Maldives

The sand is white, the water is warm and the diving is first-class in this tropical island paradise in the Indian Ocean.

Discover the 26 coral atolls that make up the Maldives, an idyllic destination for honeymooners, diving enthusiasts and for those seeking a sliver of paradise. Often considered the most beautiful chain of small islands in the world, the Maldives features luxury hotels, watersports and turquoise waters so transparent you can almost see to the bottom.

The Maldives has luxury island resorts where sun, sea, sand and indulgence are the main draws. Enjoy underwater restaurants, swanky clubs and hushed spas or laze on the balcony of a private villa.

The main city island of Malé provides insight into Maldivian culture at sights such as the coral-stone Old Friday Mosque, the oldest mosque in the country. Dress modestly to gain access to the mosque and the adjacent graveyard.

The National Museum is also located in Malé in the grounds of Sultan Park. Enjoy an afternoon wandering around the exhibits, examining weaponry, antiques and religious paraphernalia relating to the Maldives’ history.

Elsewhere, the daily Malé fish market will give you a glimpse into local life. Head over there in the late afternoon or early evening to see the biggest selection of fish being sold.

Hulhumale is a man-made island next to Malé. Take the ferry from the capital and sunbathe on Hulhumale’s beach. Walk the length of the island and survey the various government-funded development projects.

Scuba divers and snorkelers should head to Banana Reef where dazzling coral reefs teeming with fish and sharks await. Book an organized tour with a diving company to properly explore this cliff-ringed reef.

Fly into the Maldives’ main air travel hub, Ibrahim Nasir International Airport on the island of Hulhule. Plan your trip here for January or February for the best weather and bluest skies. Most of the islands, Malé included, can be traversed on foot, while travel between islands is most commonly done either by boat or seaplane.

Whether you come for relaxation, rejuvenation or recreation, this island paradise will delight.