Spotlight on the Maldives
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Spotlight on the Maldives

2 min read

If the word "Maldives" conjures up dreamy visions of pristine beaches, overwater bungalows and soothing spa treatments, you're not alone. But beyond the perfect shores of these islands lies a culture that is every bit as enticing as its landscapes. Get inspiration for your next luxury trip to the Maldives – TCS can help you plan a custom itinerary to this extraordinary island getaway.

Here are a few reasons to visit this archipelago.


An Impressive Landscape

Located in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives is comprised of 26 atolls containing more than 1,200 islands spread over 35,000 square miles. The word “atoll” comes from the local language, Dhivehi, and means “a coral reef with a lagoon inside.” The legendary white-sand beaches are made of coral sand from the delicate surrounding ecosystem. The islands are particularly notable for their flat landscapenot a single one has hills or rivers.

Before Overwater Maldives Bungalows

As you’re lounging in overwater bungalows and dining on ocean-to-table seafood spreads, it’s difficult to imagine that only 50 years ago this string of islands had no bank, airport or telephone. Transport between islands was done by dhoni, a sailboat similar to the Arab dhow, crafted from local coconut wood. Overwater Maldives bungalows debuted in the early ’90s, transforming the island nation into the serene escape it is today.

Flying Foxes in the Sky

The dazzling underwater life beckons snorkelers to the Maldives, but the creatures on shore also impress. Maldives Fruit bats, also known as flying foxes, are harmless creatures native to the islands. With wingspans that can reach up to four feet, they make quite the impression on all who watch them cruise from tree to tree. Look up to find them dangling from the palm trees in search of nectar and fruit, of which they must eat half their weight daily.

The Rhythms of Maldivian Culture

Discover the rhythm of Dhivehi culture by opening your ears to the sounds of bodu beru. Popular at parties and weddings, bodu beru, which means “big drum” in Dhivehi language, is the music that infuses local celebrations and resorts alike. The tempo starts slow and builds to a ferocious intensity as bare hands crash melodically on goat-skin drums. Combine these island rhythms with warm sea breezes, friendly musicians and a local beverage, and you’ll be compelled to dance.

Maldivian-Style Tuna Salad

In a nation known for fresh seafood, it’s easy to overlook the mas huni on the menu, but you’d be missing out on a local favorite. Lime, coconut and fresh tuna, often smoked, create a refreshingly delicious tuna salad, unrecognizable from the mayonnaise-saturated versions we’re used to in America. Try it with fresh, out-of-the-oven flatbread or eat it for breakfast like the locals. 

Enjoy the magic of overwater bungalows and the rich culture of the Maldives yourself. Contact our travel experts to plan your luxury Maldives vacation or include the Maldives as a stop in a larger custom trip.

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