How to choose the perfect local island & atoll for your future holidays in Maldives ?
We drew up a non-exhaustive list of 5 local islands/atolls according to different holiday type . You will find below few ideas and tips which might help you to choose your next destination in Maldives.
1/ SOUTH MALE ATOLL – MAAFUSHI ISLAND
Beach and Tours
You want a resort holiday type island without spending thousands on accommodation, food and excursions ? Maafushi is the local island you need to visit ! Maafushi is the local inhabited island with the most guest houses in the country (more than 40). You will easily find huge range of accommodations deals from guest houses to “luxury” hotels.
All guest houses also provide various excursions such as snorkeling, island hopping, fishing, water sports, etc… There are also few diving centers in Maafushi for those interested in scuba diving.
Maafushi is located in Kaafu atoll ( south Male Atoll ), it is reachable by local ferry ( 90 minutes , daily scheduled departures, no ferry on Friday ) or by speedboat ( 50 mns, combined or private transfers, contact your guest house for more information) .
Maafushi has a private beach where you will be allowed to wear your bikini and enjoy the beach or sea like you would any other holiday ( Bikini beach )
2/ADDU ATOLL – ADDU CITY ISLAND
Escape from Maldives
Why going to Addu city ? Because it is a unique city, the southernmost island in Maldives, after Addu nothing, just the Indian Ocean stretching as far as the eyes can see. To reach Addu you will have to cross the equator and you will discover a totally different culture, language and vegetation. It is definitely a country inside the country.
Addu is the southernmost island of the Maldives, 545 kilometers from Male capital city. Addu city, located in Addu Atoll, is linked to to the neighboring islands of Feydu, Maradu and Hithadhoo by a 16 kilometres road causeway. It is considered to be the second longest paved road in the Maldives.
Addu citizens are friendly and loving people. They speak an entirely different language and have a different and educational background inherited from their common heritage. Addu has always been different and the short lived republic of Suvadive declared in 1959 is a perfect example of Adduans independent spirit!
Take a domestic flight to Gan international airport and forget everything you knew about Maldives, the change of scenery and the total escape is guaranteed.
3/ NORTH MALE ATOLL – THULUSDOO ISLAND
Surf & Relax
If you are a surf addict and looking for a famous and internationally recognized surf destination, Thulusdoo is for you . Thulusdoo is located in North Male atoll and is easily accessible by speedboat ( daily private transfers ) or local dhoni ( daily transfers except on Friday ).
Thulusdoo has two of the most famous surf breaks in Maldives with Chickens and Cokes. Cokes was named after the Coca cola factory based on the island. It is a world-class right break and is considered to be the best wave in North Male Atoll. Chickens is a left break and is probably the fastest wave in Male atoll. Because of Thulusdoo location it also very easy to access other popular breaks in the area such as sultans, jailbreaks, Honkys or Ninjas. All these spots are easily accessible by dhoni ( chargeable) or by booking a surf safari boat .
Thulusdoo has plenty of guests houses and no doubts you will find an accommodation according to your budget. If you are not a surfer, you can also decide to relax at the beach and enjoy a swim in Thulusdoo lagoon.
4/ BAA ATOLL – THULHAADHOO ISLAND
Thulhaadhoo, located in Baa atoll is famous for being the only island in the country doing lacquer work . Thulhaadoo craftman used to supply the royal Maldivian families and acquired a very strong reputation in and outside of the country.
But Thulhaadhoo art and craft is not the main reason why you must visit Baa atoll.
Nowadays Baa atoll is more famous because of its very unique, incredibly preserved and rich marine wildlife . Baa atoll was declared BIOSPHERE RESERVE By UNESCO in 2011. Baa atoll is particularly rich in corals, attracting numerous fishes and huge animals such as Manta ray or whale sharks. Being one of the most beautiful underwater spot in Maldives, Baa Atoll is the definitely a must see for snorkelling, scuba diving and underwater world addicts. You can reach Baa atoll/Thulhaadhoo by taking a domestic flight to Dharavandhoo airport and from there a local dhoni will take you to the close by inhabited islands. You can also experience a seaplane transfer, but this transportation mode is only available if you book your holidays in one the few luxury resorts located in the atoll.
But the best way to visit Baa atoll and discover the endless beauty of the underwater world is to book a safari boat for few days and cruise around the different islands . Safari boats is the most convenient and easy way to discover Maldives at a reasonable price !
5/ LAAMU ATOLL – ISHDOO ISLAND
History and culture
If you like history and want to see some of the last vestiges of the Boudhist era still standing and remaining in Maldives then head to Ishdoo. Located in Laamu atoll, this island has one of the largest stupa found in the Maldives and you will be able to see others relics remaining from Buddhists monasteries.On the island were found Lōmāfānu – copperplate sheets, which contained ancient royal edicts, testifying transition of Maldives from Buddhism to Islam.
Laamu atoll was playing a very important role when Maldives was still a Buddhist country and most of the islands located in this atoll have numerous archaeological sites. Rent a boat and hop to Gan (not to be confused with other Maldivian island called Gan in Addu Atoll ) and find a ruin called “Gamu Haiytheli” . It is 91.5 m in circumference and 7.3 m in height. Local tradition says that this was the last Buddhist temple of the Maldives. You can also visit Dhanbidhoo island where you will find large ruins of Buddhist structures, monastery and temples or Gaadhoo island where a big Buddhist stupa is rising as a pyramid above the forest.(Vadiyaamagu Hawitta).
Capital Island of Laamu is Fonadhoo, with just 2000 inhabitants and despite the small size of the city you will find few very affordable guest houses . You can reach Laamu atoll by booking a domestic flight to Kadhdhoo airport Island.
Try something different on your holiday and enjoy the history and the beauty of Laamu atoll islands.
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