Best time to visit
December to April (the dry season)
- Swimming in a clear-blue lagoon, strolling on soft white sand and sitting under a coconut tree.
- Scuba diving to see turtles, mantas and morays, whale sharks, nurse sharks, hammerheads and rays.
- Exploring the underwater shipwreck Maldive Victory, alive with corals and home to trevally, snapper, squirrelfish and cod
- Taking a flight over the atolls and watching the free form patterns of sea, sandbank, reef and island
Garudia (soup made from dried and smoked fish, often eaten with rice, lime and chilli) for a main meal and finish off with an arecanut (an oval nut chewed with betel leaf, cloves and lime), which is the equivalent of an after-dinner mint.
Raa (a sweet and delicious toddy tapped from the crown of the palm trunk).
Pristine tropical islands; swaying palm trees; pure white- sand beaches; brilliant aquamarine water; abundant marine life; gloriously coloured coral; peerless diving.
Addu Atoll is an administrative region of the Maldives. It encompasses relatively few islands in comparison to most other atolls, however, most of these are fairly large, including Addu Atoll, which has the second highest population concentration in the nation. It serves as a major tourist centre and an excellent base from which to explore the pristine islands around it. The Addu Atoll features crystal-clear turquoise lagoons, thriving coral reefs, and a multi-coloured array of marine life. This diving mecca offers various dive sites where visitors can experience Addu’s magical underwater wonderland. The majestic manta ray calls the surrounding waters home and visitors from around the globe flock here to encounter these beautiful creatures.
Alif Alif Atoll
An administrative division of the Maldives, Alif Alif Atoll is also known as Northern Ari Atoll, encompasses the small Rasdhukuramathi Atoll, the northern part of Ari Atoll, as well as the remote island of Thoddoo. It comprises 33 islands in total, some of which are uninhabited and inhabited believed to have been populated for hundreds of years and feature ancient archaeological remains including Buddhist temples and chedi ruins. Visitors can relax on pristine white-sand palm-fringed beaches lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters filled with spectacular coral reefs and an abundance of exotic marine life.
Alif Dhaal Atoll
Conveniently located in close proximity to the capital city of Male, the Alifu Dhaal Atoll, also known as the Ari South, is an administrative division of the Maldives Archipelago. Due to a recent tourist boom, the atoll now features a number of inhabited islands boasting luxury resorts and well-equipped dive centres. The capital is the town of Mahibadhoo, which is home to around 2000 inhabitants and offers a wide range of facilities and services. The exceptional diving is undoubtedly the main attraction with a diverse range of marine life inhabiting the area including manta rays, whale sharks, hammerheads, guitar sharks, turtles, grey reef sharks, frogfish, and countless other colourful fish species. Aside from diving, visitors can enjoy: windsurfing, snorkelling, kayaking, swimming or simply relaxing on one of the many idyllic white-sand beaches
An administrative division in the west of the Maldives, Baa Atoll consists of three natural atolls made up of 75 islands, 57 of which are uninhabited. Baa Atoll is the only UNESCO listed Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives, known for its high biodiversity and home to Hanifaru Bay, the largest gathering of manta rays on earth and one of the only whale shark mating sites in the world. Boasting some of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the world, many of the islands are home to luxury resorts providing wonderful spa’s, restaurants and clubs. Along with its renowned scuba, boating, and watersports, Baa Atoll is famous for its delicious fish, lacquer work and distinct woven cotton sarongs (feyli).
Bodu Kaashi Huraa
Located on the eastern side of the Alif Dhaal Atoll, Boda Kaashi Huraa is an unspoilt island in the heart of the beautiful Maldives. This real-life paradise features virgin white-sand beaches lapped by turquoise waters. Visitors can enjoy day trips to the island to enjoy its untouched natural beauty. Popular activities include: strolling along and relaxing on the vast swathes of beautiful beach, floating in the crystal-clear waters of the surrounding lagoon, soaking up the picture-perfect views and exploring the magnificent surrounding coral reef.
Situated in the southeast of the Alif Dhaal Atoll, Daghetti Island is known for its beautiful beaches lapped by calm, turquoise waters, and its ancient banyan tree, several hundred years’ old, which is the pride of the island. The historic village offers a first-hand experience of the culture, and features a wonderful museum showing the local life of the first inhabitants. Daghetti is one of the best places to discover Maldivian music, which traces its roots and influences to Sri Lanka, India, Arabian countries, sub-Sahara Africa, Britain and Portugal. Boasting an array of guesthouses, restaurants, and fantastic boutiques, the island is ideal for those looking for a tropical getaway with all the modern comforts of home. Popular activities include: swimming, kayaking, boating, snorkelling and diving (which may include swimming among manta rays and sea turtles). The island is close to many others, offering many more adventures.
Encompassing a total of 56 islands – only seven of which are inhabited – the Dhaalu’ Atoll of the Maldives stretches 23 kilometres across and 38 kilometres from top to bottom, in the Arabian Ocean. The atoll, decorated with numerous luxury resorts, is a popular scuba diving destination, fringed with exquisite reefs home to prolific sea life. Other activities on offer include swimming in the crystal clear waters, taking part in numerous types of water sports, going for spa treatments, and visiting some intriguing sites. History enthusiasts will delight in a visit to the old mosque at Kudahuvadhoo, the Dhaalu’s capital, to see some incredible masonry, as well as the island’s strange mounds called ‘hawiitas’, and the 300-year-old Masjid at Rinbudhoo Island. Make sure to take the walk from Bulhalafushi to Naibukaloabodufushi at low tide for an unusual exploration of the uninhabited islands.
Gaaf Alif Atoll
Gaaf Alif Atoll, also known as North Huvadhu Atoll, is made up of many small islands scattered across the Maldives’ deepest lagoon – plunging roughly 90 metres down to the seabed and encompassing a profusion of dazzling coral reefs. The atoll is made up of at least 10 inhabited islands as well as over 80 uninhabited islands, all boasting white-sand beaches lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters. Devvadu Island, located roughly in the centre of this large atoll, is an intriguing archaeological site, scattered with ancient Buddhist ruins that are still largely unexcavated. Gaaf Alif’s first luxury boutique hotel was established in 2009 and offers five-star accommodation in this pristine tropical paradise. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience world-class scuba diving and snorkelling amidst these pristine islands.
Situated along the east coast of the South Male Atoll, Gulhi Island is a surfer’s paradise. The island features soft white-sand beaches lapped by crystal-clear aquamarine waters meeting bright blue cloudless skies. Surfers flock here from all corners of the globe to have the chance to surf the excellent waves. This small island is also home to the oldest dockyard in the Maldives. Visitors can look forward to a variety of wonderful activities including: watching dolphins glide through the balmy waters, surfing at some legendary spots, as well as snorkelling and diving through underwater wonderlands inhabited by diverse marine life.
Located within the South Male Atoll of the Maldives, Guraidhoo Island is a fishing island known for its pristine white-sand beaches lapped by crystal-clear, azure blue waters and fringed by lush greenery. Visitors can look forward to a selection of exciting activity options such as: relaxing on the magnificent beaches, snorkelling through a spectacular underwater world and even swimming with manta rays and turtles. Other popular activities include: fishing, kayaking, boating, exploring the little Maldivian village, and browsing gift shops for locally-made souvenirs. As one of the only islands in the Maldives inhabited by traditional locals, it offers an opportunity to discover some of the Maldivian culture. The island is a quick ten minute boat ride from Cocoa Island in Kaafu Atoll.
Set in the spectacularly scenic Maldives, within the North Male Atoll, the island of Kuda Bandos is known for its magnificent natural beauty. Visitors can relax on the magnificent Kuda Bandos, Kurumba, and Bandos beaches; explore the well-known Banana Reef Dive Site; soak up the relaxed island-style atmosphere, and discover the diverse marine life of the underwater wonderland surrounding the island. Other popular activities include: offshore snorkelling, lazing on unspoilt beaches, big game fishing, sunset dolphin cruises, and spotting whale sharks and manta rays.
Also known as Haddhummati Atoll, Laamu Atoll rests in the south of the Maldives. The area is wonderfully remote and yet easily accessible on a 40-minute domestic flight from the capital of Male to the island of Kadhdhoo, where the atoll’s tiny domestic airport is located. Laamu is best known for its excellent surfing conditions and its unique Buddhist archaeological sites featuring monasteries and stupas once used by Maldivian Buddhists as a site for meditation. There is only one resort, the luxurious Six Senses Laamu, which is set on a turquoise lagoon where dolphins swim along the sandy shoreline. The resort offers a range of activities including snorkelling or scuba diving among pristine coral reef teeming with exotic marine life, surfing the famous waves that break just offshore, or simply relaxing on the idyllic palm-lined white-sand beaches.
The luxury resort island of Landaa Giraavaru lies in the Baa Atoll of the Maldives, in the northern area of the archipelago. The small landmass is lush with dense vegetation and is surrounded by bright blue, shallow, warm waters – perfect for swimming, diving, boat cruises, and watersports. Pristine, powdery beaches make this idyllic destination a dream for sunbathers and families, while top-notch facilities allow a superior experience for relaxation and leisure. A wonderful Ayurvedic leisure retreat centre provides a great way to truly detach from big-city stress, while several world-class restaurants and bars make it a popular choice among gourmands.
Dotting the Indian Ocean, Lhaviyani Atoll, also known as Faadhippolhu Atoll, is an administrative division of the Maldives. It is situated just below Baa Atoll and is made up of 50 islands, only a handful of which are inhabited. The atoll’s islands are fringed by white sand beaches lapped by impossibly blue crystal-clear waters. Visitors can browse the mother-of-pearl handicrafts at the capital of Naifaru, and visit the resort islands such as Palm Beach, Kanuhuraa, Komandoo and Kuredhu. Popular activities include: snorkelling, scuba diving, island hopping, swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a desert island, discover the colourful underwater wonderland and enjoy a sunset cruise while spotting dolphins.
A picturesque islet encompassed by the turquoise waters of the Arabian Ocean, Maamigili Island is a quintessential tropical paradise located in the South Ari Atoll of the small island nation of Maldives. This enchanting idyll is fringed by stretches of warm white sand and boasts a verdant landscape of lush palm trees. Amid the pastoral surroundings is Villa International Airport Maamigili, the only airport in the atoll and three restaurants where visitors can enjoy an array of sumptuous dishes. Dubbed “Whale Shark Island”, Maamigili is a famous hotspot for diving and snorkelling. Nature lovers throng the 10 kilometre-long Dhidhdhoo Beyru dive site, beckoned by the abundant population of whale sharks.
Encompassing over 1000 coral islands that form about 25 natural atolls, the Maldives is separated from the rest of the world by the seemingly endless Indian Ocean, offering visitors a secluded little pocket of paradise. These exquisite tropical islands are best known for their white powder sand beaches, glistening blue lagoons and extensive reefs which are home to a diverse range of colourful marine life. The nation’s bustling capital of Male features an array of charming shops and restaurants as well as a busy fish market and a must-see 17th-century mosque known as Hukuru Miskiy which was constructed out of intricately carved white coral. Visitors will find plenty of activities to keep them entertained including: scuba diving, snorkelling, water skiing, stand up paddle boarding, spa visits, and hopping from one idyllic little island to the next.
Rising up from the Indian Ocean, like a colourful floating Lego town, the city of Male is one of the world’s smallest national capitals. For an authentic Maldivian experience, the tiny capital packs a cultural punch. This bustling city displays a stark contrast to the rest of the tranquil sun-soaked islands that make up the Maldives. Renowned for its mosques, colourful multi-storied buildings, a popular fish and produce markets, Male is the economic heart of this tropical archipelago. After exploring the city’s sights including, the golden-domed Grand Friday Mosque and the National Museum, visitors can enjoy a sea view lunch along the esplanade overlooking the impossibly turquoise waters. Don’t miss the national treasure, the Hukuru Miskiy Mosque, a 17th-century mosque constructed out of intricately carved white coral stones.
Meemu Atoll – also known as Mulaku Atoll – is the administrative region of the Maldives that encompasses the natural atoll of the same name. Comprised of eight inhabited islands and over 20 deserted islands, Meemu Atoll boasts countless pristine beaches lapped by turquoise waters. Renowned for its first-class dive sites, visitors flock here to explore the atoll’s underwater coral wonderland and adventurous surfers can enjoy prime surf breaks at Boahuraa Point, Veyvah Point, and Mulee Point. Visitors can spot manta rays and whale sharks in the crystal-clear waters, explore the ancient wreck off the coast of Kolhuvaariyaafushi Island and visit a historical mosque on Kolhufushi Island.
Situated on the eastern side of the North Male Atoll which rests in the northern part of the Maldives, the beautiful island of Meerufenfushi boasts white-sand beaches lapped by balmy crystalline waters and shadowed by coconut palm trees. The surrounding waters are filled with diverse marine life and an underwater wonderland of colourful coral reefs. Visitors can spend lazy days on spectacular beaches and soak up the picture-perfect views. Popular activities include: diving, snorkelling, kayaking, cycling, windsurfing, fishing, diving, and golfing. There are a few restaurants and bars on the island, as well as a coffee shop.
Noonu Atoll (also known as South Miladhunmadulu) is located below Shaviyani Atoll and has Manadhoo as its capital. It forms part of the Maldives North and is made up of 71 islands, of which only 13 are inhabited.
North Malé Atoll
Situated in the beautiful Maldives, North Male Atoll makes up the northern part of the larger natural Male Atoll. It is home to the city of Male which serves as the national capital of the Maldives and the transport hub of the islands. The well-developed North Male Atoll is known for its many resorts, hotels and guesthouses. Visitors can look forward to a variety of wonderful activities including: swimming in blue lagoons, diving and snorkelling through abundant coral reefs, lazing on pristine white-sand beaches and enjoying excellent surfing along its eastern coast which is said to have the best waves in the Maldives.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, Raa Atoll, also known as Northern Maalhosmadulu Atoll, is an administrative division of the breathtaking Maldives Archipelago. This atoll is made up of numerous ring-like volcanic formations with sheltered inner lagoons of various sizes protected from the open sea by sturdy reef. This idyllic paradise features white-sand beaches, fringed by lush tropical vegetation and lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters. Previously, Raa Atoll was off-limits to tourists but since the early 1990’s it has opened its doors to the tourism industry. Visitors can explore the two main resort islands of Loama Maamigili and Meedhupparu as well as many others. Spend relaxing days lazing on picturesque beaches, explore the spectacular coral reef dotting this volcanic seascape, and enjoy an array of world-class water-based activities.
Situated within the Alif Dhaal Atoll of the Maldives, Raiga Dhiggiri is a private island. Quintessentially, it represents the ideal tropical island paradise featuring white-sand beaches fringed by turquoise waters and lush palm trees. There is an amazing sandbar which can be reached by wading through the shallow waters. Small stone huts with thatched roofs provide a wonderful island experience. Visitors can look forward to spending slow days on beautiful beaches, swim in the crystalline waters, snorkel with abundant marine life and explore the extensive reef. Visitors may be able to see numerous native bird species, manta rays and other animals.
Randheli, a small island of the Noonu atoll of the northern Maldives, is the ultimate location for extravagance, luxury, and exclusivity. This private island covers a hectare of landmass, and is one of the top escape destinations in the world for wealthy and famous travellers. With virtually exclusive access to several incredible dive sites, the island draws diving enthusiasts to its shores. Other highlights include a spa which has its own island, dazzling restaurants serving mouth-watering fine cuisine, and a myriad of world-class sports facilities. All these elements are joined with the expected perfect beaches, crystal waters, and gorgeous natural scenery.
INTRO other source
The Maldives is situated in the warm Indian Ocean, South West of Sri Lanka. It is one of the world’s most geographically dispersed nations with over 1,192 coral islands dotted along 180 kilometres. This unique setting is at the heart of Maldivian tourism, featuring around 165 hotels, offering ‘one island one resort’ concept.
Visit to Utheemu Ganduvaru (accessible from Hideaway and JA Manafaru)
The birthplace of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, who with his brothers fought an eight-year-long war to drive out the Portuguese invaders. Utheemu Ganduvaru is the wooden palace in which Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu lived and grew up. It is well preserved and evokes more than any other existing building in the Maldives, the lifestyle of the rich, centuries ago.
Shipwreck in GAN
British Loyalty, the only wreck in the Maldives to be sunk in active battle. It was torpedoed by the Japanese at the end of World War 2 and now lies 16-33 meters below the sea level in Addu Atoll. A trip to this spot is worth the travel as it has not be been affect by the El Nino Coral bleaching. The torpedo made a big hole in the side of ship and corals have established itself both inside and outside the wreck. Expect to see parrot fish, clownfish, wrasse, angelfish, triggerfish and turtles in the eerie chambers of this shipwreck.
Local Fishing Experience
Maldives is renowned for its pole and line fishing, which is a selective, sustainable and equitable method of catching tuna. Boats go out for a whole day, first they catch the bait in nets and then go onto fish for deep sea tuna. Your guests can join them for a unique and exhilarating experience.
The Maldives is often misunderstood as a ‘beach only’ or ‘honeymoon’ destination. However it is important to know that there are a few interesting and unique cultural experiences you may not know of. There are also great for families with small children or teenagers. We have highlighted a few below:
Paint with a local artist
We work with local artists in the Maldivian community to help promote their art and to help you learn new skills. We have a team of talented artists that you can work with, all with different styles and abilities.
Parties six metres underwater
Local dancers and drummers
Bring in celebrities,magicians and entertainers from around the world
Mermaid for children’s birthday celebrations
Whale Shark spotting by seaplane for those who prefers not to snorkel