The Maldives, located in South Asia, is a chain of twenty-six coral atolls stretching from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the north to the Addu City in the south. Located in the Indian Ocean the Island nation lies southwest of India and Sri Lanka and is a mere 1 hour flight from Colombo. Comprising a territory spanning roughly 298 square kilometres, the Maldives is one of the world's most geographically dispersed countries, as well as the smallest Asian country by both land area and population, with a little over 393,500 inhabitants. Malé is the capital and the nations most populated city, traditionally called the "King's Island" for its central location within the widely dispersed island network. The Maldives remained largely unknown to tourists until the early 1970s. Only 185 islands are home to its 300,000 inhabitants and the other islands are used entirely for economic purposes, of which tourism and agriculture are the most dominant.
The Maldives has a benign climate, with year-round temperatures between 79F and 86F (26C-30C), meaning it never suffers from tornadoes, though it does have a monsoon season in November which is best avoided and unsettled weather can persist well into December. The high season stretches from November to April, with Christmas and New Year being the most expensive time to travel. The perfect months are January, February and March when the sky is blue and the water so calm it could be glass. As April is a 'shoulder’ period, the prices are lower; then May sees the start of the low season when the weather is less predictable but rarely bad enough to disturb a holiday.
Transfers and Getting In
Most visitors arrive at Malé International Airport, on Hulhulé Island, adjacent to the capital Malé. The airport is served by flights to and from India, Sri Lanka, Doha, Dubai, Singapore, Istanbul, and major airports in South-East Asia, as well as charters from Europe. Gan Airport, on the southern atoll of Addu, also serves an international flight to Milan several times a week. British Airways offers direct flights to the Maldives around 2–3 times per week.
Gettin to your hotl used to be a matter of jumping into a dhoni and chugging off to your resort. These days the resorts span the whole archipelago so your transfer could be by boat, by plane, or both. Speedboats have replaced dhonis for the nearer resorts; seaplanes take guests to the more distant ones, and fixed wheel planes carry guests to the five regional airports, from where it’s another trip on a speedboat.