Maldives

Category: Resorts » International » Asia | Author: biker | Views: 6842 | 16-08-2012, 01:41
Maldives

Official name: "Republic of Maldives";

Other name: "Maldive Islands";

Capital of Maldives: Male;

Geographical position: the islands in the Indian Ocean (south-west of India and Sri Lanka);

Area of Maldives: 90,000 sq. km. (including the sea);

Climate of Maldive Islands: tropical;

Population of Maldives : 395,000 people;

Ethnic groups: the majority of the population is descendants of immigrants from South Asia and the Middle East, there are also groups of Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs and Sinhalese;

Official language: Maldivian (Dhivehi);

Religions: Islam;

Currency of Maldives:  Maldivian Rupee (MVR, code 462);

Internet domain: .mv;

Telephone code: +960;

Local time:  +5.

 

 

Hotels of Maldives Hotels of Maldives    Tours to Maldive islands Tours to Maldives      Resort cities of Maldives Resort cities of Maldives 

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Maldives

Flag of Maldives

Maldives

Map of Maldive Islands

Maldives

Coat of arms of Maldives 

 

General information about Maldives

Maldives is a coral archipelago in the Indian Ocean. It is an ideal place for luxurious and exotic holiday. More than 1,000 islands scattered in warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The islands are covered with coconut and banana groves and surrounded with white coral sand. The paradise islands attract tourists with its amazing nature, numerous white sandy beaches, diverse marine life, crystal clear lagoons and beautiful coral reefs. 

 

Maldives Maldives Maldives

 

Geographical position

Maldives is a coral archipelago in the Indian Ocean, which is located to the south-west of India and 640 km. from Sri Lanka. The territory of the Maldives is 9,000 square kilometers. But it should be noted that the sea takes almost 99% of the total area. The land consists of 26 coral atolls with more than 1,200 islands. But this number is constantly changing, as some islands grow together, the others split, and sometimes new islands appear. According to official sources 202 islands are inhabited and 88 are used as tourist resorts. Atoll - a group of islands, which encircle a lagoon partly or completely. Atolls are formed from limestone (the skeletons of marine animals and plants). Atoll is the result of millennial growth of corals, which are dying and transforming into soft white sand. Later the coral sand forms island.

 

Maldives

 

Photos of Maldive Islands

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Maldives Maldives Maldives

Climate in Maldive Islands

The climate of Maldives is warm tropical monsoon with two periods (dry- from December to March and humid - from April to November). As they are located near the equator, there is no big difference in the temperature during the year. Average annual temperature is about: 28. The hottest periods are from November - December and March to April. Showers can be expected from April to October. In June and December there is high probability of a storm.

 

Flora and Fauna of Maldives

Despite the fact that the soil is sandy, Maldives have relatively diverse flora. Some plants have been brought to the island by people, others - come on the sea and with birds.
The most common tree on the island is the coconut palm. You can also see a lot of breadfruit trees, mangroves, bamboo, banana trees, pandanus, eucalyptus, hibiscus and tropical vines. In cities you can find decorative plantings of roses and orchids. The locals grow coconuts, bananas, papayas, mangoes, melons and pineapples.
The fauna of islands is not very rich. You can find here bats, lizards and rats. The islands have not any snakes. Some farms have chickens and goats. There are about 100 species of birds, including gulls, terns, snipe, colorful parrots and 30 species of herons on the islands. Marine flora and fauna is very interesting. The numerous coral reefs are inhabited with colorful fish, crabs, starfish and lobsters. Often you can see sea lions, rays, about a dozen species of sharks, whales and turtles.


Maldives Maldives Maldives
Maldives Maldives Maldives
Maldives Maldives Maldives
Maldives Maldives Maldives

Maldives Maldives Maldives

 

History of Maldives 

The name "Maldives" derives from the Hindu word "mahal" - Palace and the "diva" - the island. Maldives are considered one of the oldest countries in the world. Unfortunately historians don’t know much information about early periods of Maldives. The population of the Maldives began in 2000 BC.  Scientists believe that the early settlers migrated from Arabia, East Africa and Indian subcontinent. In 500 BC Buddhists of neighboring Sri Lanka sailed and settled the southern islands. That’s why even nowadays the archeologists have been finding dome-shaped Buddhist places of worship. In 1153 the Maldives were converted to Islam, it gave the beginning of the era of Sultanate. It is very interesting, that there were women among sultans.  Europeans learnt about the archipelago in the 15th century from Vasco de Gama. At various times, the islands were colonies of the Portuguese, Dutch, French and British. In 1887 as a result of the agreement, the Maldives became the British protectorate. In 1932 locals had right to elect their Sultan, and in 1965 - Maldives got independence. In 1968 they became a presidential republic. In the 70th the Maldives has started to develop tourism. The economy of the last years is characterized by rapid modernization and growth. The most profitable economical branches are tourism and fishing.

Where to go in the Maldives
  1. North Male Atoll - it is the main atoll of Maldivian archipelago, the capital of the country (Male) is located here. The atoll consists of about 50 islands, of which only 8 inhabited and 27 are used as resorts, and some are somebody’s property. The islands of the North Male are the most popular resort places because of their proximity to the airport.
  2. Male - the capital of Maldives. Although the town is small (length - 2 km and the width is 1 km), but it is firmly built up. It is a modern town with mosques, markets, shops and cafes. The town has no high buildings, and the main transport here is bike. You can do many thinks in the capital. We recommend you to visit the National Museum, Sultan Park, Grand Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre and the Singapore market.
    - Sultan Park - is rich in various kinds of tropical plants, and you can also meet there some representatives of the Maldivian fauna.
    - The National Museum was founded by former Prime Minister Mohamed Amin Didi in 1952. Museum is a great place for those who are interested in the culture of the Maldives.
    - Friday Mosque - was built by Sultan Ibrahim Miskiiy in 1656. The Mosque is a work of art. The walls of the mosque built of coral blocks covered with delicate carvings and Arabic script.
    - Perhaps one of the most remarkable places p in the Maldives is the Islamic center. It was built only at the end of the last century. Its golden dome is visible from all sides of the island. The project was funded by several Muslim countries. Go inside and admire the interior decor of the walls and doors.
    - Jumhury Square is a public square and a popular place for walking.
  3. South Male Atoll - the islands of the atoll have excellent conditions for diving. One of the most popular resorts is Kanduma, which is located near the reserve Guraidu and famous for its waves (March - September). Also visit marine reserves with unique underwater terrain and caves. All islands of the atoll have amazingly clear water, which gives great opportunities for snorkeling. From the pier you can feed the tropical fish, among which there are stingrays and reef sharks.
  4. Arias (Arif) Atoll - 26 islands are used as resort areas and 18 - inhabited by indigenous people. The nature is beautiful and unique. It is a great place for diving and snorkeling. There is so much fish there so the costal waters are also known as "fish soup". You can do here many water sports: water skiing, catamarans, boats, scooters and parasailing. The cultivation of coconut palms is developed on the Atoll. 
  5. Baa Atoll - It consists of 10 inhabited and 41 uninhabited islands. It is a great place for a secluded and romantic holiday.
  6. Daala Atoll - Atoll has 46 islands, most of which are uninhabited. Lush vegetation, tall palm trees, white sandy beaches and picturesque lagoon make the atoll an ideal place for a beach holiday.
  7. Lamu Atoll - is the largest atoll of the Maldives, it is composed of 82 islands (but only 12 of them are inhabited). The atoll is a great place for surfing, there is no wind here and waves are high. Diving and snorkeling enthusiasts will enjoy the shallow coral reefs in the southeastern part of the lagoons and deep water in the west.
  8. Lhaviyani Atoll - attracts many divers. West costal waters hide two sunken ships.  They are covered with corals and tropical fish swim among them. You can also watch small sharks, and moray eels there.
  9. Faafu Atoll - the islands consist of 31 islands (15 inhabited and 16 uninhabited). The most famous tourist resort here is the island Filiteo. The island with tropical vegetation, coconut palms and white sandy beaches is the perfect place for a beach holiday. Straight from the shore there is a bridge to the houses on the water.
  10. Addu Atoll - the southernmost atoll of Maldivian archipelago. The islands have good roads. Take and enjoy a bike ride.

Maldives Maldives Maldives
Maldives Maldives Maldives

 

What to do in Maldives

  • Beach Holidays:
    83 Islands of Archipelago have been turned into the island-resorts, with sandy white beaches, coconut palms and clear warm water. On one island there is only one hotel. Almost all hotels offer not only bungalows on the island, but also bungalows on water.
  • Diving:
    Maldivian archipelago is one of the best places in the world for diving. Beautiful islands, warm and clear water, a huge amount of coral reefs and diversity of marine life - what more do you need for diving? Every resort has a diving center where instructors give classes for both beginners and experienced divers. It is recommended to go to dive with an experienced instructor, as in the depths there is possibility to meet sharks and other carnivorous and poisonous animals. Some places, mainly the coastal waters, are so safe so you can practice diving even with children. Western part of Lhaviyani Atoll is very interesting place for diving. In these places you can explore two sunken ships. Racks are covered with corals and tropical fish swim among them. You can watch there also small sharks and moray eels.
  • Fishing:
    - Deep water Fishing – Taking such trip you can catch tuna and barracuda, and on the return have arranged candlelight dinner on the beach. After that, as a rule, you can show and even take part in the dancing show to the national drum music.
    - Fishing or sea hunting - in recent years, the sea "safari" has become very popular among tourists. You can always find experienced fishermen who will instruct you on using the fishing harpoon or a rifle, and take you to the fishing spots. This activity is not cheap.
  • Excursions:
    - Excursions to Male - Maldives Attractions are mainly concentrated in the capital. We recommend you to visit the National Museum, Sultan Park, Grand Friday Mosque, Islamic Centre and the Singapore market.
    - Trips on the Maldive islands - a trip to the fishing village where you can get acquainted with the traditions and lifestyle of the local population, as well as buy handmade souvenirs. Visiting the fishing villages and the capital Male tourists should respect Muslim traditions - to wear modest clothes which cover shoulders and knees.
    - Excursion to one of the uninhabited islands for diving, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach with a barbecue lunch.
    - Trip on a glass bottom boat – you can take a trip on the glass bottom boat along the coral reefs. Special boat with transparent bottom goes into the ocean. So, without diving you can admire and take excellent pictures of underwater life. . This trip will give you a lot of fun, especially if you travel with small children.
    - Romantic walks along the beaches in the evenings. On some islands there are cafes and restaurants which offer to watch the sunset. The sunset in Maldives is extraordinarily beautiful.

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Maldives Maldives Maldives

 

Cuisine in Maldives 


 

Maldivian cuisine is based on Indian and Arab culinary traditions. The basis of most dishes is rice in various forms: boiled in coconut milk with a variety of sauces, fish, seafood and vegetables. Among the spices commonly used lime and chili. Meat (chicken) is very expensive and locals eat it only on holidays. The most common dishes on the islands are: tuna with rice, "hikimas" - dried and smoked fish, "badges" - a pie with fish and coconut, fish soup, "gulu" – chops from tuna and coconut. For dessert there is a large choice of fruits, nuts, cakes and puddings. As for drinks you can take coffee, tea, various juices, sweet milk, palm juice «Sugi" and the traditional low-alcohol beverage "gaa" (fermented coconut milk). 

 

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Maldives Maldives Maldives
Maldives Maldives Maldives

 

What to buy in the Maldives: - Lightweight cotton clothing with traditional patterns or logos of the Maldives;
- Wooden vases, dishes, figurines;
- Water Equipment;
- Articles from coconut;
- Shark jaws and teeth;
- Pearls.

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Maldives Maldives Maldives

 

Travel information about Maldives

Visa – you don’t need a visa to visit the country for up to 30 days. When entering the country you must have a passport, return ticket, travel voucher and $ 25 for each day of staying in the country. It is forbidden to import alcohol, pork, guns for underwater fishing, pornographic materials and drugs.


In the Maldives, it is prohibited:
- To break and tear the corals in coastal waters;
-  Fishing without special permission;
- Spearfishing;
- Alcohol in public places;
- Nudism and topless;
Visiting the fishing villages and the capital Male tourists should respect Muslim traditions - to wear modest clothes that cover the shoulders and knees.
It should be noted that on the islands it is difficult to find pharmacy kiosks, so take all necessary medications with you. Also you can find doctors in almost all hotels.

 

You can not export from the Maldives:
- Articles of tortoise shell;
- Articles of black and red coral and the corals;
- Pearls and shells of pearls;
- Reef fish and other marine inhabitants in any form.

 

Interesting facts about the Maldives

  • The archipelago of Maldives consists of 1,190 islands. Despite such a large number of islands, their total area is a little more than one hundred square kilometers.
  • Republic of Maldives is the flattest country in the world; the highest point is only two and a half meters above the sea level.
  • Maldives is the smallest Muslim country in the world.
  • It is known that the first settlements in the Maldives appeared about 5,000 years ago. Marco Polo is considered a pioneer explorer of the archipelago and he gave it the name "Flower of the Indian Ocean".
  • About 2,000 species of fish recorded in the coastal waters of the Maldives, seven species are unique, they are not found anywhere in the world ocean.
  • Adult literacy rate of Maldives is around 99%, which is one of the highest rates in the world.
  • The capital of Maldives, Male is one of the most densely populated capitals of the world. 110 000 people live on the area of 2 to 1 km.
  • There are no rivers or other sources of fresh water on the Maldives.

 

Conclusions

Maldives is the perfect place for secluded and romantic holidays. Thousands of islands, lost in the waters of the Indian Ocean, tropical vegetation and turquoise lagoons, the hospitality of local people, coral reefs and, of course, the richness of the underwater world - will not leave anyone indifferent. Holidays in the Maldives belongs to the vip class. The service level is high; you can find a lot of conditions for vip. tourism. It should be noted that the Maldives is the safest place for holidays. The Maldives is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling and scuba diving. All Maldivian resorts have dive centers, both for beginners and professionals.
Maldives Maldives Maldives
Maldives Maldives Maldives



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