Nestled southwest of Sri Lanka and India, Maldives is an archipelagic nation located in the Indian Ocean and also the smallest country in Asia. This island nation is unique in its geography and topography, with over 26 naturally-formed atolls, 200 locally inhabited islands and thousands of other coral islands and sandbanks.
Out of the 200 inhabited islands, almost 122 of them have been developed as tourist resorts and about 80 islands are used for agricultural and other livelihood purposes. With so many resorts spread out across that many islands, there are plenty of options for visitors to choose from depending on what they are interested in and want to explore.
No, the Republic of Maldives is an independent nation and gained independence in 1965. Historically, Maldives was colonised by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British but was largely ruled by a sultanate. Now, Maldives has a president which oversees the administration of the country.
With 26 atolls and hundreds of islands dispersed over 90,000 kilometers, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the size of Maldives. Simply put, you can divide the atolls into: Northern Atolls, Central Atolls and Southern Atolls. The North and South Atolls are home to many of the holiday resorts in the country, with the most famous Atoll being Maafushi in the South.
The North Atoll is famous for being a great surfer paradise, while the South has the best dive sites and snorkelling spots as well as luxury resorts. The Central is less frequented but its lack of crowd makes it a great surfing spot and for those looking for quieter beaches.
The capital of Maldives is Male, which is located in the Central Atoll.
Getting to Maldives is often part of the fun as the chain of islands is remote and requires quite a bit of travelling. There may not be many direct flights from a lot of countries so there may be a layover or two depending on where you are coming from. Most international flights will land in the main airport in Male where your resort representatives will then greet you. You will then take a smaller seaplane or speedboat to your destination but this needs to be booked in advance so make sure you arrange that with your resort!
If you opt for a seaplane which can be more expensive, be prepared to witness the most breathtaking view of Maldives from above!
Getting around the many atolls in Maldives is a great experience and is highly recommended to get a bit of variety in your trip. You can either charter a seaplane or helicopter for the quickest and most spectacular way to travel, though this can be costly.
Another option is taking a traditional Maldivian boat called dhoni to travel between nearby islands, or use a speedboat or a public ferry though the frequency is a little unpredictable.
For a convenient and all-inclusive holiday, why not stay with us at Club Med Kani Maldives? Transfer to the resort from the Velana International Airport in Male is included in your package and takes approximately 30 minutes by speedboat!