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Maldives

With its blue skies, sparkling seas, stunning beaches and some of the best hotels in the world, this island nation in the Indian Ocean is truly a dream destination.

There are around 1,192 coral islands, more than 100 of which are inhabitable. The main language in the Maldives is Dhivehi, but English is widely spoken, and it’s an extremely easy country to navigate as a tourist. While most of the island resorts tend towards the higher end of the price scale, you can find plenty of budget options that also make great bases for exploring the archipelago.

Many of the most wallet-friendly resorts are found in the small capital of Malé, which is also where flights to the Maldives land. You’ll see a completely different side of Maldivian life here, where the hustle and bustle is a stark contrast to the laid-back vibe in the resorts. There are lots of restaurants where you can hang out with the locals, and you can also visit the new National Museum.

However, the biggest draw of the Maldives are perhaps the outer reaching island resorts, which you’ll generally visit via seaplane or speedboat. As with most Indian Ocean destinations, it’s all about the crystal clear waters that wash against stunning white sand beaches. This is one of the best places in the world for underwater exploration, so grab a snorkel or a scuba pack to head below the surface. There’s a huge array of marine life to be discovered, from tropical fish to manta rays, turtles and reef sharks, and you can even go wreck diving.

When you’re not exploring under the sea, immerse yourself in the Maldives’ wellness scene. There are so many spas, retreats and treatments on offer; add in the stunning scenery and relaxation is virtually guaranteed.