The Maldives conjure up images of pristine beaches, reef-ringed atolls, and luxurious bungalows on the water, where lucky guests can observe fish through glass floors and jump into the sea from their deck.

Glamorous overwater resorts, pristine white-sand beaches, and a spectacular underwater world make the Maldives the ultimate travel destination for the discerning traveler. The sovereign archipelagic nation – positioned in the Indian Ocean southwest of India – consists of 26 breathtaking atolls boasting rich cultural traditions and natural treasures. All 1192 coral islands and sandbanks (200 inhabited islands, plus 100 islands with tourist resorts) are the visible coral tips of an oceanic volcanic mountain range whose outer edge at some points plunge to depths of over 3 km (10,000 ft).

The tiny islands are encircled by magnificent beaches and incredibly beautiful lagoons, blessed with crystal clear waters and protected by reef structures. Every resort in the Maldives is built on its own private, picture-perfect palm island, with all of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands competing with each other to offer their guests unprecedented levels of mind-blowing luxury.

A holiday in the Maldives can be easily combined with a stay in Sri Lanka as there are numerous direct flights – most of them operated by SriLankan Airlines – between Sri Lanka and the Maldives (with a flight time of around one hour).

The majority of the Maldives’ secluded resorts on far-flung private islands are within a one hour boat or floatplane ride from the Maldives’ main airport, Male International Airport (MLE; also known as Velana International Airport), which is located in the North Male Atoll near the capital of Male. The airport is served by a wide array of international Asian and European airlines, both charters and mainstream carriers. Click here for a list of airlines that offer direct flights to Male International Airport.

Transfers from Male airport to the hotels are taken care off by the resorts