Republic of Maldives
The Maldives are a tropical paradise, and people visit for the beaches and the watersports - the underwater life is amazing and the Maldives has a reputation as a diver's paradise. If you're not happy lounging on a beach with a good book soaking up the sunshine in between swimming in the sea, or spending your days diving or snorkelling, then this probably isn't the place for you!
The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atolls structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the ocean, making way for their secluded uniqueness.
Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef ring. A string of islands take their places among this atoll ring; each island has its own reef encircling the island lagoon. The reefs of the islands, alive with countless types of underwater creatures and vibrant corals, protect the islands from wind and wave action of the surrounding vast oceans. This unique structure of reefs and channels makes navigation almost impossible for the passer-by without sufficient information about these waters.
Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is made up of sea. The people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls, with about 200 inhabited islands. About 90 islands are developed as tourist resort and the rest are uninhabited or used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.
The capital and also the one city and port is Male. The island of Male is in the archipelago center. Male', complete with its own artificial beach, swimming track, historic sites, and a spectacular skyline of candy-coloured skyscrapers, manages to be both an island and a city. Previously a sparsely populated island, Male' has evolved into a world-class city with all the modern facilities like schools, hospitals, restaurant. The resultant effect juxtaposes its islander roots and its forward-thinking attitude - a laid-back town with both quiet and fast lanes, of course the latter being more predominant. City is not big, but it is very pure. There are a lot of hotels, cafe, shops. In the city you may enjoy the sights at a leisurely pace such as an Islamic Center and the Big mosque, Sultan park and, of course, the National museum where you may look at clothes and decoration of sultans.
Hotels of Maldives
On islands hotels are located by the principle "one island - one hotel" usually. All lodges are located on an atoll circle. Most of hotels has "four-five star" levels. Pure, well-groomed territories of hotels, the attentive personnel, a lot of greens, flowers will make you feel yourself in paradise.
Also you can stay in "a bungalow on water", it is wooden lodges on a beach. You may wake up and at once begin morning with diving in warm turquoise water. Generally divers prefer such housing.
Also you may rent the yacht for living and spend the holidays on it. Tourists come to hotels at once from the Male airport with a water transport. Style of rest prevails quiet and lonely, but there are entertainments for all tastes: bars, parties, SPA salons and fitness centers. All hotels are different among themselves with design and, of course, the choice depends on the purpose of your rest. Would you like to restore the health or to have a rest with a family, or you would like to diving.
Climate of Maldives
The weather in the Maldives is usually picture perfect: sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings, and iridescent sunsets. The temperature hardly ever changes - which makes packing for your holiday an easy task (see what to pack). With the average temperature at about 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year, the sun is a constant on most days, shining through treetops, creating lacy patterns on your feet, healing cold-bones with its warmth. Throughout the day, the sun will make itself known, ensuring that it will be remembered and missed, like an old friend, as you pack up your suitcases to leave.
Maldives has two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) and wet season (southwest monsoon), with the former extending from January to March and the latter from mid-May to November.
The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun. Cloudy skies and slate grey seas, and crashing thunder makes up for lovely reading weather. The warm temperatures will allow you to go for a walk in the rain, a verdant, wet, thoroughly enjoyable experience. For extra exhilaration, take a swim in the rain - the sea will be extra warm.
Shopping on Maldives
Male is shopping center of the country. In shops you may find the richest choice of goods for all tastes.
Locals bring the goods for sale to bazaars. The bazaars are divided on vegetable, fruit and wood.
The main bazaar for tourists is the Singapore bazaar. It is a set of little shops which trade in imported goods and the souvenirs made by local handymen. Canes, the caskets out of a wood and decorated with patterns, varnished, are very popular. Cost fluctuates from fifteen to hundred fifty dollars apiece.
Local handicraftsmen make models of boats out of a wood, a coral and nacre. Rings and bracelets out of a black coral.
Among hand-made articles you may see traditional drums of the big sizes and a mat from a reed, decorated with geometrical patterns.
The t-shirts decorated with different inscriptions, and the scarf are in tourists favor.
There you may buy the equipment for water sports with quite acceptable prices.
Many shops trade in goods from India. The biggest shop of the archipelago is located at Chandani's intersection - and Orchid magu.
Cuisine and restaurants
The menu of the majority of hotels on Maldives consists of local, Asian and European cuisine. The local cuisine alike traditional Indian cuisine. It is rice, hot spices and seafood. In each dish different fruit is used, but vegetables and greens are almost completely excluded. The main fish is considered a tuna. Fried fish and fish soup are national dishes. Local bread "roshi" is very popular. Local sweets is white coconut sticks-"bondy".
The main drink is tea with milk and sugar, and also cooked drink "Raa" (palm juice).
You may buy and drink alcohol only in special places. It is Muslim country and locals don't drink an alcohol. It is forbidden even by the law. And for this reason citizens of other countries are working in bars and restaurants.
Entertainments, excursions and sights of Maldives
The most important sight of Maldives is the Indian Ocean. All your rest will be anyway connected with ocean, here you may enjoy of snow-white beaches and different types of sports: windsurfing, surfing, diving, fishing, snorkeling. Diving and scuba diving is especially popular here, and not without reason people call the Maldives "paradise" for divers. The underwater world here is improbably beautiful and various: multi-colored corals of all forms and coloring, more than one thousand various fishes, starfishes and hedgehogs, various slopes will give you unforgettable impressions!
Most of islands in the bulk aren't manned. But excursions offered here with flight over islands, will bring many new feelings and pleasures from beauty which will open from height of bird's flight. For fans of exotic are organized крабьи races. But, of course, the main beauty with which Maldives differ, are below sea-level. At each hotel there are clubs of divers and points of hire of equipment. Everyone can use their services and dive even on beaches of hotels. Professional divers chose a place at the island Hitada. There is a deep gorge, at immersion in which you will meet surprising sea horses, moray eels and horned small fishes. The rich and various water world, beautiful reef will amaze even the most exacting tourists. And also you can participate in evening fishing. Then the fish which you will catch with pleasure will be prepared by the cook of your hotel.
Vacationers can dive because everywhere are a diving centers and skilled instructors. And in local little shops and shops you can buy all necessary equipment with good price or to hire it. After passing of training you will receive PADI certificates. For surfing on Maldives special popular are Sultans, PastaPoint, and "The police island".
Maldives give quiet and measured rest. The pacifying atmosphere envelops and allows to take pleasure in silence and tranquillity in lonely bungalows.
You may visit a magnificent Spa salons, a lot of various bars and restaurants for all tastes for the most exacting gourmets! The Maldives are one of the most exotic vacation spots, and the Maldives are leaving a lot of bright, unforgettable impressions, and more and more Europeans come here every year!