Info on the Maldives
The magical island paradise of the Maldives is deemed by many to be a type of heaven on earth. The string of islands scattered in the Indian Ocean has fast become a highly coveted luxury destination amongst even the most discerning travellers due to its fabled tropical crystal-clear waters, sensational islands surrounded by golden beaches and stellar accommodation options. While many people are familiar with the breathtaking images of this almost mythical destination, few have any real info on the Maldives or follow the news of the Maldives extensively.
If you have always wished to visit this sublime holiday destination, it’s a wonderful idea to have as much insight into it as possible to both to better understand and enjoy it. Here is some of the most fascinating info about the Maldives:
The Maldives is made up of a collection of over 1 000 islands
Like a broken string of jewels, the Maldives, which is called Dhivehi Raajje in the local language and officially named the Republic of the Maldives, is an archipelago of 1 192 coral islands and sandbanks scattered in the Indian Ocean. These islands are grouped into 26 natural atolls and located on a vast underwater mountain range. The coral islands typically measure 1.8 m above sea level and are surrounded by gorgeous, crystal-clear turquoise lagoons. While there are many islands in the Maldives, only some 200 are inhabited (and are home to the population of under half a million people) and more than 80 of the islands are owned by exclusive island resorts. The rest of the islands remain ‘deserted’.
Tourism is pivotal to the Maldives
Some interesting info about this coveted holiday destination is that tourism is crucial to it. In fact, the economy centres on tourism and fishing as their primary sources of income, with 28% of the GDP being attributed to tourism and 90% of the government income coming predominantly from tourist taxes and import duties. Furthermore, what many people might not realise is that this destination hasn’t always been on the must-visit destination lists—it only popped up on people’s radars in the 1970s when the first hotel opened its doors. Since then, it has gone from secret hideaway for savvy travellers to a world-renowned holiday hot spot.
The nearest countries to the Maldives are Sri Lanka and India
One of the first bits of information about the Maldives that people look for before they travel is where in the Indian Ocean this extraordinary paradise actually lies. This South Asian destination spans over 90 000 km2 and sits to the southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the north-central Indian Ocean. While the islands are scattered across a large area, the Maldives is considered to be the smallest country in Asia.
The country has its own currency
One of the most important pieces on info about the Maldives is the currency they use. This small sovereign island nation has their very own, unique currency—the Maldivian Rufiyaa. While money drawn from an ATM or given as change will be in rufiyaa, dollars are widely used and accepted, specifically at the resort islands.
The capital city—Malé—spans an entire island
The fascinating capital city of the Maldives, Malé, encompasses an entire island and is fabled for its bustling markets, beautiful mosques, historical sites and colourful buildings. With an area of 5.8 km2, this island capital, located in the North Malé Atoll, is considered the smallest capital in the world. Unlike the pristine, preserved resort islands and humble local islands, Malé is known for being more of a concrete jungle with its infrastructure (such as paved, albeit narrow, roads) and high buildings covering most of the island.
There is a huge array of exceptional activities
One of the most important bits of information about the Maldives for many travellers is that more to do here than just soak up the stunning surrounds and sunshine; there’s actually a veritable plethora of phenomenal activities in the Maldives to enjoy. From sunset cruises in search of dolphins to an array of water sports to choose from, novel diving experiences and days spent sightseeing in Malé, the list of things to do in the Maldives is extensive.
The country has a fascinating history
The Maldives is said to have been discovered and inhabited from 1 500 BC, but not much exists from this time. Some evidence, however, shows that the islands were probably inhabited by people of antiquity in these early days. Around 500 BC, it would seem that immigrants from the Indian landmass settled here and many of the traditions, beliefs and practices that exist today in the Maldivian culture, are said to have been derived from these early Maldivians. It is also believed that the first Maldivians were Buddhists or Hindus, but today Islam is the only religion practised in the country.
The Maldives has a very special culture
This incredible country, while small, has a wonderful spirit and culture. The people are known for their friendly and welcoming dispositions. The Maldivian language (Dhivehi) is similar in some ways to Sanskrit, Sinhalese and Arabic and has a unique script called Thaana.
The Maldivian food is fresh and delicious and dishes often centre on curries and aromatic spices and typically include fresh fish, such as Tuna, with coconut juice being a popular drink. The clothing worn here is mainly made from cotton due to the tropical temperatures and the style is both practical as well as conservative, the latter being in line with the Islamic faith.
The Maldives boasts unparalleled weather and climatic conditions
This magnificent island paradise, with its flawless beaches and luxury resorts, also has the added benefit of exceptional year-round weather. With a tropical climate, the Maldives enjoys both a wet and dry season with typically warm temperatures throughout the year. The “best time of year to travel to the Maldives” depends largely on your needs, flexibility and budget.
It has some of the best beaches, underwater experiences and resorts in the world
For those looking for info on the Maldives, there’s one thing you probably already know; that the Maldives is home to some of the best beaches, diving, snorkelling and underwater experiences as well as resorts, not only in the Indian Ocean but the world. The unique reef structure around the islands protects the beaches and serves as an underwater paradise with a huge array of fish and corals of all sizes and species. The powder-white beaches and cyan-blue waters are world famous and the high-end luxury resorts, complete with exclusive water villas, are by far some of the best on the planet. It’s a truly amazing holiday destination unlike any other.
Instead of looking for news of the Maldives or any information on it, the best way to explore this breathtaking destination is to see it for yourself. Stay at Kanhuhura for a barefoot luxury holiday that will stay with you for the rest of time.