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Few places look better in real life than they do in the brochures, but The Maldives were never atolls to conform. Each seascape and beachfront looks lifted from a movie screen, with the added thrall of the scents and textures of a real world paradise. 26 atolls make up The Maldives, and each island has its own personality, ranging from sequestered boutique escapes to luxury all-inclusive hideaways. Leave your worries behind with a foray into the Indian Ocean.
- Flight time: Approx 12 hours
- Passport & Visa: Visa required for British passport holders
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiya
- Time Zone: GMT+5
- Language: Maldivian Dhivehi
Although the Maldives cover an area of around 90,000 km², the total land are only covers around 300km² and on average only reaches around 1.5m above sea level. Although there are around 1200 coral islands within the Maldives, many of them only reach a few meters in length and remain unpopulated. If secret island getaways are your thing, take a boat trip out to one of the 800 islands and sandbanks that remain deserted and picnic in paradise surrounded by nothing but ocean views.
Dive in to the warmth of the crystal-clear waters surrounding the Maldives and get up close and personal with wildlife varying from mammoth sized Whale Sharks to friendly turtles and over 2000 species of fish to discover. Explore endless coral reefs and one-of-a-kind sights as you venture through the deeps of the surrounding waters. With many resorts offering direct sea access from your room, The Maldives is also the perfect place for beginner snorkelling enthusiasts to paddle through clear waters and discover the delights of water exploration for themselves.
Charter a dhoni for a truly authentic Maldivian experience with many dhoni captains and crews still not using a compass or GPS to find their ways through the coral labyrinths, instead using the bow of their dhonis and the stars to guide their way. Shadow a local fisherman for the freshest meal you have ever tasted, grilled up on the beachfront as you watch the sun set. Visit a Maldivian village to peer in to one of the rare traditional houses made from coral. Or, simply lie back and relax in the secluded haven that is your resort and pamper yourself with endless spa treatments and refreshing drinks as you swing above the tranquil waters on a hammock.
Positioned close to the Equator, The Maldives benefit from a location offering stable temperatures throughout the year and protection from cyclones. April works out on average to be the hottest month of the year with December being the coolest, but with year-round sunshine, a sun-drenched beach holiday is guaranteed whenever you plan to visit and remains the perfect destination for some much-needed winter sun.