Luxury Travel Maldives: The Maldives has, in recent times, been referred to as ‘The Last Paradise on Earth’, and even then, these references come within the grim predictive context of it disappearing within the next 50 years because of global warming- the nation is the only one in the world where land are makes up less than 1% of the geography, while the sea accounts for more than 99%. However, anyone visiting any of the approximately 1190 coral islets (further grouped into 26 atolls) would probably not be able to say anything at all about portentous signs lurking about anywhere; the Maldive islands that have been opened to tourists to date call to mind nothing but purely beautiful, powdery expanses of white beaches and crystal-clear, luminously blue water; a scuba diver’s dream and likely any occidental tourist’s epitome of island-living heaven. Under a high summer sun all-year-round, one can, based in one of the many luxury resorts and hotels on Maldives, dive for large, gleaming conch shells in the sparkling sea, or break open a coconut from the towering palms on the islands (the Maldives’ national trees) to drink cool, sweet milk. One might even have the chance to dance to festive Bodu Beru drumbeats under a moonlit, gorgeously starry sky. The lack of infrastructural support for the skyscrapers and mazes of roads seen in almost every other part of the world today allows for views of the night sky and of the horizon to remain unencumbered and beautifully stark. Barrier reefs, which encircle a great deal of the individual islands, serve as protection from the waves and occasional storms of the Indian Ocean, and are spectacular to behold in their own right. There is a wealth of traditional handicrafts available in the Maldives, with particular islands being famous for expertise in different things. Intricately-crafted lacquerware, made from the evergreen species of tree Alexandrian Laurel, is produced fairly exclusively in Thulhaadhoo, Baa Atoll, for example. Woven mats, made from the reed haa on traditional looms, are on the other hand most notably handmade by the women of Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll. These customary crafts are only the smallest indication that the Maldives is one place where old-fashioned ways and an accompanying heartfelt hospitality are still very much alive. Coupled with the surroundings of fathomless blue sea and sky, it is no wonder that this tropical holiday is an unbeatable escape and a breath of fresh air for so many work-weary hearts and minds. Urbane Nomads offers luxury holidays to Maldives- from resort/hotel based beach holidays to luxury yacht charters or luxury honeymoons. Photo Courtesy of One & Only and Four Seasons.