The Maldives offers the ultimate beach holiday experience, a perfect addition to a holiday in Sri Lanka. This archipelago of more than 1,000 coral islands lies on the equator south west of Sri Lanka and boasts a range of exquisite resorts and some of the best diving spots in the world. Cast yourself away on a remote island and live a barefoot existence where nothing else concerns you other than a white sandy beach and endless turquoise seas, or indulge yourself with a range of water-sports in blissful surroundings.
Explore our range of Maldives resorts
The Maldives has a tropical climate, hot all year round and influenced by two monsoons. The southwest monsoon runs from May to September, more prominent in the northern islands. Wind may make the sea rough and discourage divers, although it is a popular time for surfers. The north-east monsoon, from October to early December, is much quieter and brings occasional showers and evening thunderstorms, especially in the southern atolls. Peak season from mid-December to April has the most reliable weather. Temperatures are stable: highs are around 32 °C and lows around 25°C for most of the year. Relative humidity is high at around 80%. and stable throughout the year.
The Maldives from the air is a spectacular sight. As your airplane descends over this tropical paradise, thousands of little islands appear, each with its own ring of white coral reef enclosing its own blue lagoon. Male International Airport sits on its own island and is a short distance from Male, home to about half the country’s population of 300,000. Once you land a speed boat or sea plane transfers you to your resort.
Places to See
- Try exhilarating water-sports, from sailing and jet-skiing to snorkelling and scuba diving
- Go whale and dolphin watching, or head out to sea in a traditional dhoni
- Go island hopping and have lunch on a remote coral island
- Explore the market places and historic mosques of Male
- Dine on traditional Maldivian cuisine, a blend of Arabic, Sri Lankan and Asian flavours
- Spend lazy days relaxing by the pool or on the beach
- Destress with spa treatments, Aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massages
The Maldives is the world’s ultimate beach destination, so it comes as no surprise that the best activities here are centred around the sea. Go sailing in a traditional dhoni boat, or head out in search of whales and dolphins; try snorkelling through shallow coral reefs, or head further afield to some of the best diving spots in the world; children will delight in jet-skiing and other more exhilarating seabased activities, whilst older travellers may wish to simple sit and soak up the views – the sunsets here are particularly beautiful.
History suggests that the Maldives has been inhabited for more than 3,000 years, perhaps first settled by travellers on the ancient Silk Route from the Indus Valley civilization. Archaeological evidence suggests the existence of Hinduism and Buddhism before the country embraced Islam in 1153 A.D. The physical features of today’s Maldivians, their traditional rituals, music and dance forms as well as their cuisine is a result of a melting pot of cultures. Dhivehi, with its origins linked to the Indo-Aryan group of languages, is the country’s official language. English is also widely spoken by Maldivians in Male with French, Italian, German and Japanese also spoken by staff in the resorts. Islands of the Maldives do not exceed more than six feet above sea level, inviting fears that this paradise is under gradual threat from global warming and rising sea levels.
Food in The Maldives
Maldivian cuisine is a spicy blend of Arabic, Indian, Sri Lanka and Oriental flavours, with fish, mainly tuna, being a favourite ingredient. Resorts on the Maldives usually have international cuisine and interpretations of local dishes as a part of their buffets. For those wishing to try authentic Maldivian cuisine, we recommend eating at a café in the capital, Malé. Here varieties of snacks or `short-eats’ – pastries such as samosas – are served. Lunch includes fish and curries served with roti (pancakestyle breads).