Maldives is a long and narrow South Asian country situated deep in the Indian Ocean, with a shortest distance to India of approximately 340km. Maldives is made up of around 1,190 coral islands grouped into a double chain of 26 atolls. The islands, spread over 90,000km2, are very flat and on average only 1.8m above sea level. In fact, with the country’s highest point being the lowest of any country in the world, Maldives is the flattest country in the world. Malé, the capital and most populous city in the Maldives, has a population (as of 2006) of 103,693 people, and an area of 5.789km2.

Maldives enjoys a lot of sunshine and a warm climate all year round. The temperature is fairly constant throughout the year, with an average maximum temperature of 30°C and an average minimum temperature of 25.2°C. The Maldives has a hot tropical climate with two monsoon seasons, the first from December to April and the second from May to November, but severe storms are rare. The temperature hardly ever falls below 25°C (77°F).

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