Discover the Maldives, where the sun always shines…
The Republic of Maldives is a South Asian island country in the Indian Ocean, made up of 1,192 coral islands that are grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls. This tropical archipelago, located 671 kilometres south-west of Sri Lanka enjoys great weather all year round. The Maldives is a famous honeymoon destination, and popular for diving and snorkelling with its sparkling blue seas and amazing coral reefs.
The capital of the Maldives is Malé, which is the financial and commercial centre of the archipelago as well as where all the branches of the government are based. The city is one the most densely populated in the world and has recently expanded to include the reclaimed island of Hulhumalé, to create some much needed space. The capital features several cultural attractions like the Islamic Centre and the Sultan Park and National Museum, as well as a vibrant fish market, restaurants and a variety of shops with local and imported goods.
The people of the Maldives share a common heritage, ancestry and history that can be traced back to Sri Lanka and India, but also to Arabs, Malays and North Africans. The original religion of the Maldives was Buddhism, but in 1153 Islam became the main religion of the island by decree. Many famous landmarks in the country are influenced by Islamic culture and the ruins of the era of Buddhism are still evident on many islands which attracts tourists, but many have not been investigated fully yet, and others have unfortunately been vandalised. Maldivian culture has been influenced by those that have passed through the islands and generally the islanders are considered a hospitable people and one of the safer destinations for tourists.
Many tourists visit the Maldives for the wide variety of watersports that are available here, from diving, snorkelling, fishing, and parasailing, to canoeing, surfing, catamaran sailing and much more. As well as the sand, sun and sea, there are the cultural attractions of the capital and the historic remains of Buddhist temples on a number of islands that are among the interesting sites that this fascinating archipelago has to offer. The accommodation options for visitors have expanded in recent years beyond the typical luxury resort and hotels. Budget conscious travellers can stay in smaller hotels or one of the many guest houses that have opened on inhabited islands that allow visitors to experience a little of island life, while enjoying the glorious ocean. Liveaboard boats are an alternative option, providing accommodation aboard a yacht from where guests can enjoy diving and its other amenities.
The Maldives has a lot to offer, from its crystal clear waters and fascinating reefs to its friendly people and unique culture, enjoy the privilege of seeing it all for yourself!