The Maldives island nation is a cluster of precious jewels – discovering each of them is a pleasure and delight. Start with Malé – the capital city. Thrumming with energy, this is a city filled with beautiful buildings, like the 17th century Friday Mosque, energetic markets like Male Market and the lovely Mulee aage Palace. Cross the sparkling waters that surround Male and you’ll arrive at the Hulhumale Island, with its spectacular beaches, glass topped mosque, a beautiful promenade and serene, green neighbourhoods. If you’re going slightly off the well-trodden path, then Maafushi is the destination to visit. Once ravaged by the tsunami, this island is climbing back on its feet, with a variety of beautiful resorts springing up. This is a quiet, beautiful pocket of the world to tuck yourself into. Stroll on the beaches, laze at the guesthouse and enjoy coffee at its small coffeehouses. For a little history, head to the northernmost of the Maldivian island chains to the island of Utheemu – once the home of Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu, the leader who drove the Portuguese invaders from the islands in the 16th century.