The Maldives are a group of tiny coral atolls, scattered across the Indian Ocean and described by their tourist board as a ‘thousand Robinson Crusoe’ islands. Situated approximately 400 miles west of India, each group of islands belongs to its own atoll and can cover an area from 1 acre to 100 acres. The clear blue and turquoise ocean is a delight for divers and snorkelers.

Around 120 of the atolls take visitors, usually with just one hotel resort on each island. Facilities and standards vary considerably; some resorts have the usual array of facilities, including sophisticated restaurants, while others are purposely geared for the ‘Crusoe’ effect, with no news, no shoes, thatched roofs, and simple accommodation with ceiling fans and open-air bathrooms!

Many wonderful holiday combinations can be arranged, with easy connections by air from your local airport, via Dubai. Or why not explore the islands aboard the Atoll Explorer for one week, which offers a very casual, relaxing and all-inclusive experience.

Photo: Jumeirah Vittaveli (wo) 46

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