The Maldives: a destination that everyone should visit

After the horrendous events of Boxing Day in 2005, the Maldives have refused to let the sheer power of the Tsunami overcome them and have returned to their former glory. Despite the fact that 99% of the Maldives are covered by water and the islands are only 6 feet above sea level, the Maldives is still a stunning destination that everyone should visit at least once in their life.

Maldives has been one of the most popular vacation destinations in the Indian Ocean for many years and understandably so. The introduction of cheap flights from a variety of UK airports and an abundance of good quality, affordable accommodation has opened up this collection of some 1,000 coral islands to those of us who want to see the world. Many of these islands are accessible from MalĂ© by speedboat, as familiar in the Maldives as cars are in the Western world. Trips can range from 20 minutes to 2 hours, though for longer durations and for those of us without legs to sail, it’s just as easy to take a seaplane to an island of your choice. The lure of relaxing on beautiful, safe beaches in the year-round warm sun and wading in the crystal blue sea to see the shells of tropical fish has proven to be too much for many of us.

About 100 of these coral islands are for visitors, and there is usually only one hotel on each island. Some have become quite sophisticated with modern conveniences such as air conditioning, luxury pools and spas, a choice of restaurants and entertainment while others have retained the typical Maldivian flavor of ‘no news, no shoes’ with thatched roofs, outdoors, unheated water and few facilities. The ingenious introduction of building small bungalows on stilts in the sea, but linked by a platform to the mainland, has proven to be a success and a far cry from my suburban home, rising to the terrace of our private bungalow by 5 or 6 wooden floors. Stepping into waist deep warm water was a sight to behold.

Surrounded by crystal clear waters, it is no surprise that these idyllic coral islands are among the best diving destinations in the world. This is a destination to enjoy the stunning scenery and take part in some of the many activities at your leisure.

The rare beauty of the magnificent underwater world has made these islands one of the most enchanting diving destinations in the world. There are many dive sites for divers of all levels that provide the opportunity to explore nature under the sea and if scuba diving is not for you, there is an excellent reef idea to dive where visibility sometimes exceeds 50 meters. Swimming and snorkeling are best when the water is calmest, usually December through April, when rainfall is lowest. Precipitation is highest during the southwest monsoon, typically from May to November. However, the temperature remains around 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

Having just returned from a relaxing week lying in the sun and mingling with my fellow vacationers, I was amazed to realize how many people thought they would just take a stroll through the local town or eat at a variety of local restaurants. This is not that kind of place, to enjoy this unspoiled natural environment as it is means no need to go to the unlicensed local to buy a bottle of rum or save your pennies and go to a local cafe for lunch. Due to necessity almost everything has to be imported to these small islands and many extras can be expensive but it is possible to prepay for most things in the UK and I assure you, a small price to pay to swim in the warm blue waters between tropical. fish and experience the unspoiled beauty that makes the Maldives a destination that everyone should visit.

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