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Last updated : Nov 2009
Kaafu (Male) Atoll – North
Kaafu Male Atoll North - TravelPuppy.com
Male

Male, the capital of the Maldives, is located near the airport on the southern edge of the North Male Atoll. Although accommodation is available, not many foreign travellers stay in the capital; even those conducting business usually stay in 1 of the neighbouring resort islands and commute to Male by boat.

The capital boasts many shops selling examples of locally made handicrafts and imported products. Additional attractive sights are the Mulee-aage (a former palace), National Museum (situated in the Sultan’s Park with an excellent collection of artifacts as well as Sultanese thrones and palanquins), the vegetable and fish markets, the beautiful 17th-century Hukuru (Friday Mosque) and the Islamic Centre with its fabulous golden dome. There are more than 20 other mosques spread throughout Male.

Baros

Set on an area of 60,680 sq metres (653,160 sq feet) and with a 1,024 metre (3360 feet) long beach, this oval-shaped island is about an hour boat ride from the airport. There are a variety of corals on one side of the island within 3-6 metres or 10-20 feet of the shallow beach which are superb for snorkeling and diving lessons, whilst the other side is great for swimming and water-skiing.

Bandos

East of Baros lies the island of Bandos, a large resort that provides nicely-decorated beach bungalows with views of the beach. Here, there is an especially good diving school; among the attractions is a dive down to the appropriately named Shark Point.

Hudhuveli

East of North Male Atoll is Hudhuveli. Similar to Bandos and Vaadhu, it is operated by Deen’s Orchid Agency. This modern beach resort has straw-roofed, individually located bungalows with freshwater showers.

Ihuru

This cosy island is stunningly beautiful and extremely photographed. The accommodation available on this island comprises simply furnished bungalows.

Kurumba

A very small half square mile island, Kurumba is a 15 minute boat ride from the airport and only 10 minutes from Male. There are conference facilities, swimming pools, jacuzzis, gymnasiums and 5 restaurants. Most water sports are available as well as scuba diving; the colourful fish in the lagoon will eat from your hands.

Nakatchafushi

Nakatchafushi is one of the most photographed of all the islands, containing the country’s largest lagoon. Located west of North Male Atoll, it is 24 kilometres or 15 miles from the airport, with a travel time of about 90 minutes. The lagoon is outstanding for water sports and a long strip of sand at the island's western edge is a paradise for beach lovers. A swimming pool is also available.

Full Moon (Furana)

20 minutes from the airport, the resort with its deep lagoon makes it a superb location for visiting yachts. It also provides 5 restaurants, a gymnasium and a business centre.

Giraavaru

Giraavaru Island sits 11 kilometres or 7 miles west of the airport. Travel time is about 15 minutes by speed-boat or 45 minutes by normal transfer boat. The nicely-furnished guestrooms offers either sea or garden views.

Reethi Rah

Reethi Rah, an unspoiled and gorgeous island northwest of the North Male Atoll, has thatched bungalows and ten water bungalows built on stilts above the lagoon, designed by local architectural styles without leaving out any of the modern comforts.

Makunudhoo

Makunudhoo, one of the most expensive resorts with a good reputation for its food, is 2 hours from the airport. The Maldivian-run island offers the best anchorage of all the resorts and normally has yachts available for hire. It is sheltered on all sides by a wonderful lagoon. The accommodation available comprises thatched bungalows, individually located in coconut plantation leading down to the beach.

Kanifinolhu (Kani)

Kanifinolhu (Kani) sits on the eastern tip of the North Male Atoll. The seas around the island contain some of the best inside reefs in the country, and the shelter provided by the external reef makes for excellent diving even in the roughest conditions. The accommodation style is influenced by local and oriental design and many rooms are air-conditioned. There is a desalination plant for fresh water.

Other resorts

The resorts of Farukolhufushi (Club Med) and Thulhaagiri offer swimming pools and outstanding facilities for water sports. Thulhaagiri provides one windsurfing board for each twin-bedded room.

Club Med has an experienced team organizing sport and leisure activities throughout the day and in the evening. Summer Island Village provides 93 air-conditioned guestrooms in a lovely tropical setting.

Additional highly recommended North Male resorts are Boduhithi and the nearby Kudahithi and, closer to the airport, Lhohifushi, which features a stunning lagoon and lots of watersport facilities. Kudahithi, one of the most expensive resorts in the country, with only 6 units – perfect for small, private groups.
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