The Maldives – A Disappearing Paradise

The Maldives is a remarkable tropical destination, loved by all who visit. Read about the amazing beauty of the Maldives holiday islands and how time may be running out for this paradise in the Indian Ocean.

Paradise Found

When you step outside of the airport in Male you will be struck by the warmth of the air and the strength of the sun. You will likely want to take a cold drink in the shade of a nearby cafe as your transfer is organised and the bus is boarded. For those taking a seaplane transfer, the flight from Male to your island resort is the first treat of Maldives holidays, providing a special view of the country. From the air you can appreciate the way these sandy islets spring from the shallow sea, and see the shape of the atolls and reefs below the surface of the water.

The beaches here are miraculous. By wading out just a few metres into the water you can find fish swimming around your legs, so snorkelling here is a delight, too. It is usual for the Maldives resorts to stage feeding displays once a day. This gives you a chance to view the fish that live around the island as they scramble to gobble up what is dropped into the clear shallow water from the piers or wooden walkways.

One of the more outlandish fish you can see is the guitar fish, which is a species of ray. It has a square box head and body with a long slim tail so it resembles a guitar from above; however, from the side it is easily mistaken for a shark, having a similar silhouette. So a guitar fish may get your pulse racing if you see it while you are Scuba diving.

With clear, warm water and shallow sandy sea floors around the islands, Maldives holidays are excellent for learning to Scuba dive, and most Maldives resorts have their own diving schools. If you are PADI accredited, you can venture to the dive sites beyond the reef shelf. There you’ll find the deeper water where the coral reefs are festooned with colourful and vibrant sea life. You might see turtles, eels, small sharks, and a dazzling array of brightly decorated tropical fish.

Paradise Lost?

The waters that make Maldives holidays so special may soon bring an end to the luxurious lifestyle here. The Maldives is famously one of the many beautiful locations in the world that are under threat owing to climate change. Amazingly, the highest point in the country is only about six feet above sea level, so as the oceans rise because of global warming, the islands are vulnerable to flooding.

President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom of the Maldives has talked about purchasing more land for his countrymen, worried that they will become refugees as the land is depleted in future decades. At the moment though, the country is a paradise, and the Maldives resorts are some of the finest in the world.

Time may be running out to take Maldives holidays in the lowest country in the world, and this impermanence makes these island gems seem even more precious, with the knowledge that in a few decades they could be sunken treasure.

Sally Rushbrooke is a Maldives holiday specialist for key2holidays, an online tour operator offering a selection of Maldives holidays as well as destinations in the Indian Ocean, the Far East, Cuba and the Caribbean, Egypt, Southern Africa, Italy & the Mediterranean, Canada, Australia and the Pacific. key2holidays has a dedicated team of experienced travel consultants to share their knowledge and help you to plan and book your ideal holiday.

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