The Maldives: Kingdom of a Thousand Isles
The Maldives is one of the most attenuated countries in the world, with nearly 1,200 islands in 19 distinct coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. Thor Heyerdahl's famous hypothesis places the Maldives at the crossroads of a great east-west trade route nearly 4,000 years ago, and its establishment as an Islamic kingdom in the 12th century makes it one of the oldest small states in the world. Still, the country's appeal to most visitors is not historical. Sometimes known as ''the Paradise Isles'', the Maldives are made up of hundreds of idyllic islands that are famed for their beautiful tropical beaches, spectacular coral reefs and marine life. To these accolades can be added some of the best island-style hotels in the world. This guide is a superb introduction to the archipelago, covering its geography, history, art and culture. It includes a comprehensive survey of the luxurious resorts, and a special section on diving and advice on organizing a boat cruise.
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Facts for the Traveller
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Addu Atoll air-conditioned airport Arab archipelago Ari Atoll Baa Atoll beach beam boat Boduthakurufaanu Magu Booking Buddhist cabins w/attached bathroom cabins w/attached toilet catamaran catamaran sailing coconut coral cowries cruise deluxe desalinated water Dhaalu Dhivehi dhoni w/rental equipment disco dive centre dive sites divers diving dhoni w/rental diving school e-mail excursions Faadhippolhu Atoll FAAFU ATOLL fish Goalhi guests HITHADHOO holiday Hotels house reef Huvadhoo Atoll Ibn Battuta Islam Island Resort jacuzzi Kandu kilometres knots lacquer lagoon live-aboards luxurious Madivaru Maldives Maldives Pvt Ltd Maldivian mantas mats Meemu Atoll metres minutes by air minutes by seaplane minutes by speedboat Miskiiy mosque Motor cruiser Muhammad Muslim Nilandhoo North Male Atoll offers palm passengers rooms sharks ship snorkelling South Male Sri Lanka Sultan swimming pool table tennis Thila tourist Tours Transfer Travel uninhabited islands Vaadhoo Vaavu Atoll Vessel villas volleyball water bungalows water sports windsurfing wooden wrecked