Travellers with Disabilities

At Male's Velana International Airport, passengers must use steps to get on and off planes, but it should be no problem to get assistance for mobility-challenged passengers.

Transfers to nearby resorts are by dhoni, speedboat or seaplane and a person in a wheelchair or with limited mobility will need assistance, which the crews will always be happy to provide.

All resorts have ground-level rooms, few steps, and reasonably smooth paths to beaches, boat jetties and all public areas, but some of the more rustic and ‘ecofriendly’ resorts have a lot of sand floors. Staff – something there’s never a shortage of in Maldives – will be on hand to assist disabled guests. When you decide on a resort, call them directly and ask about the layout.

Many resort activities are potentially suitable for disabled guests. Fishing trips and excursions to inhabited islands should be easy, but uninhabited islands may be more difficult to disembark on. Catamaran sailing and canoeing are possibilities, especially if you’ve had experience in these activities. Anyone who can swim will be able to enjoy snorkelling. The International Association for Handicapped Divers provides advice and assistance for anyone with a physical disability who wishes to scuba dive.

As no dogs are permitted in Maldives, it’s not a destination for anyone dependent on a guide dog.

Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.