The Maldives is a double chain of 26 coral islands, 250 miles southwest of India with a tumultuous political history and beautiful beaches. From the 16th century until 1965, the Maldives was under colonial rule. Today, Asia’s smallest country is a dream vacation spot, particularly with divers. Tourism has been a huge boon for the Maldives’ economy and, so long as you have a valid passport, you need no visa to visit.