The basics Population: 400,000 Capital: Malé

How to stay healthy Medical facilities are limited to two hospitals on the capital island, and neither has a trauma unit. Treatment can be expensive so make sure your travel insurance is comprehensive. While you’re there, please don’t… … go from beach to bar or restaurant in your bikini. Although the resorts are tolerant, you will be asked to cover up in areas other than the beach. And definitely don’t go topless – it’s illegal. Before you go, read … Dhon Hiyala and Ali Fulhu by Abdullah Sadiq – a Maldivian Romeo and Juliet. The Strode Venturer by Hammond Innes – a 1965 thriller novel set partly in the Maldives. Maldives: Kingdom of a Thousand Isles by Andrew Forbes – history, culture, politics, economics: all are covered in considerable detail in this guide. Before you go, watch … The Island President – the story of the ousted President Nasheed and his fight for democracy and against climate change. They said it “On the milky white beaches, In the refreshing breezes at the seaside, To enjoy to your heart’s content, While admiring the beauty of nature, Diving spots, underwater gardens – the tourists crave,

Religion: Sunni Muslim Emergency number: 102 The key dates

9 July: Ramadan. All Maldivians mark the month of Ramadan, but service at the resorts should remain uninterrupted. 26 July: Independence Day. Commemorating the Maldives’ independence from the British protectorate in 1965. 11 November: Republic Day. This is a day that wishes peace and prosperity for its islands inhabitants. Expect parades with an Arabian influence. The hot spots The Maldives is less about choosing a destination and more about choosing a luxury resort! Malé has a bit more going for it than many people think, and it at least gives a taste of Maldivian “street” culture, plus mosques, markets and more. There are no World Heritage Sites, though the Coral Stone Mosques located on various islands are on the “tentative” list for possible inclusion. Some itinerary ideas There are really only two decisions to make regarding a Maldives itinerary: either you fly into Malé and then take a ferry to one of the resorts that are located closer to the capital, or you opt for a connecting sea-plane flight to a more far-flung atoll. If you choose the latter, it will often mean you’ll require an overnight stay in Malé itself.

Water-sports and fishing trips, An unforgettable adventure,

A country of seafarers, able bodied sailors, Start their life with the first rays of daylight.” – Ali Shareef from Maldives – A Seafaring Country



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