The Maldives is a magical destination with beautiful beaches and clear waters. However, that's about what most people know about this island nation. The Maldives is actually a very unique destination in regards to its climate, geographical layout, and culture. If you're planning to travel to the Maldives, there are a few things you should know about it so you can make the most of your trip. Who knows, you might even get a whole new appreciation of this gorgeous archipelago.

1. It's Made up of Over 1000 Small Islands

The Maldives is located about an hour's flight away from Sri Lanka, and it's made up of almost 1200 islands scattered across the vast Indian Ocean. With all the islands in this country, you'd probably think that it's a huge country. However, its landmass is small as most of the islands are tiny. In fact, many hotels in the Maldives occupy a whole island due to the size of the islands.

2. Its Official Religion is Islam

A good thing to remember during your Maldives travel is the official religion of the country is Islam and 100% of its population are Muslims. As a result, the local islands have strict rules that must be observed. For instance, alcohol and pork products are banned on the local islands, including Malé. During the holy month of Ramadan, which is usually around May and June, Maldivians and Muslims in general will fast throughout the day and some shops and restaurants may be closed.

3. The Maldives is A Surfer's Paradise

The Maldives is actually a great place for surfing during the monsoon season from June to August. This peak surfing season has the best swells for avid surfers. If you're an intermediate surfer, the months of April, May, September, and October have smaller swells and fewer surfers to compete with.

4. Resorts are Basically on Their Own Private Island

Most resorts and hotels in the Maldives have their own private island, so if you stay at Club Med Kani or Club Med Finolhu, you and other Club Med guests have the whole island to yourselves. On these resort islands, local cul