This small collection of paradise atolls is one of the most unspoilt destinations you'll find on Earth. Clear blue sea laps against pristine white sandy beaches, tropical palm trees sway in the gentle breeze, transport is by private boat or seaplane, and the majority of these tiny Indian Ocean islands host just one resorteach. The people are open and friendly and the food is fresh and delicious - a tasty fish curry is the national dish. Unspoilt coral reefs and abundant marine life including manta rays, sharks and turtles make the Maldives a diver's dream destination.
Best Time To Visit:
The Maldives is warm all year-round. Rainfall can vary with November to April being the driest months and the most popular time. Time Difference:
GMT +5 hours Male (some islands are on +6 hours). Visas:
Visas are required for British passport holders but are free and can be obtained upon arrival for maximum stays of 30 days. Language:
Dhivehi (English is widely spoken). Currency:
Maldive Rufiyaa although on some of the islands the US Dollar is the main currency. Flight Information:
Sri Lankan Airlines offer the only direct scheduled service from the UK to the Maldives. Other carriers to the Maldives include Emirates (with great UK regional connections via Dubai) and Qatar Airlines via Doha. Flying Time:
Approx 14 hours.
1. Ultimate Experience
Take a cruise for some of the best dolphin and whale watching in the world with a huge variety of species. You may also be lucky enough to see the spinner dolphins that sometimes come into the atolls in the early morning, and leave again for the open ocean in the late afternoon.
2. Getting Around
Getting to your resort is a fantastic journey itself. Transfer by either speedboat or seaplane and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding atolls.
3. Where To Go For Adventure
Take a trip on a yacht to explore the beauty of the islands, snorkel the superb reefs or if you're dreaming of the perfect wave, why not learn how to surf?
4. Water Paradise
Schuba diving is the most popular sport in Maldives as well as snorkelling House reefs are located off most of the islands and just a few strokes away from the beach.
Eat like the locals and sample the freshest, most delicious food. From lobster, scallops, octopus, squid and tuna, to the exotic fruits handpicked in your resort.
6. Dates For Diary
Fishing is an integral part of life in the Maldives. To celebrate its importance Fisherman's Day takes place every December. In February each year the streets come alive as the Maldives marks National Day.
7. Best For Kids
Coconut boat regattas, hermit crab racing or just building sandcastles on the white sandy beaches, the Maldives is a great place for children.
8. Best For Couples
Secluded, intimate resorts host the perfect retreat for a romantic getaway. A couples spa treatment is readily available at most resorts and will be a highlight of your holiday.
9. Splash Out
Book an overwater bungalow or private pool villa for an experience of a lifetime.
10. Live Like a Local
Visit the fish market in Male, the capital city. Fishing 'dhonis' from all corners of the country unload fresh and dried fish, fresh fruits and vegetables from the atolls.