The Maldives: two words that conjure up images of bone-white beaches, luminous blue waters and other-worldly luxury. I had never visited the islands before, but that was what I was expecting, and my preconceptions were not challenged by the flight from the capital, Malé, to Gan airport in Addu Atoll, the southernmost atoll in the Maldives. The plane flew over the shining blue Indian Ocean and tiny green islands that lay in the water like a shattered emerald necklace.
The Maldives: beyond the beach
The Maldives are rightly appreciated for their perfect white sands and crystal-clear seas. But their rich cultural heritage is also well worth investigating.