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With never-ending stretches of gorgeous white sandy beaches and glistening turquoise lagoons, the Maldives is the ultimate choice for an island getaway. As one of the world’s most rarefied geographic reserves, this blissful archipelago is the sort of vision that Pixar might create.

From the seaplane window, rings of sensational azure stretch around the green dots of islands. With 300 species of tropical fish, the Maldives is the quintessential diving location and the ultimate beach holiday, all-year-round.

Whether you want the most spacious over-water villas, where you can spend hours gazing out to sea, or gourmet food served under the stars, Maldives is the destination to be. An underwater restaurant, and the world’s first underwater nightclub and underwater spa can also all be found here.

For the best house reef, the Angsana Ihuru and its partner island Banyan Tree are just a short speedboat ride from the Maldivian capital, Male. Stepping into the lagoon here, expect to encounter baby black rip reef sharks just feet a few feet from the shore as well as sea turtles, territorial triggerfish and a rainbow kaleidoscope of colour from an assortment of aquatic fish shoals.

For the more adventurous, Reethi Beach in the Baa atoll provides divers with the opportunity to swim alongside manta rays while the Sun Island Resort & Spa is one of the best places for scuba diving with whale sharks.

The magnificent Soneva Jani combines treehouses and slides that plunge you from your roof deck right into the sea. Why not opt for the ultimate indulgence and stay at Velaa Private Island? Amilla Fushi is young and hip with all-encompassing spa facilities – each villa comes with its own butler.

Niyama professes to be ‘Nature’s playground’ courtesy of its two islands Chill (for families) and Play (for couples). Every villa at Six Senses Laamu is assigned a ‘guest experience maker’. Cheval Blanc Randheli is heaven. The most recent property of the ever-blossoming LVMH hotel empire has all the luxury you’d expect from the brand.

Top 5 - Destinations
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