Maldives

The Maldives are best known for their idyllic beaches, azure lagoons and extensive reefs. The capital, Male, has a thriving fish market, restaurants and shops on the main road, Majeedhee Magu, and 17th-century Hukuru Miskiy (also known as Friday Mosque) is made of carved white coral.

Most resorts won't have a busy entertainment programme, and there is not much in the way of sightseeing (apart from the occasional organised excursion by boat from the resort to a local inhabited island). However with its abundant sea life and sandy beaches, the Maldives are accurately portrayed as the closest thing on earth to paradise. The economy of this Islamic republic predominantly revolves around tourism, and scores of islands have been developed for catering for high-end luxury tastes!

The origin of the Maldivians are lost in antiquity, but history reveals that the islands have been populated for over 3,000 years. Early settlers were travellers on the Silk Route and from the Indus Valley Civilisation. Inherently warm, friendly and hospitable by nature, it is easy to feel comfortable and relaxed with a Maldivian local!

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