This Indian Ocean paradise of tropical island beach and rich coral reefs is attracting visitors from all over the world to the splendour of its natural resources. The Maldives is a premier destination for adventure travellers and resort goers alike.
Situated in the Indian Ocean off India’s southwest the Maldives is actually an archipelago of more than a thousand islands and coral atolls. This string of islands of The Republic of the Maldives covers an area of 300 Sq. kilometres of which 99% is sea and around 1% is island terra firma. The sea of the Maldives is home to one of the most diverse marine treasures in the world while the island coastal areas have held the scenic appeal that has attracted so many visitors to its lovely water playground.
The Maldives is a collection of 26 atolls, or atholhu in Dhivehi language. These are not single islands, but giant ring-like coral formations hundreds of kilometres wide that have fragmented into countless islands. The capital of the Maldives is Malé, occupying the entire area of its namesake island Malé located at the southern rim of North Male Atoll.
The main attraction of Maldives is surely the underwater world off its shorelines, some of which are even considered to be the best diving and snorkelling spots in the world. The richness and variety of marine life is astonishing; dazzling coral walls and magnificent caves where schools of brightly coloured tropical fish draw divers down to the reefs. This ‘sunken garden’ of nature is also inhabited by some of the magnificent sea travellers such as manta rays, turtles, sharks and gigantic whale sharks. For those who just want a lazy day by the shore, worry not. The Maldives is home to perhaps the best beaches in the world as well. Almost all the beaches of the country’s 1,200 coral islands feature whiter-than-white powder sand against the magnetic luminosity of a cyan-blue sea.
Tourism is the largest industry in Maldives, and the number of resorts established throughout the archipelago makes this obvious. Nearly 90% of the resorts in Maldives are built on their own private islands thus allowing for a large degree of peaceful seclusion for holidaymakers. In these past few years the Maldives opened the way for independent travellers to explore all aspects of this enchanting archipelago without being confined to particular resort programs.