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Maldives is once again at the top of best spots for travelling. So superior are its beaches, so cobalt blue its waters and so warm its welcome that the country has become a byword for paradise whether it be for honeymooners, sun worshippers or divers.
A geological eccentricity nestled in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the Maldives are a series of ancient coral reefs that grew up around the sides of towering prehistoric volcanoes.
These immense structures have long since sunk into the ocean, leaving behind coral islands of incredible natural beauty, now themselves being colonised by travellers seeking unbridled pampering and romance, from the modernity of Male’ to the idyllic paradise of the Southern Atolls.
This is life stripped down to simplicity – bright blue skies, all-year sunshine and fantastic diving and snorkelling in lagoons the temperature of bath water. The country embraces travellers from around the world allowing them the freedoms holiday makers require without compromising the islands’ deep Muslim faith one bit.
This is an exciting time to visit a country in developmental frenzy. Every few months brings newly opened resorts from top end boutique brands to ecologically sound, back-to-nature hotels. Not cheap even at the bottom end, this is a place for a holiday of a lifetime.
The Maldives demands the attention of anyone looking for a uniquely indulgent break, breathtaking nature and sheer beauty that stays with you long after your tan has faded.
The Maldives has a tropical climate distinguished by two seasons, or monsoons: the dry northeast monsoon from December to March, and the wet southwestern monsoon from May to November, with more strong winds and rain. April is a transitional period noted for clear water and heat. The temperature remains remarkably consistent at around 30°C.
The Maldives specialises in winter sun for Europeans, making high season December to April, when the islands enjoy the dry monsoon, with little rain and lower humidity. February to April is the hottest period and resorts are almost all operating at capacity during this period. Mid-December to early January comes at even more of a premium due to Christmas and New Year. Easter and the Italian holiday week in August also attract peak prices at most resorts, especially the Italian-oriented ones.
From May to November is the period when storms and rain are more likely. It’s still warm, but skies can be cloudy and the humidity is higher. This is the low season, with fewer people and lower prices, with the exception of August.
Diving is good year-round, although a basic rule is that life on the reef is more varied and visibility better on the western side of any atoll from May to November and from the eastern side of any atoll December to April. This means you’d be wise to choose your resort accordingly.
The surfing season runs from March to October, which is great as this is when resorts are cheapest.
There is no bad time to visit the Maldives, although if you’re interested in spending time in Male’ or any other inhabited islands, Ramadan is a time to avoid as restaurants are closed and people aren’t always at their most receptive.