Made up of a necklace of 26 coral atolls containing around 1200 islands, the Maldives is a sophisticated get-away-from-it-all destination where you have powder sand, crystal blue lagoons and extraordinary marine life from manta rays and whale sharks to giant leatherback turtles.

To reach the Maldives you fly into Male airport - an airstrip flanked by blue ocean. Most people transfer straight from the airport to a waiting speedboat, or to a float plane - you'll see fleets of both as you arrive. Speedboats ply the water back and forth to the resorts within around half an hour or so of Male while float planes transport you to the more distant islands. Some of the more remote islands can be tricky to reach and often involve an additional scheduled flight, plus boat journey.

When to Go

You can enjoy the Maldives year-round although we would avoid June which tends to be the most unsettled month during the south west monsoon which blows in between May and October time - great for surfing but not so good otherwise. You can often find good deals during low season if you don't mind the odd downpour, more breeze and cloudy skies. Turtles tend to come ashore and nest during the monsoon and shark sightings, particularly hammerheads and reef shark numbers increase in the shallower waters due to the weaker currents which can be a big attraction to divers.

The peak time to visit is mid November to the end of April. Temperatures are around 26-32 degrees, with April the hottest month, there's low humidity and the water is like glass with excellent visibility for diving and snorkelling due to the faster currents.

It's best to pick your season depending what you want to do and see - here's an overview of what's happening with regards to wildlife - you have a better chance of seeing some species, like Manta Rays and whale sharks, at certain atolls so please do ask.

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Attractions in Maldives

Activities in the Maldives

From sunset cruising to fishing, the Maldives offers plenty of activities.

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Attractions in Maldives

Wildlife and Conservation in the Maldives

There is an amazing diversity of marine and bird life to enjoy in the Maldives, including whales, rays, dolphins and turtles. Here is a rough guide to the time of year to see some of these popular species.

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