- Maldivian rufiyaa
There’s a reason why everyone thinks of soft sand, pristine water and blissing out when the Maldives is mentioned. This small archipelagic nation of almost 1200 islands hit the tourism radar in the 1970s and has since become one of the world’s top tropical destinations. In the midst of the Indian Ocean you can swim up to your villa’s balcony, snorkel on some of the best reefs the world has to offer, sunbathe in the never-ending sunshine, and eat the tropical fruits the Maldives are known for.
There was a time – until quite recently, in fact – when tourism was confined to the luxury resorts built on certain islands. Now, however, independent travel on public ferries and staying in local communities is on the rise and it’s one of the best aspects of visiting here. The Maldivians are so welcoming you’ll feel like you’re at your second home by the beach. Don’t miss Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan.