Switch off the BlackBerry and shut down the laptop – this place is all about living the desert-island dream. The beaches come milky-white and virtually empty. The ocean is impossibly blue and hides rainbow-hued coral and multicoloured marine life. And as for the hotels, they tick off gourmet restaurants, rustic-chic villas and overwater spas as standard.
An island for every taste
There are 200-odd inhabited islands, and they’re all pretty much a one-hotel-per-isle affair. While they’re all cast from the same mould, though, each one has a pull of its own. Want a quick journey from the airport hub, Male? Try one if the islands in North Male Atoll for size. Total seclusion on the cards? Head for Lhaviyani Atoll – an island chain with more of a castaway feel.
Desert island delights
After a castaway experience? Make for the coral-ringed isles in Lhaviyani Atoll, South Nilhande or Raa Atoll for a taste of total seclusion.
What lies beneath
While out-of-this-world dive sites are par for the course in the Maldives, South Ari Atoll has the cream of the crop. The cast of underwater characters here includes whale sharks, manta rays and hammerheads. South Male Atoll also ranks pretty highly when it comes to underwater adventures.