The low-lying coral islands of the Maldives are a magnet for scuba divers and snorkelers. This lovely island group has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in the world and year-round sunshine. The tourism industry here is highly developed, and when you travel to the Maldives with Qatar Airways there are plenty of cultural as well as natural attractions for you to enjoy.
The sea is everywhere present in Maldivian culture, and in fact these Indian Ocean waters are home to an unparalleled variety of marine life. In and around the coral reefs you can find everything from Dogtooth tuna and Butterfly fish to Fusiliers, Jacks and much else besides. There are over 700 different species of fish here, which makes snorkelling and scuba diving incredibly exciting and unforgettable. If diving is not for you then you can also choose from a range of other sports such as Catamaran sailing, boating and parasailing.
It is the coral reefs surrounding the islands that remain the major attraction for most visitors. For fish and colour, the HP Reef is best, a protected area of the North Male Atoll. The most popular diving site is Banana Reef, whilst Manta Point is famous for its manta rays.
Malé, the Maldives capital city, has a number of excellent attractions including the National Museum with its extensive and well-presented displays covering every aspect of life in these islands down the centuries. The Old Friday Mosque is worth seeing for its exquisite carvings of Arabic scripts; it is the oldest mosque in the region and is the final resting place of several past Sultans and national heroes.
In terms of sheer cultural and natural diversity, the Seychelles take some beating. When you’re not swimming with turtles or kayaking at the local diving centre you can be sampling exquisite Malian cuisine or sunbathing on Alimatha Island at the Vaavu Atoll at the east of the group, famous for its lush vegetation and superb sandy beaches.