Paradise in the Indian Ocean: an exploration of the Maldives
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The Maldives is an archipelago of 1,190 coral islands situated in the Indian Ocean, southwest of India. With pearly white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, the islands are a true paradise for beach lovers. But beneath the surface of this stuning blue ocean lies an even more magnificent world waiting to be explored. With over 2,000 species of fish is all colours of the rainbow, the waters around the Maldives are a haven for divers and snorkelers. Swim alongside anemones, different kinds of rays, octopus, squid and even giant clams. Spotting whales, dolphins and turtles is a common occurrence in these clear waters.
Malé: a capital with as distinct character
Malé is the capital of the Maldives and is the hub of the country's political, commercial and cultural activities. The city is often overlooked by travellers who see it as just a transit destination, but it has a character of its own that is worth discovering. With narrow streets, colourful houses and a strong communal feel, Malé is a city that will capture your heart. Although it may not be a party place, it's an interesting stop for those looking for a unique and authentic experience.
A culinary journey
The Maldives is home to a unique and diverse cuisine, with influences from different parts of the world, such as India, Arabia, and Africa. Coconut is a staple ingredient in most dishes and the seafood is fresh and flavourful. Tuna is the most commonly used fish in Maldivian cuisine and it's often grilled or prepared as curries. The most famous dish is the "mas huni" which is a traditional breakfast dish made of grated coconut mixed with smoked tuna and seasoned with chili, lemon and onion. Another dish worth trying is the "roshi" which is a thin flatbread often served with curries.
Embrace the tropical bliss
The Maldives has a tropical climate all year round. With plenty of sunshine, the islands are a perfect escape from the cold, winter months. However, the southwest monsoon, which lasts from April to October, brings an increase in rainfall, particularly from June to November. Despite this, the Maldives is a year-round destination and there is always something to enjoy, whether it be sunbathing on the beach, snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters or exploring the vibrant streets of Malé.
Island hopping in the Maldives
The Maldives is made up of 26 atolls, each with its unique charm and beauty. With only 200 of the 1,1190 coral islands inhabited, there is a sense of seclusion and exclusivity on each island. Nearly 100 of the islands have been developed into tourist resorts, providing a range of options for travellers looking for luxury and adventure. Whether you're looking for an intimate escape or an action-packed holiday, the Maldives has something for everyone. So why not embark on an island-hopping tour and discover the beauty of these stunning atolls for yourself?
Culture and traditions
The Maldives has a rich and unique culture, shaped by its history and infuences from different parts of the world. The country is predominantly Muslim and religion plays a significant role in daily prayers and other religious ceremonies. The Maldives is also known for its traditional dances and music, including the famous "Body Beru" drumming. The islands are home to numerous cultural and historical sites, including mosques, tombs and Buddhist ruins, which offer a glimpse into the country's fascinating past. Whether you're interested in religion, music or history, the Maldives is a destination that will satisfy your cultural curiosity.
- by Hanan, updated 13 February 2023