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Luxury Maldives Holiday

Luxury Maldives Holiday
Marco polo referred to the Maldives as the 'Flower of the Indies', while Ibn Batuta, the famous 14th century Arab traveller, called it 'one of the wonders of the world' in his chronicles.

Scattered across the equator in the middle of the Indian Ocean, the necklace of islands that is the Maldives offers a rare vision of tropical paradise. Palm fringed islands with sparkling white beaches, turquoise lagoons, clear warm waters and coral reefs teeming with abundant marine flora and fauna continue to fascinate visitors.

Truly a natural wonder, the islands rarely exceed two meters in height. The 1,190 islands, consisting of 26 atoll formations, are spread over an area of some 90,000 square kilometres. The origins of the Maldivians are lost in antiquity. Historical and archaeological evidence indicate that the islands were first inhabited over 5,000 years ago. There are also indications that the Maldives, having being on an important trade route, were settled by people from all over the world, leaving the actual origins shrouded in mystery.

Maldives Island Info

The atolls of the Maldives are formed from coral structures, separated by lagoons. The atolls are in fact part of a greater structure known as the Laccadives-Chagos Ridge, which stretches over 2000 kilometres. The islands are low lying with the highest point at approximately 8 feet above sea level. 'Faru' or ring-shaped reef structures form the atolls and these reefs provide natural defence against wind and wave action, on these delicate islands.

 Out of the 26 naturally formed atolls, the largest atoll is the Huvadhoo Atoll, one of the largest in the world with a lagoon covering an area of 864 square miles. Out of the 1,190 islands, the largest island is the Fua Mulaku Island, which is two miles long and one mile wide. The word "atoll" is a word in the English language that the Oxford Dictionary has extracted from the Maldivian language. This certainly is an indication of just how perfect our atoll formations are.

The famous English geologist, Charles Darwin, best describes atoll formation. His theory is based on volcanic subsidence. As the volcano subsides into the sea, small fringing reefs start developing around it. In time the fringing reef develops and further subsidence increases reef formation.

The fringing reef later develops into a larger barrier reef. Eventually when the volcano subsides completely, rings of reefs will be seen around the atoll leaving a lagoon in the middle. Thus an atoll is formed.

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