Sunny side of life
Whisper the word “Maldives” and the mind immediately wanders to clear blue lagoons and deserted, palm-fringed beaches.
The Maldives is the ultimate castaway destination; the Garden of Eden in the Indian Ocean spread across 1,192 islands, only 200 of them inhabited.
To complement its idyllic setting, the Maldives is full of luxury accommodation, with options including glass-floored villas perched on the water and private islands where lovers can sip champagne under the stars.
The weather in the Maldives usually involves sunlit days, breezy nights, balmy mornings and shimmering sunsets, with an average temperature of around 30°C throughout the year.
The warm sun will be your happy companion on most of the days of the year, so much so that you will love it if you head there from November to April when Malta is usually chilly and the Maldives is enjoying its dry season.
May to August is the rainy season, but even then the temperature rarely drops below 25°C. Go for a walk or a swim if a rare thunderstorm hits – it is exhilarating.
Talking of the sea – the Maldives is a Mecca for divers. Its warm seas teem with exotic life and there is high visibility throughout the year.
Add to that the incredible formation of over 3,000 coral reefs and the free flowing tides of the monsoons, and the result is one of the world’s richest diving coral reef areas.
Over 1,000 species of fish and other underwater creatures inhabit the Maldivian waters; you can expect to see everything from tiny shrimp to magnificent mantas and sharks.
And you don’t need to be a professional diver see these amazing creatures – all resorts offer basic to advanced training using well-monitored diving facilities of a high standard.
Beyond the deep blue seas, vivid corals and white sandy beaches, the Maldives is a place full of character.
Situated on one of traditional trading routes of the Indian Ocean, settlers and visitors from neighbouring regions and around the world have come in contact with the islands since time immemorial.
Such has been the ebb and flow of people and their cultures washing up on the Maldives that a marked effect has been left in the people, the language, beliefs, arts and attitudes. Visit the vibrant, modern capital Male to enjoy the Maldivian melting pot in all its glory.
Naturally, locals eat a lot of fish and fishermen still spend days out at sea, but tourism is the most important industry these days. In all the resorts, you can taste dish after dish of sumptuous seafood, before heading back into the water to cool off and relax.
Watch the sunset, enjoy a cocktail under the stars, then fall asleep to the soft swishing sound of the waves, before waking and doing it all again in this destination of dreams.