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A double string of 1,190 coral islands to the southwest of Sri Lanka, stretching north to just south of the equator, make up the Republic of Maldives.
We have hand picked just a few of the spa best resorts here, but have many more on our books. So, if you're looking to go somewhere that we have not published on our site, please let us know.
In the meantime, we have 7 night trips (including return flights) starting from around £1,300 per person, rising to around £7,000. There's so much choice! See all places to stay
This archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 130 km (81 miles) at its widest point and 820 km (510 miles) in length, is also the flattest in the world, with the highest natural land less than 2.4 m (8 feet) above sea level.
Grouped into 26 atolls – ring-shaped coral formations enclosing a lagoon, which provide a natural defence against wind and wave – the Maldives covers a total area of 859,000 square kilometres (331,661 square miles), yet only 1% of this is land. Not surprisingly, this aquatic nation is considered one of the top 10 diving spots in the world. With only 200 inhabited islands and an additional 98 islands developed exclusively as tourist resorts, tourism is the dominant support for the economy.
Malé is the capital of the Republic of Maldives, an island 2 km (1.2 miles) long and 1 km (0.6 mile) wide. Though built to the edge, Malé is clean and quaint, with markets, mosques and a maze of small streets that approximately 103,000 people call home.
Weather and seasons
The weather in the Maldives is exactly what you expect from your tropical paradise. Pleasant temperatures all year round, with two main seasons: the dry season (from the end of October until the end of March), and the rainy season (from the end of April until the end of October).
The dry season is therefore the prime time to visit the Maldives, when the weather is ideal for simply lazing on the beach, or diving in and around the hot spots in the Maldives. The average temperature during the dry season is around 27C (80F).
The water temperature in Maldives never drops below 25 degrees, and with the average sunshine surpassing 8 hours in a day, it is difficult not to enjoy the blissful weather conditions.
January - December: See Napoleon wrasse, reef fish and turtles while diving and snorkelling.
February-March: Seas are generally calm with a glass-like surface. You can see coral spawning during night dives, with the greatest display in late March.
May-October: See manta rays while diving and snorkelling. A combination of large swells from ocean currents and the western monsoon creates ideal conditions for surfers.
November-March: This is the season to see sharks, eagle rays and dolphins during dives.
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights full board from £1,435
Set on a pristine island within the Lhaviyani Atoll, Palm Beach Resort & Spa offers Italian hospitality in a Maldivian paradise surrounded by white sandy beaches and protected by a magnificent lagoon and coral reefs.view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights from £1,615
Lux* Maldives (previously called Diva) is located in the South Ari Atoll, which is renowned for being one of the best dive sites in the world, accessible by a 25 minute seaplane from Male. Due to the way the resort is configured, it's great for both families and couples.view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights all inclusive from £2,129
A holiday to Constance Moofushi is all about relaxation and rejuvenation and combines the Robinson Crusoe barefoot elegance of an elegant luxury resort with the hotel's renowned levels of service. This is an exceptional scuba diving destination. All inclusive packages available.view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights from £2,950
This stunning private island resort offers the ultimate in stylish simplicity, total relaxation and gourmet dining, just a 30 minute speedboat journey from Male airport. The house reefs and nearby dive sites are amongst the best in the world for diving and snorkelling.view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights from £3,125
Gili Lankanfushi (formerly Soneva Gili) was the first all over-water villa resort in the Maldives and still leads the way with its spectacular villas-on-stilts. It successfully combines barefoot luxury, stylish sophistication and exceptional service.view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights from £3,545
Located at the southern tip of the Addu Atoll, just south of the equator, the luxury Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa sits on a long narrow island with over six kilometres of coastline, superb white sand beaches and lush tropical foliage. Unlike many resorts in the Maldives, there's lots to keep you active here.view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights from £4,215
This luxurious island retreat is situated in the Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. This Four Seasons is set in 40 acres of lush natural vegetation, encircled by white sand beaches lapped by clear turquoise lagoons - the perfect oasis for visitor seeking tranquillity and relaxation (or active sporting relaxation!)view
maldives, indian ocean 7 nights from £4,700
On the Noonu Atoll in the north west of the Maldives, Cheval Blanc Randheli encompasses five pristine islands in a stunning lagoon, offering the ultimate in exclusivity, minimalist luxury design, fine dining and the best spa treatments.view