Perhaps the ultimate in long haul luxury, the Maldives is currently enjoying incredible growth again having bounced back from a series of disasters in the past few years including the coral bleaching wrought by el Niño and the horror of the 2004 tsunami. Indeed, so superior are its beaches, so cobalt blue its waters and so warm its welcome that the country has become a byword for paradise whether it be for honeymooners, sun worshippers or divers.
A geological eccentricity nestled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a series of ancient coral reefs that grew up around the sides of towering prehistoric volcanoes. These immense structures have long since sunk into the ocean, leaving behind coral islands of incredible natural beauty, now themselves being colonised by travellers seeking unbridled pampering and romance, from the modernity of Male’ to the idyllic paradise of the Southern Atolls.
This is life stripped down to simplicity – bright blue skies, all-year sunshine and fantastic diving and snorkelling in lagoons the temperature of bath water. The country embraces travellers from around the world allowing them the freedoms holiday makers require without compromising the islands’ deep Muslim faith one bit.
This is an exciting time to visit a country in developmental frenzy. Every few months brings newly opened resorts from top end boutique brands to ecologically sound back-to-nature hotels. Not cheap even at the bottom end, this is a place for a holiday of a lifetime (and that phrase suddenly takes on a new meaning here). The Maldives demands the attention of anyone looking for a uniquely indulgent break, breathtaking nature and sheer beauty that stays with you long after your tan has faded.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
Best places to stay in the Maldives
Maldives travel guide
Home to beautiful beaches and set in the warm, vivid-blue waters of the Indian Ocean, the coral atolls of the Maldives offer amazing underwater experiences and unrivalled luxury in what may be the planet’s best place to unwind.
The best places to learn to dive
Dreaming of getting your dive ticket? Looking for a combination of idyllic conditions and reputable dive outfits, we’ve narrowed down the top spots to get certified. Because life’s too short to miss out. Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia Tallow Beach, Byron Bay. Image from Wikimedia Commons. The diving: just 2.
Top romantic resorts in the Maldives
Maldives - Plan your trip (Chapter)
Your journey to Maldives starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus in-depth info on diving, snorkelling and surfing in and around the spectacular coral atolls of the Maldives.
Top 10 dream business destinations
Your colleagues are coming in from Tokyo, you're currently in London, and your negotiating partners are stationed somewhere outside Baltimore. If location doesn't really matter, go somewhere for that hard bout of negotiation where location is everything...
Maldives - Nothern Atolls (Chapter)
The least developed region of the Maldives, the northern atolls remain almost unknown to foreigners, and that makes them a great place to sample untouched, traditional Maldivian life – not to mention the equally unexplored diving potential.
Pearls of the Indian Ocean
Discover Kerala, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives in one sweeping journey. From Cochin discover the rock fortress of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka and the translucent waters and white sand of the Maldives
Maldives Dhoni Cruise
Cruise the island paradise of the Maldives onboard a traditional boat
Tiny countries that pack a big punch
Size isn't everything. Here are ten of the smallest countries in the world. Some of them are rarely visited, except by travellers collecting visa stamps. Most are islands, often far flung.
Maldives - Southern Atolls (Chapter)
Boasting both pristine atolls and better transport infrastructure than the north of the country there’s a lot to be said for the rapidly-developing south.