Maldives is a country of small islands. If you are planning a dream beach trip which consists of spending a few pampered nights in a four-star resort or swimming among tropical fish some 80 feet underwater, the Maldives are the sort of islands where either or both can come true. Straddling the Equator, southwest of India, in the Indian Ocean, the 1,102 islands make up the 26 atolls of the Maldives. The soft air enveloping the archipelago blends into a beautiful palm-fringed haze. Maldives is well known to tourists in Asia and is more expensive than Hawaii.

   Maldives are where sands are white as the smiles of the locals, where fish swim happily in the warm calm waters of the Indian Ocean, where the weather is a dream, and the deep rays of the sun wait to engulf you their arms. In ancient times, the shores of the Maldives welcomed lost travelers. Still welcoming, these shores remain, providing a tranquil haven for visitors. Every few months brings newly opened resorts from top end boutique brands to ecologically sound back-to-nature hotels. Not cheap even at the bottom end, this is a place for a holiday of a lifetime. The Maldives demands the attention of anyone looking for a uniquely indulgent break, breathtaking nature and sheer beauty that stays with you long after your tan has faded.