If you're looking for paradise on earth, this has to be it. In the Indian Ocean, 450 miles south-west of Sri Lanka, the Maldives are made up of more than a thousand coral islands and sandbanks extending for more than 820 km from north to south and 130 km east to west.
Most islands are surrounded by a shallow lagoon and enclosed by a coral reef, set off by endless blue skies and an emerald green sea, alive with reef life and kaleidoscope coloured marine life.
The tranquil lagoons, spectacular coral growth and huge variety of tropical fish attract thousands of divers each year.
The islands are actually the peaks of an ancient volcanic mountain range submerged by the sea. None rise to more than 6 feet above sea level, and only 200 are inhabited.
More than 70 are resort islands, but you won�t find any theme parks or multi storey carparks, and you might even have a problem finding a supermarket, but if you want to be self indulgent and simply luxuriate in a hammock under swaying coconut palms, the sheer beauty of the location is enough to keep you occupied, so just relax and enjoy the view!
See our other reports from the Maldives.