MALDIVES OVERVIEW

Imagine a string of white sand island hideaways gently rising out of crystal waters. A republic of 1,190 coral islands spread across 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is a first choice for those whose idea of paradise is a perfect, peaceful, permanently sunny island with swaying palm trees, pure white beaches, and brilliant turquoise lagoons.

The ethnic origins of the Maldivian people remain a mystery, though it’s known that the island has been a melting pot for African, Arabic and southeast Asian mariners. During recent decades the Maldivian way of life has been changing in all aspects to keep pace with the expanding tourist industry, but the lifeline remains the sea and the year still follows the Muslim calendar.

Diving is a major attraction, as is surfing – the South eastern part of North Malé Atoll has the top surf breaks. So, too, are spas – more and more of which are being created in soothing over-water locations. Most resort accommodation is in the form of individual cottages and villas – some even situated over the clear lagoons.

ABOUT MALDIVES

GMT: +5 hours
FLIGHT TIME: Approximately 12 hours
CURRENCY: Maldivian Rufiya
CLIMATE: Year round warmth and a great deal of sunshine. The weather is determined largely by the southwest monsoon from May to November where rainfall is higher and the northeast monsoon from December to April. The hottest month on average is April; the coolest December but average temperatures rarely drop below 30°C.

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