It is not until one steps into the beautiful Maafushi Island in the Maldives does one know how it feels like to stay in a slice of paradise on earth. Maafushi is one of those local islands of Maldives where people go to rejuvenate their fatigued souls and bask in the tranquillity that envelopes this tourist destination. The sudden change of pace from the hectic hustle of the city to the utter sense of serenity is something that is sure to soothe the anxious nerves and help people relax.
The small island of Fulhadhoo located in the southern Maalhosmadulhu Atoll and two hours away from the capital city of Male is fairly uninhabited and is one of the most stunning islands in Maldives. The island is everything you would hope to see and experience when booking a trip to Maldives. With less than 250 people residing in a small village on the west side of this island, the place is basically uninhabited and nothing short of a paradise. Fulhadhoo Island is every individual's dream with white sandy beaches, palm trees, crystal clear lagoons varying in shades of blue and several hidden and undiscovered treasures. For people looking for a day away from city life, the tranquil atmosphere of this island is the perfect place to kick back and relax.
Located in South Male- Atoll, Biyadhoo has emerged as the premier destination for water sports in the Maldives. An international diving school operating on the island gives high standard PADI courses, And to top it all, you'll find sea turtles, manta rays and friendly reef sharks! Paddleboarding, canoeing, windsurfing, and sailing are also a popular choice. The Biyadhoo Island Resort offer luxurious accommodation options. In the end, you can take the exquisite sand massages and exotic spas offered at Himeyn Spa that de-stress and take away all the holiday exhaustion.
Raa Atoll is one of the famous atolls in the Maldives, housing some of the best resorts and bucket list-worthy sites. One of the islands of Maldives that form a part of this atoll is Vaadhoo Island. This spectacular island may have roughly 500 inhabitants but the natural phenomenon occurring here - known as Sea of Stars - is one that captures the attention of people all around the world and leads them straight to the shores of Vaadhoo which delightfully serves them with one of the most memorable sights.
Alimatha Island is visited by more than a hundred people every month. The views offered by this island almost seems unreal to anyone visiting for the very first time. It is a beautiful island with the surreal views of the ocean, golden-white sand all around, and surrounded by greenery throughout. What makes this island in Maldives even more special is that it offers tons of entertainment through music, bars, windsurfing, ayurvedic massage centres, scuba diving and hiking as well.
Nalaguraidhoo Island is a huge island located in the South Ari Atoll. This island is famous for having the biggest resort in the Maldives, Sun Island Resort on its land. The resort fulfils one’s dream to live in a water bungalow.
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One of the world's smallest national capital, Male is known for its ancient mosque and colourful buildings. With its beauty and progressiveness being talked about the island today has grown into one of the most visited islands in Maldives. It is a casual town best for wandering without pre-planned itineraries. With heritage buildings on the one hand, and trees and waters with welcoming shades on the other, Male is a must visit. This pint-sized Maldivian capital is a mercantile pulse of the nation which has a lot to offer to its tourists. Away from a resort's infinity pool and succulent buffet, Male gives you the most authentic experiences in the Maldives. Surrounded courageously with turquoise waters, it is the driving soul of the whole archipelago. From strolling on the streets jostling with shops and lively markets to learning about the Maldivian history, you would love every moment spent in the capital city of Male.
A place steeped in rich historical significance, the Utheemu Island in the Haa Alif Atoll is a slice of paradise for the nature lovers and history buffs. With a pleasant climate dominating the island of Maldives for a major portion of the year, it is an ideal place for a vacation for solo and group travellers alike. The natural beauty of Utheemu Island is unmatchable. The serene, scenic beauty and the picturesque sunrises and sunsets, along with the tall trees swaying in the gentle breeze, are absolutely breathtaking. With the waves rhythmically crashing on the white, sandy shores and the peaceful chirp of birds adorning the clear blue sky, the island takes on a mesmerising, ethereal appearance.
The southernmost atoll in Maldives, Addu Atoll is a beautiful yet secluded place that is famous amongst tourists. Gan Island, in turn, is the southernmost island that forms a part of the Addu Atoll, making it the southernmost island of Maldives as well. The glorious island is home to many activities ranging from water sports, snorkelling and diving to local heritage and cultural experiences as well as high-end resorts. Gan island is one of the few places in Maldives that brings forth a perfect fusion of luxury and the island culture it is known for. Although this island of Maldives is as far 541 kilometres from the capital of Male, the Gan International Airport has made it easily accessible. This is one of the charms of the island as reaching it is no hassle and yet it is miles away from other islands in the Maldives, giving it is a private, isolated feel.
28 kilometres north of the coast of Male, Thulusdhoo Island lies in the Kaafu Atoll and is the capital of the same. The island's location makes it ones of the best surf spots in the Indian Ocean, so much so that it is often known as the 'surf island'. The waves that break at Thulusdhoo due to the coral reef which almost surrounds this island of Maldives is the reason why so many people are attracted to this place and travel here from all over the world. Thulusdhoo's surfing, as well as the snorkelling and diving opportunities, is what makes the island a delightful spot through which to enjoy Maldives and all it offers.
Situated at the southernmost tip of the Maldivian archipelago is the largest island of the nation, Fuvahmulah. Perfect for everyone who wishes to explore a paradisiacal place on earth, this island pulls people towards it just as the moon pulls the waves to its direction, and away from the white, sandy shore of the beach. With a beautiful blend of serenity and beauty, the picturesque Fuvahmulah Island in Maldives casts a spell on its tourists and makes them want to stay there forever. For people who want to dive into a world full of activities, as well as for those who just want to laze around and relax, Fuvahmulah is the right place to be!
Just south of the North Male Atoll and connected to the airport lays a gem of an island called the Hulhumale. The island sprawls across 188 hectares of palm trees and spectacular beaches and is a perfect fusion of urban life with the delights of island life. Hulhumale Island is also a big supporter of green architecture and maintaining the scenic beauty with a strict no littering policy. It is a great place to visit a day before leaving from the Maldives or after arriving.
Located in the beautiful Addu Atoll of Maldives, Maradhoo Island is best described as an authentic Maldivian experience merged with a mindblowing diving getaway. A holiday in this southern tip means plunging into the most serene and untouched parts of Maldives. With comparatively less population from the islands in the west, Maradhoo is linked with other isles through causeways. It is an easy reach due to a ten minutes drive from Gan International Airport. The transfer from the airport to the destination would be full of eye-soothing views. Despite the urban developments, the Maradhoo island has managed to preserve its natural beauty making it quintessential paradise on earth.
Kudahavadhoo Island is the capital island of Dhaalu Atoll. Despite a population of around 3,000, there isn’t much to do on the island but it is best known for its architectural importance due to the presence of mysterious mounds called ‘hawittas’. These mounds are believed to pre-date the Islamic period and are actually ruins of unexcavated Buddhist temples. There are also the preserved remains of an ancient mosque with coral-stone carvings and signs of excellent ancient masonry.
One of the least populated islands in the whole Maldivian nation, Dhigurah Island is located on the Alif Dhaal Atoll. Situated 96 km away from Male, the island is best suited for the ones wishing to escape the bustling city crowd. Dhigurah Island is popular for the whale shark tours (which can be spotted at any time of the year) and snorkelling trips. The white sandy beaches and lavish resorts at Dhigurah Island form a great combo of comfort and entertainment. Not forgetting the deep dives into blue oceans which are quite adventurous and full of fun. Shark safaris on Dhigurah Island have also built a strong reputation, and the teeming aquatic life makes for some truly remarkable interactions with wildlife.
A uniquely featured, environmentally friendly and sparsely populated island, Ukulhas finds itself on the Alif Alif Atoll of the Maldives. Like a pearl surrounded by coral reefs and blue lagoons, it is located 70 km east from Male. One of the best islands, when one talks about natural beauty, Ukulhas Island is the very first eco-friendly isle of the island nation. It houses one of the best bikini beaches among the local islands.
Just 35 minutes away from Male, Huraa Island is located on the Kaafu Atoll of the Maldives. With a population of around 600 people, this island is perfect for those looking for an authentic Maldivian beach holiday. Not as heavily populated with beach resorts and private beaches as other Maldivian islands, Huraa Island gives visitors the chance to mingle with locals and get a taste for traditional Maldivian culture. Bikini Beach, one of the Maldives' most popular attractions, where tourists are allowed to wear bikinis and more revealing swimwear, is also found on Huraa Island.
Guraidhoo Island in the Kafu Atoll is a bliss for the ones escaping the crowd into the serenity of nature. Inhabited only since 1970, the island, its colourful houses occupying around 1700 people and coral chunks make it a beautiful place to be at. Walking the sandy streets of the island one can find a fantastical semi-bikini beach and an adventurous seasonal surf beach. Guraidhoo Island is known for water activities, mainly surfing followed by turtle and dolphin snorkelling and diving. To reach the pictureque island, one can travel via ferry from Male at very reasonable rates.
Home to a 300-year-old mosque, Isdhoo Island is situated on the northern tip of Laamu Atoll. Apart from being an epitome of natural beauty, the island also bears historical importance as it houses important ruins from Maldivian Buddhist era. Not only has it given shelter to the ancient mosque which is believed to be built on a site where once existed a temple, but also to the 'Hawitta' which is an old artificial mound. Images of Buddha too have been found on the lands of Isdhoo. If you are someone who is a history buff and has an everlasting love for waters, Isdhoo is where you need to head to!
Taking the lead among the five islands of Faafu Atoll, Nilandhoo Island is the capital of the former. The isle remains high in importance for it has Foah'mathi, a historical place, which is believed to have a Buddhist temple beneath it. This beautiful island also shelters the 800-year-old mosque Aasaari Miskiiy, the present-day centre of attraction. Since Nilandho isn't as developed as the other Maldivian islands, it gives a feel of the authentic Maldivian culture.
Having the largest Mangrove vegetation, Landhoo island finds itself on the Southern Miladhunmadulhu Atoll. It is yet another island which boasts of being a centre of Buddhist History in the Maldives. Landhoo Island is a blend of interesting stories and a bundle full of cultural knowledge. It has an ancient mound on its northwest side, "Maabadhige Haitha" as called by the local people. These are the ruins of the Buddhist Stupa having the height of 28 feet. The remnants are apparently the single most significant Buddhist ruins in the North Maldivian region. The lands of Landhoo are also famous for folklore.
Located in central Maldives, Mahibadhoo is the capital of Alif Dhaal Atoll. It is one of the country’s smaller islands at 8 hectares and a population of around 2,000 people. Despite this, it remains a beautiful island off the beaten path to visit for water sports opportunities like swimming, diving, snorkelling, canoeing, and surfing. Mahibadhoo is also a popular spot in the region as one of the few islands with a bank, SIM card stores, and an ATM that accepts foreign cards.
Dhiffushi Island in Kaafu Atoll is the easternmost inhabited island in the Maldives which is popular for its breathtaking sunrises before the rest of the country. Just 36 kilometres northeast of the capital city Male, the island is just 0.2 kilometres wide with a population of fewer than 1,500 people. Nevertheless, it has a wide variety of water sports activities that make it an ideal destination. From bikini beaches to diving, snorkelling, kayaking and more, Dhiffushi Island is abundant with things to do.
Himmafushi Island in Kaafu Atoll is one of Maldives’ still developing tourist islands. A visit to the island guarantees a glimpse into traditional life in the Maldives. Its main is lined with souvenirs like carved rosewood manta rays and dolphins and coral headstones while the entire island can be explored on foot in less than an hour. It’s a popular spot for dolphin watching and diving. The famous surfing spot on the island is the Jailbreak, named after its location behind a former prison. This reeling right-hand point offers fast barrel sections for the advanced surfer. Another famous surf are the Sultans that can go up to 8 feet in height.
Mathiveri Island is one of the eight inhabited islands in Alif Alif Atoll in the western Maldives. It is popular for its three beaches and water sports opportunities like wakeboarding, diving, snorkelling, and dolphin and manta ray watching. It has a gorgeous reef that’s ideal for fishing as well. Just 84 kilometres from Male, it is connected via ferry, speedboat, and even seaplane. The island has 3 beaches. Stingray Beach, as the name suggests, is home to stingrays and even baby sharks washing up on its shores. The local beach has a sandbank called ‘picnic island’ that is just a 15-minute swim from the shore, although currents can get strong and one should be careful.
Funadhoo Island is the former capital of Shaviyani Atoll in north Maldives. Its name is derived from the local ‘funa’ flower that is indigenous to the country. The island is still developing and does not have many modern amenities, but it remains a great location for swimming and snorkelling. The pen-shaped island is surrounded by a coral reef which has dried up in some parts, but the other parts still house beautiful marine life. There are also the ruins of an ancient mosque and tombstones that date back to the 13th century. Located 218 kilometres from Male, Funadhoo Island is in one of the least accessible atolls and you’ll need to charter a sea plane or use the public ferry to reach.
Alimatha is one of the most popular islands of the Maldives that excites the tourists with its unmatched greenery and clear waters. It is located atop Vaavu Atoll, about 40 miles off the nearest international airport. It is also a recognized SCUBA diving spot of International acclaim. Miyaru Kandu, a world-renowned dive site is located here as well making it an added attraction for the tourists. The white-sand beaches and warm waters attract numerous tourists from all over the world interested in watching marine life that includes spectacular coral reefs and an enormous population of coloured fish including eels, jackfish and moray.
Located in the Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Hanimadhoo is one of the largest islands of Maldives. Stretching over a length of 7 km with the widest part of the land being only 750 metres, the place is surrounded by beach all along the periphery of the island. Hanimadhoo is ideal for engaging in activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking. Apart from the scenic beauty of the island, Hanimadhoo also houses around two thousand people along with an international airport. Due to the atmospheric conditions, a lot of banana plantations may be observed while touring the place.
Which is your favourite island of Maldives? Have you been to them? Are you planning to make a trip to any? Let us know in the comments below!
This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer