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Maldives

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About Maldives

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Villas in Maldives

Villas in Maldives

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Street in Maldives

Street in Maldives

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Aerial View of Maldives

Aerial View of Maldives

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"Tropical oasis," "paradise on earth," "bucket-list destination": Get ready to trot out the clichés, because when it comes to the Maldives every one of them is accurate. The sheer beauty of the coral reefs, the translucent ever-changing colors of the Indian Ocean, the isolation, indigenous vegetation and friendly people are legendary, and rightly so—the Maldives lives up to the hype.Many nations around the world have miles of pristine, white coral sand and balmy turquoise seas, but few compare to the Maldives. Its 1,200 islands are spread out over 26 coral atolls; the combined land of all the islands is little more than 100 square miles. That means you are rarely more than a few steps from the beach. Many of the villas are built on stilts out over the water, so you may actually have to walk onshore in order to get to the beach. Besides curling your toes in the sand, many people come here to sample the Maldives' world-class dive spots. Others simply snorkel among the endless coral reefs. There are so many coral atolls here that our English word derives from the Maldivian name atholhu.

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Things You Can't Miss

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Just Unwind
Just Unwind

The beaches surrounding the resort islands are superb; each one has fine, white coral sand, coconut palm fringes and warm, turquoise seas.

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Caroline von Tuempling/Getty Images

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Hukuru Miskiiy, the Oldest Mosque
Hukuru Miskiiy, the Oldest Mosque

Close inspection of the white coral walls reveals lovely carved patterns; the interior is justly famous for its woodcarvings and lacquer work.

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Alamy

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National Museum and Sultan's Park
National Museum and Sultan's Park

The park and whitewashed villa are perhaps more impressive than the quirky collection within: such items as model boats and ceremonial thrones.

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Image Credit

Alamy

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The Everything Guide to Planning a Cruise

New to cruising? Get all of your questions about planning a cruise answered here.

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Dive In
Dive In

Crystal-clear tropical waters, colorful fish-laden reefs and occasional wrecks all add to the allure; you can take a course and stay on a boat or in a resort.

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Getty Images

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Romantic Cruises

Looking for a romantic cruise? These 8 options — with offerings such as private balconies, gourmet dining, and even marble bathrooms — are great choices.

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Shallow Is Good, Too
Shallow Is Good, Too

Many coral reefs here are shallow enough that you can paddle across them in snorkel and mask — and enjoy them flooded with tropical sunlight.

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Image Credit

Reinhard Dirscherl/Getty Images

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How to Plan a Celebration Vacation

Celebrating a big milestone soon? Learn how and when to plan a trip to honor a special occasion.

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