Did You Know?
Some dhoni Captains and crews still do not use compass or GPS to navigate through the islands and atolls. They find their ways throughout the coral labyrinths helping themselves with the bow of their dhonis and the stars. During clear nights, some have the rare ability to carefully observe the moves of the lagoon surface to avoid coral reefs.Map of Maldives
The Maldives has a double chain of 26 atolls along the north south direction spread over 90,000 square kilometers making the country one of the world’s most dispersed countries. Chosen as one of the top destinations to travel, the Maldives is a country with 1,192 coral islands and about 100 of them developed as tourist resorts.
With the highest point at approximate 8 feet above sea level, the Maldives is known as the lowest country in the world. Acting as a natural barrier against the sea and protecting them from the storms and high waves, each atoll is surrounded by a reef composed of coral debris and living coral. Some islands have its own reef, acting as home for countless colorful underwater life. Due to high levels of salt in the soil, vegetation is limited to a few plants near the beach. However, the limiting agricultural potential is supplemented by the abundance of marine life found in the sea, which make up about 99% of the Maldives.
A population of a little over 300,000 spread over the islands, the Maldivians follow a unified tradition, culture and beliefs. With a unique language, Dhivehi, the entire population follows the Sunni Islam after embracing the religion in 1153. Well-known for their affection and hospitality, the majority of the people are well educated. Devoted to the country, religion and family, the peace loving people respect each other and outsiders. Most of the urban population follows modern way of living while the rural areas still follow the traditional style.
Located on the equator, the Maldives has two monsoons, a moist, rainy monsoon and a dry, sunny monsoon. The tropical climate with warm temperatures varies barely distinctly between 24 °C and 33 °C year round. The rainy monsoon called “Hulhangu” by the locals brings rain, wind, rough seas and cloudy skies during the months between May and October. On the contrary, the sunny monsoon named “Iruvai” brings clear skies, calm seas and warm sunshine. Strong weather is rare while the ever-present sun and breezy nights provides the favorable weather throughout the year.
Although geographically isolated, the Maldives is easily accessible by means of air from anywhere in South East Asia, Middle East and Europe. Mere fifteen minutes from the capital city Male’, the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is situated in its very own island leaving you the impression of landing on water when your flight arrives. With the Gan International Airport, Hanimaadhoo International Airport, Villa International Airport and various domestic airports in addition to several ferries, seaplanes and private yachts, traveling in the Maldives is no big deal.