The Maldives' Top Ranked hotels
Few places look better in real life than they do in the brochures, but The Maldives were never atolls to conform. Each seascape and beachfront looks lifted from a movie screen, with the added thrall of the scents and textures of a real world paradise. 26 atolls make up The Maldives, and each island has its own personality, ranging from sequestered boutique escapes to luxury all-inclusive hideaways. Leave your worries behind with a foray into the Indian Ocean.
- Flight time: Approx 12 hours
- Passport & Visa: Visa required for British passport holders
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiya
- Time Zone: GMT+5
- Language: Maldivian Dhivehi
Settlers reached The Maldives from all over the world, starting in ancient seafaring times. Local music and dance resembles African influences, with handbeaten drums and songs in a language unknown to modern ears, but vividly representative of the nebulous, seemingly mysterious cultural atmosphere that surrounds the Maldives.
Fish, mainly tuna, is prominent in Maldivian food due to the vastness of the region's seascapes. Travellers have introduced new seasonings and new vegetables over the years, expanding the existing repertoire to incorporate influences from Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental cuisines, together creating a cooking philosophy all of its own.
A psychedelic profusion of colours line the underwater landscapes of the Maldives, populated with a vast variety of underwater life that has fascinated divers for decades. Viability is of the highest quality, sometimes exceeding 50 metres, and warm temperatures throughout the year make diving safe and accessible.
The tropical Maldivian climate wreathes the atolls with sunshine year-round. Climate variations are minor, with April the hottest month on average and December the coolest. Their privileged location on the equatorial belt makes severe storms and cyclones extremely rare.