Once you arrive in the Maldives, you'll feel as though you've arrived in paradise, especially at your overwater bungalow resort, as the location is quite remote for pretty much everyone. Spread over a huge area just southwest of India, The Maldives is located many thousands of kilometers from Europe, and even quite a long way from the Middle East as well.

Fortunately, there are many flights into Malé International Airport from all over the globe, making it so that most people will only have to change planes once along the way. The other nice thing is that since these are all long-haul flights you'll be in a proper wide-body plane, so even those in economy class will have a good-sized seat with decent legroom, which should help make any flight a little bit more enjoyable.

If you are planning on staying in one of the overwater bungalows in the Maldives then it's a reasonably priced and efficient flight from Europe. However, if you are coming from North America you might instead want to consider the overwater bungalow hotels in Bora Bora or elsewhere in the South Pacific, as they are equally nice and much easier (and faster) to reach from the Americas.

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Getting to the Maldives from Europe

There are surprisingly only a few nonstop flights between Europe and Malé International Airport, which is the hub for all visitors into the Maldives. However, the few airlines that do provide nonstop flights offer competitive prices, so if you are able to book early you’ll be able to avoid changing planes in the Middle East halfway there.

London to Maldives

BMI BabyBritish Airways, and SriLankan Airlines all fly nonstop, taking about 10.5 hours each way.

Frankfurt to Maldives

Condor Airlines flies nonstop, taking about 10 hours each way.

From anywhere else in Europe to the Maldives

There are some seasonal charter flights nonstop originating in Paris, Brussels, and Milan, but for the most part nearly everyone is going to have to change planes in the Middle East, either in Qatar, Abu Dhabi, or Dubai. More good news comes with the fact that the airlines representing each of those cities are excellent and very comfortable for long-haul flights, so there shouldn’t be any anxiety of being trapped in a tiny seat with less than ideal food choices.


Also, you’ll find that flights head to Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai from most major cities in Europe, taking, give or take a bit, 6 hours. The layovers are usually only an hour or two, with the onward flight to the Maldives taking about 5 more hours. Prices start at around US$1,000 for the roundtrip flight, and tend to be very competitive since there are so many airlines to select from. With that said, it is best to book as early as you can since there are rarely fare sales that bring prices down much, and if the planes are filling up on your desired days the price will go up.

Getting from Malé International Airport to your resort

Considering the distance and the time difference, you’ll want to keep in mind that every flight will be overnight, whether it’s a nonstop or changing planes in the Middle East. Fortunately, most flights seem to leave Europe in the late afternoon, so you change planes around midnight, or they leave Europe late in the evening, so you change planes around 6am.


Once you land at the Malé International Airport you’ll be greeted by representatives from your chosen resort. Some of the larger ones have their own private lounge, while the smaller ones just have roving employees that wait for your arrival.


The resorts closer to the airport will put you on board a private speedboat for a journey that usually lasts between 20 minutes and an hour, while the more remote resorts will do the same for a sea plane (takes off and lands on the water) for an amazing flight to the hotel, which is often one of the highlights of the entire holiday, and in turn, is a great way to begin a tropical escape. What you’ll want to keep in mind however is that this transportation does comes at an extra cost and must be arranged in advance, and that the sea plane flights in particular are a bit pricey, usually running about US$400 roundtrip per person.

A note about bringing in alcohol to the Maldives

It’s true that alcohol, and most everything else, is quite expensive at resorts in the Maldives. The country is also extremely strict about allowing alcohol brought into it from inside luggage or duty-free containers. If you show up with any alcohol at all it will be confiscated and kept for you until you fly out, so best not to bring it at all.


Photo by Craig Grobler on Flickr

2 thoughts on "Water villas of the week: Anantara Veli Resort & Spa – Maldives"

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  1. Please help
    My daughters honeymoon villa for next week was canceled by the hotel. We need a Recommendation for next week for a Over the water bungalow all inclusive preferably a boat not a little flight to get to any thoughts thank you so much.