Maldives, A Nation of Islands

A geological eccentricity nestled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, Maldives is a series of ancient coral reefs that grew up around the sides of towering prehistoric volcano. Its life is stripped down to simply bright blue skies and all year sunshine and fantastic diving and snorkelling in lagoon, the temperature of bath water.

The Maldives specializes in the winter sun for Europeans, making December to April high season. During this season, the islands enjoy dry monsoon with little rain and lower humidity while Europe shivers. February to April is the hottest period and resorts are almost operating at capacity this period. Mid December comes at more premium due to Christmas and New Year. Eastern and Italian holidays also attract prices as many resorts, especially Italian resorts.

Diving, the most popular sport in Maldives goes all year round, but in November to December, the visibility is less due to storms, so tourists cannot enjoy it much. The surfing season is best from March to October which is great since resorts are cheapest then.

Maldives are expensive, and there is effectively no budget accommodation or transport. Getting around Maldives is fun and involves three modes of transport- boats, sea planes (air taxis) and private yachts. The boats are the Maldivian equivalent of a car, while planes and private yachts are mainly reserved for tourists.

Entering Maldives is easy and hassle free, but one should be ready with visa and passports as the officials view the foreigners with great suspicion. There is only one international airport, Male International Airport, which is the main transport hub from where, one can take taxis, cars etc to anywhere one likes.

There are several mosques at Maldives which the tourists must watch out for. Some of the examples of these famous mosques are the Grand Friday Mosque, Mulee Aage Palace and Hukuru Miskiiy. While Grand Friday Mosque is the biggest mosque of Maldives, the oldest mosque is Hukuru Miskiiy.

The National Museum of Maldives is one of the major tourist attractions at Maldives. This was originally an old palace building which was later converted into a museum. In fact the museum is housed at Sultan Park, which was a part of the Sultan’s palace. .

There are also several costumes and ornaments which were once worn by various kings and queens including paper and cloth manuscripts, stone items of the Maldives’ pre-Islamic period, anthropological objects and arms and amours.

Fish market is also one of the tourist destinations of Maldives. Just watching the different fish products can be fun. These markets are always over crowded with people. One can also indulge in fishing yourself at Maldives.

One should also not miss Rhivelli resort, the Maldivian beach of silver, which is surrounded by magnificently crystal clear turquoise lagoon, pristine beaches and verdant greens. This idyllic coastal resort provides a sense of simplicity that calls to mind a Robinson Crusoe experience, where guests are recommended to explore the island on barefoot and enjoy a rustic existence.

In all, Maldives is indeed the sunny side of life. Sun, sand and sea, a thousand ‘Robinson Crusoe’ islands, massive lagoons with different depths and infinite shades of blue and turquoise, dazzling underwater coral gardens, makes Maldives an ideal tropical holiday destination.

Komal Agarwal

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