Although famous for its luxury resorts, perhaps the best way to explore the 1190 coral islands that make up the Maldives is by boat. Spanning 700 kilometres the islands form 27 atolls situated in the centre of the Indian Ocean. Almost 990 of the islands remain uninhabited. The calm, warm waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving with chances of spotting reef sharks and manta rays as well as endless colourful coral to investigate. Travelling by boat offers instant access to the water and the freedom to venture on to the uninhabited islands and explore remote fishing villages.
Rather than large cruise boats the typical method of transport is the Maldivian Dhoni boat. The boats are similar in style to the Arab dhow and made entirely from wood. Surprisingly no plans are used when building the dhonis, instead verbal instructions are passed down through generations of boat builders. Traditionally the boats were used to transport goods and people between the islands. Nowadays many have been converted, offering simple cabins and a mobile hotel from which to explore this paradise.
Combining crystal clear waters with pristine, palm lined beaches it would be impossible not to feel relaxed as you explore the Maldives, a million miles away from the daily rat race.