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Auf den Malediven ist man immer von Meer umgeben, Bild: Stockforlife / shutterstock

Island paradise Maldives – which island is the best for a holiday?

The Maldives is one of the places of longing for many people. All year round, they offer the best conditions for a magical holiday by the sea. 1,196 islands are spread over the 26 atolls, 220 of which are inhabited.

Malé – two atolls near the airport

Helengeli Maldives
The island of Helengeli in the Maldives, Image: Colours of OBLU

The northern atoll is home to the airport and the capital Malé. There are about 50 large islands, half of which are inhabited. One advantage is that the islands can be reached by seaplane or speedboat in a short time. Almost 350 square kilometers of the area are covered with coral reefs, which attract numerous divers and snorkelers. One of the most popular islands is Baros, where luxurious villas and fine restaurants promise a fantastic holiday. The underwater world is popular with divers because it is home to some of the most beautiful reefs in the Indian Ocean. Helengeli is located at the northern tip of the atoll. The location in the center of two deep channels ensures a special wealth of colorful tropical fish on the house reef.

In the South Malé Atoll, the island of Embudhu is an interesting holiday destination, because from here it is not far to Shark Point. At it, divers have the opportunity to observe grey reef sharks. Wreck diving is also possible here. Tour operators offer excursions to the Kuda Giri Wreck , for example, which are also suitable for beginners. A nocturnal excursion is particularly moving. Cocoa Island is prized for its lush vegetation, while Maafushi Island is the most popular island inhabited by locals.

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Covering the crop

Vacationing on an inhabited island is different from the resort islands. The usual rules of conduct that prevail in a Muslim country apply. These include a ban on alcohol and clothing that covers shoulders and knees. During Ramadan, eating and drinking in public is prohibited during the day. On islands like Maafushi , there are some small hotels, most of which are not as luxuriously equipped as the resorts. Instead, a stay allows a look into the life and culture of the inhabitants of the island state.

Those interested in a trip to the Maldives will find numerous tour operators who offer appropriate packages with flights, transfers and accommodation. In order to find the right travel provider, it is not only the price comparison that plays an important role. Decisive are, for example, for such an expensive trip, also the details from the general terms and conditions. This includes the terms of payment, e.g. there are differences in the amount of the deposit to be paid – in the case of a long-distance trip, this may not be insignificant.

There are also some major differences in the cancellation conditions. Last but not least, the support of an expert travel provider on site is also a plus, of course, a direct representation of the tour operator is ideal: A representative of the local agency will also provide help if the worst comes to the worst. Less recommended is the support provided by the organizer via a German service hotline – such calls are usually expensive and do not promise immediate help.

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Other atolls in the Maldives

The Ari Atoll impresses with its proximity to the international airport in Malé. The transfer time is only about 30 minutes. South Ari attracts divers with magnificent house reefs and coral gardens. A highlight is the first fully glazed underwater restaurant on Rangali Island.

There has only been tourism on the Baa Atoll for a few years. It is the only one in a UNESCO biosphere reserve. On land there are wonderful mangrove swamps. The inhabitants are known for their handicrafts.

The Raa Atoll is quite far from Malé with a 45-minute flight. Windsurfers and other water sports enthusiasts feel at home here.