Unrivalled luxury, stunning white-sand beaches and an amazing underwater world make Maldives an obvious choice for a true holiday of a lifetime.
The pint-sized Maldivian capital is the throbbing, mercantile heart of the nation, a densely crowded and fascinating place, notable mainly for its stark contrast to the laid-back pace of island life elsewhere in the country.
Outside this reef the depth drops rapidly to over 200m and the water is exceptionally clear. Swimming with dolphins usually starts before dawn, descending by around 6am to have the best chance of sightings.
For many, world-class luxury resorts are still the major drawcard, but there are two sides to every coin, or cowrie shell. Combining resort indulgence with a cultural encounter on one of the Maldives’ dozens of inhabited islands can make a trip here all the more enriching.
The Maldives, known to the locals in their native language as Dhivehi Raajje, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 natural coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and west of Sri Lanka. None of the coral islands measures more than 1.8 metres above sea level.
Only 192 islands are inhabited by its 300,000 inhabitants. The rest of the islands remain virgin islands except for more than 100 islands that have been developed for the top end of the tourist market.
With its abundant sea life and sandy beaches, The Maldives is portrayed by travel companies as a tropical paradise. Maldives was for the most part unknown to tourists until the early 1970s.
The economy revolves around tourism, and fisheries. Tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP. Over 90% of the state government income comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes.
Is a protected area famous for its fantastic diving opportunities and wealth of marine life that resides here.
Intensively built-up — so densely stacked that you might expect it to sink under its own weight into its turquoise lagoon.
An island in the Baa Atoll in the Maldives. It is the location of the Dusit Thani Maldives, a Dusit Thani Group resort hotel.