Travel & Places

Maldives Atolls: The Ranking of The 10 Most Beautiful

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More than 1000 islands grouped in 26 atolls.

The Maldives is a paradise and every beach lover’s dream.

White sand, fabulous sea, palm trees, resorts directly on the water: nothing is missing for an unforgettable holiday.

But which are the best atolls in the Maldives?

We have selected the 10 unmissable for you , based on our personal experiences and the satisfaction of travelers.

1- Ari Atoll

Long stretches of white sand and crystal clear sea, a true paradise on earth.

In our opinion (but we are not the only ones to think so) this is the most beautiful atoll of all the Maldives .

Located in the south central Maldivian, it is made up of 82 islands, 18 inhabited.

The territory extends for 90 kilometers in length and 30 in width.

It is 65 kilometers from the Velana International airport in Malè, and can be easily reached by seaplane.

Many of the southern islands have coral reefs just a few meters from the shore, a simple mask is enough to enjoy the natural spectacle.

The resort offer is particularly rich and of a high standard, with services capable of satisfying even the most demanding traveler.

Ari Atoll is ideal for a romantic getaway. Don’t miss the best island in Maldives for couples.

2- North Male Atoll

The largest, most famous and visited atoll in the Maldives, is home to Velana International Airport, located on the island of Hulhulè.

Located in the central part of the Maldives, it stretches for 70 kilometers in length and 40 in width.

It is made up of 50 islands of which only 8 are inhabited.

The North Male Atoll offers visitors beaches of incomparable beauty and an unmistakable natural scenery.

The seabed is sandy and the water reaches a maximum depth of 300 meters.

Here are the most beautiful areas for snorkeling and diving, to discover the coral reef and the colorful marine fauna.

The best reefs for diving are found in the southernmost areas of the atoll.

With a little luck, dolphins can be seen swimming offshore.

In the archipelago there are 27 resorts, some (those furthest from the airport) that are truly exclusive and with services of the highest level.

The North Male Atoll is suitable for couples and families, we recommend choosing the resort on an island not too close to the airport, so as not to be disturbed by the noise of traffic in the sky.

3- South Male Atoll

Located south of the “big brother”, the South Male atoll is less touristy and busy, but no less enchanting.

It has 30 islands, of which only 3 are inhabited.

If you are passionate about diving, this is probably one of the best places in the world for such activity: the channel that separates Malè Nord from Malè Sud, called VaadhooKandu, will amaze you with the incredible variety of the seascape.

Many small islands of the atoll are connected to each other by jetties.

Walking between one and the other, perhaps at sunset, is an experience to do at least once in a lifetime.

As for the natural landscape, it is similar to the northern part.

The most important island of the atoll is Maafushi, others worthy of note are Fihalholi and Bodufinolhu.

4- Baa Atoll

Another splendid atoll, consisting of 75 islands, 13 are inhabited.

It is 105 kilometers from Malè, which is a guarantee of almost absolute tranquility.

Each island has its own coral reef a few meters from the white beach, lapped by a sea of ​​a thousand shades of blue and azure.

Baa Atoll, with its amazing marine flora, has been a UNESCO protected nature reserve since 2011.

Simply the perfect place for a fairytale honeymoon.

5- Raa Atoll

One of the least touristy but most unspoiled and authentic atolls.

You will find what you need for an unforgettable holiday: white sand, turquoise sea and spectacular reef (English name of the coral reef).

Located to the north-east, 88 islands are part of the territory, only 15 of them are home to people.

There are only 2 resorts and the population lives mainly from fishing.

The island with the most services is Meedhupparu, where you can book boat trips to the other islands of the atoll.

Raa Atoll is recommended to get to know the most genuine and authentic Maldives.

6- Faafu Atoll

Small atoll is almost completely uninhabited, not very touristy and of priceless beauty.

It is 120 kilometers from Malè, inside the capital Nilandhoo is one of the most important archeological sites in the Maldives.

The only resort of the atoll is on the island of Filitheyo, very exclusive and with impeccable services.

One of the best sites for scuba diving: you can meet a great variety of fish, turtles and dolphins. Faafu Atoll is the ideal destination for a couple’s stay.

7- Noonu Atoll

Rather large atoll and away from the main tourist channels, it hosts 71 islands, 13 of which are inhabited.

The Noonu Atoll is of great importance from a naturalistic point of view.

Here is the Edu Faru National Park: 9 islands in the east protected from any tourist settlement by the Maldivian government, to safeguard the extraordinary biodiversity.

In the whole atoll there are only 4 resorts of the highest level and with prices naturally within the reach of a few.

8- Lhaviyani Atoll

Lhaviyani atoll is one of the most photographed and evocative of the Maldivian archipelago.

It is one of the northernmost atolls and to reach it (depending on the time of year) you need to make an intermediate stopover at Ifuru airport, in the Maalhosmadulu atoll.

What makes it so special?

Sand soft and light as flour, turquoise sea near the shore that becomes cobalt blue moving away from the mainland.

The area is popular with divers and snorkelers.

The main and best areas to dive are located in the northern part of the atoll.

9- Shaviyani Atoll

Located north of the Maldives archipelago, it is made up of 16 inhabited islands and 35 completely wild islands.

Only in recent years has it begun to welcome tourists to its resorts (7 in total), it remains essentially a wonderfully unspoiled place.

The beaches are among the most beautiful ever.

On Funadhoo Island you can visit the remains of an ancient mosque and buildings dating back to the 13th century.

Shaviyani is the right choice for a holiday in total relaxation and “away from it all”.

10 – Rasdhoo Atoll

Located north of the Ari Atoll, we are therefore in the southern part of the Maldives.

Made up of 3 islands, the largest gives the atoll its name and is the only one inhabited.

In the north there is an extensive coral reef, in the south there are long stretches of white sand in front of the immensity of the Indian ocean.

There is a large resort in Rasdhoo with great facilities.

This is the best atoll for water sports: canoeing, surfing and windsurfing.

There is of course the possibility of diving: the most famous site is that of Madivaru.


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