The Maldives, a group of about 1,200 islands, separated into a series of coral atolls, is just north of the Equator in the Indian Ocean. Only 200 of the islands are inhabited.
Many of these tropical atolls and islands are simply gorgeous, with swaying palms, white sandy beaches and deep-blue lagoons; none of the islands rise higher than 7.8 ft. above sea level.
Maldives Island was long a sultanate (a territory ruled by a sultan), first under Dutch control, and then under British protection. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1965, and three years later, declared itself an independent republic.
Riots in the capital city of Malé in August 2004 garnered worldwide attention, and subsequently, the president and his government have pledged much needed democratic reforms, including a more representative political system and expanded political freedoms.
Over the last few decades the Maldives has transformed itself into a popular fishing, scuba diving, surfing and exotic resort and spa destination.
It continues its effort to reclaim (solid ground) from the shallow waters of the surrounding reefs, but its precarious elevation above sea level is an on-going concern for all who call this beautiful place, home
The Republic of Maldives is a group of coral islands in the Indian Ocean to the west of India and Sri Lanka on the equator. The group of low lying islands consists of about 1200 islands, some smaller than a football field and some of the largest 1- 2 miles long. Only about 200 of these islands are inhabited by a population of about 250,000.
The Republic of Maldives is a group of atolls in the Indian Ocean about 417 mi (671 km) southwest of Sri Lanka. Its 1,190 coral islets stretch over an area of 35,200 sq mi (90,000 sq km). With global warming and the shrinking of the polar ice caps, the Maldives is directly threatened, as none of its islands rises more than six feet above sea level
The Maldives enjoy warm tropical temperatures year round, and a great deal of sunshine. Local weather is affected by monsoons, with May to September being the wet season; seas can be rough and winds brisk. Severe weather conditions are rare; however, Indian Ocean cyclones do reach the islands on occasion.
Diverse and colorful, the culture of Maldives enwraps you in a pleasant mist of traditional color and sea charm. The genesis of Maldivian culture is cloaked in mystery and the vibrant culture of Maldives traces its roots to the colorful traditions of the diverse communities that have made this stunning paradise their home. Dhivehi is the most commonly spoken language in Maldives and is an integral part of the culture of Maldives, though there are several dialects that are spoken in different atolls all over Maldives. A land of festivities, Maldives celebrates all the festivals that feature on the traditional Muslim calendar. Islam is an inseparable part of the culture of Maldives.
Tour the local cemeteries and feast your eyes on profusely carved tombstones that adorn the graves, shop for souvenirs carved and shaped with skill. Buy tortoise shell ornaments, red mats, lacquer ware, pillboxes and flower vases as you tour the bustling local bazaars. Boat building is of course an important part of local culture of Maldives. See craftsmen at work as they create sturdy dhonis or fishing boats on your tours to tropical Maldives with Tourism in Maldives.
Enjoy local music and folk performances as you experience the vibrant culture of glorious Maldives. Tour the local mosques and be charmed at the calligraphy on their walls and be a part of the close-knit community where every family knows each other on the island.
Ramadan and Kuda Eid are among the most important festivals that are celebrated with pomp in Maldives. Tourism in Maldives takes you on a joy trip to this glorious tropical land located on the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean.
Local Time : GMT + 5 hours
Business Hours : Bank Hours Sunday to Thursday 7.30am – 2.30pm
Office Hours : Sunday to Thursday 7.30am – 2.30pm (public), 9am – 5pm (private)
Shop Hours As a general guideline : 9am – 12 noon; 2pm – 6.30pm; 8pm – 10pm (2pm to 6.30pm on Fridays). Weekend falls on Friday and Saturday.
Visa & Customs
No prior visas are required, a tourist visa of 30 days will be granted to all visitors with valid travel documents provided the embarkation/disembarkation cards are filled properly
As Maldives is a Muslim country, dogs, pigs/pork products, and pornography are forbidden. Alcohol cannot be imported without an official license, if imported without a license it should be declared at the customs and will be returned to you on departure. Wide ranges of alcoholic drinks are available in the resorts. Narcotic Drugs are strictly prohibited; the penalty for importing drug for any purpose is life imprisonment
Weather & Climate
Maldives weather is generally warm and humid. Sun shines all year through. Average temperature around 25 – 32 degrees Celsius. You will get an excellent amount of sun light throughout the year
The Maldives have a hot tropical climate. There are two monsoons, the southwest from May to October and the northeast from November to April. Generally the southwest brings more wind and rain in June and July. The temperature rarely falls below 25°C (77°F). The best time to visit is November to April.
Lightweight cottons and linens throughout the year. Light waterproofs are advised during the rainy season
Excursions & visits to Malé
In an ‘island hopping’ excursion resorts or cruise boats may take you to another resort island or inhabited island or uninhabited island for a day or a half day tour. These trips will give you the taste of local island life. Sometimes you may get the opportunity to snorkel or enjoy a barbecue in one of these islands.
Some local islands offer special crafts and souvenirs for the tourist which you may be able to buy during these island hopping tours.
Excursions to the capital island Malé are organized by resorts or cruise boats on a regular basis. The resorts in Malé atoll have this as a fixture in their weekly activities. Other resorts in outer atolls may also offer opportunities to visit the capital. Malé is the commercial and political hub of the Maldives. There are places of interests in the capital worth having a visit to.
Water sports in the Maldives are a big attraction for adventurous tourists. While scuba diving remains a perennial favorite, with the Maldives rated among the best diving destinations in the world, the Maldives has a host of other options too.
While on holiday in the Maldives, you can indulge in a range of water sports and beach activities in Maldives. You can laze on the pristine white sand, you can build sandcastles on the beach; get a suntan or a massage from a beach masseur. You can swim in the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean; you can go snorkeling out along the coast, or try surfing along the rolling waves coming in from the sea, beyond the coral lagoons of the Maldives.
Windsurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, catamaran rides, speed boating and parasailing are other options for water sports in Maldives. If you love being near or in the sea, there’s no better place than the Maldives, where over a thousand uninhabited islands await your visit.
Today best season to surf in the Maldives is the southwest Monsoon from April to October. Surfers are most likely to enjoy the biggest swells from June to September. The surf generally ranges in size from 3 -8 feet.
The best known surf breaks are in the North and South Male’ Atoll and most surfers stay in resorts close to these breaks. However cruise operators offer specialized surfing cruises, that give you the opportunity to test some of the less known surf breaks in the atolls further away from Male’ Atoll
Maldives is home to some of the most diverse marine fauna and flora in the world. Tens of thousands of reefs, a thousand recorded species of fish, over two hundred species of coral and hundreds more species of other marine life, no wonder many see this as one of the greatest dive destination on earth