You’ll find sunshine, warmth and blue skies whenever you choose to go in the Maldives, but it is worth noting there are some seasonal and regional variations. There are two distinct seasons: the wet season which lasts from May to October and the dry season between November and April.
The Southwest monsoon brings rain, strong winds and higher humidity but you’ll still find lots of reasons to travel in the wet season, when prices are lower. It’s the best time to surf and you’re also more likely to see whale sharks and manta rays as the ocean is rich in plankton for them to feed on.
You’re most likely to be rained on in August and September, with a monthly average of 243mm. If you’re in the Southern islands you’ll get slightly more rain than the north of the country. But wherever you are, you’ll notice that the rain clouds blow over quickly and the sun comes out again after the short, sharp downpours. It can be raining on your island and not on the one next door. And don’t expect constant monsoon weather. Even at the height of the wet season you won’t experience more than three days of rain together, so you can still enjoy a great holiday.
You’ll find average temperatures hardly fluctuate throughout the year, ranging from 25°C to 30°C. It tends to be slightly hotter in the wet season, with the mercury occasionally hitting 33°C.
In the dry season, you can expect 12 hours of daylight and up to 10 hours of sunshine a day with beautiful blue skies and temperatures between 24°C and 30°C. The seas are calmer and clearer so it’s easier to swim, snorkel and dive between the months of November and April.
The hottest month is March while the ‘coldest’ is January (but you’ll still think it’s warm). January and February are the most popular times to visit the Maldives from the UK, when temperatures are around 28°C. You’ll find rain is rare and brief, only measuring about 50mm a month and more of a welcome refreshment than a nuisance. And of course, the contrast with the UK weather is most stark at the start of the year. You could be basking in sunshine while it’s snowing back home.
You’ll find the sea temperature change very little in the Maldives. It may drop to 20°C in December but that’s hardly cold. Most of the time it’s a balmy 28°C so you can put away your wetsuits. Pack beachwear, shorts and t-shirts plus plenty of high factor sunscreen. You won’t need a cardigan for colder nights as the temperature only dips slightly, but it could come in handy to take the chill off powerful air-conditioning in your resort.