Where is the Maldives located on the world map

The Maldives, a tropical paradise known for its stunning white sand beaches, crystal-clear blue waters, and vibrant coral reefs, is often considered one of the most coveted travel destinations in the world. But where exactly is this idyllic island nation located?

The Maldives is located in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Sri Lanka and India.

The Maldives is composed of 26 atolls, which are made up of over 1,000 islands, spread over an extensive area of approximately 90,000 square kilometers. 

The Maldives is celebrated for its rich marine life and diving spots, attracting adventurers and marine enthusiasts from around the globe. The islands are also known for their sustainability efforts, preserving the natural beauty that makes this destination so unique.

Maldives on world map

Maidives Map

The Maldives, a tropical paradise, is situated in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of Sri Lanka and India. When you look at a world map, you’ll find this island nation lying between latitudes 1°S and 8°N, and longitudes 72° and 74°E.

Geographical Coordinates:

  • Latitude: 1°S to 8°N
  • Longitude: 72° to 74°E

This archipelago is composed of 26 atolls, which are made up of more than 1,000 islands. Here’s a breakdown of its regional location:

  • South Asia: The Maldives is part of the South Asian region.
  • Indian Ocean: It’s surrounded by the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.
  • Neighboring Countries:
    • To the north, you’ll find India.
    • To the northwest, there’s also the Lakshadweep Islands.
    • Sri Lanka is to its southeast.

These atolls and islands are dispersed over about 90,000 square kilometers, making the Maldives one of the world’s most dispersed countries. However, despite its large area coverage, the land area is just about 300 square kilometers, which is relatively small.

If you’re pinpointing its location on a map, look for a small string of white specks just north of the equator in the Indian Ocean. Each of these specks represents the stunning  islands that makeup the Maldives.

Notable Atolls in Maldives

  • North Malé Atoll: Known for the capital city, Malé, and its spectacular resorts.
  • South Malé Atoll: Offers a quieter experience with pristine beaches.
  • Ari Atoll: Popular for diving and snorkeling, home to an abundance of marine life.
  • Baa Atoll: A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, famous for its unique underwater habitats.

Getting Around:

  • Speedboats, seaplanes and domestic flights are your primary modes of transportation between the islands and atolls.

Your island experience can range from luxurious resorts to local island guesthouses. Each island has its own unique charm, often with just one resort per island, ensuring a private and exclusive experience.

Key Points to Remember:

  • Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate, so plan your visit accordingly.
  • While visiting, you have the opportunity to explore rich coral reefs and possibly encounter sea turtles, manta rays, and various species of sharks.
  • Responsible tourism practices are encouraged to protect the delicate coral reef ecosystems.

By choosing the Maldives for your holiday, you’re set for a remarkable island experience surrounded by the mesmerizing blue waters of the coral reefs. 

Domestic and International Airports

The Maldives, known for its picturesque islands, is served by numerous airports that connect you both domestically and internationally. The primary gateway to this tropical paradise is Velana International Airport (MLE), located in the capital city of Male. It is well-equipped with modern amenities and serves as the major international airport in the Maldives, hosting a wide range of airlines from around the globe.

In addition to Velana, you’ll find several domestic airports scattered across the islands, such as Gan International Airport (GAN) on the Addu Atoll, which also accommodates international flights, primarily from nearby countries. Here’s a quick overview of the key airports at your service:

Airport NameAirport CodeLocationType
Velana InternationalMLEMaleInternational
Gan InternationalGANAddu AtollInternational
Hanimaadhoo AirportHAQHaa Dhaalu AtollDomestic
Maafaru InternationalNMFNoonu AtollInternational
Ifuru AirportIFURaa AtollDomestic
Dhaalu AirportDDDDhaalu AtollDomestic

For domestic travel within the Maldives, there are frequent flights to these and other airports from Velana International. They ensure that your travel to remote islands is both seamless and comfortable. When planning your trip, check for the nearest airport to your destination island to minimize travel time and maximize your enjoyment in this tropical haven.

Brief History of the Maldives

The Maldives, with its chain of coral atolls and islands, has a history as serene as its beaches. Early settlers, possibly from Southern Asia, arrived here around 500 B.C. These were followed by Buddhists from the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka.

By the mid-12th century, Islam was introduced, significantly shaping the country’s cultural and religious identity. You’ll find that rulers became sultans, and this Islamic influence is still prevalent today.

In the 16th century, the Portuguese established a brief and unpopular rule. It wasn’t until the 17th century that the Dutch took control as part of their trading empire in the Indian Ocean, followed by the British in the late 19th century, who made the Maldives a protectorate.

In 1965, your discovery of modern Maldivian history will reveal its newfound independence as a sovereign nation. The year 1968 marked another milestone with the establishment of a republic. The Maldives embarked on a path of development, which has led to the high-end tourism industry you might associate the islands with today.

Timeline of Maldives History:

  • 500 B.C.: First settlers arrive
  • 12th century: Conversion to Islam
  • 16th century: Portuguese rule
  • 17th century: Dutch control
  • 19th century: British protectorate
  • 1965: Gains independence
  • 1968: Becomes a republic

Frequently Asked Questions About Maldives Location

Is Maldives Referred As The Republic Of Maldives?

Yes, the Maldives is officially known as the Republic of Maldives.

What Is The Capital Of Maldives?

The capital city of Maldives is Malé.

Is Maldives Located In India?

No, the Maldives is a sovereign nation located southwest of India.

Is There 1192 Coral Islands In Maldives?

Yes, the Maldives is composed of approximately 1,192 coral islands, grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls.

What Is The Best Time To Visit The Maldives?

The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April, during the dry season.

Which Maldives Island Is On Equator?

Gan Island in the Addu Atoll is the Maldivian island located on the equator.

What Is The Distance Between Maldives And Sri Lanka?

The distance between Maldives and Sri Lanka is approximately 700 kilometers (435 miles).

Is Maldives A Private Island?

Not all islands are private; Maldives comprises both private resort islands and inhabited local islands.

How Many Islands Are Developed As Luxury Resorts In The Maldives?

Currently, around 160 islands have been developed as luxury resort islands in Maldives.

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