The Maldives are a chain of 19 islands in the Indian Ocean southwest of India and Sri Lanka. They extend over 871 kilometers in a north-south direction, up to just south of the Equator. The islands are atolls with coral reefs, surrounded by the peaks of a volcanic mountain range submerged in the water. From the total 2000 islands, only about 220 are inhabited.
However, only some of the inhabited islands are accessible to tourists. These are principally islands with hotels or those visited frequently by safari boats. Principally, tourists must leave the islands before sunset. Exceptions are rarely granted by the Government.
The Maldives are one of the most fascinating dive destinations this planet has to offer. The island state located in the Indian Ocean. The islands are characterized by beautiful white sandy beaches with palm trees and beautiful lagoons.
The more than 20 atolls are thereby protected by numerous partly unspoilt coral reefs. They are due as a result the lowering of huge volcanoes. In the following period the corals formed the magnificent fringing reefs of the atollsthat can be watched wonderfully on a scenic flight by plane, nowadays. Thanks to strong ocean currents in this area naturally long drawn channels were formed, through which divers from all over the world are moving today. The reefs are almost overflowing with unique fauna and flora.
In general, from May to November it is particularly pleasant to dive west of the atolls. Those arriving from December to April should explore the dive sites east of the atolls. The atolls themselves outdo each other in their beauty and each of them fascinated divers on individual way.
The islands of the Maldives are spread over 26 atolls. These atolls always have a more or less annular structure which can be observed best from a great height. The ring-shaped atolls of the Maldives are the largest of the Earth and they are considered to support the the theory of atoll formation in geology.
Considered as the originating theory of the atolls it is assumed that in ancient times islands with volcanoes sank slowly down the ocean and settled the reef corals on top of the circular volcanic cone. The growth of corals could almost keep up with the sinking of the islands, and a huge coral reef began to incur. After the complete disappearance of the island of the atoll ring stayed as the only remaining and is still visible today. At boreholes a in 1842 expressed theory by C. Darwin could be confirmed, but so far not in the Maldives.
Here is more likely suspected that a larger land mass, the so-called Maldivian back, also sank into the sea and could develop a growth of corals here. The round shape explained theories whose truthfulness, however, more on speculation than based on facts. Fact is that the growth of a complete coral reef, no matter what shape it is, takes an enormously long time, the oldest detectable reef needed for this almost 50 million years.
Area: 298 square kilometers
Form of government: Presidential Republic
Language: National language “Dhivehi”
Economy: tourism, the export of dried fish, coconut fibres
Population: 240.000 inhabitants
Capital: Malé around 105.000 inhabitants
Climate: Tropical monsoon climate, temperature range 24 – 30° C Annual rainfall 1600 mm
Male is the economic and political heart of the Maldives and its 105,000 inhabitants live crowded together on an island of about 1.5 square miles. Here reigns the bustle of a vibrant tropical city with noisy markets, crowded harbor full of fishing boats, merchant ships and water taxis. The colorful jumble of local residents, shopkeepers, workers and day trippers from the tourist islands stands in stark contrast to the peaceful tranquility which radiate the other islands of the Maldives.
ATTRACTIONS IN MALE
A must-see in Malé is its mosques: the Hukuru Miskiiy and the Friday Mosque with its gold cupola can be seen from far away. Also, the fish market and marketplace should not be missed.
AIRPORT ISLAND – HULHULÉ
The arrival on the Maldives takes place at international and domestic flights at Malé International Airport (IATA-Code: MLE). This is in addition to the Gan Airport the only airport, which is currently served internationally on the Maldives.
The airport is located on the island of Hulhulé, he beautiful islands of the Maldives can already be seen quite some time before landing well and this very impressive angle of view from the air can push up real holiday mood regularly.
The Maldives are one of the most popular destinations for divers: clear, well-heated water and a varied underwater world. With these unique diving conditions each dive is an interesting experience. The Maldivian government has established 25 protected areas for the regeneration of nature, which are accessible for divers. These are beautiful but endangered coral reefs, Thilas and reef channels.
Corals have created these unique reefs and atolls in the Indian Ocean. No matter if you dive for the first time on the Maldives or the underwater world is already been known – here every dive is an unforgettable experience. Unique coral formations and colors of the fish living there can enrapture every diver over and over again with enthusiasm..