Faadhippolhu Atoll is a very popular Maldives Atoll known best for its beautiful little islands and resorts, as well as the numerous exciting dive sites and reefs brimming with exotic Maldives marine life. Faadhippolhu Atoll is situated 120 km north of Male, the island capital of the Maldives, and spans 37 km in width and 35 km in length.
Brilliant sunset scene at Faadhippolhu Atoll
TOTAL ISLANDS: 58
POPULATION: 11805 (2009)
ISLANDS IN FAADHIPPOLHU ATOLL:
Naifaru, Madivaru, Felivaru, Hinnavaru, Komandhoo, Kuredhdhoo, Kanuhuraa, Madiriguraidhoo, Dhiffushi, Hudhufushi, Olhuvelifushi, Kurendhoo, Maafilaafushi, Dhidhdhoo, Kanifushi, Faadhoo
From Male it takes around eight hours to reach Lhaviyani via boat, however one can choose to transfer via seaplane if necessary. The island of Madivaru now has an airport, opened recently in 2007.
Faadhippolhu Atoll, also referred to as Lhaviyani Atoll, has a total of 58 islands, of which four are inhabited, four are resorts and the rest are uninhabited. Hudhufushi, has been recently developed into a resort island, while Kanifushi, an island on the west side of Faadhippolhu Atoll is under contruction.
Map of Faadhippolhu Atoll - Maldives
The numerous small islands dotted around the Maldives Atoll makes it a popular route for liveaboard safaris trips because in addition to the picturesque scenery (both above and below water) there are numerous dive sites to explore with a plethora of fish life like giant manta rays, reef sharks and the like.
Beach swimming at Faadhippolhu Atoll
The primary occupation of Faadhippolhu islanders is fishing, with sail weaving and coir-making a close second and third, and the island of Felivaru boasts a fish canning factory providing employment for workers in the region.
The island capital Naifaru is very well populated, and construction work is in progress to develop and extend the residential sector.
The main entrance on the north side of Faadhippolhu Lhaviyani Atoll is the 500 meter wide channel known as the Kuredhdhoo Kanduolhi. The primary gateway to the Atoll however would be on the south side, between the islands Aligau and Maduvvari.
The western ridge of this Atoll in the Maldives is peppered with small islands, narrow channels and reefs, while the eastern side has longer reefs with fewer openings, and culminates in a 30 km long barrier reef stretching from Aligau to Selhlhifushi.
Faadhippolhu Atoll is a world famous diving region located in the North of the Maldives, and most of the dive excursions take place in the northern half of the Atoll, also where the four resorts are located. This Maldives Atoll is famous for its numerous channel and drift dives, and has fewer thila style dive spots.
Brilliant close-up photo of the Maldives marine life
There are a total of 13 channels on the western side, six wide ones in the south and seven on the east. The north face houses several narrow channels leading into Faadhippolhu Atoll all bursting with exotic Maldives marine life and brilliant coral formations around the entrances.
These channels are very popular with scuba divers because in times of a favorable current divers can navigate across these openings and chances of meeting eagle rays, sharks and other large fish life is very high. Curiously, the majority of coral formations and reefs are found near the channels and entrances as opposed to inside the Atoll. These reefs are relatively shallow and well protected, and also boast very interesting features due to the stormy Maldivian waters. The outside of Faadhippolhu Atoll has a very dispersed dive sites with steep walls and majestic caves, providing good alternatives to the internal dive sites, especially when the currents are strong.
There are also two very famous ship wreck dives at the “shipyard” dive site rounding off a diverse array of diving locations and features for visitors to Faadhippolhu Lhaviyani Atoll.
Popular Dive Sites in Faadhippolhu Atoll:
- Fushivaru Thila