Maldives: Probably the most beautiful island in the Maldives and the world. These twenty-six atolls are made up of 1,192 coral islands that have been grouped into the atoll, and are spread out over roughly 90,000 square kilometers, making Maldives one of the world’s most dispersed countries. In addition, Maldives is the lowest country in the world in terms of elevation.
The maximum elevation for the whole country is only 2.4 metres above sea level, and the average elevation is only 1.5 metres above sea level. More than 80% of the country’s land is made up of coral islands raising less than one metre above sea level.
Maldives is located atop an ocean ridge that runs 960 km along the Indian Ocean floor. It is only near the southern end of the island chain that there are two passages that permit safe ship navigation.
There have been many other cultural influences on Maldives. The first known settlers were of Dravidian descent. Arriving in the period 300 BCE – 300 CE, these people were likely fishermen from the southwest coasts of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka.
Despite it being so long ago, and there being so much that has occurred since then, modern Maldivian culture still retains traces from the ancient Dravidian population. The language in particular, especially place names, kinship names, and poetry, retains many elements from the days of the Dravidians.
From the mid sixth century, the island chain was dominated by colonial powers, including Portugal, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. However, also during this time, the primary religion practiced in the country fluctuated as the islands also came under rule of others. Originally, the islanders practiced an ancient form of Hinduism.
During the time of Emperor Ashoka’s expansion, the primary religion became Buddhism, which remained until the mid 12th century when Islam, the present religion of choice, was brought to the island. In 1965, Maldives gained independence from the United Kingdom and in 1968, the country became a republic.
The economy is primarily based on tourism and fishing, which has done the country reasonably well with the World Bank classifying the Maldivian economy as an upper middle income economy.
Maldives has a tropical-monsoon climate which is heavily affected by the nearby large continental landmass.
There are two seasons that dominate the Maldivian climate, the dry season, associated with the winter northeastern monsoon, and the wet season, which is associated with the wet, southwest monsoon and is known for being windy and stormy.
The shift from the wet season to the dry season occurs in April-May. The average rainfall in the country depends heavily on where you are.
In the north, the average annual rainfall is 254 centimeters, but in the south, it is 381 centimeters.
As mentioned, Maldives is made up of over 1,000 small islands. While all are beautiful, not all are developed. Below is a list of some of the best island spots in the country.