Maldives (Indian Ocean): useful information

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Useful information on the Maldives, including all the things you need to know to organize a trip or vacation among the atolls of the wonderful archipelago located in the Indian Ocean.


Maldives in a nutshell

  • Capital: Bad
  • Area in sq km: 298
  • Population: 359,008 (2006)
  • Religion: Muslim Sunni

Where are

Maldives flag The Maldives archipelago, consisting of 26 atolls for a total of 1190 coral islands (of which only 202 are inhabited), is located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of the southern end of the Indian Peninsula, straddling the equator.

The islands rest on a rock base, located a few meters above sea level, have beautiful white sandy beaches and a flora made up of tropical trees (coconut palms, mangroves, pandans, papayas, banana trees, Ficus Benghalensis etc.).


The atolls are formed by a more or less circular coral reef that separates the islands that are located inside it from the deep waters of the ocean.

The islands, surrounded by a lagoon of clear and blue water, are of various sizes, the largest being Fua Mulaku which is located in the Gnaviyani atoll, in the south of the archipelago.

Short story

The Maldive islands inhabited from the sixth century, were ruled first by an autonomous sultanate passed later, starting from the seventeenth century, first under Dutch protection and then the English one from 1887 onwards.


Despite having achieved independence in 1968 with the proclamation of the presidential republic, the Maldives had for many years authoritarian governments and only in 2005, with the introduction of multi-partyism, did more space open for democracy.

Climate

The climate of the Maldives, influenced by the monsoons, is characterized by two seasons.

- Dry season, between December and April (monsoon from north east), rainfall is scarce and the sea is calm.


- Wet season, between May and November (monsoon from south west), there are rains, daily showers and the sea is more choppy.

The climate is pleasant and the temperatures are constant throughout the year. The average temperature is around 28 ° / 29 ° C, that of the water oscillates between 27 ° and 29 ° C.

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Population

Various research shows that a very ancient civilization was already present when the first settlers from Sri Lanka and southern India arrived in the Maldives.

Alongside these ethnic groups, populations from Africa and Arab countries have joined.

Furthermore there have been contacts with Portuguese, Dutch, English.

Therefore the population of the Maldives is ethnically mixed. In recent years there has been a migratory flow from Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.

Time zone

In the Maldives it is necessary to move the clock hands 4 hours ahead of Italy, (3 hours ahead when there is summer time in Italy).

In the tourist islands, the time zone is often changed from the official one, to make the most of the hours of sunshine.

Spoken language

The official language of the Maldives is dhivehi.


English is spoken and the languages ​​of tourists visiting the islands are also known in tourist villages, such as Italian.

Economy

Fishing and related activities are the main activity of the population of the Maldives, together with the cultivation of coconut palm, from which walnut, coconut oil and palm fiber are obtained.

The tourism sector is important.

When to go

From the climatic point of view, the preferred months to go to the Maldives are from mid-December to March, which correspond to the dry period, but also to the most expensive one being high season.

Otherwise you can opt for November and April.

Necessary documents

To visit the Maldives you need a passport with a residual expiration of at least three months.


Upon arrival at the airport, a 30-day tourist visa is issued.

Those who want to stay longer must pay an extra tax of 45 US $ plus 6 US $ for each day of stay.

In addition, you must be in possession of the return or onward journey ticket and the confirmed hotel reservation.

Vaccinations

To visit the Maldives there are no mandatory vaccinations to be done, only those who come from infected areas are required to vaccinate against yellow fever.

From the health point of view it is good to have insurance coverage.

Some advices
- Bring essential medicine, products to protect yourself from mosquito bites and insects.

- Consume bottled drinks or can without adding ice.

- After the bath it is good to clean the ears with fresh water, to avoid infections due to the plankton present in the sea water.

Phone

- The international code to call from Italy to the Maldives is: 00960

- The international prefix to call from the Maldives to Italy is: 0039

From some atolls it is possible to use GSM mobile phones that are enabled for roaming (it is good to inquire before departure).

However, the purchase of a phone card is recommended, to be used in the public cabins of inhabited islands not reserved for tourist villages, since calling from the villages is quite expensive.


It is possible to connect to the internet.

Electricity

The electric current is 220 Volts. In some villages there are English-style sockets, so an adapter is needed.

Currency

The official currency of the Maldives is the rufiyaa.

For payments it is possible to use US dollars and euros.

The main credit cards are accepted in all the tourist villages.

How to get

plane
Flights to the Maldives land at Hulule International Airport, which is located on an island in the North Male atoll, near Male, the capital.

The airport is connected to the various islands through services operated by fast boats and dhoni, typical boat of the Maldives, for the nearest destinations, and by seaplanes for the most distant destinations.

The Meridiana fly and Neos airlines offer direct flights from Italy to the Maldives.

Among the airlines that organize flights from Italy to the Maldives with a stopover, we mention Qatar Airways which calls at Doha and Emirates which calls at Dubai.

Maldives - Pearls of the Indian Ocean (November 2021)


Tags: Indian Ocean
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