Explore the world's most exciting and fascinating continent with Asia Travel Guide: Maldives
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Maldives Travel Guide


Overview

Lying to the southwest of the Indian subcontinent and featuring almost 1,200 coral islands on 19 groups of atolls, the Republic of the Maldives is pure exoticism.

The approach to Male International Airport, the capital of the Maldives, is already an unforgettable experience: when observed from the air, the Maldives already evoke the impression of a patronising creator having sprinkled small smudges of colour with turquoise-coloured edges into a dark sea.

The whole island group spans 80 mls from west to east and some 560 mls from north to south. The southernmost atoll lies on the other side of the equator. There is only one large town on the Maldives: the capital Male that is situated on the like-named island. Only about 200 of the other islands are inhabited, of which 75 are open to tourism yet with attempts made to preserve the natural environment.

Here, at the heart of one of the largest and most richly varied coral areas on earth, offerings to the visitor are in every aspect 'dreamy'. The construction of large hotels has been prevented here from the outset as building regulations forbid the construction of hotels of more than a few storeys. Thus the number of visitors was limited from the start. Nothing can stop visitors from spending quality time on the fine-grained sandy beach under the coconut trees. The real attraction of the Maldives, however, lies in slumber beneath the water's surface: the coral gardens beyond the lagoons boast a fabulously diverse wealth of fish and plant life, impressive enough to completely amaze even the most experienced professional divers.

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