If you ever wanted your own desert island dream to come true, the Maldives is the place to wake up in.
Basking in sheltered atolls in the Indian Ocean just above the Equator and lapped by warm and tranquil azure waters, this unusual country is made up of about 1,200 tiny coral islands. Each is surrounded by pristine white beaches, a reef and a shallow turquoise lagoon.
The climate is tropical throughout the year with mild rainfall between May and July. English is widely spoken and the majority of the population are Muslim by faith, with over a quarter living on Male, the capital island.
The most popular watersports are snorkelling and scuba diving, and as you dip below the surface you’ll discover why this is one of the top diving destinations on the planet. It is one of the best places for fish photography – nowhere else in the world is fish life richer or more colourful, and sights of 10,000 to 100,000 schooling fish with 30 to 50
eagle or manta rays are not uncommon. You will see butterfly and angel fish and many other varieties of colourful marine life like turtles, dolphin, sharks and sometimes whales.
In a country that is more sea than dry land, you will expect to find plenty of boats. Getting around in the Maldives is normally by the traditional hand-built craft called ‘dhoni’, powerboats, helicopters and more recently seaplanes. A seaplane ride in the Maldives is always a breathtaking experience with magnificent views of the islands.
Although bound to the sea by nature, you will see the occasional motor vehicle on Male. Motorcycles are quite common, and bicycles are everywhere on the capital island. However, the need for mechanised transport on the islands is not really necessary considering it takes no more than 30 minutes on foot to circle most resort islands.
Visa Information A passport or travel document, valid at least up to your return date, is required for entry. A 30-day tourist visa is given free of charge on arrival at the airport.