Nestled halfway between Indonesia and Africa
– The Maldives is a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean composed of 26 ring-shaped atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 coral islands. It’s known for its beaches, blue lagoons and extensive reefs.
The capital, Malé, has a busy fish market, restaurants and shops on the main road, Majeedhee Magu, and 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy (also known as Friday Mosque) made of carved white coral. The Maldives are nestled halfway between Indonesia and Africa, and attract travelers seriously committed to communing with the sparkling turquoise tides. An impressive number of marine species have made their homes in the surrounding reefs and, as a result, the Maldives are particularly popular among scuba divers.
The Maldives are where people come to experience island life at its most relaxed — and most beautiful. Whether you’re criss-crossing coral reefs in a glass-bottomed boat, or dozing off in your private overwater bungalow, the chances of returning home disappointed are slim to none. As noted author Adrian Neville writes, “It’s hard to have a bad holiday in the Maldives.When: The Maldives are hot and sunny all year round, with average temperatures of 23ºC-31ºC. The best weather – and the best time to visit the Maldives – is between November and April. The high season falls between December and March. The monsoon runs from May to October, peaking around.
Where and which resorts?
Apart from having the country’s highest point, the north has smaller islands and an enormous number of underwater ring reefs, while the south has deeper lagoons and fewer and therefore stronger channels into and out of the atolls. You could say that the north has more snorkelling options while the south has the better diving.
For some people, a large, limpid lagoon is perfection. For others it’s a short swim from the beach to the reef drop-off. Some resorts can actually offer both, as one side of the island is close to the reef edge while the other looks out to a huge lagoon. But usually you have to go for one or the other, though it won’t really matter as most resorts run daily snorkelling trips to the nearest reef.
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