Southern Atolls
Best months:
March to October

Southern Atolls

LAST UPDATED 01/03/2010
Bookmark and Share


Mohonu: Geographic Atolls of the Maldives; 2 April 2007

The South Male Atolls whilst discoverd by the surfing community in 1973 were kept under very close wraps until the mid 1990's. Today this region offers several excellent breaks often boasting a fraction of the crowd in the Northern Atoll group. surf tourism here is growing but boat availability can be a problem with the diving industry being a hot competitor for bookings - booking early is the definitve message here.


NASA: The Maldives; 2005

There are many resorts on the east coast that you will want to investigate in using as a base for your surfing on the islands. The known breaks are really divided into three regions. Male, north Male and south Male. Depending on how long you have, spending a week at each destination will place every named location no more than a 30 minute boat ride away. The vast majority of all of the named spots are in the Southern Atolls, giving you a lot of choice.

The west coast is not as well known for its surfing due to the monsoonal pattern of wind and swell not being conducive to good long period swell and superior surface conditions, the main season for surf on the east coast is generally considered to be April to June which falls within the changeover from the north eats to the south west monsoons, hence you maximise the chance for good long period north easterly swell with offshore south westerly winds – offering superior surfing conditions.


Oblivious: TMA aircraft in operation; 29 August 2005

Boats are the Maldivian equivalent of a car and they are very popular among the locals. The taxi boats generally take tourists to and from the islands in the North and South Male atolls.

Sea planes (air taxis) and private yachts are arranged by resorts and mainly reserved for tourists. Two main air taxi operators are Trans Maldivian Airways and Maldivian Air Taxi.
Bare in mind that they don’t operate at night, so if you arrive at the airport after dark you won’t be able to get to the distant resort.

If you want to travel independently to inhabited islands other than Male, you will need an Inter Atoll Travel Permit from the Ministry of Atolls (requires Rf.10, a copy of your passport and an invitation from a resident of the island you wish to visit).
Maldives are relatively small – no point is more than 45 minutes away by plane from Male.

where to stay

Jpatokal: Water bungalows at Thulhagiri Resort, Kaafu Atoll, 5 September 2007

Transport to the resorts in the Male’ Atoll are by ‘dhoni’, motorised local vessels or by speedboat.

Resorts take up most of the island, meaning that the beach is so big, it is hard to imagine struggling to a find a private and comfortable spot to relax on.Many have a "no shoes" policy and with such soft sands it is easy to love this idea.

The range and themes or the resorts is impressive, and most people will find one they like. Broadly speaking, however, they can be grouped into three brackets:

Dive resorts - Geared for people who want to spend most of their time underwater (eg. divers). Although facilities on land are limited, the house reef is excellent.
Holiday resorts - These are large resorts designed especially for family needs - ie. multiple restaurants, day-care centers, etc. but don't have over-the-top luxury and have less privacy. Most of these are located on Kaafu, with easy access from the Male Atoll.
Luxury resorts - designed especially for honeymoons. This is the resort you would want to get if you want designer furniture, gourmet food and a plasma TV in an overwater villa. The only way to get there is by a rowboat and is definitely the most expensive resort of the three.

The overwater bungalows are a Maldivian classic. It is built on stilts directly above a lagoon and look very romantic, however the lapping of waves can be romantic on a calm day but disastrous on a stormy one.

Many resorts cater to a single nationality, such as "Italian" resorts, "Dutch" resorts, "German" resorts, etc.While almost all welcome any nationality and have some English-speaking staff on hand, you may be cut off from any evening entertainment and have problems due to communication barriers.

what to pack

Kils: Tauchen1; 19 June 2005

A small backpack makes a good carryon bag and will be useful in daily life. Women: remember to take a good flat pair of shoes.... And for everybody: pair of comfortable walking shoes will be great for walking.

Trainers, loose clothing - everything for the hot weather. Cotton is the best. Definitely take along some bug repellent spray, good sunscreen and sunglasses! Better take your medicines with you (esp. anti histamine tablets), as the brands can be unfamiliar and cost more. All the gear if you plan to camp: a good waterproof sleeping bag and tent; special gas container u can use for heating food and water; a sturdy backpack or a cargo pack with a good daypack. Invest in a portable water filter or at least take some puri-tabs or boil the water.

Don't forget the snorkelling gear!  

You must be a registered user to comment. Click here to register.