The Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in South Asia, situated in the Arabian Sea of the Indian Ocean. It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 700 kilometres (430 mi) from the Asian continent’s mainland. The chain of 26 atolls stretches from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to Addu Atoll in the south (across the Equator). Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres (115 sq mi), Maldives is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed sovereign states and the smallest Asian country by land area 557,426 inhabitants, the 2nd least-populous country in Asia. Malé is the capital and the most populated city, traditionally called the “King’s Island”, where the ancient royal dynasties ruled for its central location.
The Maldives has a year-round hot tropical climate. The Maldives has two distinct and dominating seasons: a dry season (November to April), punctuated with northeast winter monsoons, and a wet season (May to October) associated with southwest monsoons and strong winds.
TOURISM IN MALDIVES
The Maldives remained largely unknown to tourists until the early 1970s. Only 189 islands are home to its 447,137 inhabitants. The other islands are used entirely for economic purposes, of which tourism and agriculture are the most dominant. Tourism accounts for 28% of the GDP and more than 60% of the Maldives’ foreign exchange receipts. Over 90% of government tax revenue comes from import duties and tourism-related taxes.
TRANSPORTATION IN MALDIVES
Cities like Male and Addu, where road transport is popular, have an efficient taxi service. It is effortless to hail a taxi in Male, which will give you a comfortable and air-conditioned ride from the Airport to your destination.
Bus service in the Maldives, operated by Maldives Transport and Contracting Company (MTCC), is a cheaper option but limited to only specific routes.
Imagine cycling on smooth paths striped with the shadows of coconut trees in a tranquil environment, breathing in the clean and fresh air and feeling a cool breeze on your face – amazing. Yes! It is one of the best ways to explore the big islands. Although there are no cycle rentals, many resorts like Senova Fushi, Island Hideaway, Diva, Shangri la, etc., have bikes/cycles available for the visitors. Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort offers guided cycling tours around its atoll.
Ferries are the cheapest option for commuting between the islands of Maldives, with fares varying between MVR 30 and MVR 60 for over a five-hour-long journey.
For those not wanting to or not reach their destinations on a ferry, the speedboat is the solution.
If you have a lot of money to spend, a yacht is undoubtedly the best mode of local transport in the Maldives, which provide access to isolated reefs and remote islands.
Seaplanes are the best option when you’re in a hurry, as they can drop you to the most far-flung resorts from Male or vice versa in 90 minutes at max. Not just that, since these planes fly at low altitude, they offer breathtaking birds eye’s view of the reefs and islands.