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Plotting your way

Some of the Maldives’ many highlights


Malé, the nation’s capital, is found on the North Malé Atoll, about 645km southwest of Sri Lanka. The population is about 142,000 and the city remains the country’s administrative and economic centre. In fact, the whole island group, the Maldives, is named after its capital – the word Maldives means “the islands (dives) of Malé”. Most visitors arrive into the Maldives at the city’s Velana International Airport.


Kurumba Maldives, Vihamanaafushi

It’s almost 50 years since the Kurumba Maldives, the first of the country’s island resorts, initially welcomed visitors to Vihamanaafushi in October 1972. The one-island-one-resort policy has proven so successful that more than 150 have opened, making the Maldives one of the world’s most luxurious destinations. Read more about its high-end offering here.


Baa Atoll

It’s 10 years since Unesco inscribed Baa Atoll as a Biosphere Reserve because of the global significance of its biodiversity. As many as 62 of the atoll’s 75 islands remain uninhabited and are dotted with mangroves, beds of sea grass and coral reefs providing habitat to around 1,200 fish species, five of the planet’s seven sea turtles, plus 250 types of coral. Read more about diving in the Maldives here.



The density of marine life in southerly atolls such as Addu, Fuvahmulah and Huvadhoo accounts for their popularity among divers. The Maldives has some of the richest marine biodiversity anywhere in the world; the country’s coral reefs are the seventh largest in the world, accounting for five per cent of the global reef area. Read more about diving in the Maldives here.


Bandos Maldives

Bandos Maldives, a resort in the North Malé Atoll, has a night fishing experience in which guests board a traditional wood-built fishing boat shortly before sunset and chug out to sea. After cutting the vessel’s engine, the crew demonstrates how Maldivian fisherfolk cast and haul in reels by hand. Learn more about the country’s culinary traditions here.