Map of the Maldives
The Maldives is a gorgeous tropical holiday destination set in the dazzling Indian Ocean. It spans a mere 90 000km2 and lies to the southwest of its closest neighbours; India and Sri Lanka. If one were to look at a map of the Maldives, they would notice that this fascinating Asian archipelago, with over 1000 islands that are naturally grouped into 26 atolls, resembles a broken necklace of jewel-like islands scattered across the ocean. Due to the relatively small size of the Maldives, it’s often not represented properly on world maps. If, however, you were to come across a credible map of the Maldives itself, it’s sure to list the local inhabited islands, uninhabited islands, the different resorts, resort islands and the various airports.
The Maldives, or more accurately, the Republic of the Maldives, is an independent country with a population of less than half a million people. It’s part of many international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the Commonwealth and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The main pillars of the economy are construction, fishing and tourism, the latter being the greatest generator of capital. Much of what is on the islands (such as household goods) has been imported from elsewhere. The local currency is the Maldivian rufiyaa, but the US dollar is accepted across the country.
The main international airport in the Maldives is located on Hulhulé Island in the North Malé Atoll, next to the capital city island of Malé. This airport has gone by different names and when you book your flights, you might see Malé International Airport, Ibrahim Nasir International Airport or the Velana International Airport but these all refer to the same place. The seaplane terminal, for guests travelling to their resort island via seaplane, is also located at the Malé International Airport. As you will see on any map of the Maldives, Malé is very close to Hulhulé Island, and there are ferries that go between the airport and the capital city island every ten minutes between 5 am and midnight.
It will take guests about an hour to get to the Maldives from Sri Lanka and just over an hour from some parts of India. It takes around 5 hours to fly from Thailand and Singapore to the Maldives, 8 hours from parts of China and almost 10 hours flight time from Paris to the Maldives on a direct flight.
The most popular tourist areas in the Maldives tend to be in the atolls nearest to the airport, because of the ease of access from the airport to these islands, namely, Kaafu Atoll, South Ari Atoll, North Ari Atoll and Baa Atoll. Regardless of which atoll you choose, however, you are sure to have a stunning holiday in this magical paradise. In fact, some of the atolls further out on the map of the Maldives offer unique perks, such as sensational (and untouched) house reefs (that make for amazing snorkelling and diving but also help to protect the beach) that circle the islands and, in some cases, the entire atoll.
When you look at a map of the Maldives you will see that each island is totally separate from the next, but trying to locate individual islands is not easy to do unless you know the particular atoll it is grouped under. Once you have decided where you would like to stay, you can check the map of the Maldives to see if there are islands nearby that you can arrange to visit on a day trip.
While the 1192 coral islands in the Maldives are technically grouped into 26 natural atolls, as one can clearly see on any map of the Maldives, the government of the Maldives chose to divide it into 20 atolls for administrative purposes. 1192 is the official count of islands here but some sandbanks have since been reclaimed and others have been developed for tourism which means the actual figure could be over 1200.
When you look where the Maldives is located on the world map, you will see that it sits the equator. In fact, the equator clearly crosses between the Fuvahmulah and Gaafu Dhaalu Atolls, which are in the south of the country. Due to the incredible location of the Maldives on the world map, the destination enjoys sensational tropical weather practically year round and allows for a plethora of incredible activities for guests to enjoy.
The Maldives is said to have formed on top of inactive supervolcanoes, the remnants of which are said to be the different atolls with the islands formed along the rim. This could account for the shapes and groupings of the islands, as seen on a map of the Maldives. The different islands are much the same in terms of the culture and offerings, but the dialect may vary from one island to the next, as might some of the animals or plants (there are some islands in the Maldives that are home to their very own endemic flora and fauna).
There’s no real need to purchase a map of the Maldives for your travels unless you really want to move around or understand other points of interest nearby, but those available online should suffice. Once you are in the Maldives, the real idea would be for you to arrive at a sensational, dream resort, sit back on the beach—signature cocktail in hand—and embrace the carefree life of luxury island living.