Popular Maldives Regions

Popular Maldives Regions

Male City

Densely populated, Male’ City draws a stark contrast between the peaceful and easygoing island lifestyle. Male’ serves a unique brand of past, meeting the future. One fine example of this spans across the open sea; an impressive bridge which connects Male’ to Hulhule’, the airport island. Further along, you’ll find Hulhumale’, once a sandbank, now reclaimed to make an artificial island; the future of the city’s commercial, industrial, and housing development. Home to the oldest mosque in the country, The Old Friday Mosque, or Hukuru Miskiy is a beautiful coral stone construction, with intricate Quranic scripts carved by hand into its walls. A strong, round minaret remains largely unchanged since its construction in 1675. The courtyard of the mosque offers an impressive display of hand carved coral tombstones. Just within the neighbourhood, The Islamic Centre with its white sweeping staircase, and the golden dome, dominates the skyline of Male’ and serves as a symbol for the city as the biggest mosque currently in the Maldives.

Adjacent to these exalted mosques, The National Museum houses a diverse collection of artefacts dating back to Maldives’ pre-Islamic period. Next door, is The National Library and under the same roof, resides The Art Gallery, where various artists, temporarily display their art. A few steps away, is The Sultan Park; opened on the former grounds of the royal palace after the monarchy gave way to a republic in 1968. The park has seen several renovations over the years, and so, keeps beating new blood into old veins.

Resembling structures from the colonial era, Muleeaage, was built as a palace for Prince Izzuddeen in the early 20th century, and is now theofficial residence of the President of Maldives. The tomb of Abdul Barakat Yoosuf Al Barbary, the Moroccan religious scholar accredited with bringing Islam to Maldives in 1153 is also located at the eastern end of the building’s compound.

The bustling Local Market and Fish Market captures a hectic trade atmosphere. Converse with locals over colourful produce and get to know the fishermen eager to sell their catch, ranging from reef fish to deep sea yellow fin tuna. Slip away from the routines of the concrete jungle in the contemporary Rasfannu Beach where people gather for a splash in the waters and fun in the sand. Barbecue pits, fishing areas, a jogging track, with swings and showers, make this an all-access, all-inclusive beach to spend the day and enjoy the surreal sunset. Just 1.7kilometres away, catch the mesmerizing sunrise in the aptly named Artificial Beach where the residents seek much needed open space in this lively city.

Fuvahmulah City

Fuvahmulah, the only one-island atoll in Maldives, lying just south of the equator is home to features truly unique to the city. The Tiger Zoo, on the outer waters of Fuvahmulah, has an estimated population of over 200 tiger sharks, and The Common Moorhen (Valikukulhu) a bird native only to Fuvahmulah, are just an ounce of the natural wonders Fuvahmulah beholds.

The Fuvahmulah Thundi, or the miraculous pebble beach, consists of a wide stretch of tiny white pebbles scattered at the northernmost end of the island. The pebble beach is also in perfect harmony with the violent waves at the sudden reef- drop, where the gigantic waves crash relentlessly onto the natural phenomena, the pebble beach. In the pre-Islamic period, Gemmiskiy was a part of the Buddhist monastery, and was later converted to function as the first mosque after the island’s conversion to Islam. It remains the oldest building in the city. Fuvahmulah Havitta in the island is the ruins of a Buddhist Chatiya. The site would have been an important centre of the Buddhist community during pre-Islamic times.

Addu Atol

Located in the southernmost tip of Maldives, Addu Atoll holds some of the most diverse natural habitats in the country and displays a wide array of lush greenery. With its unique geography, the atoll seamlessly marries nature and development. Gan, The Airport Island of Addu,
was a British naval and airbase from 1941 to 1976 and retains some of the characteristics of the British presence even today. In Hithadhoo you can explore one of the largest wetlands in the country, Eydhigali Kilhi. Protected as a nature reserve. Eydhigali Kilhi is home to several species of birds endemic to Maldives and some specifically to Addu Atoll. The Maldivian pond heron, little egret and white tern can be spotted throughout the year.

South Ari Atoll & Baa Atoll

South Ari Atoll has more resort islands than inhabited islands and offers one of the most exhilarating experiences one can have in the Maldives; swimming with whale sharks and manta rays. These beautiful and gentle giants are found frequently, almost throughout the year in South Ari Atoll. Baa Atoll, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, harbours globally significant biodiversity in its numerous reefs and islands. Hanifaru Bay, one of the most prominent attractions in the atoll is recognised as a high biodiversity marine region with a dynamic water circulation system that attracts endangered megafauna such as whale sharks and manta rays. Both atolls feature waters that are beaming with incredible reef formations and abundant marine life, providing an unbelievable experience for divers and non- divers alike. It is also a nesting site for hawksbill and green turtles.

Copy credit: Maldives Tourism

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