North Nilandhe Atoll is shaped like a bean 30 km long and 25 km wide. Forming a perfect semi circle in the east, It is a popular atoll in the Maldives, for both scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as liveaboard cruises and safaris to enjoy the serene landscapes both above and below water.
Gobi in a coral house
TOTAL ISLANDS: 20
POPULATION: 5120 (2009)
ISLANDS IN ADDU ATOLL:
Nilandhoo, Dharaboodhoo, Magoodhoo, Magoodhoofinolhu, Biledhdhoo, Adhangau, Embulufushi, Maavaruhuraa, Jinnathugau, Filitheyo, Faanuvaahuraa, Maafushi, Dhiguvaruhuraa, Madivaruhuraa, Viligilivarufinolhu, Fieeali, Makunueri, Kadumoonufushi, Himithi, Minimasgali
The capital is Nilandhoo and the atoll has 20 islands in total, with 15 islands being uninhabited yet heavily vegetated. Transfers to the atoll are usually made by seaplane to Dhiguvaru Falhu, three km northwest of Filitheyo, the solitary resort within the atoll.
Map of North Nilandhe Atoll - Maldives
Nilandhe Atoll is split into a north side and south side for administrative reasons, and they are separated by a channel around 4 km wide, known as the Ariadhoo Kandu. North and South Nilandhe are very similar in terms of culture and tradition, and the short channel is easily navigated by the locals who are often in close contact despite the dividing waters.
This atoll is well known throughout history for boasting highly skilled sailors who contributed extensively to the Maldives trade both internally and internationally. Excursions to Nilandhe Atoll are gaining in popularity due to the isolated nature of the islands and resorts, as well as the spectacular topography and marine life found dwelling in the dive sites.
There are numerous channels on the east side of North Nilandhe, most with not very deep entrances ranging from 20 to 25 meters. When the current is favorable, the several reefs rising from the sea bed to the surface allow for safe diving across the main channel. These shallow channels decline rapidly to increased depths of around 30 to 35 meters.
In these channels of North Nilandhe Atoll the marine life is abundant; manta rays, eagle rays, barracudas, napoleon wrasse, white-tip sharks and grey reef sharks, as well as whale sharks are spotted, especially during the north east monsoon in the Maldives.
The majority of the travel and dive excursions take place in the north eastern region, although the Filitheyo resort is also a popular location further south, and to the east. Filitheyo Kandu is the deeper and wider of all the channels and dive spots in North Nilandhe, and is also the only protected marine area in the entire atoll. It is comprised of three smaller dive sites, Filitheyo Outside, Filitheyo Thila and Dolphin Corner, a hugely popular and top dive spot in the Maldives.
North Nilandhe Atoll attracts countless scuba divers and holiday goers every year, and with its spectacular landscapes and dazzling dives, it is no surprise that North Nilandhe Atoll is becoming a firm travel hotspot in the whole of the Maldives.
Popular Dive Sites in North Nilandhe Atoll:
- Filitheyo Kandu