé airport ferry, and meet your hosts at the Malahini counter at the airport.  Then you’ll be whisked off to the air-conditioned waiting area for the shared speedboat to the Malahini resort, where you’re spending the next two nights.

Arriving at Malahini Kuda Bandos

Explore the island head for a sundowner drink and sit on the beach swings at Bar 75.  Your dinner is included in the buffet restaurant and the spread here is incredible.  And so, so tasty.  There’s a mix of Western, Maldivian, and East Asian food too!

Day 8: Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort

On your first morning wake up in the paradise that is an all-inclusive resort in the Maldives.  And after a superb buffet breakfast, there’s a lot you can do.  Or nothing.  Your choice.

There are watersports here – paddleboards, excellent snorkeling gear, a Hobie cat, and kayaks.  There’s a well-equipped gym.  And there are hammocks and sunbeds.  A great house reef that extends around the whole island!

You’ll need to take a break from this positively exhausting luxury and head for a buffet lunch and dinner too.  Then there’s entertainment at the Bluu beachfront bar.

Bar 75 Malahini Kuda Bandos

Day 9: Malahini Kuda Bandos Resort to Thulusdhoo

Your check-out from the resort is at noon and your speedboat back to the airport will get you back in plenty of time to take the Malé Airport to city ferry (read about it here) and then buy a ticket for the Malé to Thulusdhoo ferry.  You’re back in the cheap seats now!  The ferry leaves at 14:30 and you have heaps of time.  There are more options on how to go from Malé to Thulusdhoo here.

You’ll be met at the Thulusdhoo jetty by your hosts of the hotel you choose to stay in.  I can recommend the Batuta Surf View Hotel, or the Reef Edge, which has superb ocean views.

Thulusdhoo is a bigger island so your hosts will transport you to the hotel and get you checked in, in plenty of time to explore the island before heading to Thulusdhoo’s sunset point.  And this is a glorious place for sunset.  The best, I think on this itinerary.

Sunset at Thulusdhoo Sunset Point

Have dinner at the budget-friendly RG Restaurant, where, you can continue to explore the Maldivian food, they do great tuna pizza here!  Fish is the only foodstuff in which the Maldives is self-sufficient, and tuna is the primary fish here. 

Day 10: Thulusdhoo

Both the Batuta Surf View Hotel and the Reef Edge are located right on the beach.  So after your included breakfast, head for a swim in between your explorations of the island.  There’s the Coca-Cola bottling plant here, and right off the beach where you’ll be staying there are jet skis for hire and it’s also where you can take snorkeling trips too. And if you’re in the mood, a speedboat trip is available to the floating bar that you can see in the distance. 

Thulusdhoo is famed for its surfing, and from the Batuta Surf View, you can indeed spot the surfing area called “Cokes”.  Even if you’re not a surfer, it’s a short walk there to watch those who are. 

View of Breakfast and Cokes Surf Point Thulusdhoo

Make time for dinner on the beach tonight, Fusion by Canopus is a delightful place to eat.  Their alcohol-free cocktails are amazing.  Thulusdhoo isn’t a late-night island, but if you do head to the “booze boat”, then don’t worry you won’t have to be up too early, while you are moving onto another island tomorrow it’s not until the late afternoon. 

Day 11: Thulusdoo to Dhiffushi

Because of the timing of the public ferry, you’ll have most of the day here on Thulusdhoo, so make the most of it, go surfing, take a water sports trip, or go snorkeling on the house reef.  You can probably also get a late checkout if you ask.

Or perhaps get your host to arrange a visit to the Coca-Cola factory.

The ferry from Malé to Dhiffushi was the ferry that you arrived here on Thulsdhoo on, and you’re going to be getting on this at 16:05 (ish, this ferry does tend to run a little late) and it will take you on the 35-minute journey to Dhiffushi.

Dhiffushi is the most easterly island in the Maldives and you’ll arrive in time to be met by your hosts, who will once again escort you to the hotel.    If you want a beachfront hotel on Dhiffushi, then Heron Beach is a GREAT option with fabulous balconies and ocean views, or for another spot similar to where we stayed, inland and smaller, but with great service, then Ameera Maldives gets similarly good reviews.  We stayed at the lovely Isla Dhiffushi Hotel.  You’ll just have time to drop your bags and then head to the beach swings for sunset.

Sunset Dhiffushi

Dhiffushi is much smaller than Thulusdhoo, and most like Fulidhoo out of these islands that you’ve already visited.  There is an ATM here though, so if you need to stock up on cash you’re good.  Head for dinner on the beach at Perch, where the service is quirky, but the food is good.

Day 12 Dhiffushi Island

Another day in paradise.  Dhiffushi has a huge house reef, and you can walk straight out to it from Bikini Beach.  And of the islands we’ve visited (aside from the resort island), this is quite the nicest bikini beach around.  It’s got shade.  A café, sunbeds.  And yes it’s rather lovely. 

Bikini Beach Dhiffushi

There are great offshore snorkeling and diving options here in Dhiffushi, and as you’re getting to the end of your two weeks in the Maldives, perhaps you need one last hit.

You’ll want to get an early night though, you have a long day tomorrow, and it starts early for two reasons.

Day 14: Dhiffushi Island to Malé:  Explore Malé

We have an early start today, as the ferry back to Malé from Dhiffushi leaves at 06:30, but as you’re on the Maldive’s most easterly island, you should get up a little earlier and catch the sunrise.  The good news is that the best place for sunrise is close to where the ferry departs from!

If you decide not to take the public ferry, which will get you to Malé by about 08:40, then you can take a speedboat instead and have a bit of a lie-in.  There’s more on the speedboat options between Dhiffushi and Malé here.

Once you arrive in Malé then you’ll want to drop your bags at your hotel for the night.  I recommend the fabulous value UMET Seaview, as they offer both a great free breakfast in their rooftop restaurant AND a free transfer to the airport for your departure tomorrow.

However, that’s breakfast tomorrow, and today it’s was too early for breakfast on Dhiffushi, so drop your bags and then head off to the lovely Ebb & Flow for a great Maldivian breakfast – there are a la carte options or a great buffet deal.  The coffee is fabulous here too.  Fill up.  You’re going to spend the day discovering Malé.

Malé is a compact and densely populated capital city.  And it’s easy to see the highlights in a day.  I wrote more about what to see in Malé here, but the easiest way is to take a short half-day tour.  Then you can explore the parts that need a little more time.

Republic Square Male

Make sure you visit the fish market, and the stingrays by the vegetable market, and head to the Tsunami memorial.  Get a breath of fresh air on the balcony at the City Garden restaurant, and check out the Sultan’s Garden and Republic Square.  If you want a blast of air conditioning, then head to the National Museum before heading towards the (outdoor, but undercover) Harbor Foodcourt for a huge variety of options for dinner.  I’ve marked all these recommendations on the map in my Malé Itinerary

And that’s it, your 14 days in the Maldives are over.  All that remains is to get a good night’s sleep before your final breakfast in the morning and your trip to the airport.

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Leaving the Maldives

Velana International Airport is small, quick, and easy to navigate.  You’ll check in, drop your bags, and then go through security.  Once you’ve gone through security there are the usual duty-free offerings and there are several places to eat.  There’s free WiFi here at the airport and the cafes and restaurants accept cards, US dollars, and any remaining Maldivian Rufiyaa that you may have.  It’s difficult to change Rufiyaa outside of the Maldives, if not impossible, so it’s best to try and spend it all before you leave. Or change it.

Final Words on the Perfect 2 Weeks in the Maldives Itinerary

Well if you’ve made it this far, you’ve explored the capital city of the Maldives, you’ve spent time on local islands, you’ve been to a resort island.  You’ve traveled between them in public ferries, private speedboats, and regular speedboats.  Hopefully, you’ve spent some time exploring the marine world of the Maldives as well as the food and drink.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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