The other atolls
Most resort islands are in Kaafu Atoll and Alifu (Ari) Atoll. Resort islands in the Ari Atoll, west of Malé, include Kuramathi , a larger island with a first class resort and excellent diving, surfing, water skiing and night fishing trips. Nika is a small, quiet, upscale island with 26 rooms, a top-notch restaurant, and particularly comfortable boats. Other resort islands in this group include Halaveli, Bathala, Ellaidoo, Gangeli, Madoogali and Maayaafushi.
The resort on the small island of Angaga , also in the Ari Atoll, is impressively built in traditional Maldivian style and offers air conditioning and running hot and cold fresh water.
To the south lies the Vaavu Atoll . Here are some of the best diving spots in the Maldives. The traditional holiday island of Alimatha offers 70 bungalows. Fesdu is in the middle of the atoll. Accommodation consists of 50 thatched round houses, all beachfront.
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Located on the northern Lhaviyani Atoll is the 250 -bungalow Kuredu resort, which was designed with keen divers in mind. The Baa Atoll is about 130 km northwest of the capital. Traditional handicrafts are still practiced here. The holiday island of Kunfunadu with 50 beds is located in this atoll.
Tourism is generally concentrated in the northern atolls; only Seenu , the southernmost atoll of the archipelago (south of the equator) is known for the former British Air Force base at Gan. Accommodation can be found at Gan Holiday Village. Air Maldives operates regular flights between Male and Gan. Some companies also offer a helicopter service (see Travel – National ).
Kaafu Atoll (South)
There are other holiday islands to the south of the airport and also in the Malé (Kaafu) Atoll. Of particular note are Biyaadhoo and Villivaru, about 30 km from the airport. There are eight two-story, thatched-roof cabanas on nearby Cocoa Island. Private groups can rent the whole island.
North of Cocoa are the “twin islands” of Veligandhu Huraa and Digufinolhu , connected by a causeway. Digufinolhu is the livelier of the two islands with a larger range of accommodation and entertainment. Veligandhu Huraa offers single bungalows and a very private atmosphere.
South of Cocoa Island is Kandooma. The villa-style accommodations are surrounded by flowering shrubs. Visits to the nearby fishing village can be organised.
Bodufinolhu (Fun Island) is located on the eastern reef of South Malé Atoll. The island has a huge lagoon and is connected to two uninhabited smaller islands that can be reached on foot at low tide. All bungalows are on the beach, have bathrooms, air conditioning, international telephone lines and hot and cold running water from the desalination plant.
Kaafu Atoll (North)
Baros , about 450 m long and 180 m wide, is an hour’s boat ride from the airport. One side of the island is full of coral, which lies between 3-6 m from the beach in shallow waters, ideal for snorkeling and diving. On the dream beach on the other side of the island you can swim and water ski.
East of Baros is the holiday island of Bandos with one of the larger resorts. Accommodation consists of well furnished beachfront bungalows. The diving school is particularly recommended. A popular diving route is at Shark Point, where the instructor hand-feeds the sharks. Vaadhoo Island on the northern tip of the South Malé Atoll is about 45 minutes by boat from the airport and also has a fully equipped diving school. There are 31 cabana-style rooms with freshwater showers.
Hudhuveli on the east side of North Malé Atoll is a modern resort with thatched detached bungalows and freshwater showers.
Ihuru is a charming little island whose accommodation consists of simple bungalows with a total of 45 beds.
Kurumba : This islet of just 800 square meters is 20 minutes by boat from Hulule Airport and 30 minutes from Malé. Facilities include conference rooms, restaurants, swimming pools, gymnasium and whirlpool. Most water sports can be practiced.
Nakatchafushi has the largest lagoon in the Maldives and is one of the most beautiful islands. It is located on the western side of the Malé Atoll. The 24 km from the airport can be covered by boat in about 90 minutes. The lagoon is ideal for all water sports; undisturbed sunbathing is possible on the long strip of sand at the western tip of the island.
Furana is a holiday island near the airport (20 min drive). The deep lagoon is particularly popular with yacht owners. The Full Moon beach resort has a gym and a business center.
Makunudhoo is 2 hours from the airport and is one of the most expensive holiday islands. The island offers arguably the best moorings in the islands with large sailboat rentals.
akunudhoo is protected on all sides by a lagoon. Accommodation consists of individual bungalows with thatched roofs.
Kanifinohlu (Kani) is on the eastern edge of the atoll. The sea here offers some of the best coral reefs anywhere; even in rough weather, divers are protected by the outer reef. The complex is built in oriental and local style. Some of the bungalows are air-conditioned. The island has a seawater desalination plant for freshwater production.
Farukolufushi and Thulhagiri have recently been remodeled. Farukolufushi is close to the airport and is operated by Club Mediterranée. Both islands offer excellent water sports facilities. Thulhagiri has a swimming pool and one windsurf board is available per double room. Other resort islands in this atoll include Boduhiti and the neighboring island of Kudahithi. Kudahithi, one of the Maldives’ most expensive holiday islands, offers just six bungalows – ideal for small private groups. Closer to the airport is Lhonifushi with a beautiful lagoon and plenty of water sports.
Black coral rings and shells (must be purchased from authorized stores and cannot be collected from the beach or retrieved from the sea), lacquered wooden caskets and reed mats. The export of non-jewelry coral is strictly prohibited. Shop opening times: Sat-Thurs 08.30-23.00, Fri 13.30-23.00. Shops close five times a day for fifteen minutes during Islamic prayer hours, except on the resort islands where shops are usually open all day and often in the evening.
There is little or no organized nightlife, but most of the resort islands have disco nights in bars, often with live bands playing local or western music. Beach and BBQ parties are also very popular. Videos are shown some evenings.
In the capital, Malé, there are a few simple restaurants offering both local and international dishes. On the other islands you will find almost only the restaurants of the holiday resorts. The dishes come from the international cuisine. Curries and other Asian dishes are offered everywhere. Beverages: There is a wide range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages available at the resorts.
There are five hotels in the Maldives and a large number of guesthouses in Malé. However, most visitors reside on the holiday islands where accommodation is in resorts. For more information, please contact the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), 3rd Floor, Gadhamoo Building, MV-Malé (Tel: 332 66 40′, Internet: http://www.matimaldives.com/V1/).
Social Rules of Conduct
The government insists on appropriate clothing. Swimwear belongs on the beach without exception. Outside the resorts, make sure to dress appropriately according to local customs. They shake hands to greet each other. Many locals smoke, but during Ramadan people generally smoke and eat after sunset. Tipping is usually given as a fixed lump sum.
Best travel time
Hot, tropical climate. There are two monsoons, the southwest monsoon from May to October and the northeast monsoon from November to April. The southwest monsoon usually brings wind and rain in June and July. Temperatures rarely drop below 25°C at night. The best holiday period is between November and April.
Area (sq km)
515,596 (Source: homosociety)
Population density (per square km)
Population statistics year
Main emergency number