The Maldives are the quintessential tropical paradise with sandy beaches and coral reefs. Sun combines with sea and sand, breathtaking blue lagoons and underwater coral gardens in a configuration of over 1,000 coral islands. These form an archipelago of 26 major atolls.
The islands have been inhabited for thousands of years. Early settlers thought to be traders enjoyed access to the ancient silk routes. The Maldives became a Sultanate, with periods of Portuguese, Dutch and British influence, before achieving republic status in 1968.
The Maldives are a melting pot and have taken influences from South Asian, African and European cultures but also retain a distinct identity of their own.
With clear visibility of over 50 metres all year round and ideal warm temperatures, Maldives offers world famous diving opportunities. Professional dive and snorkel schools offer tuition - advanced to beginners.
The Maldives are a perfect location for underwater photography with special cameras available for hire if required.
Visit the markets in Male on the waterfront including the lively fish market.
Visit the National Museum in Male and learn about the splendour of the ancient people of the Maldives.
View the islands from the sea at sunset. You might even see some dolphins and other marine life.
This major landmark of Male features a spectacular golden dome.
Night fishing trips are available. Fish are plentiful and exotic.
The high season is the dry season between December and April.
May to November is still warm but the humidity is higher so there is greater probability of rain during the low season.
Visa required, granted on arrival.
Dress casual with T-shirts etc. The resort islands are relaxed and you can let your hair down but in the capital you should be respectful of the Muslim culture and cover up - especially in mosques.