Sprinkled across the Indian Ocean like precious gemstones, the 1,200 or so islands that make up the 26 coral atolls of the Maldives are a blaze of pure white sands and Tiffany-blue waters. As your seaplane touches down, or you arrive in style by speedboat, it’s quite clear that this is going to be one very special holiday.
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Each resort sits on its own private island for that added touch of shipwrecked bliss, so this is the perfect place to come and unwind with that pile of books that you never get round to reading. It’s an enchanting destination for honeymooners and couples, and a safe haven for families looking for watersports, beachfront living and warm hospitality.
Take to the water
Whale and dolphin watching
The Maldives ranks among the top five places on earth for watching whales and dolphins, and sightings are frequent with over 20 different species (a quarter of the world’s total) residing here. Take a boat trip and look out for the magnificent blue whale, the largest animal on earth, as well as the incredibly acrobatic spinner dolphin.
What better place to get your PADI dive certificate than in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. We particularly recommend Reethi Beach, as the house reef runs right around the island, making it the perfect practising ground for beginners.
With influences from around the world, Maldivian cuisine blends Arabic, Indian, Sri Lankan and Oriental flavours to create a unique culinary identity of its own. Prior to the arrival of tourism, fishing was the mainstay of the Maldivian economy, so it’s not surprising that seafood plays such a prominent role on local menus, and the ubiquitous fish curry is a particular highlight.
What to take... Underwater camera
A single use underwater camera is an essential accessory for a holiday in the Maldives. They are surprisingly effective, so make sure you pick one up to capture all your underwater adventures.
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Flying time from the UK is approximately 10 hours 15 minutes direct, 12 hours 45 minutes via Colombo, Sri Lanka and 13 hours 40 minutes via Dubai.
British Airways Departures from Gatwick 3 times a week direct in high season only.
Sri Lankan Airlines Departures from Heathrow daily via Colombo.
Emirates Departures from Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow daily via Dubai.
Note: All our inclusive holiday prices are based on Sri Lankan Airlines Economy flights. Prices with British Airways and Emirates are also available on request.
Dhivehi is the national language. English is also widely spoken.
5 hours ahead of GMT.
The rufiya is the local currency, however US dollars are widely accepted. Major credit cards are also accepted at all hotels.
British citizens are eligible to obtain a tourist visa for up to 30 days on arrival in the Maldives. Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. No special health documentation is necessary for residents of the UK who have not recently visited parts of the world where yellow fever is a problem.