15 January 2009

Book review: Maldives Bradt Guide (2006), by Royston Ellis, ****


These idyllic islands are famed for their palm-fringed beaches, luxurious resorts, and relaxed pace of life. This fuilly updated guide caters to all types of visitors, from watersports enthusiasts and nature lovers to festival seekers and those wishing to explore the rich island history. Diving safaris, coral garden snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, and deep-sea fishing are all covered for the energetic tourist, while exploring the atolls and resorts with the aid of this thorough guide is an attractive pastime for the traveler seeking tranquility.

Features include:

* How to choose the perfect resort for tastes and budgets
* Getting around the islands, with cruise options
* A wide variety of watersports
* Accommodation options including beach cottages and overwater bungalows
* Maldivian people and culture and useful words and phrases in Dhivehi


This is a good guide to find your way around the maze of resorts in the Maldives and plan a holiday. Of course I can not possibly verify all the information, research seems to have been done with accuracy.

As for many Bradt guidebooks, I especially found this one valuable for its cultural content: many pages are devoted to the culture, history, social conditions of the country, which you don't find in many guidebooks.

My main criticism is that the author is a bit too uncritical of former president Gayoom, a man who did lots of good to the Maldives but ruled as a dictator, sometimes a brutal one, for three decades.

Several pictures and useful maps complete this book.

Make sure you get the latest edition of the guide when you buy one.

Buy here your English edition:

E qui l'edizione italiana