To reach the Maldives you fly into Male airport - an airstrip flanked by blue ocean. Many people then transfer straight away from the airport to a waiting speedboat, or to a float plane - fleets of both you will see as you arrive. Speedboats ply the water back and forth to the resorts within around half an hour or so of Male, float planes transport you to the more distant islands.
The far northern and southern atolls are reached by an additional scheduled flight from Male - some of these more far flung islands can be tricky to reach but well worth the effort, for example Six Senses Laamu. The views, as you fly overhead are spectacular. Most people stay on the resort for a week minimum and can justify the journey for the paradise that awaits!
You can enjoy the Maldives year-round although we would avoid June which tends to be unsettled due to the south west monsoon which blows in between May and October time - great for surfing but not so good otherwise! You can often find good deals at resorts in these low season months if you don't mind the odd downpour, more breeze and cloudy skies. Turtles tend to come ashore and nest during the monsoon and shark sightings, particularly hammerheads and reef shark numbers increase in the shallower waters due to the weaker currents which can be a big attraction to divers.
The peak time to visit is mid November to the end of April. Temperatures are around 26-32 degrees, with April the hottest month, there's low humidity and the water is like glass with excellent visibility for diving and snorkelling due to the faster currents.
It's best to pick your season depending what you want to do and see - here's an overview of what's happening with regards to wildlife - you have a better chance of seeing some species, like Manta Rays and whale sharks, at certain atolls so please do ask.
Dolphins - year-round
Whale sharks and manta rays - resident populations can be seen year round at certain atolls however sightings tend to increase from April with June-September the optimum months for encounters.
Turtle nesting - May/June and end of September
Turtle hatching - July-October
7 nights in a gorgeous beach resort in the Maldives offering excellent value
A fabulously luxurious beach resort on a private island with a range of beach and water villas
A fabulous 5 star plus resort in the Maldives with stylish accommodation in beach and water villas