Best Time of Year to Visit Ireland (Weather, Temperature, & Events)

Ireland is a fascinating place but it’s also a destination where the weather may not always cooperate with your visit. Still, you might be surprised to find out that the weather isn’t that bad in Ireland and temperatures can be quite mild year round. 

In this article, I will talk about the best time of year to visit Ireland, and I’ll cover a lot of topics like the weather/rain, temperature, and also give you some insight into special events that take place around the year.

When is the best time of year to visit Ireland?

The best time to visit Ireland will depend on your personal travel goals, but I would recommend the month of May for the mild weather and the amount of daylight or perhaps shoulder season during the spring or fall to avoid the throngs of tourists and higher prices.  

You’ll want to do some research into all times of the year, and so below I have included a lot of helpful information about what you can expect during the different months when visiting Ireland.

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Cliffs by ocean
Photo by Luca Sartoni.

Ireland geography (map)

In case you are not aware, Ireland is an island located on the western fringe of Europe in the North Atlantic Ocean that consists of two countries: the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This gets a little confusing for some people because Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom (UK). But the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland/UK are two distinct countries. 

The rest of the UK is next-door and consists of Scotland, Wales, and of course England. And if you really want to dig in deep, Great Britain comprises Scotland, Wales, and England but NOT the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

And finally, together Great Britain (Scotland, Wales, and England) and Ireland (the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland) make up the “British Isles.” 

In this article, I am just going to focus on the island of Ireland, with a large focus on Dublin. 

Map of Ireland
Map of Ireland.

Ireland climate/weather

Ireland does not have the best reputation when it comes to weather. When you think of Ireland, you probably imagine a cold, cloudy, and damp destination at most times of year. But that’s not always true. 


Ireland has a “maritime climate,” which means that it has cool summers, mild winters, and the temperatures don’t have dramatic swings. So the winters never get that bad and the summers are very cool. 

For example, the coldest month in Dublin is January with an average temperature at 41°F (5°C). That’s not bad at all considering how north Dublin is (it would be well into Canada).

Even though winter temperatures are pretty mild, harsh winds and rain can certainly make it feel colder. The good news is that the harsh Atlantic winds don’t hit Dublin as hard due to its location on the east coast of the island.    

I think Ireland really shines with its cool summers. The hottest month in Dublin is July with an average temperature of 60°F (16°C). June through August can be great times to visit Ireland to escape the hot and humid summers you will experience in the lower latitudes because you’ll be spending a lot of time in 60ºF weather. A “super-hot” day in Ireland would be a day that creeps towards the high 70s ºF. 

The lows during these months can often drop down into the mid-50s, so this is similar to what you might find in San Francisco during many parts of the year. So if you’re visiting Dublin, you should bring a sweater and layers, regardless of what time of year you’re visiting because it will likely be chilly in the morning and at night. 


Rain can be a buzzkill when planning a trip to Ireland but Dublin is located on the drier side of the island. In fact, Dublin averages about 30 inches of rain per year which really isn’t that bad.

The thing about Ireland is that the rain isn’t highly concentrated to one season like it might in the tropics — it’s distributed roughly evenly year round. This means that you should pretty much always expect to get hit with a little bit of rain when you visit Ireland. (This is why it’s smart to always carry a waterproof jacket with you.)

For Dublin, the spring has the least amount of rain (along with July). As you already saw, temperatures can be pretty mild in May, so May can be a great time to visit Ireland, especially if you visit during the latter half of the month.   

Rain will take place during the summer but it’s often short-lived. 

The rain will usually pick up in August and other months like October, November, and December, so be prepared for a wetter experience in those months.  

Other parts of Ireland can receive more rain, such as Malin Head, which gets 40 inches per year. Or if you head even more west to places like Valentia, annual rainfall picks up to 61 inches per year, twice of what Dublin gets.    

In Dublin, snow can happen in winter but it’s not very common and usually more of a “dusting” than huge snowstorms (hail is more common than snow).


May through July have an average of six hours of sunshine in Dublin so it’s not nearly as dreary as you might think. However, remember that there is a lot of daylight during the summer so you may still see a lot of cloud coverage on some days. 

If you’re visiting during winter, you may only get a couple of hours of sunshine when visiting in November through February because daylight is limited. This means that doing scenic drives during the winter time is not exactly ideal because you won’t get a lot of daylight to truly see a lot of sites (though it can be done). 

Sea temperatures

Ireland has some seriously stunning stretches of coastline. However, the sea temperatures are not very warm and so you probably won’t want to be taking a dip in the ocean.

August and September are the warmest months for the sea and the temperatures are 59ºF, which is pretty cold and not a comfy temperature for swimming (again not too different from Northern California). During the winter, the temps drop below 50ºF which obviously isn’t too fun. But surfing can still be a possibility in some places. 


As you can imagine, the summer is going to be peak-season with the most crowds and highest prices. Peak season will start to pick up during May and last through August, which is why the spring and fall are recommended to avoid crowds. 

Cliffs by ocean
Photo by Luca Sartoni.

Things to do in Ireland

Below, I will highlights a lot of the different things you can do throughout the year when visiting Ireland. 

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Pubs are a very popular destinations in the winter (and also year round in Ireland). While England is big on pub culture, I’m not sure it means the same that it does in Ireland. As Ray ComminsCo-Founder of Generation Tours states: 

“The pub is ingrained in our culture – a meeting place where friends are made, old tales told and new shared stories made, and the character of Ireland expressed through the very characters you encounter – so, whatever time of year you find yourself in a pub in Ireland, it’s the best time of year for it!” 

There are countless pubs to choose from in Ireland but consider heading to the Brazen Head, which is Dublin’s oldest pub that has been in existence since 1198.

If you are visiting during the winter and you don’t have a lot of daylight to work with there are still a lot of indoor activities you can look into doing like visiting museums. Think about visiting the following destinations:

Outside The Bankers
Pub in Dublin. Photo by Peter Miller.

March — St. Patricks’s Day 

One of the perks of visiting in the middle of March is experiencing St. Patricks’s Day in Ireland. Over the span of several days, you can enjoy a lot of activities, including the main parade that takes place in Dublin. The actual holiday is on March 17 and you can expect the cities around the country to pretty much shut down in celebration of the day.

April & May

Toward the end of March and into April/May you will be able to experience some of the beautiful spring wildflowers like daffodils, fuchsias, bluebells, and wild garlic. If you really want to see these wildflowers, you might want to head to Burren National Park.

June & July

July through August is when things really pick up for tourists. So while the weather maybe better during this time of year, you can expect higher prices for hotels and also to deal with more crowds.

Some festivals you might think about attending are:


Europeans love to travel during August though, so I generally try to avoid Europe during this month but you can still find a lot to do. Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest fairs that takes place during August annually for three days on the 10th, 11th and 12th. You can also look into: 

  • Kilkenny Arts Festival
  • Rose of Tralee
  • Durrow Scarecrow Festival


September may be your last shot to do a lot of outdoor activities, especially those that require travel via the ocean. The rain will start to pick up at this time but fall foliage can also be spotted.

Fall might be one of the best times to visit Ireland in large part because there are also a lot of festivals which include: 

  • Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival
  • The National Ploughing Championships
  • Galway International Oyster Festival
  • Kinsale Gourmet Festival
  • Armagh Food & Cider Festival

October — Halloween 

If you’re looking for a unique place to experience Halloween, then Ireland is the place to be. It’s known to be the birthplace of the holiday and it has some seriously unique Halloween experiences. Derry-Londonderry is definitely the spot for that. But you might also consider the following events:

  • Galway Aboo Halloween Festival
  • Cork’s Halloween Parade
  • Belfast’s Monster Mash

In Belfast you might also catch a celebration for the Mexican Day of the Dead. If you really want things to get interesting for Halloween consider checking out Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival in the Boyne Valley where visitors can reenact ancient Samhain rituals. Read more about fall activities here. 

Drummer in green
Halloween in Derby. Photo by Greg Clarke.


Some establishments including hotels may start to shut down in October and through November and the winter so certain venues may not be open.


Ireland can be a great December destination with the Christmas Market at Belfast’s City Hall and also in Dublin. 

You can also experience some unique events in December like the Winter Solstice Newgrange in County Meath’s Brú Na Bóinne. It takes a little luck with a lottery draw, but you can experience the unique passages and chambers during the solstice if you’re chosen. 

Another unique winter attraction would be watching Panto or Pantomime which is a form of theatre in Ireland which can be seen at The Gaiety Theatre around Christmas and New Year.

Northern lights

It is possible to see the northern lights in Ireland/Northern Ireland. However, this will be on occasions during strong solar activity. If you really want to see the aurora, I’d head to a place like Tromsø. If you want to get some great tips on experiencing the northern lights, I suggest you read my article here

Final word

As you can tell, there are pros and cons to visiting Ireland at each time of the year. Personally, I would shoot for May when visiting Ireland because of the nicer weather and the fact that it is on beginning of peak season. Visiting during shoulder seasons like April and September can also have benefits.

And while I wouldn’t necessarily want to visit during the colder and darker months, there are still worthwhile reasons for being there like checking out Halloween, the Christmas markets, and other unique seasonal events.

Best Time of the Year to Visit Greece (Weather, Temperature, & Events)

Greece is not only known for its spectacularly beautiful islands but also for the culture and traditions of yestercentury. Even outside of the islands you can find some of the most beautiful landscapes in the northern part of Greece. Plus, it’s also one of my favorite countries for food where savory and sweets are all enjoyable.

In this comprehensive article, I will cover the best time of the year to visit Greece factoring in things the climate, weather, temperatures, beaches, and special events that take place throughout the year.

When is the best time of the year to visit Greece?

If you wish to experience Greece to the fullest, where all the islands are accessible, the best time of the year to visit Greece is April to mid-June and September to mid-October. During those months the weather is mild with long days and islands shouldn’t be too crowded.

For the best weather, you will find May to October having the sunniest days. July and August will be the hottest months, along with being the most crowded months. I personally don’t like crowded places and would avoid July and August since it is the summer holiday for many countries.

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Best time to visit Greece on a budget

For the money-conscious travelers, you will find that months like March, April, May, October, and November offer decent weather with cheaper flights and accommodation. 

In fact, I went late-February and was amazed by how cheap accommodation was in Athens. Coco-Mat Hotel, Herodion Hotel, Andronis Athens (which I stayed in before), Plaka Hotel, and Athens Mansion Luxury Suites all were offering around $100 nightly rates. 

When I stayed in Andronis Athens in February, I found it a great location for an awesome price of $105 a night.

Ruins in Athens Greece

Greece geography (map)

Located in south-eastern Europe, Greece is part of the Balkan Peninsula and numerous islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Greece borders Turkey, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, and Albania. As you can see below, here is a map of Greece via Google maps.

Map of Mediterranean sea

Greece is, in fact, part of the European Union, where travel between other Schengen states will feel like a domestic flight within a country. 

Driving in and out of Greece is possible with a car or a bus. So, you could rent a car in France and drive to and within Greece with that same car, just make sure you have the proper permit and insurance for driving.

Greece has 13 administrative regions and those administrative regions are known as Peripheries of Greece. Nine of the peripheries are on the mainland and four are island groups. Attica, South Aegean, Crete, Central Macedonia, and Corfu are all the most touristy peripheries.

Map of Aegean sea
Map of Greece

Greece climate/weather

Greece has a Mediterranean climate, best defined as warm and dry in the summers and mild and rainy in the winters. Expect sunshine throughout most of the year in most areas. Even when I was there in February for a few days it was sunny every day. 

There are some climate subtypes, like Attiki (Athens’ greater area) and East Greece that are more of a dry climate,  while Northern and Western Greece have generally a wet climate. 


The temperature in Greece varies between the north and south. For example, the southernmost island of Crete (Iraklion) in January has an average daily temperature of 54.5F (12.5C). Thessaloniki has an average temperature in January of 42F (5.5C). While Athens, being in-between Crete and Thessaloniki, has an average temperature in January of 49F (9.5C). 

Down below I go into details about air and sea temperatures for specific cities and islands.


Santorini is by far the most iconic destination in all of Greece for its picturesque views throughout the island. The hottest month, on average, is during July with an average temperature of 79F (26C). The coldest month would be January with an average temperature of 54F (12C).

Traveling in Santorini is still doable during the shoulder months like November. In November you can expect the weather to be more pleasant than Ireland with an average temperature of 62.5F (17C). In fact, if you wish to see a fewer number of tourists, October or April would be doable months. It might be chilly sometimes, but still pleasant enough to enjoy the sun and beauty of the island. 

The best time to swim in Santorini would be August with an average sea temperature of 77F (25C).


Beautiful Mykonos, the island that rivals Santorini but is so different that it also needs to be visited. Mykonos’ hottest month is July with an average temperature of 79F (26C). During the winter, expect an average temperature of January to be 48F (9C) in it’s coldest month.

The average sea temperature in Mykonos during July is 75F (24C), making it the best time for beach life. It’s still not as warm as Santorini, being more north of Santorini, but it’s still known to have wonderful beaches during the summer months of June to September.


Athens is the hottest capital in Europe with the average daily temperature in July and August of 79F (26C). Some inner districts get as hot as 82F (28C). It’s also common during July and August for the temperature to reach 97-100F (36-38C). However, during the winter, the average temperature in January is 49F (9.5C).


In the beautiful north, Thessaloniki has an average high temperature in July and August of 88-90F (31-32C) with peaks of 95-97F (35-36C). With an average temperature of 42F (5.5C) during January, It can get chilly, in fact very chilly sometimes. 


Corfu’s hottest months are July and August with an average temperature of 77F (25C). The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 49F (10C). During the night, Corfu does get chilly with an average low temperature of 66F (19C). 

You can expect the weather between June and September to be warm enough for the beach, but the best month for the beach would be July and August as the average sea temperature is 77F (25C).



Days are filled with the sun in Santorini. During July there are 14 hours of sun with minimal rainfall during the summer months. The wettest month would be December with almost 74.5mm of rain. During the winter, expect the weather to be cloudy and wetter.

The best time to visit Santorini with sunny weather and minimal precipitation would be between late-May to mid-September.


Mykonos summers are warm, arid, and clear while the winters are long, cold, and partly cloudy. You can expect Mykonos to be windy all year-round with the sunniest days in July and August. Similar to Santorini, the best time to visit Mykonos for the best weather would be late-May to mid-September. 


During the summer, expect Athens to be very sunny, but with chances of smog. That’s right, Athens is more polluted during the summer with smog wrapping the city up during peak summer months. It’s also not really windy making it a hot, stagnant city.

However, Athens during the winter is sunny, partly cloudy, and with less smog. I found the air fresh during the winter months, good for long cool walks to my destinations.


Being situated in the valleys of the north, Thessaloniki is sunny and hot during the summer. It’s not very windy during the summer making the high temperatures unpleasant. It doesn’t rain too much in either summer or winter, but during the winter you can expect it to be cloudier and windier. 


Corfu has 12 hours of sunshine throughout the month of July but is very cloudy during the winter months of December, January, and February. Expect an average of three hours of sunshine during December.

Out of all the months, expect very little rainfall between May to September, but once it’s October, rainfall is more common, while November has an average of 20 days of rain. Compared to other islands, Corfu is the least sunny and the wettest island outside of the summer months.

If you had to visit Corfu during the winter months, a rain poncho is well recommended.

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Things to do in Greece

Below, I highlighted a lot of the different things you can do throughout the year when visiting Greece. 


Greeks know how to celebrate, and I mean cel-e-brate.

Expect to keep celebrating the holidays in Greece in the month of January. You have celebrations like the Feast of Saint Basil’s on New Year’s Day. Think of it like Greece’s Christmas-like celebration. It’s a day of gift-giving, feasting, card games, and Greek customs for bringing good luck for the year. You can also find Athens and many other cities having midnight fireworks.

Then halfway through the month of January, you will find Patras Carnival, Greece’s largest festival starting on January 17th, 2020. For several weeks there will be parade floats, boules (transvestite masquerades), pantomimes, and many many many parties. 


February is known to be the time of culture vulture, meaning you aren’t partying on the islands, but witnessing the beauty of culture hot-spots and archeological findings. Greece is filled with many.

But, if you still want to party, Athens and Thessaloniki are still great places for nightlife where it’s year-round. 

During the month of February, you will find many carnivals called Apokries. Apokries are hosted throughout Greece in various cities where it’s flamboyant with lots of dancing and feasting. Think of this as the crescendo from Greece’s largest festival, Patras, that started back in January.


March is the month that tourists start to come in droves from all around the world, as the weather is much better. So, the parties are settling down.

However, with the weather getting better, marathons are becoming more prominent. If you are a marathon lover, you shouldn’t be disappointed with these two marathons:


In April, expect even warmer weather where summer activities like fireworks become more frequent. Rocket War, Chios is a once a year celebration on the night between Saturday and Sunday of Easter. This is a battle between the people of Saint Mark Church and the people of Virgin Erethianis Church. 

It’s located in Chios and starts around 8pm where thousands of fireworks between the churches light up the sky in an all-out battle. 


The islands become the life of the party starting in June with Hippocratia Festival for a summer-long series of events on Kos.

Its music festivals, theater, and art exhibitions throughout Kos where the culture comes alive. Think of it as the time of connecting with other like-minded people that value the arts. 


While it might be the hottest month out of the year, festivals are still very much alive in the month of July.

You will find festivals like the Hydra Puppet Festival, where it’s a tradition of local and Greek puppeteers presenting new and old performances on the island of Hydra. Then on other islands, like Kavala, you will find the second oldest festival in Greece called Philippi Festival performing ancient theater. These two festival performances highlight the Greek arts like no other.

If performances aren’t your thing, Halkidiki holds an art festival called Sani Festival. It’s meant to connect locals with foreign artists showing off their latest creations. You will find professionals to unknown artists all in one place sharing their works.


August is yet another hot month, but musical festivals like the Aegina International Music Festival still go on performing classical music on the island of Aegina. You will find Greek and international artists performing classical music on the beach and with cultural backdrops emphasizing the music being played. 


The arts just keep on coming with the Athens International Film Festival showcasing Sundance like films for 12 days. You will find many foreign films from all around the world, some premiering at the film festival.

Santorini joins the music scene with three weeks of the Santorini International Music Festival. Find solo recitals, orchestras, piano duets, operatic music, tango, classical, almost every genre you can think of during those three weeks. 

However, if film or music isn’t your thing, the Armata Festival is where local boatbuilders all come together to build a Turkish Boat that is from the battle of the strait between Spetses Islan and Kosta during the revolution of 1821. Once the boat is done, the festival has local dances and theater. Then there is a grand finale of fireworks. You will also find local boats making their way out to the middle of the sea all candlelit. It’s truly special. 


Every October during the last week there will be a Chestnut Festival marking the new harvest in the Macedonian forests. For three days you can join locals in mountainous villages savoring winter fruit with a glass of tsipouro (local spirit) or wine.

At the beginning of October, Santorini has one of the biggest sporting events called the Santorini Experience. Trekking, swimming, climbing marathon throughout all of Santorini, it’s a marathon for the best of the best. I am for sure not one of the best, so I won’t even attempt it. 


While it might be getting cold, the holidays don’t stop Greece. You can find many Christmas markets throughout Greece, but once Christmas hits, it’s a time to celebrate with family. After Christmas passes New Year’s Eve comes around where the festivities all start up again with huge New Year’s celebrations all throughout the night and the following day.

Final word

As you can tell, there are pros and cons to visiting Greece each time of the year. Personally, I would shoot for September as the sea temperatures should still be warm enough for some beach life, but also less crowded than June to August. 

However, visiting during other times of the year, like October, could hold for some interesting events in the Macedonian forests.

This article was originally published by Steve Smith.

When Is The Best Time of Year to Visit The Maldives? (Weather & Diving)

The Maldives is a dream destination for many people. It’s one of the most mesmerizing destinations with its beautiful white sands, turquoise atolls, and blue lagoons. But many people wonder “what is the best time of year to visit the Maldives?” 

While the temperatures are relatively stable year round, there are multiple rainy seasons to contend with. In this article, I will talk about the pros and cons of visiting at different times of the year and give some insight into things like weather, snorkeling, and diving.

When is the best time of year to visit the Maldives?

The best time to visit the Maldives is from January through mid-April. However, these are also peak times and other months of the year might also be good. Keep reading below for more pros and cons about the different times to visit the Maldives.

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Maldives geography

The islands of the Maldives are found in the Indian Ocean, about 310 miles southwest of India. The islands practically sit on the equator and are very flat (the Maldives has the lowest elevation of any country in the world). 

World map
Image via Wiki.

The country is made up of 22 atolls and about 1,200 islands that extend about 400 miles from north to south, making the Maldives one of the world’s most dispersed countries.

Map of Maldives
Image via Wiki.

The variety of islands and different geographical positions means that the experience can be slightly different when it comes to things like marine life and even climate to an extent. For this reason, you should always do research for these questions in this article based on your specific resort in island that you will be visiting.

Maldives from plane
Islands of the Maldives.

The Maldives rainy season

The biggest consideration you will probably have when visiting the Maldives is whether or not you should visit during the rainy season. But in order to make an educated decision on this you need to know what the rainy season actually consists of.

First, it is important to note that the rainy season can fluctuate slightly from year-to-year. Sometimes a rainy season might get started late or early so use the following as general guidelines for your planning, and always remember that mother nature cannot always be predicted with 100% accuracy. 

In addition, different sources define the rainy seasons differently and may include different months (though they are in agreement on the general time frames). There are two rainy seasons you need to be aware of. 

Northeast Monsoon season

There is something known as the Northeast Monsoon season. This occurs between October/November and March/April.  This technically is the “dry season” of the Maldives, though it depends on where you are situated within the Maldives. 

During the northeast monsoon season, you might experience some showers here and there but they will be short-lived and not very constant since this monsoon season is very mild compared to the main monsoon of the summer. If you want to maximize your odds of getting sunshine on your honeymoon then visiting between January and March is a good idea. 

Map of Indian Ocean
Image via

Southwest Monsoon season

Then there is the main rainy season of the Maldives. This is known as the Southwest Monsoon season. This lasts between June/July and September/October. 

The rain showers in the Maldives during the rainy season don’t need to be feared. Like many other tropical areas, many of these rainstorms come quickly and leave just as quickly.

You might be able to enjoy a nice sunny day and just have to worry about heavy rain for a couple of hours and then get on with a clear night. Relaxing in a villa while a storm blows in can be a pretty relaxing experience. So don’t think that your trip will be ruined if you end up visiting during the rainy season, even on a honeymoon. 

With that said, sometimes heavier storms can roll in during the rainy season. When they roll in there can be multiple days of heavy rains and high winds so there is a chance that it could happen. Also, at many resorts you have to do a fair amount of walking so trying to get around in the rain could be a problem (some resorts will take you around in a golf cart). 

And of course there always could be typhoons though those are not super common given the geography of the Maldives. Because the Maldives is such a flat country and floods can be a real issue if there are major typhoons you might be evacuated. 

Rainfall graph for Maldives
Image via

Maldives temperatures

The temperatures in the Maldives are very constant year-round. Highs will generally range from 84°F to 88°F (29°C 31°C) and lows 75°F to 81° (24°C 27°C). In other words, this is a very warm place all times of the year and you can count on it being in the lower 80s pretty much all the time.

When the sun is constantly shining it can get pretty hot but one great thing about the Maldives is that it receives some pretty nice ocean winds. If you book a water villa you will find that sitting out on the deck can be a very breezy experience. 

In fact, the breezes were so strong when we visited that we were able to enjoy the hot tub out on the deck (which I initially thought would be way too uncomfortable given the hot temperatures). 

It is also a very humid place as you would expect with it being located so close to the equator. The high-level of humidity and moisture in the air can be an issue for some electronics. When I visited the Maldives my DSL camera (Canon 6D) actually stopped functioning for a couple of days because it got too much moisture from the humidity alone. So this is something that you want to be careful of year round. 

The sea temperatures are also very stable. They range from 82ºF to 86°F (28°C to 30°C), so you can expect warm water, even in the middle of winter (a wet suit will not always be needed). 

Hot tub overwater villa Maldives

Maldives coral reefs

Extreme temperatures from El Nino in 2016 bleached and killed 73% of shallow-water corals within the Maldives. This means that many coral reefs will not be super vibrant when you go snorkeling (when you go diving it is a different story). With that said, I was still pretty happy with the amount of marine life that inhabited the bleached coral reefs. You can read about our snorkeling experience here.  

Fish and coral Maldives

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Best times of year to visit the Maldives

January, February, and March

January, February, and March are the best times to visit the Maldives in my opinion. This is because the rain is at bay and you will be able to enjoy many nice sunny days. In addition, the water is very clear at these times so visibility is fantastic for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The drawback of visiting at this time of year is that the peak season is upon you. Prices at some resorts can skyrocket during holidays so you need to be careful about which specific days you’re visiting. 


April is a great time to visit the Maldives as it is the very beginning of the rainy season and the end of peak season. The prices and availability should be much better beginning in April versus peak times during the winter.

Visibility for snorkeling and scuba diving should still be pretty great in April. I believe the spring is the mating season for Titan Triggerfish. These fish are extremely territorial during mating season and so if you are snorkeling for scuba diving during the spring be on the lookout for them.  


May is when the rainfall really starts to pick up. In fact, May can be one of the wettest months of the year in the Maldives. Visibility in the ocean also begins to drop a bit. That is not to say that you can’t still have fantastic dives during May it is just not going to be quite as clear.

April and May is also the time of Ramadan. The Maldives is a pretty liberal Muslim country whenever it comes to things like tourists at resorts eating pork, consuming alcohol, etc.

However, during Ramadan things could be a little bit different at some places (especially Malé). In many cases, though, you may not even notice a difference at resorts but just be prepared to be flexible with things like meal times. 

June July, August

During the months of June and July the rain can continue on to the summer. The rain does tend to calm down in July so it is not quite as wet as June. Keep in mind that even during the rainy season you are still getting an average of seven hours (or more) of sunshine during the summer months.

Visibility is not the greatest but this can also be a fantastic time to swim with whale sharks and manta rays. July can be a good time for surfing in the Maldives at certain islands. Once August arrives the rain will kick back up and the month will be much wetter. 

September and October

September and October have the potential to be the wettest months in the Maldives. So if you are trying to avoid the largest monsoons then I would avoid visiting during these times. The plus side is that this is whenever you might be able to find some of the cheapest hotel prices and there’s still a lot of sunshine. Also, this continues to be a good time to see large marine life like manta rays and whale sharks. 

November and December

November is the end of the rainy season and his when things start to calm down. You will still experience some showers but they are usually pretty manageable. 

Prices and availability can get difficult to find during the holidays such as on Christmas or New Year’s so you need to be mindful of that. It’s not uncommon for prices to triple or for there to be certain minimum stay requirements for booking during peak times like that. 

Whale shark and diver

Best time of year for whale sharks and manta rays

In some places in the Maldives you can find manta rays and whale sharks year-round. But remember, we are talking about over 1,000 islands spread out across many atolls so the times of year that are best suited for seeing them is going to differ.

Also, sometimes you can see both whale sharks and manta rays at the same time of year but in some locations you may only see one or the other.

For example, we visited the South Ari Atoll, which has whale sharks year-round and manta rays October through May. When we visited in February we had an amazing encounter with manta rays on a scuba dive. It truly was a magical experience. However, we did not see any whale sharks during our time underwater or when snorkeling. 

So if you really want to see whale sharks or mantas I would suggest that you contact the resort that you want to stay at and ask them about the peak times for that specific marine animal.

For example, while you can find whale sharks year-round, August to November might be the peak time for seeing whale sharks at the South Ari Atoll. 

Just remember, we are talking about mother nature here. Patterns can change and fluctuate from year to year so in some cases the peak season can change a little bit. That is why I would always make sure to contact the resort to try to get the most updated information (in fact, I would contact multiple resorts in the same area just to see if I can get corroboration on the data).

Manta ray

Final word

The Maldives is one of those destinations that really doesn’t have a bad time to visit. Even if you visit during the rainy season, it’s not that bad. The storms may not last that long and in some cases can be a beautiful sight to watch form out over the ocean. Plus, you can take advantage of the discounted hotel stays. 

If you visit during peak time, you will have to deal with peak prices but you also will get the best weather and fantastic diving and snorkeling conditions.