Where is the Maldives located and 10 reasons to go there now

Where is the Maldives located and how many hours last the flight till 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 these two questions and will give you 10 good reasons why you should visit the islands of Maldives.

First of all, I want to tell you that Maldives or Maldive Islands as they are also called is a republic and 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, and not all the islands located in the Indian Ocean are inhabited islands.

The total territory of the 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.

What is interesting about this country is that it was classified as the world’s most dispersed country and it is also the smallest country on the Asian continent.

The country has about 570.000 inhabitants that live on some of the islands and this makes Maldives the second least populous country from the Asian continent.

The capital of the country is Male, the place where is located the most important airport from the archipelago, Valena International Airport, the main gateway to the world.

Where is the Maldives
Where is the Maldives

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, where is the island of Maldives located lies an ancient volcanic mountain range, and the islands we see today are nothing but the crowns of that volcanic mountain range.

Although the elevation is very low, these islands are protected by the destructive effects of the monsoons because of the coral reef barrier that surrounds each island.

Each atoll has sandy beaches, turquoise waters, lagoons, and lush vegetation with coconut palms, breadfruit trees, and some tropical bushes.

In the waters around the atolls live many species of fish as well as sharks, mantas, octopuses, morena eels, and sea turtles.

The rainy seasons generally last from May to August, while the dry season is from December to March.

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Where is the Maldives located and its toponymy

The name of Maldives comes from the Sanskrit worlds mālā (garland) and dvīpa (island) or Maala Divaina which means Necklace Islands in Sinhala and the Maldivian people are also known as Dhivehi.

The Maldives map all atolls
The Maldives map all atolls

According to the ancient writings, people from Sri Lanka called Maldives Mahiladiva which means the Island of Women, and 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

Maldivian people

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.

Maldivian People Culture
Maldivian People Culture

In time, people from Indonesia, Madagascar, China, and even Malaya visited these islands and some of them 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.

Geography of the islands

There are in total 1,192 islands that are grouped in 26 atolls that are stretched on 875 kilometers from south to north and 132 kilometers from west to east.

The area is surrounded by coral reefs so it is not accessible by cruise boats, so the only way to access these islands is with speed boats and by air.

The Maldives Islands Sea Plane
The Maldives Islands Sea Plane

The 26 atolls are grouped in 21 administrative divisions with the largest one being Gan which is located in Laamu Atoll.

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The maximum elevation of the land is only 2.5 meters which makes 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 and so experts believe that by 2100 these islands will become uninhabitable.

International presence

At the moment, Maldives has diplomatic relations with 135 countries worldwide and 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) and is a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC which was established in 1985.

10 years later, in 1995, the islands became a member of the World Trade Organisation and in 2005 Maldives joined the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency or MIGA.

Turquoise Lagoon on small tropial island on Maldives
Turquoise Lagoon on small tropial island on Maldives

In 2009 it entered into the International Labor Organisation and today Maldives is a member of more than 60 international organizations.

In 2011 the country hosted the SAARC summit as a Secretary-General of SAARC and promoted regional collaboration and security problems in South Asia.

If we discuss environmental issues, Maldives is a good example to follow as 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 and its plan is to transform all the islands and atolls into a Biosphere Reserve.

Climate

Taking into consideration where is the Maldives located we can say that it has a tropical monsoon climate, and 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 which is generally associated with the winter northeastern monsoon and the rainy season associated with the southwest monsoon which comes with quite strong winds and heavy storms.

Best time to visit Maldives
Best time to visit Maldives

The peak of the dry season in these islands in the Indian Ocean is in April and May, while the rainy season generally lasts from June till November.

But the weather in the Maldives is quite unpredictable and it is quite difficult to place it in a pattern which 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 as the sun comes out quickly and you have another wonderful beach day ahead.

The average temperature in the Maldives is between 26 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius and it is constant all year round.

Tourism

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.

No matter if you are looking for a place to relax, or for 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 and very few people even heard about them until 1970.

Today tourism is the main source of income for this island nation and from the total of 1192 islands, only 190 are inhabited.

The main attraction of the islands is the resorts built on atolls where you have the whole island for yourself.

Private Beach at Maldives Island Atoll
Private Beach at Maldives Island Atoll

In 2020 about 90% of the government tax revenue comes from tourism and the remaining 10% 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 in the Maldives there are more than 550 properties that 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 islands and now, in 2021 their number exceeded 550.

Will the Maldives sink?

Well, the news in this chapter is not that good as experts consider that by 2,100 most of the islands of Maldives 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.

The island of Maldives located will Maldives Sink
The island of Maldives located will Maldives Sink

That is why I strongly recommend you to prioritize your travel list and go to the Maldives until it is not too late.

The island is a paradise on Earth and you will be fascinated by its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and the abundance of marine life.

10 reasons to visit the Maldives now

Secluded beaches, turquoise waters, romantic dinners under the stars, and waterside villas are the things that appear in front of your eyes when you speak about the Maldives.

But Maldives is more than that; it is a place full of life, with a positive vibe and many amazing attractions.

Water bungalows wooden jetty Maldives turquoise water water villa
Water bungalows wooden jetty Maldives turquoise water water villa

If you are not yet sure that the Maldives will be your next travel destination let me give you some reasons why you should hurry and visit these magnificent islands now!

1. Exploring the underwater world

Maldives is known to be among the most beautiful snorkeling places in the world because of its rich marine life that can be found quite close to the islands.

Each sandbank is surrounded by a reef and most of these reefs are home to an impressive number of species of fish and other marine creatures.

Coral Reef Atol Maldives Islands
During my stay in the Maldives, we did snorkeling each day in the shallow waters around the island and we met reef sharks, eagle rays, dozens of species of colorful fishes as well as octopus and morena eel.

You might also spot turtles and dolphins as well as manta rays and other interesting marine creatures.

You can book a snorkeling tour or if you are lucky you might see all these marine creatures right on the waters around your villa.

2. Get close to reef sharks and mantas

The main attractions from the area are by far the manta rays and the reef sharks and I know that most of you dream of swimming with these creatures.

To be honest with you, when I was in the water and I saw the first reef shark I was so scared that I forgot how to swim (hihi).

But after I recover from the initial shock I have to tell you that swimming with these creatures is indeed amazing.

Red Lionfish Maldives Atoll Fish Snorkeling Indian Ocean
Red Lionfish Maldives Atoll Fish Snorkeling Indian Ocean

You feel so tiny and insignificant and a deep feeling of gratitude appears out of the blue.

These shy creatures are quite hard to spot and manta rays especially can be seen only during certain months but be patient and for sure you will spot these creatures in the waters around your resort.

3. Lay on the perfect white sand beach

I have been to many beautiful places on Earth but I can tell you that Maldives beaches are among the most beautiful I have ever seen.

These beaches offer you a deep feeling of privacy and you will be amazed by its white and soft sand.

Maldives Luxury Resort Pristine Beach and turquoise water
Maldives Luxury Resort Pristine Beach and turquoise water

The temperatures are constant all year round, between 25 to 32 degrees Celsius, perfect for laying in the sun and perfecting your tan.

After 10 days of holiday, I left Maldives with one of the most beautiful and perfect tan I have ever had.

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The beaches are huge, with white sand and if you choose to stay on a beach villa you will have your own piece of beach just for your own.

4. Get some spa therapies

Besides the turquoise waters full of colorful fishes and pristine beaches, Maldives has one of the best spas in the world.

Therapists from Indonesia come here to offer one of the most relaxing spa experiences you have ever had.

Kudafushi Resort and Spa Garden
Kudafushi Resort and Spa Garden

Most of the resorts have a beautiful spa area with lush gardens and private cabanas specially designated for a wide range of massages and therapies.

You can choose from Thai Massage, Balinese, Maldivian massage, and many others so that you can enjoy your time and relax listening to the sound of the ocean while a therapist destresses your muscles and relaxes your brain.

5. Have access to a wide range of watersports

Where is the Maldives located makes it the perfect destination for watersports lovers as a wide range of activities can be practiced here.

Kudafushi Maldives Beach
Turquoise water Maldives white sand Beach water sports

You can choose from kayaking, X-Jet, jet- skiing, sea bobbing, canoeing, snorkeling, diving, and many others.

Even surfers are welcome here as Laamu Atoll offers consistent waves and perfect winds so that you can enjoy your favorite water sport in these turquoise waters.

6. Find out more about local culture

Because of its proximity to India and Sri Lanka and their long common history, the Maldivian culture has strong influences from these 2 countries.

The Maldives are known for their welcoming and warm people who will do everything they can to make your holiday an unforgettable experience.

Maldives Kudafushi Fruit Bar
Maldives Kudafushi Fruit Bar

You might find these surprisingly, but Arab and African influences are also visible in the Maldivian culture.

The Arab influences remained from the times when the Arabs came to these islands for trading and the African influences were brought here by the slaves from the Royal family and nobles that lived here once.

The islands where these African influences are more visible are Maalhos and Feridhu from the North Ari Atoll, as well as Goindhu from the Southern Maalhosmadulu Atoll.

7. Try the Maldivian Cuisine

The Maldivian cuisine is dominated by fish as this was the easiest food to find in the area and fishing is the second largest activity in the country.

Generally, the daily meal of Maldivian consists of fish and rice, very few vegetables that were available just for the people that had their own farm.

We strongly encourage you to try the local food especially the Maldivian curry with tuna, as the tuna is freshly fished and has a very good taste and flavor.

Kudafushi Dinner Lamb Chops with Curry Rice
Kudafushi Dinner Lamb Chops with Curry Rice

On my trip to the Maldives I ate tuna each day and each time I was surprised by its great aroma and incredible taste.

You have also to try a fish soup with lime, rice, chilly and curry leaves, and coconut.

Other common ingredients used in the local cuisine are potatoes and coconut as well as dried mango and dried coconut.

As for dessert, most of them contain coconut and puddings, and mousses are quite often served at independent restaurants and resorts.

8. Watch bioluminescent water under the clear sky

The Maldives, especially the Raa Atoll is one of the best places in the world to see this unique and magnificent show.

The stars from the sky descend into the ocean and create a one-of-a-kind show which you might witness if you walk on the beach during night time.

Bioluminescence in the Maldives
Bioluminescence in the Maldives

It is the phytoplankton that emits luminescent toxins in order to protect themselves from fish and other ocean predators.

If you want to amplify this show go into the shallow water and wave your foot to activate this bioluminescent show.

9. Explore Male, the capital of the Maldives

I know that when you say the Maldives you imagine crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches, but before flying into a resort island take some time and explore Male and its suburbs.

You will find here the essence of the Maldivian lifestyle, a world that keeps its medieval and ancient influences from Arabs, Asians, and African people that came here.

Atoll Maldives Islands from above Indian Ocean
Atoll Maldives Islands from above Indian Ocean

You definitely have to visit the Royal Bath from Villingili and Hurhumale, a great place where you can swim with fishes that live in the coral atolls.

Another place which I strongly recommend visiting is the fish and fruit market from where you can buy fresh and tasty fruits as well as fish and other sea creatures and cook a delicious dinner after a local recipe.

10. Stay in a water villa

When we say water villa we don’t even have to say Maldives because our brain associates these two words with Maldives.

It is the essence of the Maldives and one of the most interesting experiences you have to try when visiting these beautiful islands.

The water villas are generally built on pylons overlooking a beautiful lagoon and a coral reef full of fishes and other marine life.

Maldives Kudafushi Resort and Spa Water Villa
Maldives Kudafushi Resort and Spa Water Villa

From your villa you can enter directly into the ocean and from your bed, the first thing you see in the morning is the beautiful turquoise water that surrounds your villa.

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Some of the villas come equipped with a pool and/ or outdoor bathroom and I don’t think there is something more beautiful and relaxing than bathing under the clear sky, listening to the ocean, or eating breakfast in your own private pool overlooking the sea.

Conclusion

Where is the Maldives located makes from this island such a fragile ecosystem, but in the meantime the most beautiful islands 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.

Kudafushi Water Villa Maldives
Kudafushi Water Villa Maldives

There are so many interesting and unique things to do while in the Maldives that 10 days would hardly be enough.

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.

FAQ

In which country is Maldives located?

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.

What country owns the Maldives?

The islands of Maldives or the Republic of the Maldives is independent country that is not owned by anybody.

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.

Water bungalows wooden jetty Maldives turquoise water water villa
Water bungalows wooden jetty Maldives turquoise water water villa

How expensive is it to go to the Maldives?

The Maldives is quite an expensive country but the good news is that in the last few years more accommodations for budget travelers were built.

In general, a 10 days holiday to the Maldives on a resort island 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.

Is the Maldives safe?

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 became quite common in the last couple of years, but once you travel on the resort islands all these problems disappear.

Plan your trip to this beautiful place: Logistical tips and tricks

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
We never leave home without HeyMondo Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money, plus COVID coverage.

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 Rentalcars. com as they have free cancellation 24 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.
 

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