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Maldives

Highlights in the Maldives

Geography of the Maldives

The country covers an area of around 90,000 square kilometres. However, only 298 km² of that is dry land, an area smaller than the city of Munich. The outstanding coastline of the Maldives is around 650 km in length. The Republic of the Maldives is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. It is composed of multiple atolls which are made up of a total of 1196 islands, and is located in the continent of Asia. The chain of islands is to the south-west of India and Sri Lanka and stretches over 871 km. The islands have a total coastline of 650 km and are spread over 26 atolls with coral beaches. Only 220 of the 1196 islands are inhabited by Maldivians. 87 other islands are used for tourism.
North Malé Atoll is one of the two largest atolls in the Maldives. It is made up of the island of Malé with the capital of Malé, the international airport on the island of Hulule and a number of major tourist islands. Another major atoll is Addu Atoll, which is home to the former British airforce base of Gan.
The islands are divided into the “local islands”, where Maldivians live, and “resort islands”, which are reserved for holidaymakers.

Ein Walhai schwimmt durch den Indischen Ozean vor den Malediven

Geomorphology/Geology

The landscape of the Maldives consists of numerous atolls – circle-shaped coral reefs with a lagoon in the middle. In geological time scales these are the youngest formations on earth. A theory for the derivation of the atolls is that corals started to grow on a volcanic underwater mountain range until they were close to the surface. The water in between these atolls is only up to a few hundred meters deep, whereas a depths of up to 4,000 m can be reached outside the Maldivian area.

Travel Tipps and Trivia for the Maldives

Climate in the Maldives

The tropical climate in the Maldives is warm and humid with temperatures only rarely dropping beneath 25°C. While the water temperature is pleasantly mild throughout the year, the lowest mean temperature on land is 25.5°C and the highest is 30.4°C. As there are no seasons in the Maldives, mainly the north-east monsoon influences the climate during November to April and the south-west monsoon during May to October.

Flora and Fauna in the Maldives

While the landscape of the Maldives is mainly composed of lagoons and beautiful beaches that are dominated by coconut palms and breadfruit trees, forests with up to 250 species of plants are home to several animals. As only few animals live of the dry land, most of the Maldives fascinating biodiversity can be explored in the air or under water. About 113 different species of birds were observed on the islands, amongst others the Alexandrine parakeets and several herons. The numerous coral reefs of the Maldives are home to over 2,000 species like the trumpet fish, the parrotfish and also bigger animals like whale sharks and various species of sea turtles.

Die paradisischen Malediven bieten wunderschoene Motive

Social Geography of the Maldives

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