Maldives has deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, white sandy beaches and palm trees. It is also a place full of character, where its people have long spent their days languishing in the very essence of idyll living. While it is the perfect place to sit on a beach and watch a sunset with a cocktail balanced on your hand, it is also a geographical marvel, knowing that there are thousands of fish swimming around the vivid corals just a few feet away from where you sit.
|Major industries:||Tourism and Fishing|
|Currency:||Rufiyaa (USD 1 = MRF 15.42)|
|Government Working hours:||8:00 am to 3:00 pm Sunday to Thursday|
|Bank hours:||9:00am to 03:00 pm Sunday to Thursdays|
Location and Geography
The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atolls structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the ocean, making way for their secluded uniqueness.
Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef ring. A string of islands take their places among this atoll ring; each island has its own reef encircling the island lagoon. The reefs of the islands, alive with countless types of underwater creatures and vibrant corals, protect the islands from wind and wave action of the surrounding vast oceans. This unique structure of reefs and channels makes navigation almost impossible for the passer-by without sufficient information about these waters.
Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is made up of sea. The people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls, with about 200 inhabited islands. About 90 islands are developed as tourist resort and the rest are uninhabited or used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.
The Maldives, a tropical paradise of pristine beaches, are an archipelago of 1,192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls (200 inhabited islands, plus 80 islands with tourist resorts) in the Indian Ocean. They lie south-southwest of India and are considered part of Southern Asia. (Source: Wikitravel)
Tourism in Maldives
Tourism is the largest economic industry in the Maldives. A tourist resort in the Maldives consists of an exclusive hotel on its own island, with its population entirely based on tourists and work force, with no local people or houses. These islands developed for tourism are approximately 800 by 200 metres in size and are composed of sand and coral to a maximum height of about 2 metres above the sea. In addition to its beach encircling the island, each island has its own “house reef” which serves as a coral garden and natural aquarium for scuba divers and snorkelers. The shallow water enclosed by the house reef also serves as a large natural swimming pool and protects swimmers from the ocean waves and strong tidal currents outside the house reef. (Source: Wikipedia)
What to do in Maldives
The Maldives is renowned for its incredible diving opportunities. The crystal clear water and shallow lagoons are perfect for snorkelling, while the reef walls offer a kaleidoscope of sea life for more experienced divers. The Maldives have an amazing diversity of sea life, with corals and over 2000 species of fish, ranging from reef fish and reef sharks to moray eels, rays and whale sharks. The island’s many sheltered lagoons also provide the perfect destination to enjoy an adventure-filled family holiday or romantic getaway for two.
Attractions in Maldives
Diving Bluetribe Moofushi, Sun Island beach, Alimatha Island, Manta Point, Banana Reef, Grand Friday Mosque, Hukuru Miskiiy (Old Friday Mosque), HP Reef, National Museum, Veligandu Island beach, Bodu Mora, Hulhumale, Mulee Aage, Utheemu Ganduvaru, Biyadoo Island, Tiny Island Marine Conservation Centre, Kuda Bandos, Muraka Diving
The Maldives archipelago consists of 1190 tiny islands scattered across the Indian Ocean. Only 185 of these islands are inhabited, while the others are used largely for tourism and agriculture. The atolls are composed of live coral reefs and sand bars perched atop a 960km submarine ridge, while the land features lush tropical vegetation with abundant local coconut palms. With an average ground level of 1.5m above sea level, the Maldives is by far the lowest country on earth and as such has a very fragile ecosystem. The capital and largest city of the Maldives is Male.
Weather and Climate
The weather in the Maldives is usually picture perfect: sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, and iridescent sunsets. The temperature hardly ever changes – which makes packing for your holiday an easy task (see what to pack). With the average temperature at about 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year, the sun is a constant on most days, shining through treetops, creating lacy patterns on your feet, healing cold-bones with its warmth. Throughout the day, the sun will make itself known, ensuring that it will be remembered and missed, like an old friend, as you pack up your suitcases to leave.
Maldives has two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) and wet season (southwest monsoon), with the former extending from January to March and the latter from mid-May to November.
The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun. Cloudy skies and slate grey seas, and crashing thunder makes up for lovely reading weather. The warm temperatures will allow you to go for a walk in the rain, a verdant, wet, thoroughly enjoyable experience. For extra exhilaration, take a swim in the rain – the sea will be extra warm.
For more information about weather in the Maldives: www.meteorogoly.gov.mv
Temperature: 30°C all year round | Sea temperature: 22°C to 28°C
The locals speak Dhivehi, with English widely spoken in areas frequented by tourists.
The local culture features a lively mix of South Indian, Sinhalese and Arab influences that is reflected in the traditional music, cuisine and art of the island.
The monetary unit is the Maldivian Ruffiyaa (MVR), while international credit cards are widely accepted by resorts.
Most tourists will land in the capital, Male, and will be transferred to their hotel either by seaplane or boat. These two means of transport are widely used for most trips between islands.
There are frequent direct flights to Male from most international destinations including India, Sri Lanka, Dubai and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as an increasing number of charters from Europe.