The Maldives is a group of low-lying coral islands, forming an archipelago of 26 major atolls, situated south-west of Sri Lanka. A small percentage of the islands are inhabited and 87 are exclusive resorts, boasting tropical landscapes hugged by picture-perfect beaches festooned with palm trees. The myriad islands are surrounded by coral reefs enclosing shallow lagoons.
The Dhivehi people of the Maldives are descended from an ethnic mix of Aryan, Negroid, Sinhalese, Dravidian and Arab cultures. The history of the area was dominated by a succession of bids for control that began with Muslim rule in the 12th century. The Arabs were later supplanted by Portuguese then the British, until 1965 when the Maldives finally achieved full independence as a sultanate. The majority of Maldivians are Sunni Muslims and their lifestyle follows the traditions of Islam. Traces of ancient beliefs have endured in the form of superstitions centred on evil spirits.
The Maldives rely on tourism and fishing for their income, and with a large number of foreign visitors, eco-friendly tourism is gaining popularity in order to maintain the Maldives’ natural beauty for future generations. Very little tourism in the Maldives is independent, with most visitors opting for all-inclusive resorts and package tours.
Want a true Maldivian style? With soft sand walkways lined with Frangipani trees, a turquoise lagoon and spectacular marine life, Olhuveli is the epitome of the region. Family or romantic getaway; it matters not for the island is perfect for both. Magnificent beach villas or a variety of over-water accommodation will make you feel like royalty. The house reef is accessible from the end of the jetty and the resort plays host to the very first kitesurfing school in the Maldives. With a huge lagoon, there is plenty of snorkelling and all the water and land sports you could wish for and, although there is no kids club, there is a children’s play area. Evenings are taken care of with 4 restaurants and 3 bars with evening entertainment laid on.
Small but perfectly formed – 500 metres long by 100 metres wide – Komandoo is only a 35-minute seaplane transfer from the airport but you arrive in a different world. A lagoon of crystal clear water and surrounded by tropical vegetation, this is a truly romantic hideaway, especially as it is over-18’s only. But the best feature is the house reef, which is accessible by simply stepping off the beach, donning your snorkel and discovering an amazing underwater paradise; turtles, dolphins, mantas, sharks and rays have been spotted here frequently. In total there are over 40 dive sites within a 10 to a 45-minute radius. Over-water or land accommodation, a full range of land and water sports, the Duniye Spa and two restaurants complete this island hideaway.
Experience a holiday in the tropics beyond compare at Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi. Blessed with thriving vegetation & pristine waters, the Island of White Gold finds itself in peaceful seclusion in the North Male Atoll. Set in 83 acres of lush tropical beach property near Kani Beach on Lhohifushi Island the resort’s design enables it to blend into its surroundings being one of the best resort in the Maldives. Discover a paradise hidden away in plain sight where the sun rises painting the skies in rich orange hues and the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean caress the shore with grace.
Adaaran Club Rannalhi sits exclusively at the tip of the South Male Atoll – a unique location with access to pristine beaches and excellent diving. This resort is perfect for the budget-conscious traveller with its choice of standard rooms and water bungalows and a great value all-inclusive meal plan.
Located on the pristinely stunning island of Ookolhufinolhu in Lhaviyani Atoll of the Maldives, the first glimpse of Cocoon Maldives will take your breath away. Seemingly floating over the shimmering azure lagoon, the lush green vegetation and the crystal-white sandy beaches are ready to enfold you in its warm embrace and comfort you with every luxury imaginable as you embark on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to achieve nirvana.
Twin sister to Meeru but you reach Vilamendhoo by 25-minute seaplane flight. The same laid-back and relaxed philosophy and, like Meeru, the sole occupant of the island. There is the most beautiful house reef and you should just kick off your shoes and feel the soft white sand between your toes. Refurbished in 2010, there are 4 restaurants – 2 a la carte – and 4 bars to choose from. Evening entertainment and that special atmosphere that makes the Maldives so inviting.
You & Me is a private, rustic and romantic island, in a beautiful, untouched corner of the Maldives. A world away from the stresses of everyday life, You & Me is the place to relax, curl up, and spend some quality ‘us time’. A brand new, 5-star resort, opening 1st February 2019, You & Me is located in Raa Atoll, northern Maldives, just 20 minutes by speedboat from Ifuru domestic airport, or a 45 minute, scenic seaplane ride from Male’ international airport. Adults only island, targeting couples, honeymooners and friends, the resort is a quiet, relaxing retreat, far away from other hotels.