UIY_UY_Maldives_Baa.JPG

MALDIVES

If there’s anywhere on earth that truly captures the spirit of a castaway Robinson Crusoe experience, it has to be the Maldives. Of 1,192 coral islands across 26 atolls, just 200 are inhabited. Whether you’re pairing a few nights of private cruising with one of the country’s spectacular castaway hotels or embarking on an adventurous odyssey at sea, the Maldives has plenty to suit every luxury traveller’s desire.

Onboard your private yacht in the Maldives, you’ll sail past tiny islets spilling fauna onto shores strewn with a thousand shells, untouched by the blueprint of a designer retreat. The palest jade rings mark lagoons, set with sun-scorched sand banks, edges sculpted by the currents of the Indian Ocean. Swell-specialists and wave- wallflowers alike can learn to surf at breaks far off the beaten track.

Beneath the Maldivian waves, staghorn coral reaches skyward alongside delicate sea fans. Silvered needlefish graze the surface and schools of neon fusilier and skittish blue-stripe snapper dart across the reef. Angelfish drift by, clownfish snuggle into anemones, lionfish guard rocky lairs and sea turtles circle overhead, soaking their ancient shells with equatorial sunshine. The Maldives is a veritable sweetshop for underwater aficionados, with scores of dive sites.

 

Maldives on the Map

The Maldives is a long, narrow country comprised of 20 natural atolls, each rising to coral islands and split with deep channels.

The Maldives can be roughly split into three main regions: the northern, central and southern atolls – each with their own allure.

UY_Map_Maldives.png

Northern Atolls

The North and South Male Atolls are the most developed in the Maldives in terms of resorts, and the Baa Atoll attracts snorkelers to the famed Hanifaru Bay, where mantas and whale sharks congregate at certain times of year. The Noonu Atoll and the Raa Atoll are home to some of the more remote luxury resorts in the Maldives, but there are plenty of islands further afield to discover in the northern reaches of the Maldives - this region features notably in Maldivian history as one of the esteemed rulers who fought against Portuguese colonisation in the 16th century lived on one of these isles. In the far north, visitors will find protected marine zones, shipwrecks and underwater caves, ideal for divers. At the farthest northern tip of the Maldives lies the Haa Alifu Atoll and the Haa Dhaalu Atoll, the closest atoll to Sri Lanka and India.


Central Atolls

The central atolls comprise Dhaalu, Thaa, Laamu, Meemu, Faafu. Thaa and Laamu are praised for their consistent barrel surfing and fishing, not to mention some spectacular diving. In the Ari Atoll, Fenfushi is fascinating for those in search of the cultural side of the Maldives; its inhabitants were skilful sculptors and carvers of coral and their art is still to be seen on the finely decorated walls of the island’s mosque and the tombstones in the nearby cemetery. Divers will love this region’s abundance of fish and prospect of whale sharks and manta rays at the right season.


Southern Atolls

Further south, intrepid travellers will find the Huvadhoo Atoll and the Addu Atoll, which are considered by many as the most spectacular in the Maldives with their lack of development, stunning natural wonders and prolific coral reefs. Visitors can also enjoy a taste of local culture in some of the far-flung villages in this region. The Eastern side of Huvadhoo is a paradise in the true sense of the word for underwater aficionados and fishermen - during the dry monsoon practically all the narrow passes along the atoll’s perimeter are ideal for astonishing current dives, with crystal-clear visibility and congregating fish. Advanced surfers are also in for a treat here; Beacons and Tiger Stripes are two of the most powerful waves in the Maldives.


Yachts available:

 

DHONI STELLA
23m | 2 cabins
6 guests | 4 crew

SONEVA IN AQUA
20m | 2 cabins
4-6 guests | 5 crew

 
 

Maldives Seasons

An equatorial location means the climate of the Maldives remains pleasant and sun soaked year-round, with warm tropical waters and mild monsoon seasons. The ideal time to charter a private yacht in the Maldives is between November and April when cooler temperatures and calm winds are ideal for smooth sailing. The monsoon season runs from May to October, but typically peaks in June with higher humidity temperatures and more chance of rainfall.

By contrast, July through to September marks whale shark and manta ray season, as the outflowing current carries large quantities of plankton. The best time to surf in the Maldives ranges from March through to October, with the biggest breaks taking place in June, July and August.

 

Getting to the Maldives

The main airport in the Maldives is Male International Airport in the North Male Atoll. Male is connected with domestic flights to a range of other small airports across the atolls of the Maldives, and there are also seaplane charters available depending on your preferred itinerary.

 

Discover more destinations with Ultimate Yachts