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Over water bungalows at Varu by Atmosphere in the Maldives

When picturing an idyllic honeymoon, most people envision crystal clear water, overwater bungalows, and vibrant marine life. The Maldives is a popular and sought-after destination for newlyweds fitting this description with luxurious accommodations, stunning natural beauty, and the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.


We can attest that a honeymoon in the Maldives is a once in a lifetime experience and hope to help you plan the most amazing honeymoon with this guide. From logistics of reaching these islands, choosing the perfect resort, packing essentials, and the best time to visit, we've got you covered!


Fun fact: While wedding planning, Max decided to surprise me with our honeymoon destination. We decided together that we wanted a tropical, beachside honeymoon outside of the United States. Max kept our honeymoon destination a secret until we arrived at the airport! He created a dossier with information about our resort, activities, and details about our overwater bungalow in the Maldives!


How to Get to The Maldives

View of the Maldives from the sky

Flying into Malé


If you are traveling from the U.S, don't let the long flight and travel time deter you from visiting The Maldives, the journey is well worth it!


Flights

When searching for flights to the Maldives, you will want to search for Malé (MLE), the capital of the Maldives. A journey from the U.S will span around 16-24 hours. Our total flight time from Chicago, IL was 18 hours and 25 minutes. We chose Turkish Airlines, flying from Chicago (ORD) to Istanbul, Turkey (IST) - a 10-hour and 25-minute flight. This was followed by an 8 hour flight from Istanbul, Turkey (IST) to Malé, Maldives (MLE). A 12-hour layover in Istanbul gave us the opportunity to explore the airport, relax in the iGA Lounge, and take a nap in the iGA sleep pods!


How to Get to Island Resorts in the Maldives

Over water bungalows at Varu by Atmosphere in the Maldives

All flights land at the Malé International Airport (MLE). From there you will take a ferry, speedboat, or seaplane to your chosen resort. Our resort, Varu by Atmosphere, catered to our convenience by offering boat transportation to and from the airport. The boat dock is just steps from the exit doors at the airport, and made the transfer a unique airport experience!


What to Consider When Choosing a Resort in the Maldives

Jacuzzi and champagne views from an over water bungalows at Varu by Atmosphere in the Maldives

With 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives has 164 resort islands, offering an abundance of options for many budgets.


Types of Rooms

Once you've established a budget, consider your preferred room type. Prices will depend on the resort you choose but most have a variety of room types including overwater bungalows, beach villas, garden villas, and underwater rooms.


Not all resorts have every type of room option, so you will want to narrow down your choices based on your preferences. To optimize your budget, you can switch rooms during your stay - alternating between more affordable beach or garden villas and luxurious water bungalows.


Distance/Travel from the Airport

Spread over 35,000 square miles, traveling to Maldivian resorts from the Malé Airport can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. For longer trips, resort selection based on location isn't super important. However, shorter trips would benefit from a closer proximity to the airport. Some resorts require guests to book their own travel from the airport (seaplane, speedboat, or ferry) while others will handle booking for you.

Amenities

Resort amenities play a huge part in your overall vacation experience. Whether it's fitness facilities, water activities, pools, or spas, you can prioritize what amenities are important for you.


Our stay at Varu by Atmosphere had amazing amenities. At Varu, the duration of your stay influences the perks you'll enjoy. Over our 10-day vacation, our all-inclusive package included:

  • Twice-daily snorkeling excursions

  • A stargazing or sunset cruise

  • Four 45-min complimentary spa services (we chose a couples massage and couples facials using these credits)

  • A fishing excursion

  • Four fine-dining meals

  • Unlimited access to water sports equipment, fitness classes, and sporting facilities

  • Daily shark feedings

  • Unlimited food, drinks, and alcohol

  • Additional services available at an extra cost include jet ski rentals, diving courses, and photography sessions


Dining

If you stay at a Maldivian resort, you will most likely be staying on one island for your trip and will want to choose a resort that offers a wide variety of dining options. Our resort had one main restaurant that offered a huge variety of cuisines at all meals. There were 3 additional fine-dining restaurants that required reservations and a beachside pool bar that offered unlimited cocktails and afternoon snacks.


Sustainability

As the world's lowest nation, the Maldives are vulnerable to rising sea levels and climate-induced coral bleaching impacts its delicate reefs. To protect the Maldivian ecosystem, many resorts have implemented eco-friendly initiatives. As a guest, it's your responsibility to minimize your carbon footprint and preserve this paradise for the future. You can ask resorts about their sustainable practices or find this information on their website. Varu has a section on their website dedicated to this and can be found here.


Experiences in the Maldives

Maddy enjoying the jacuzzi and champagne views from an over water bungalows at Varu by Atmosphere in the Maldives

Stay in an Overwater Bungalow

Waking up to breathtaking ocean views, watching fish swimming beneath you, and jumping into the ocean from your balcony is an experience you won't want to miss out on. We chose to stay in an overwater bungalow for all 10 days of our trip and loved every minute. Although it's possible to switch villas mid-trip, we preferred staying in one villa to avoid packing and unpacking mid-trip.


Snorkel

Getting to snorkel in the Maldives is a bucket list item and a highlight of our honeymoon. Our all-inclusive package included snorkeling gear rentals and two daily snorkeling excursions. We took full advantage of this and loved exploring the vibrant marine life, coral reefs, and spotting many sharks!


Swim with Sharks

After getting to know the diving staff at our resort, they encouraged us to swim with nurse sharks near our island. This was an exhilarating experience that we would love to do again!

Order a Floating Breakfast

Indulging in a floating breakfast in our overwater pool villa was an unforgettable experience. It was such a fun way to start our day and relax all morning while enjoying our delicious breakfast in paradise.


Best Time to Visit the Maldives

The Maldives is a great year-round destination. The dry season is from December to April with minimal rainfall and cooler temperatures. The dry season is also peak tourist season when both crowds and prices are at their highest. The wet season, spanning from May to November, has more rainfall and slightly higher temperatures. This off-peak season promises fewer visitors and potentially more budget-friendly options. For our trip in early June, we had beautiful weather, an almost empty resort, and only experienced one afternoon light rain that lasted less than one hour.


What to Pack for a Trip to the Maldives

1. Sunscreen!

Make sure to pack a lot of sunscreen. We went through two bottles during our ten days and were glad that we brought our own since purchasing sunscreen from the resort can cost up to $45/bottle.


2. Light and breathable clothing

The Maldives' temperature averages around 80-90°F each day, so be sure to pack light and breathable clothing. Comfortable linen clothing, sundresses, light shorts, and tank tops were perfect for us. Make sure to pack enough swimwear and cover-ups for lounging by the pool and all the water activities you'll enjoy!


3. Shoes

You'll mostly be barefoot on the beach, but sandals and flip-flops are perfect for getting around.


4. Cameras

You'll definitely want to capture the breathtaking landscapes and exciting memories from your trip to the Maldives. We recommend bringing a GoPro for capturing underwater adventures and a drone if your resort allows for it. Some resorts have strict no-drone policies, like ours, so you will want to check this ahead of time.


5. International Outlet Adapters

If you're traveling from the U.S, you will need to pack international outlet adapters to ensure your chargers are compatible with the local power outlets.


How Much Time Do You Need in the Maldives?


This is really up to you and your budget. Since the journey to the Maldives is pretty lengthy, we recommend visiting for at least one full week. We stayed for ten days and felt this was a perfect amount of time to relax and experience everything our resort had to offer.


Honeymoon in the Maldives Takeaways


Our honeymoon in the Maldives was an incredible experience. The unique activities and beautiful views far exceeded our expectations. The intimate Varu resort, with its limited number of guests, allowed us to connect with the staff throughout our visit. Their warm and welcoming smiles made each day more special, and we look back on our stay with wonderful memories of the Maldivian people.


After having a dream wedding with all of our close friends and family, we felt so lucky and blessed to experience a honeymoon in paradise together. I am so thankful for Max who planned this dream honeymoon and took care of everything. It really was a trip we will never forget!

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