Where is the Maldives located and how many hours last the flight to one of the most beautiful places on Earth are 2 of the most common questions people ask before visiting this place.
This article will answer your questions regarding the location and will give you good reasons to visit the islands of Maldives.
The Maldives location
Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, close to Sri Lanka and India. It is about 750 km south from Asia’s mainland, quite close to the Equator with many sunny days and clear sky.
This country comprises 26 small islands in the north and the south. The north part is called Ihavandhippolhu Atoll, and the south part is called Addu Atoll.
Maldives or Maldive Islands as they are also called, is a republic. It consists of 1,192 islands and sandbanks grouped in atolls.
Where is Maldives?
Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka and India, and about 750 kilometers away from Asia’s mainland.
This archipelagic country is formed from 26 atolls from Ihavandhippolhu Atoll in the northern part to Addu Atoll in the southern part, close to the Equator.
The Republic of Maldives is located north of the Equator, south Asian continent, south of India. An interesting fact is that not all the islands in the Indian Ocean are inhabited.
The total territory of the coral islands country has around 90,000 square kilometers, including the sea and about 300 square kilometers of land, which are the islands that appeared in the ocean and are part of the Maldives islands.
It was classified as the world’s most dispersed country, and it is also the smallest country on the Asian continent.
Population and Capital
The country has about 570.000 inhabitants that live on some of the islands. This makes it the second least populous country on the Asian continent.
The capital of the country is Male, the place where Velana International Airport, is located. This airport is the main gateway to the world, and the most important airport in the archipelago.
The highest point from the Maldives is just 2 meters above sea level and most of the land has an elevation of just 1.5 meters above sea level.
Based on scientific evidence, the island of Maldives is located on an ancient volcanic mountain range. The islands we see today are nothing but the crowns of that volcanic mountain range.
Despite their low elevation, the coral reef barriers surrounding these islands protect them from the destructive effects of monsoons.
Each atoll or private island has sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and lagoons. They have lush vegetation with coconut palms, breadfruit trees, and some tropical bushes.
Many species of fish, sharks, mantas, octopuses, morena eels, and sea turtles live in the waters around the atolls.
The rainy seasons generally last from May to August, while the dry season is from December to March.
Etymology Of Maldives
The name comes from the Sanskrit words mālā (garland) and dvīpa (island) – Maala Divaina, which means Necklace Islands in Sinhala. People from the Maldives are referred to as Dhivehi.
According to ancient writings, people from Sri Lanka called Maldives Mahiladiva, which means the Island of Women. Most probably, this is the wrong translation of the Sanskrit word that means “Garland”.
There are many other ways to call the Islands of Maldives out of which the most popular are:
- Mahal Dibiyat was used by the Medieval Arabs where Mahal means “palace”
- Maldivische Eilanden used by Dutch people
- The Maldive Islands and later simply the Maldives used by British people
What’s the best way to travel to Maldives
Many people find that the long journey is part of the fun, as the island chain is very remote. There may not be many direct flights from your country of origin. You may have one or two layovers before reaching your final destination.
Your flight will finally land in Male, the main airport of travel for most international destinations. Once you exit the plane, resort representatives will be there to welcome you.
You will then take a smaller seaplane or speedboat to your resort. Note that you must book this method of transportation in advance through your resort!
The views of the atolls from a seaplane are unrivaled, but be aware that the cost is often more expensive.
I’ve covered here everything you need to know on The Maldives airport your main gateway to paradise on Earth
Which airlines fly direct to the Maldives?
Do not mistake “direct flights” for “non-stop flights”. Non-stop flights don’t stop between your departure and destination airports. Direct flights may have a short layover for something like refueling the aircraft.
If you’re booking a flight from South Africa to the Maldives, non-stop flights are unfortunately unavailable at the moment. However, there are airlines that can get you to Malé International Airport. It will take you 13 hours and 45 minutes with a stopover in Johannesburg.
The main airlines with flights to the Maldives are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and SriLankan Airlines.
Flights to the Maldives
Over 80% of commercial flights to the Male, come from Colombo, Sri Lanka or Doha, Qatar. Flights from any of these airports are extremely affordable.
Geography of the islands
The Maldives, an archipelago of over a thousand islands, is nestled in the Indian Ocean.
While many wonder about the Maldives location on world map, it’s situated southwest of Sri Lanka and India.
Altogether, there are 1,192 islands in 26 atolls in the Maldives. The islands span 875 kilometers from north to south and 132 kilometers from east to west.
Among these islands, there are numerous inhabited islands. On each inhabited island, locals have built their homes and lives.
Coral reefs surround the area, so it is not accessible by cruise boats. That is why the only way to access these islands is with speed boats or by air.
The 26 atolls are grouped in 21 administrative divisions, the largest being Gan, located in Laamu Atoll.
Book your Dream Holiday now
The maximum elevation of the land is only 2.5 meters, making the Maldives the lowest country in the world.
Where is the Maldives located exposes it to the risk of sinking as the sea level continues to rise. Experts believe that by 2100 these islands will become uninhabitable.
At the moment, Maldives has diplomatic relations with 135 countries worldwide. It also has 13 resident missions in countries like China, Bangladesh, India, Japan, European Union, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, United Kingdom, and United Nations at Geneva and New York.
In 1965, the country joined the United Nations (UN). It played a crucial role in the establishment of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in 1985.
10 years later, in 1995, the islands became a member of the World Trade Organisation. In 2005, Maldives joined the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
In 2009 it entered into the International Labor Organisation. Today Maldives is a member of more than 60 international organizations.
In 2011 the country hosted the SAARC summit as Secretary-General of SAARC. It promoted regional collaboration and security problems in South Asia.
If we discuss environmental issues, Maldives is a good example to follow. It is one of the three countries that graduated from the United Nations’ “Least Developed Countries” category.
A few years ago the country established the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Its plan is to transform all the islands and atolls into a Biosphere Reserve.
Because of its location, it has a tropical monsoon climate. Its climate is strongly affected by the large landmass of South Asia.
Because of its low elevation, the temperature is constant, and the climate is often humid all year round.
There are 2 seasons that dominate the islands of Maldives: the dry season, and rainy season.
The dry season is associated with the northeastern winter monsoon.
The rainy season associated with the southwest monsoon which comes with quite strong winds and heavy storms.
The peak of the dry season in these islands in the Indian Ocean is in April and May. The rainy season generally lasts from June till November.
But the weather is quite unpredictable and it is quite difficult to place it in a pattern. This means that light rains might occur even in December or January.
The good news is that these rains generally don’t last for long and there is nothing to worry about. The sun comes out quickly and you have another wonderful beach day ahead.
The average temperature is between 26 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius and it is constant all year round.
You can check here the weather forecast for Male.
Maldive is indeed Paradise on Earth, so don’t be surprised to find out that it is among the most popular destinations in the world.
The Maldives is synonymous with luxury and relaxation. Tourists from around the world flock here, drawn by the allure of its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.
For those seeking adventure, scuba diving in the Maldives offers an unparalleled experience, with vibrant marine life and stunning underwater landscapes.
For those looking for opulence, the islands boast some of the world’s most exclusive luxury resorts, each luxury resort is offering a unique blend of indulgence and natural beauty.
If you are looking for a place to relax or the perfect destination for a romantic escape, Maldive sure is the best choice.
What is quite surprising about these islands is that nobody wanted to visit them a few decades ago. Very few people even heard about them until 1970, when they started to become more popular.
The main income source for the island is tourism. From the total of 1192 islands, only 190 are inhabited.
The islands’ main attraction is the resorts built on atolls where you have the whole island for yourself.
In 2020 about 90% of the government tax revenue comes from tourism. The remaining 10% reveneue is from agriculture and fishing.
Until 1970 agriculture and fishing were the main income sources for Maldivians and the Government.
Based on the official evidence, more than 550 properties offer services in the tourism area with more than 25,000 beds that accommodated more than 1.5 million tourists in 2020.
When everything started in 1970, there were only 2 hotels on the entire archipelago, and now, in 2022, their number exceeded 550.
The people that live in the Maldives belong to the Maldivian ethnic group, which is nothing but a result of all kinds of people that settled on these islands for a long time.
The first people that are believed to settle here came from India, and Sri Lanka followed by traders from all kinds of Arab countries.
In time, people from Indonesia, Madagascar, China, and even Malaya visited these islands, and some settled here.
The official language that is spoken in the Maldives is called the Maldivian language of Dhivehi and other spoken languages are English, Hindi, and Arabic.
How to travel around the Maldives Islands
With over 1,000 islands spread across 26 atolls, it can be a challenge to decide how to get around and explore all that the Maldives has to offer.
Here are some tips on how to travel around the Maldives islands.
One of the most popular ways to travel between islands in the Maldives is by speedboat.
Many resorts and local tour operators offer private speedboat transfers, which can be arranged in advance or upon arrival at the airport.
Speedboats are fast and efficient, and they allow you to travel between islands in just a matter of minutes.
They are also a great way to enjoy the scenic views of the ocean and the islands as you zip past.
Another way to travel around the Maldives is by seaplane.
Seaplanes offer a unique and thrilling way to explore the Maldives, as they provide an aerial view of the islands and their stunning natural beauty.
Seaplanes are available for private hire, or you can book a scenic flight tour to see the islands from above.
By traditional Dhoni Boat
If you prefer a more leisurely pace, you can also travel around the Maldives by traditional dhoni boat.
Locals have used these wooden boats for centuries, providing a relaxed and genuine method to discover the islands.
You can hire Dhoni boats for private journeys or charter them for group trips.
They are perfect for island hopping and visiting local fishing villages, and they offer an opportunity to experience the Maldives from a unique perspective.
In conclusion, the Maldives is a beautiful destination with a variety of transportation options to explore the islands.
Whether you choose to travel by speedboat, seaplane, or traditional dhoni boat, each mode of transportation offers a unique experience and a chance to discover the natural beauty of the Maldives.
Frequently asked questions
Well, the news in this chapter is not that good as experts consider that by 2,100 most of the islands will become uninhabitable.
The main reason that will cause this disaster is global warming and when I visited Maldives I saw with my own eyes how locals have to fight with nature to preserve the beaches and as much land as possible.
That is why I strongly recommend you prioritize your travel list and go to the Maldives until it is not too late.
The island embodies paradise on Earth, and its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and abundant marine life will captivate you.
The Maldives of the Republic of the Maldives is an independent country located on the world map in the southwestern part of India and Sri Lanka.
With a total population of fewer than 600,000 inhabitants, and less than 1,000 square kilometers of land it is the smallest country in Asia.
The Maldives, also known as the Republic of the Maldives, stands as an independent country that no one owns.
Across the centuries, the Maldivian islands were under Portuguese, British, and Dutch occupation and it was even a sultanate for a few years on a raw.
The Maldives is quite expensive, but the good news is that they have built more accommodations for budget travelers in recent years.
In general, a 10 days holiday on an island resort will cost you around 4000-5000 USD for 2 people ( all-inclusive and transportation included), but the prices might easily rise up to more than 10.000 USD if you are looking for luxury villas and royal treatments.
In the Central Maldives, especially in the Male region and Kaafu Atoll, there are quite a few guesthouses and hotels especially designated for those looking to spend less but enjoy the beauty of these islands.
Maldives is extremely safe for tourists not just from a terrorist attack point of view but also from the pandemia side.
The fact that most of the resorts are located on isolated islands, and you don’t get contact with many people makes Maldives one of the most popular destinations during these times.
However, in the Male area, pickpocketing and petty thefts have become quite common in the last couple of years, but once you travel on the resort islands, all these problems disappear.
The Maldives uses the Maldivian rufiyaa (MVR) as its currency, and one rufiyaa divides into 100 laari.
The Maldivian rufiyaa was first introduced in 1981 to replace the Maldivian rupee, which was in circulation during the country’s time as a British protectorate.
The current design of the rufiyaa features local marine life and cultural symbols, and the currency is available in both coins and banknotes.
It is important to note that the Maldives is a popular tourist destination, and many resorts and restaurants accept major international currencies, such as US dollars and Euros, in addition to the local currency.
Travelers should exchange their money for Maldivian rufiyaa upon arriving in the country to prevent confusion or potential exchange rate issues.
The Maldives is closest to the countries of Sri Lanka and India, which are located to the northeast and north of the archipelago, respectively.
Sri Lanka is just over 500 kilometers away from the Maldives, while the southern coast of India is approximately 700 kilometers away.
In addition to Sri Lanka and India, the Maldives is also located relatively close to other countries in the region, including the island nation of Seychelles to the west, and the African countries of Somalia and Tanzania to the southwest and south, respectively.
Overall, the Maldives is a strategically located country in the Indian Ocean that is close to several neighboring countries, making it a unique and diverse destination for travelers to explore.
Where are the Maldives located makes this island such a fragile ecosystem, but in the meantime, the most beautiful island on Earth.
No matter if you choose to go here for a romantic escape, a honeymoon, or just for a relaxing holiday, the Maldives should be on your shortlist so get the Maldives map for proper planning for your future holiday.
Here are the most stunning resorts in Maldives located in various parts of the archipelago.
There are so many interesting and unique things to do while in the Maldives that 10 days would hardly be enough.
If you are not yet sure that the Maldives will be your next travel destination here are some reasons why you should hurry and visit these magnificent islands now: 10 fantastic things to do in Maldives
It is not just the beauty of nature that makes this place a top destination, there are also the people that will make the most of your holiday.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.