Dhaalu Atoll (also known as Southern Nilandhe Atoll or Nilandhe Atholhu Dhekunuburi) is in the Maldives’ southerly region and on the archipelago’s western side. Only seven of its fifty-six islands are inhabited, and the atoll is known for its jewelers – silversmiths and goldsmiths.
The eastern island of Gemendhoo was inhabited prior to the 2004 tsunami and is surrounded by a line of eleven uninhabited islands. You can navigate a 4 mile (7km) route through these islands during low tide.
The north-east monsoon runs from December to March – the dry season – and the south-west monsoon runs from May to November – the wet season. Daytime temperatures average 29° C (84° F) and water temperatures never fall below 24° C (75° F). The atoll’s tropical climate has diving all year long.
There are two high-end resorts on the atoll and good rates can be found during the low season. Some liveaboards do visit this area, but it’s not as popular as other atolls.
The island of Kudahuvadhoo has an old mosque with impressive stone masonry, but the atoll's Buddhist sites have yet to be excavated – appearing as mounds.
When you’re not exploring the corals in the caves, you can try filming your first blue movie. Octopuses can be seen mating on the outer reef during the months of April and May.
Out of the water, you can write your dive log on the beach, walk across islands that connect during low tide, or explore the stone masonry on the atoll’s ancient mosque.
Back in the water, you can snorkel, windsurf and learn to sail. Or you can head out on a traditional dhoni at sunset and try big game fishing.
After a day spent island hopping, experience the nocturnal corals coming to life during a night dive.
Male Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is well served by direct charter flights from Western Europe, but direct scheduled flights are rarer – it may require a lay-over in the Middle East first.
If you’re staying on the Dhaalu Atoll, then you will transfer by seaplane (45 minutes) upon arrival in Male.