Globally renowned as being an epicentre for luxury travel, any mention of the Maldives causes one to conjure up images of impressive five star resorts, glamorous jet-setters and undisturbed beautiful beaches extending as far as the eye can see. The main reason that people are motivated to travel here is to relax, unwind and enjoy the natural scenery here, however the Maldives also possesses a fascinating and multicultural history.
A Brief History of the Maldives
The beautiful island nation of the Maldives has existed as a Muslim nation since 1153. Throughout the decades, it has maintained its independence and remained a peaceful country, despite its neighbours being powerful colonising countries. In the 15th century, the Maldives was invaded by the Portuguese who evidently led a very cruel and dictatorial rule over the island trying to force the Maldivians to convert to Christianity or be murdered. Fortunately, the Maldivians fought off the unwelcome invaders and maintained control over their nation.
Few records of history exist prior to the conversion to Islam in 1153, however the first settlers to the island arrived in the 5th century BC, in the form of Buddhist sailors from nearby Sri Lanka and India.
What Travellers Can Expect in the Maldives
No amount of research or browsing information and travel media can prepare visitors for the sheer breathtaking beauty of the Maldives. A visit here is like being transported to paradise and is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime dream realised. With translucent blue waters, crystal clear skies and sights that make you proclaim “wow!” at every turn, the Maldives is without a doubt one of the most beautiful travel destinations on earth.
Aside from the scenic beauty and the opportunity to relax and unwind at the beaches and resorts, there is plenty to do in the Maldives to keep busy. Owing to the extensive and diverse marine life that lives beneath the surface of the waters, the Maldives is one of the most popular diving destinations in the world. Even those who are not PADI certified have the chance to admire the creatures of the deep though – either by snorkelling, or taking an excursion out to sea on a glass bottom boat.
The attitude to life in the Maldives is a lot more laid back and slow paced – perfect for escaping from the pressures of normal life.