One of the most popular holiday destinations, the Maldives are truly spectacular sights. Read on to find out more about the country and what it has to offer to the seekers of sun, sand and sea!
The Maldives are a set of islands dotted around the Indian Ocean; once known as Maldive Islands, they were first settled in the 5th century B.C. by seafarers from India and Sri Lanka. The religion of Islam was adopted by the island in 1153. Originally under security from what is now Sri Lanka, the Maldives came under British protection in 1887. The Maldives signed an independence agreement with Britain on July 26, 1965, and became a republic.
Over 200 of the islands are inhabited and if you want to stay on them, you can. You just can’t be picky about your hotels, because on these islands, there is usually just the one.
Travelling by plan into the airport of Male, it can take between 10 – 12 hours. Once you land, you will be transferred to your ‘Robinson Crusoe’ island by speedboat or seaplane, where you will be met and escorted to your hotel. Interestingly, they suggest you only take a handbag or rucksack with you on the island hops, as your heavier luggage will be transferred later, due to weight restrictions on sea planes.
Don’t forget to alter your watches and technology as the time is five hours faster over there! Also, do not take any food or drink with you, as these will be confiscated, due to threats to their eco-systems and hospitality. And if this happens, you can nearly miss your transport.
Temperatures barely drop below 30°C, yet if you plan to visit between May and October, you might need an umbrella, as the islands see the most rainfall during that period.
The islands are a place for holidaymakers to relax, but there are still activities to write home about. Snorkelling, diving and trips out on glass bottomed boats are incredibly popular to see the marine life. Evening cruises offer views of sunsets that you can’t get in England, as well as the chance to go dolphin watching.
The Dhoni cruises are also incredibly popular. Originally used as fishing boats, the dhonis became popular transport for the locals and many are not adverse to taking trippers out to see the marine life. Some are even kitted out to spend a few nights aboard them!
If you’re buying souvenirs, then the currency is the Rufiya. The best place to shop is on the capital of Male, which has high-rise tower blocks and neon signs. Nothing like those picturesque islands. Highlights of the city include the National Museum, the Grand Friday Mosque and the Tomb of Mohammed Thakurufaanu, the Maldives’ national hero.
You should see these sights while you can. Due to global warming and the shrinking of the polar ice caps, the Maldives are directly threatened, as none of its islands rises more than six feet above sea level. Many of the coastlines are eroding into nothingness even as you read this article.