The history of the first inhabitants of the Maldives is not known, but some archaeological finds indicate that the Maldives are inhabited since about 5,000 years. Others claim that the Maldives only since the year 500 BC, discovered by Sinhalese sailors. The dialect spoken in the Maldives today, also strongly recalls that of the Singhalese. Also there are some Buddhist relics found during excavations on the islands.
On July 26, 1965 the Maldives became independent, and in 1968 was chosen for a republic. From 1978 Maumoom President Abdul Gayoom. He was re-elected five times. In November 2008 the former political prisoner Mohamed Nasheed was elected as his successor. The population is still 100% Muslim.
On 26 December 2004 the Maldives were affected by the large tsunami that was caused by an earthquake under the Indian Ocean. The lack of a large land mass, however, could not build a high tide, causing the devastating effect was less than in countries on the continent or on a much larger islands such as the relatively nearby Sri Lanka. Although the waves in the Maldives were not higher than about 1.5 meters, this was - by the low height of the islands - still enough to cause very serious damage. About 75 people died, 13 inhabited islands and 29 tourist islands were completely destroyed.
The Maldives are located about 650 km southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean. The country consists of some 1,200 islands, most are just above the equator. The islands were formed after the crust opdrukte an elongated ridge. Around the tops of the undersea mountain range formed coral atolls. In those atolls created many coral islands. No country in the world is richer in coral than the Maldives. You can read more about the geography of the Maldives.
The sea around the Maldives is littered with lying under the water reefs and sandbanks. The reefs that protrude above the water are the islands that are usually found on the outside of an atoll. The islands are protected from the surf of the sea protected by high crown reefs.
In all, the Maldives consist of 26 atolls, the main atoll is the Male Atoll. The Huvadhoo Atoll is the largest atoll of the Maldives and the largest atoll in the world: 55 km wide and 70 km long. The area of the Maldives is approximately 90,000 km². This seems like a lot but the total land area is only 298 square kilometers ie 0.33% of the total area. The largest island is barely 5 square kilometers and only nine islands are larger than 2 square kilometers. In terms of land area and population size are the Maldives to the smallest countries in Asia.
Of the nearly 1,200 islands are only 200 inhabited, many of these islands inhabitable for tourists and include luxury resorts. Some islands are even completely or partially (for example, a private beach) for rent! The number of islands in the Maldives changes sometimes: even new ones while others disappear under the sea. The highest point in the Maldives is also just 2.40 meters above sea level (at the Wingili island), this country is the flattest country in the world.
The Maldives are located just around the equator, and thus they have a hot and humid tropical climate. The average daytime temperature is around 29 ° C (maximum 31 ° C) and the average night temperature is around 24 ° C. The sea temperature is constant between 27 and 29 ° C.
In the Maldives, there are two main seasons. The dry season lasts from (end) November to April is determined by the northeast monsoon, the iruvai. Dry air is then argued from the Indian subcontinent and it is generally very sunny. After this soezoen follows the southwest monsoon, the hulhangu. This season lasts from April to November. The southwest winds bring moist air, and there arose above the Maldives strong winds and storms, especially in November. Real hurricanes do not occur. The rain falls in short, torrential rain, especially in July and August.
The population density of the island where the capital is even extremely high. 1.8 km2 live 65,000 people and that means more than 35,000 people per km2 !! The island Kandholhudhoo makes it even more colorful; more than 50,000 per km2 !! Yet there are only five islands where more than 4,000 people live. Hithadhoo with 10,000 inhabitants the second largest city of the Maldives. The average life expectancy is 62.2 years Maldiviër. The population structure of the Maldives is very uneven; as more than half of the population under 15 years.
ﾠﾠ Population growth is slightly more than 3% per year, making it one of the fastest growing in Asia. There are almost no separate populations in the Maldives. The homogeneous nation let alone different racial characteristics seeing all immigrants who have settled in the Maldives over the centuries. The only ethnic minority are the former inhabitants of the island Giravaaru. These descendants of Tamils from Sri Lanka with their dark skin and own dialect live scattered across several islands as their own island has been declared uninhabitable.
ﾠﾠ The only foreigners who more or less permanently in the Maldives stay are guest workers from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
ﾠ The official language of the Maldives is Dhivehi, an Indo-Iranian language with roots in Sanskrit. The language is difficult to speak and there are many dialects. The writing is Thaana, which (like Arabic) is written from right to left. The words thank you, hello and goodbye does not exist in the Dhivehi. A smile or nod is enough. Besides Dhivehi can be accommodated anywhere in the Maldives with English
Vaccinations for Maldives are in principle not required. If, however, two weeks before departure to Seychelles are in a yellow fever infected area was then you should consult a yellow fever vaccination certificate. We refer you to your local health department or huisarts.Geadviseerd vaccinations against Hepatitis A and B and DTP.
It is not recommended to drink water from the tap.
If you are not able to buy bottled water, boil water for 5 minutes. After the water cools to have to use the safe for drinking and things like brushing teeth, lens cleaning and washing of vegetables and / or fruit.
Other hygiene, spicy dishes, high temperature with bright sun and time difference may contribute to stomach problems. Take time to acclimatise and get used to the food and drink. Avoid unreliable food and drinking tap water. In many countries, the food is prepared differently than you are used to in the Netherlands. Be careful with roast and boiled dishes and washed in water with fruit and vegetables. Caution with ice cubes, do not drink tap water, but water from flessen.In southern countries is often encountered pests. It will be used at some locations of pesticides. Especially take preventive measures against mosquitoes and other insects as mosquito nets and good mosquito repellent.
Money & Currency
The official currency / currencies in the Maldives, the Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR), € 1, - is about 20.28 worth MVR. Payments by Rufiyaa however, almost exclusively in the capital Malé possible in the resorts is because all declared and paid in US dollars (USD).
In the resorts it is customary for all your drinks and other expenses shows put on your room number and departure complies once. Pay with most major credit cards is the most convenient. Also in Malé you usually pay by credit card, cash is not necessary. It is also difficult to get cash because cash at an ATM on the Maldives generally not possible.
It is customary service personnel (operating room boy, driver, boat crew) to give a tip. However, only give tips when you are really satisfied with the service and / or services. It is not mandatory!
With a location in the sea, it is not surprising that there are a lot of fish on the menu: fresh, salted, dried, boiled or baked. Turtles are now protected and are not to be found on the menu. Instead, the lobster has come. There is also to control chicken. Everything is accompanied by rice or Roschi (fried bread) and many dishes are very sharp by the widely used red peppers. Many snacks are eaten, 'short eats' mentioned in the form of fried, with everything filled dough envelopes or' gulha "dumplings stuffed with fish. Hotels in the kitchen is adjusted to the tourists and they often have a European cook employed. Traditional cuisine can be tasted in specialized restaurants or the theme nights in the big hotels.
The most popular are fruit juices include mango, papaya, passion fruit, watermelon and coconut milk. Typical Maldivian is Soojee, a drink of milk, sugar, raisins and nuts. There is the hotel islands also get wine, beer and soft drinks.
The Maldives are in zone UTC + 5. This means it is three hours later in the summer than in the Maldives in the Netherlands, in the winter is the time difference of four hours.
Maldives is handled on 220 volts. So it is convenient to carry a universal plug.
Male is the capital of the Maldives and is with about 100,000 inhabitants one of the smallest capitals in the world. Male is actually the only place of significance and is well worth a trip. The island (also called Malé), the size of about 1 to 2 miles and is completely built. In Malé's afternoon always a fish market and there are two shopping centers and a number of souvenir shops.
Grand Friday Mosque
Do not miss this building in Malé is the Grand Friday Mosque. The great golden dome of this building is the tallest building in the city, no building may be built namely higher than 40 meters high dome. The mosque can accommodate 5,000 worshipers, you may have visited do not leave the Maldives without this building. Wear well-fitting clothes, you can get at the entrance cloths to cover your shoulders.
Also in Malé, in an ancient palace of the sultan, you will find the National Museum. This museum is worth a visit in the museum are personal property and belongings on display from the time of the sultan, so you can see how the situation of the sultan at that time. You will also find archeological objects. The object that is most special is a Buddha statue of coral.
Fishmarket in Male
Make sure you are in the afternoon at the fish market. Local fishermen arrive than in their dhonis, fishing boats, with the catch of the day. This is eagerly consumed by the Maldivianen every day to buy fresh fish. In the afternoon, hundreds of heavy tuna are provided by fishermen. The fish is cleaned and sold locally. Large sword fish are regularly caught also slain, raised and sold. So you can watch how it goes in its operation and choose how big your piece of fish should be. It may smell and look bloody, but in any case does have real fresh fish. Besides fish also is sold fresh fruits and vegetables.
The clear blue sea water, the coral and many species of unique fish the Maldives are a paradise for scuba diving. For both experienced and novice divers will explore a schittende underwater world and discover many goodies. On almost all the islands you will find a vibrant coral world that can accommodate a variety of living organisms. The dive sites in the Maldives are known worldwide and many enjoy protection because they have the status of National Park. On this page we provide more information about diving in the Maldives.
The Maldives are you in the right place to go diving or snorkeling for the beautiful underwater world that is discovering. Between the coral life lots of wonderful fish. Fish that include the following: (harmless) sharks, Coral Butterfly, banner fish but also snappers, red coral bass, groupers, Oriental DikLip and of course other wrasses including the friendly Napoleon wrasse.
When something goes further offshore, deeper water, you can retrieve your heart. Thus, just as many as 14 species of sharks like the Whitetip reef shark, Blacktip reef shark and nurse shark. The sharks can still be 2 meters. There are also 22 species dolfijen and whales and five species of sea turtles.
During the southwest monsoon, called hulhangu which runs from April to November (see our climate page) landed there plankton rich ocean water. During this period, the Maldives are a good place to meet whale sharks. This good-natured, spotted whale shark is the largest fish on earth. Also manta rays, the largest rye species is regularly spotted in the Maldivian waters. Manta rays are also for snorkelers also take regularly close to the resorts.
All resorts offer this kind of trips to and go to locations near the respective resort. Look at the possibilities for this upon arrival at your resort.
Besides diving snorkeling is also a good way to be able to fully enjoy all the splendor of the underwater world of the Maldives. Because almost every resort has its own 'house reef' has a few minutes to swim from the island, you can with just a snorkel, mask and flippers already experience a lot of fun. Due to the good quality of the water in the Maldives, you can snorkel with already a lot of weird creatures, tropical fish and sometimes even encounter turtles and stingrays. Sharks (fortunately harmless) often swim to the beach.
From almost all the resorts in the Maldives, it is possible as a day excursion to book a flight in a seaplane or helicopter. Under unfolds over the landscape atolls of the Maldives: An azure sea with turquoise rings as far as your eye! The rings in the water are formed by the reefs. Only secondarily is the islets lush green palm trees framed by white beaches.
Necessary travel documents
You must be in possession of a passport that is valid for at least 6 months upon arrival in Maldives. If you are a Belgian or Dutch passenger, you make sure you have a passport: passports, identity cards etc. are not allowed. For stays shorter than 3 months, no visa is required. At the airport, the customs officer may also ask you if you can show enough money for your stay.
If you have the Dutch or Belgian nationality, you do not need a visa.
Your baggage allowance in economy class is 20 pounds per person, and 30 pounds per person in business class or first class. As hand luggage you may bring up to 5 pounds. More information on the new regulations of your hand, you will find omder the heading "baggage EU law"
You must departing from Schiphol / Dusseldorf pass to the check in staff that your final destination Maldives and that you want to label your luggage to Maldives. This luggage is automatically forwarded to Mauritius, without the need to check in and off the luggage at your airport transfer again.
Travelers who want to take extra baggage such as golf bags and diving gear must when making their reservation contact Maldives Travel record. These travelers will receive a special printout with the authorization of the company to bring extra golf or diving equipment. You need as a traveler to verify whether this authorization for extra baggage is already given to Maldives Travel through our contacts.
Luggage EU regulations
From November 6, 2006 apply to all airline passengers throughout the European Union (EU) new rules on what is permitted in hand luggage. Liquids, gels and aerosols in hand luggage may only carry small quantities (max. 100 ml per item) and if packed correctly. This applies to all passengers departing from or changing planes at an airport within the European Unie.De new rules apply for liquids such as water and other beverages. Also applies to gels, pastes, lotions and the contents of aerosols. Toiletries such as toothpaste, shaving cream, hair gel, lip gloss and creams also fall onder.Dit are the rules for liquids in hand baggage: You may bring a suitable plastic bag from home. During the introductory period, you will receive transparent plastic bags free on all Dutch luchthavens.Er are two exceptions:
Shopping at airports and on board
Apart offering your hand luggage
At the security check, you must present all liquids separately. For the transparent plastic bag, the packaging must fit comfortably and the bag is closed. Coats, jackets and large electrical appliances, such as laptops, presented separately for handbagagecontrole.Na must ticket and / or passport control on European airports and on board aircraft from a European airline still your (tax-free) purchases . Liquids and gels that you buy after ticket and / or passport control or purchased the aircraft are in the shop or on board - if necessary - packed and sealed for you. The seal is valid for one day. If you must change planes, you may not break the seal until you reach your final destination.
Baby food needed during the flight
medications needed during the flight
You can only take liquids and gels in containers of no more than 100 milliliters
These containers must be carried in a transparent plastic bag
per person may be one transparent plastic bag
the transparent plastic bag may not exceed 1 liter
The transparent plastic bag must be resealable
Way of travel
On the island Hulhulé is found Malé International Airport. After arriving at the international airport trips most people directly to one of the other islands. Air Maldives, the national airline and one of the smallest in the world, flies from Malé International Airport to the islands.
Flying with Emirates Airlines
The major tourist attraction of the resorts many international airlines fly directly to Malé International Airport. From the Netherlands or Belgium there are no direct flights available, but with a change in the Middle East is the connection flight from Amsterdam fine.
Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways flies several times a week on Malé and this allows you to travel to Amsterdam in about 13-15 hours to the Maldives. Keep in mind that there are still there from the airport is yet to be made an extra trip to the resort or hotel. Due to the limited travel options you often have a few hours on the road with a boat or a carefree watervliegtuig.Vlieg from Amsterdam or Dusseldorf with Emirates, the national airline of United Arab Emirates. Emirates has a modern fleet of aircraft and has great luxury and a high level of service.
The solid transition takes place with the Emirates in Dubai. This also offers travelers the opportunity to combine their stay in the Indian Ocean with a number of nights stay in Dubai.
Maldives Travel and Emirates handle for honeymooners and families special reduced prices. Please inquire by phone 024-3790092 or 0031 to 243790092 for special offers.
Wedding or Honeymoon
Besides a honeymoon in the Maldives, you might also consider getting married in the Maldives.
What did you think of it for a romantic island in the Maldives to give your loved one the vows?
The possibilities are endless. You have complete control of how your wedding should look like.
For example you can get married on the beach of the island, or the ceremony to take place on a snow-white sand, surrounded by a rippling sea in all shades of azure that you can imagine.
You just have to keep in mind: a marriage that is closed in the Maldives, is not valid in the Netherlands.
You should always also in the Netherlands give each 'yes'.