Jan 5, 2013
Maldives vacation is an ideal vacation for tourists willing to spend their holiday on one of the most exotic and best tourist destinations in the whole world, to have fun and to relax. Maldives vacation certainly won’t leave any tourist indifferent. Maldives, also referred to as the Maldive Islands, officially is the Republic of Maldives. The Maldives are an archipelago of 1192 coral islands grouped into 26 coral atolls which lie in the Indian Ocean (200 islands are inhabited, and only 80 islands are tourist resorts).
They are considered part of Southern Asia and are positioned south-southwest of India.
The chains stand in the Laccadive Sea, 250 miles (400 kilometres) south-west of India and 430 miles (some 700 kilometres) south-west of Sri Lanka. Of the 20 administrative atoll groups, only 10 of them are open to tourism and tourists.
History of the Maldives
First settlers of the Maldives were Dravidian people originating from Kerala in the Sangam period (300 BC) what was revealed by comparative studies of Maldivian linguistic, oral and cultural traditions and customs. These first settlers are most probably fishermen coming from the western shores of Sri Lanka and the southwest coasts of what is now the south of the Indian Subcontinent.
The temperature of Maldives ranges between 24 °C (75 °F) and 33 °C (91 °F) throughout the whole year. Though the humidity on Maldives is pretty high, the constant cool sea breezes keep the heat mitigated and the air moving. The Indian Ocean works as a heat buffer, which stores, absorbs and slowly release the tropical heat.
Important info for tourists willing to take Maldives vacation
The Maldives have undemanding and uncomplicated entry permit policy – everyone can get 30-day free entry permit on arrival, under condition that they have a valid travel documents, proof of sufficient funds and ticket out, defined as either a confirmed reservation in any ofthe resorts or $100 as well as $50 per day in cash. Tourists can extend this up to 90 days at Male, but you will need to explain where you are going to stay for that long period of time. See Emigration website and the Department of Immigration for more details about this stuff.
All luggage of tourists is X-rayed on arrival and it is forbidden to import pork, alcohol and pornographic material into the Maldives. Take into account that it is also forbidden on leaving to export coral, seashells or sand.
Coming to Maldives
Nearly all tourists land at Male International Airport, which is located on Hulhule Island right next to the capital Male. The airport is served by a wide array of charters from Europe as well as flights to Dubai, India, China, Sri Lanka and many major airports in South-East Asia. Many flights stop in Colombo (Sri Lanka) on the way.
Gan Airport, located on the southern atoll of Addu, also serves an international flight to Milan several times every week.
British Airways flies directly 3 times every week (on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday) from London Gatwick to Male.
Turkish Airlines flies directly 5 times every week from Istanbul Ataturk to Male.
Singapore Airlines flies daily direct with late night timings from Singapore to Male.
Take into account that in your ticket are included Departure taxes.
There are no regular tourist boats to the Maldives. Even yachts usually keep from coming, since permits are rather expensive and navigating around the coral reefs is risky and dangerous.
Dhivehi (an Indo-European language which has some similarities with Elu – the ancient Sinhalese language) is the official and common language on Maldives.
English language is widely spoken, especially by people which work in the tourism industry and by officials working in government institutions. Tourists can use English to be able to speak and communicate with the local inhabitants. And English is also used as the instruction language in schools.
Many workers working at local resorts are capable to speak Italian and German language fluently, since Maldives are becoming more and more popular tourist destination for Italian and German tourists. This can vary from resort to resort which tourists intend to visit.
What tourists can See & Do
Diving and snorkelling
Scuba diving is the main occupation and activity of tourists on the Maldives. The Maldives atolls are all coral reefs far 100′s of kilometers from any major landmass, underwater life is very rich and clarity of water is excellent. There you can see sharks, Manta rays, and even a few wrecks.
Sea water in the Maldives is warm throughout the whole year.
The best time for scuba diving is from January to April, when the sea is calm, the sun is shining and the visibility can reach 30 m.
Diving is possible during the whole year, but rain, wind and waves are most common during the season of the southwest monsoon (from June to August).
Many divers which decide to opt for liveaboards can go with lower price than to pay high fees for resorts.
Diving in the Maldives by Asian standards is relatively expensive. Prices can vary muych from resort to resort, Specialist dive resorts offer cheaper prices, but usually, you will have to pay around $50 for a single boat dive (with your own gear) and closer to $75 without your own gear.
Beware of surcharges: you may be charged extra for boat use, guided dives, larger tanks, etc. On the upside, safety standards are usually very high, with well-maintained gear and strict adherence to protocol (check dives, maximum depth, computer use, etc) being the rule somewhat rather than the exception.
The Maldives also became very popular as destination for surfers. Perfect waves and turquoise water is that what made the Maldives as an ideal surfing destination.
Period between March and October is the best time for surfing. The biggest waves for surfing you can find in June, July and in August.
Some specialized companies have organized tailored boat trips which last several days, and allowe surfers to move without much problems from one point to another and to maximize their time dedicated to surfing.
- this article is written using wikitravel.org and wikipedia.com
- images are taken from Flickr.com from these authors:
Sarah_Ackerman – flickr.com/photos/sackerman519/
nattu – flickr.com/photos/nattu/
thetravelguru – flickr.com/photos/thetravelguru/
chopr – flickr.com/photos/chopr/