Maldives and the beautiful nature of the Atolls
The Kingdom of thousands of islands and islets that together make up the Republic of Maldives, stretches over a total length of 760 km in a north-south direction in the tropical equatorial waters of the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is a chain of 19 islands lying to the southwest of India and Sri Lanka. The islands are atolls, coral reefs surrounding the summits of an underwater volcano zone. Out of a total of 1,090 islands, only 200 are inhabited.
The Maldives is located near the equator, which guarantees a stable year-round warm tropical climate. Throughout the year, the average daytime temperature ranges from 30 to 32°C and the average nighttime temperature ranges from 24 to 27°C . The water temperature is almost constant, around 27°C. A pleasant climate is guaranteed by the constant light breeze. Local warm and bright waters are rich in oxygen, which creates ideal conditions for the life of corals, which created and create the local atoll islands. In the Maldives, visitors are surrounded by crystal clear azure sea, bright white beaches, tropical vegetation, a fantastic underwater world and friendly people. Maldives is a great place for a relaxing vacation away from the bustle.
Entertainment in the Maldives
The greatest treasure of the Maldives is the unique nature, which the locals are justly proud of and to which everyone is very attentive. Especially lovers of the underwater world will love it here, because the diving and snorkeling here is truly unique. Just a few meters from the shore are schools of colorful coral fish, there are more than three-quarters of all species of coral fish.
Activities in the Maldives
Snorkeling is very diverse. Everywhere a lot of colorful little fish, small sharks, rays and turtles. Crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean, rich underwater life and equipped diving centers allow all divers, beginners, advanced and professionals to experience wonderful underwater experiences. Catamarans, canoes, jet skis and windsurfing can be rented in most hotels. At higher standard hotels, visitors have at their disposal a fitness center, jacuzzi, squash, swimming pool and tennis courts. Golf in Mauritius, is an unforgettable experience for every player. The 9-hole, hotel-owned course is ideal for beginners.
The people of Maldives have their own unique nature. They are small kinsmen with a shared history, the Dhivehi language and belief in Islam. Islam has given their society strength, and faith is taken very seriously here. Most Maldivian holidays are based on the Islamic lunar calendar. The greatest influx of tourists traditionally falls on the most open periods of the year, Christmas, New Year, Easter and the summer vacations. Traditional Maldivian cuisine is Indian-type spicy with a mixture of curries and other spices. However, at the resorts, visitors will find a varied menu adapted to the tastes of European tourists.
What to see?
In the capital Male, you can see the main mosque of Good Friday, the Sultan’s Palace, fish and fruit markets, but above all buy inexpensive souvenirs in the stores of local merchants. Typical souvenirs include handmade and carved coconut shells and palm leaf products such as photo albums. Beautiful wooden miniatures of Dhoni boats or sailboats. Incredible selection of Sri Lankan and Indian teas, hookahs, fans, napkins and mussel products. A CD of local traditional music, sarongs and cotton clothes would also make an interesting gift from your trip.
What to see?
Transfers from Male International Airport to each resort are available by boat, speedboat or airplane. There are trips and excursions in the style of whale and dolphin watching, romantic sunset cruise, visiting the native islands, journey to a deserted island like Robinson Crusoe, deep sea fishing at sunrise, sunset, night, etc.
One of the largest atolls in the Maldives is Ari Atoll, located in the western part of the archipelago. Administratively, it is divided into North and South Ari Atolls. It consists of 16 inhabited and 46 uninhabited islands, where tourists are waiting for 29 resorts. Ari Atoll is especially popular with visitors because of the excellent diving and water sports. From north to south Ari Atoll is about 80 kilometers long and about 30 kilometers wide. Together with Rasdu Island and Toddoo, it falls under an administrative unit called Alifu Atoll.
Northern Ari Atoll
North Ari Atoll
North Ari Atoll, a fairy-tale setting for unforgettable sunrises, tropical nights, and great diving. Here you can swim, stroll along the endless beaches and lounge in the shade of palm trees. North Ari Atoll is located in the western part of the Maldives, about 70 km from Male’ Airport. You can reach it either by boat in about 2 and a half hours, or 15 minutes by seaplane. This atoll offers a wide variety of accommodations, from 3-star resorts to luxurious 5-star+ resorts with water bungalows. There are semi-empty beaches washed by crystal clear water.
The main island of North Ari Atoll, Rasdu is part of the atoll of the same name and has a college and health center in addition to four mosques. The influence of Buddhism, which was predominant on the island before the advent of Islam, is evident. Tourist resorts have been built on Rasdu, with one side bordered by a protected lagoon. It is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing. On the other hand, the deeper sea is usually suitable for snorkeling. Frequently visited resorts in Northern Ari are Veligandu, Kuramati and Blue Lagoon.
Nika, a popular island in the Northern Ari Atoll , has an area of 39,000 m2. The name Nika could be translated as “sea shell” or “banyan”, so the sea shell is also depicted on the island’s coat of arms. Then the banyan trees cover almost the entire island. Nika is probably the most enclosed of all the Maldivian islands . There is only one road crossing the island on all sides. Each of the bungalows has its own beach, making visitors feel like Robinsons on a desert island. All bungalows are buried in greenery, making it impossible to look at the neighboring bungalows. The rooms are beautifully furnished and equipped with a bathroom, living room and air conditioning. The resort on Nika Island, one of the most expensive, but those who vacation here are sure not to regret it. The most frequent guests are from France, Japan, England and Germany.
South Ari Atoll
South Ari Atoll consists of 12 islands, on which have grown luxury tourist resorts with bars, restaurants and discos. The most popular are Sun Island, Holiday Island and Hilton. The South Ari Atoll is located west of Malé Airport, and can be reached by seaplane (about 20 minutes) or by boat (2-3 hours). The most famous island in the southern Ari Atoll, Kudara, is an 18,000 km2 island whose character is reminiscent of the islands in the European Mediterranean.
South Ari Atoll
Like the other islands of the Maldives, Kudara offers excellent conditions for diving, snorkeling and other water sports. It also has a beach with fine white sand and a lagoon with a large natural pool. Diving enthusiasts are more likely to visit Vilamenda island, which has a coral reef. The island is considered one of the best places for diving in the world. It covers an area of 98,000 m2, covered with palm trees and shrubs. The advantage of the local resort is excellent cuisine, very friendly, helpful and courteous staff.
One of the largest islands in the Maldives is Nalaguraidu, which since 1998 has been home to the Sun Island Resort, which is one of the best and most complete in terms of services and leisure facilities. The resort covers an area of about 1600 x 380 meters, which can be reached by speedboat or seaplane. It consists of bungalows standing on the mainland overlooking the sea, as well as bungalows standing directly over the water, which are equipped with stairs to descend into the sea.
All rooms have air conditioning, mini-bar, safe, telephone, radio, satellite TV, outdoor shower and bathroom. Visitors have the opportunity to use the large pool, indoor courts, billiards, massages, gym, to participate in various entertainment programs, excursions and many other activities. The entire island is surrounded by extensive coral lagoons. There are also many restaurants on the island of Nalaguraidu.
Maldives Atolls: 9 Tropical Oases
The Maldives are a perfect creation of nature and are a true paradise for travelers. There are endless white sand beaches, crystal clear water, exotic vegetation, and a lot of fun things to do!
An atoll is a coral island or archipelago. Visually, it looks like a ring surrounding a lagoon. The Republic of Maldives is a set of 26 atolls with more than a thousand islands scattered in the Indian Ocean. Of these, only about 200 are open to tourism. Inhabited islands are inhabited by Maldivians, and many uninhabited islands are private resorts.
What can surprise the atolls of the Maldives, consider in a selection of the 9 most attractive Maldivian archipelagos, which are so alluring with their photos on the web. Attached below is a map of the Maldives atolls, from which you can orient yourself to their scale from above.
What natural treasures and opportunities do the most beautiful atolls of the Maldives offer? Consider below.
Baa – UNESCO’s secluded jewel
Baa is one of the most attractive Maldivian archipelagos. It is part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is a place of incredible nature of the rich underwater world of the Indian Ocean.
Baa has its own peculiarities:
- Furchermore Reef has an unusual structure that you won’t find anywhere else in the Maldives archipelago.
- At the southernmost wild island Olhugiri is home to the rarest birds – large frigates.
- On the island of Tuladu you can buy unique handmade wooden products, which are the main trade of the local population.
Baa is especially popular from May to November, when the famous Hanifaru Bay becomes home to a huge number of manta rays. Sea devils are attracted by the season of plankton blooms, which they feed on. Among diving enthusiasts, this place leads the way on all fronts.
- Distance from Male : 95-125 kilometers.
- Length : 42 kilometers long and 32 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands : 75. Among them 13 inhabited islands.
- The best known islands: the capital island of IdaFushi, private hotel islands Dhuni Kolhu, Dusit Thani, Amilla Fushi, Landaa Giraavaru.
Baa Atoll Resorts
Baa attracts travelers with pristine nature, secluded vacations, and a wide variety of water activities.
. The 5-star resort on the picturesque island of Wakkaru invites you to enjoy a luxurious vacation in the Biosphere Reserve.
- The Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu 5* island resort is no less exciting. offers diving in Hanifaru Bay with PADI 5 Star instructors, a modern spa complex and other benefits of a 5-star resort. on the lush green island of Harubadu provides all the facilities for an unparalleled Maldives holiday.
Dusit Thani Maldives.
North Male is the main atoll of the Maldives.
This is where Maldives tourism once originated. North Male Atoll is home to the main Maldivian city, the capital Male, and Velana International Airport, which receives flights from all over the world. Many travelers appreciate the resorts of the atolls of Male’ for its proximity to the airport, when the transfer does not take so much time and money. In addition, nearby resorts often offer to diversify your vacation with excursions to Male.
Of the features of Male:
- The oldest structure in the Maldives (and also the main symbol of the atoll) is the Hukuru Miskiiti Mosque, which dates back to the 17th century.
- Local attractions, colorful market, a variety of activities – diving, snorkeling, surfing and others.
North Male Atoll.
Characteristics of the atoll:
- Length : 69 kilometers long and 39 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands: 50. Among them, 8 are inhabited islands.
- Popular Islands : Reethi Rah, Gili Lankanfushi, Baros, Kuda Huraa.
The best hotels in North Male
North Malé has a large number of hotels of different classes. You can stay at the chic resort Coco Palm Bodu Hithi 5*, with authentic bungalows. Or consider the 4-star Bandos Island Resort & Spa, which is suitable for both family and romantic vacations.
Bandos Island Resort & Spa.
The largest administrative district of the Republic of Maldives, in addition to North Male’ includes South Male’, separated by a 4.5 kilometers long channel Vaadhoo Kandu. Beaches as if on the photo, warm waters of crystal lagoons – resorts in the more southern archipelago have all possibilities for a first-class holiday. South Male offers luxurious island resorts with ideal conditions for diving and snorkeling. And the Embudhoo Kandu and Guraidhoo Kandu marine sanctuaries offer scenic reefs and the richest Indian Ocean fauna for divers.
South Male Atoll
Characteristics of the atoll:
- Distance to Male : 7 kilometers.
- Length : 36 kilometers long and 19 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands: 30. Among them there are about 20 inhabited islands.
- Popular island hotels: Maafushi, Anantara Dhigu, Taj Exotica, Velassaru.
Resorts in South Male’.
Here there is a large concentration of hotels of different classes. You can choose from a villa at the luxurious 5-star Velassaru Maldives, the intimate overwater bungalow COMO Cocoa Island or stay at the small hotel with an authentic atmosphere Embudu Village 3*.
COMO Cocoa Island
Raa: A Mecca for Scuba Divers
Raa or North Maalosmadulu is a popular tourist destination in the Maldives. Among the main advantages of local resorts – pristine nature, almost untouched by the influence of civilization, and ample opportunities for first-class diving at depths of up to 30 meters.
At Milaidu Reef, you can admire sponges and corals, and explore underwater caves. And Kakani Tila or Digali Haa are home to reef sharks and colorful parrot fish. The reefs of Madi-Finolu show everyone a rare species of manta rays and unique black corals. In general, Raa has about 10 popular dive sites. So for lovers of underwater exploration vacation promises to be rich.
- Maldives’ largest fishing fleet on the main island of Ungofaru.
- Alifushi Island, where the traditional Maldivian dhoni boats are made.
- On the picturesque Candoludhu in the western part of the archipelago is a developed fishing industry.
- Rasmaadu and Maakuratu on the eastern side of the atoll are famous for excellent surf spots and fishing.
- Distance from Male : 140 kilometers.
- Length : 70 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands : 88, inhabited by 15.
- Popular islands : Meduparu is the only tourist island of the atoll.
The best hotels in Raa:
- The 5-star Reethi Faru Resort promises a comfortable stay for both honeymooners and couples with children.
- Paradise Furaveri Island Resort & Spa is located near Hanifaru.
- The romantic adult resort You & Me by Cocoon is the perfect place for a honeymoon.
You & Me by Cocoon
In this region of the state, tourism is still in the initial stages of development. There is only one resort hotel for the entire atoll. A secluded archipelago in the southern part of the central group of atolls is famous for its incredibly beautiful tropical nature and almost deserted beaches. Among the main advantages are the clearest waters and lush green islands.
- Distance from Male : 248 kilometers.
- Length : 48 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands : 82, of which 12 are inhabited.
- Popular islands: Olhuveli.
Especially popular among divers is the secluded Laamu. You can explore the mysterious caves and the abundance of underwater fauna of the Indian Ocean.
Six Senses Laamu
So far, on Laamu Atoll you can stay at the only resort Six Senses Laamu, which is located on the island of Olhuveli. The 5-star complex is a true paradise for lovers of seclusion and luxury, a combination of pristine nature and high level of comfort. On the island, the hotel grows organic produce, which is served in exquisite restaurants in the form of culinary masterpieces from the best chefs.
In addition, Laamu guests will enjoy:
- A state-of-the-art spa overlooking the ocean;
- beach and overwater villas built with ecological materials;
- a wide range of water activities for all tastes;
- Excursions and a variety of leisure activities.
Six Senses Laamu.
The picturesque atoll of Laviani
Laviani offers an authentic vacation. Tropical nature is complemented by a relaxed atmosphere and an abundance of beach activities. In addition, the islands of the archipelago are simply an ideal place for snorkeling. Divers are eager to admire the colorful tropical fish, sea angels, moray eels, nurse sharks, and shipwrecks.
Among Laviani’s features:
- Shallow reefs and a rich underwater world for perfect snorkeling.
- Kuredu Island is home to the Maldives’ first golf course.
- On the west side of Kuredu there is a sand spit with an extraordinary coastline. In the evening here you can enjoy the beauty of luminous plankton.
- Distance from Male : 120-133 kilometers.
- Length : 37 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands : 52. Among them 5 are inhabited.
- Popular islands: Kanuhura, Komandu, Kuredu.
Where to stay in Laviani
You can choose one of the luxury resorts of the atoll: 4-star Innahura Maldives Resort or 5-star all-inclusive Atmosphere Kanifushi. Very popular among fans of the Maldives 4-star Kuredu Island Resort & Spa.
Kuredu Island Resort & Spa
Daalu – the northern oasis of the Maldives
Daalu Atoll is located north of the capital Male. This archipelago was opened for tourism not so long ago. Daalu is famous for its inexpressible tropical beauty: long beaches, turquoise lagoons and lush tropical vegetation. Diving and snorkeling on local islands is especially attractive because of the abundance of marine life. The capital, Hanimadu Island, has an airport of the same name, which receives domestic flights from Male, which is convenient for a more comfortable and fast transfer.
- Distance from Male : 150 kilometers.
- Length : 38 kilometers long and 23 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands : 56. Among them, 7 are inhabited.
- Popular islands: Kudahuwadu, Velawaru.
- Antiquity lovers should see the ruins of Buddhist monasteries and an ancient mosque carved out of coral.
- On the central island of Kudahuwadu, recreation will appeal to lovers of marine activities.
- Velavaru is an ideal place for diving thanks to the stunning coral reef. In Dhivehi, Velavaru means “island of turtles.” Here you can see a large population of these amazing animals.
– A luxurious 5-star resort that occupies two islands at once. The first is ideal for family vacations, and the second is designed for romance . The resort offers travelers a luxurious vacation experience. The highlight of the island are the InOcean villas – overwater villas, remote from the coast for a kilometer.
South Ari Atoll, a natural wonder of the Maldives
The largest archipelago in the western Maldives. South Ari (or Alifu Daalu) is deservedly considered one of the best places to see whale sharks in the Maldives. They can be found on the outer reef year-round. It is also home to popular resorts, for which more than 20 islands have been set aside.
South Ari Atoll
- Distance from Male : 120-133 kilometers.
- Length : 89 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands : 26, of which 10 are inhabited.
- Popular islands: the capital Mahibadu and Digura, resort islands Vakarufalhi, Mirihi.
Ari is the most suitable Maldivian archipelago for a luxury vacation. Modern resorts with the highest level of comfort are fully developed here. And the pristine oceanic nature provides the ideal conditions for water activities of all kinds.
The best hotels in South Ari
Numerous fashionable hotels are built on the atoll, attracting tourists with the highest level of service, snow-white beaches and ideal for diving crystal lagoons. You can choose, for example:
- The luxurious 5-star Lily Beach Resort & Spa, which has the title of one of the best Maldivian luxury hotels;
- The 3-star Holiday Island Resort & Spa, which offers comfortable bungalows and decent facilities.
Addu Atoll – the southern jewel of the Maldives
The fabulous Addu Atoll (or Siinu) is located on the equator line. It is the southernmost of the atolls of the entire archipelago. Administrative and economic center of the southern Maldives, which, in importance, can be compared to the capital Male. The longest island in the Ari Islands Gan has its own airport, offering about 30 international flights.
Characteristics of the atoll:
- Distance from Male : 478 kilometers.
- Length : 37 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide.
- Number of islands: 23. Among them, there are 6 inhabited islands.
- Popular islands: Gan, Midhu, Willingili, the capital Hitadu.
Addu Atoll attracts tourists with excellent opportunities for scuba diving. Diving, divers can admire the rich underwater world of the Indian Ocean, as well as explore the torpedoed British tanker, which remained here since World War II. On some of the reefs, conditions are ideal for beginner divers.
Resorts at Addu Atoll
As a vacation destination, you can choose the luxurious five-star Shangri-La’s Villingili Island Resort & Spa on Villingili Island. Or stay at the more affordable Canareef Resort Maldives 4*, located on Midhu Island.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Island Resort & Spa