As a break away from any gloomy weather I thought I’d share a few photos I have from just one of the 1,190 coral islands that make up the heavenly Maldives.
It is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed sovereign states as well as the smallest Asian country by land area and, with around 557,426 inhabitants, the 2nd least populous country in Asia.
How many Atolls in the Maldives?
Comprising 26 atolls spread across more than 90,000 kilometres of Indian Ocean, each Maldivian island is the crest of an ancient volcanic range that pokes tantalisingly through the waves.
Of the 1192 islands with only about 290 being inhabited, including around 90 with tourist resorts.
The atolls are roughly circular coral formations with a central lagoon, fringing reef, and just a few small islands around the edges and in the middle. Natural channels serve as entry points to the atoll, and deeper channels separate the atolls from each other.
Maldives climate change problems
The highest point on any of the islands is just eight feet and, with sea levels rising, the country’s future looks perilous. So much so that in the next 40-50 years it’s likely that many of its 200 inhabited islands will need to be abandoned.
Because of its low lying islands, the rising sea levels due to global warming could seriously impact its existence. Some scientists believe that by as early as 2050 or 2100, it may no longer exist.
This has also been said of Venice and many other cities and countries which are threatened by rising waters. It really seems to be a destination you’d want to experience before it’s too late.
Things to do in the Maldives
For now, its remains many people’s idea of paradise – all white sands, swaying palms, sunset walks and overwater bungalows beloved of honeymooners.
Not to mention some of the world’s very best diving and snorkelling – shimmering shoals of fish, manta rays, turtles and an enormous array of other marine life can be seen among the colourful reefs that fringe the islands, often within just a few metres of the soft sand. Dolphin watching is another fascinating and memorable activity.
There are whales around the Maldives, but the most accessible marine spectator sport is watching dolphins, usually the stunning, acrobatic Spinner variety.
The Capital Malè
Malè is one of the smallest capitals in the world, the city’s appeal lies in its little avenues, the clean streets and impressive skyscrapers. Compared with the relaxed atmosphere within the islands surrounding Male, the bustling city is remarkable.
This is the main stay of the Maldivian population and the local atmosphere really shows through. The city is a bustling place with bright lights, quirky bars, a maze of local markets that sells a plethora of goods.
But remember alcohol is only available on the resort islands. There are many historic mosques that bear testament to the city’s Islamic heritage. From the island capital, Malé, it’s a short trip on a boat taxi or seaplane to the resort islands.
The plane is especially memorable, with swirling patterns of islands, reefs and sandbars below as you come in to land on the water
Once at your resort there’s little to do but relax. A hammock within earshot of the lapping sea would be my recommendation. As I said, a heavenly hideaway.