...you're stuck in Malé, Malidives' capital city, for a few hours, where there are a few sights, such as the Muliaage presidential residence, but...
Photo by A Robustus
The Maldives are totally safe, with no hawkers, pickpockets or demanding guides
There is no agriculture and no industry and the turquoise lagoons are crystal clear. Theere are 1,200 islands in a chain of 26 coral atolls reaching across the equator, 200 inhabited and 100 shaped into sophisticated resorts wuith standards of service, quality of rooms, cuisine and facilities to match anything in the world. In fact the world's first underwater restaurant, under-water nightclub and underwater spa are all to be found here.
...nothing really to keep you in Male, so it's on to the island action, via a seaplane if it's far...
...or a dhoni if you're one of the very few budget travellers...
Photo by N. Dilmen
...while your haven of bleached beach tranquility awaits you...
Filitheyo resort bar photo by N. Dilmen
Only 200 of the islands are inhabited by Maldivians, whilst another 87 have been developed exclusively as tourist resorts. About 600,000 tourists visit the islands every year.
Choice of a resort should be driven by the type of holiday you desire (for example, honeymoon, family or diving), by language since individual resorts tend to focus on one language (English people, for example, may not enjoy being surrounded by Germans or their entertainment systems) and by budget rather than by location, since fantastic beaches, calm, reef-protected turquoise water and fine weather (in season) are ever-present.
...choose your spot, grab a cold beer and watch...
Resorts come in three main styles
Family-oriented holiday resorts with facilities for kid entertainment and care, multiple restaurant choice and marginally less sophistication than the next level up. The Kaafu region, conveniently close to Malé, is home to several places in this genre. An economy bonus in Kaafu is access can be via a one hour speedboat ride from Male rather than a pricey seaplane.
Some of the best low cost kid-friendly Maldive hotels in 2012 were: Bandos, Filitheyo (photo), Club Faru (Fihalhohi), Kurumba, Meeru, Vilu Reef.
Luxury resorts for honeymoon couples and the mega-wealthy with over-the-top indulgences and high style. These are widely scattered but voted the best Luxury Resort recently was Cocoa Island Resort, followed by Baros Maldives.
• Dive resorts are frequently distant from Malé
and facilities will be simpler though naturally enough the 'house reef' should be excellent for diving or snorkelling.
For the independent traveller things are somewhat more challenging as the tourism industry revolves around tour operators, and the working assumption for Maldives resorts is that two people will share a room.
...the wildlife watching you...
Very little, little as far as land creatures are concerned since everything bigger than an ant was eaten long ago. Fishies? Well, whale sharks are top of the big list of sea life, though manta rays offer big-time thrills.
...waiting for you to relax and drop your guard...
photo by N. Dilmen
...during the night of the full moon. More Maldives Islands Photos.
The islands have a hot, humid tropical climate with stable temperatures year round, ranging from average lows of 24C (75F) to highs of 31C (88F), though temperatures in April and May can rise to 37C (99F).
However, the very best season in the Maldives is January to April when rainfall and humidity are both at their lowest; since December precipitation is acceptable and a naturally busy time due to Christmas holidays December-April becomes the country's high price, high season.
Budget holiday seekers should consider the months starting with April when trade slacks off and rain appears on the horizon.
May to October is the wet season, with the wettest months of June-July getting 220-300mm (9-12 inches), but when rain falls it generally comes down heavily for a short time so anytime is acceptable for a Maldives vacation, especially since prices fall along with precipitation, though some cloud cover, wind, rough murkier seas and seaweed-garlanded beaches also come with the lower cost season, making both beach lazing and scuba diving a little less comfortable.
Maldives Islands Guide | Maldives Diving Holidays