LIKE HUNDREDS OF TINY WHITE PEARLS SCATTERED THROUGH THE ENDLESS BLUE OF THE INDIAN OCEAN...
Words are not enough to describe this paradise which never disappoints those who come here in search of unspoilt sea and nature.
The Maldives are located on the Equator, 700 km South West of Sri Lanka. Together with Laccadive Islands on the North and the Cagos Islands to the South, it forms a wide submarine mountain chain (2000 km) born 2000 million years ago, with beautiful coral reefs on its crest.
Maldives stretches 800 Km from North to South and 120 Km from East to West: The total surface is 90.000 sqm but emerged lands are only 0,3%
The Maldives archipelago is made up of 26 atolls and 1190 islands covered by palms and mangroves. No more than 200 islands are inhabited and about 100 host tourist resorts. It is difficult to define the exact number of islands in the archipelago: If sandbars and coral outcrops were included in the figure they would have been approximately 2000: The estimation is also complicated by the fact that the islands come and go: some of them combine, other split in two and sometimes islets emerge from the coral reef. The majority of these islands is very small and they can be walked across in less than 10 minutes. Maximum height is usually 3 meters on the sea level. The word atoll (from Maldivian language Dhivehi: “Atholhu” indicates a reef belt of different sizes and shapes, including lagoons, islands and reef with pass or channels.
Up to now nobody knows the exact of these islands, but perhaps this is also the charm of the Maldives. It is possible to find islands with no name, not shown on any map and with no footprint on them. Desert islands belong to the Maldivian government but are rented by Maldivian families: Tourist can visit them only after the approval of these families and after a government permission.
Temperature is constant the whole year round: 29-32°C during the day an 25-26°C during the night.
The Maldivian climate can be divided into two periods, characterized by two monsoons. The South-West monsoon, Hulhangu, from May to November, is humid and with seldom and persistent rainfalls. In this period the sea is heavy and winds are strong. The North-East monsoon, Iruvai, from December to April, has very little rainfalls and lower humidity. The hottest month is April, while the coldest is December. The driest month is February, but the whole period between January and April is relatively dry. May and July are the months with highest rain rate.
The best period, is from the third week of December to the end of March. The worst period is from mid May to the beginning of July, while the rest of the year is relatively good. During the last year, due to a climate change, the difference between the humid and the dry monsoon is no more so clear. Therefore it is possible to have some rainy days during the dry season and some sunny days during the humid one. The Maldives is on the equator and has therefore the same number of light and dark hours. Every day has 12 hours light and at 6 p.m. it starts darkening. In order to have more light, many resorts set the clocks forward one hour ahead of Male’s time. Anyway, reserve your vacation according to your needs: Maldives is a tropical region and it is not easy to forecast the weather conditions. Water temperature is constant between 28-30°C. Water is clear from the beginning of November to the end of March, while in the other periods it is full of plankton brought by the currents. The best period for sailing is from October to January, as winds are constant.
Capital. Malé, the only city in the Maldives, which is situated on the North Male atoll.
Airport. N.2 international airports and N.3 domestic airports.
Documents: No entry visa is required; possession of passport valid for at least six months following the date of entry is sufficient
Customs: Customs checks are extremely strict and the import of alcohol, meat and pork products, drugs, pornographic material and underwater fishing spear guns is prohibited.
Health regulations: No vaccination is needed.
Language: Both Divehi and English are spoken, although on board Italian-managed boats or resorts Italian-speaking staff is easily found.
Local time: GMT time +5h.
Telephone communication: Maldives international code 00960. All tourist parts of the Maldives are covered by the GSM system.
What to wear: Cotton clothing, swimming costume, hat and the essential sun glasses are advisable. We suggest sun protection cream.