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4 of the Best Atolls to Cruise to in the Maldives

By Editorial Team   Last Updated: 31 March 2023

The Maldives, with its kaleidoscope of colours and postcard-perfect beaches, is renowned for being one of the most fascinating travel destinations in the world.

Comprising of 26 atolls with over one thousand islands, of which approximately 200 are uninhabited, the only way to truly explore this natural splendour is at your own leisurely pace on a luxury yacht charter vacation. Our team have handpicked 4 of the best Atolls for you to visit here below.

1. South Ari Atoll

Nalaguraidhoo Beach South Ari Atoll in the Maldives

South Ari Atoll is made up of 50 small islands scattered like raindrops to the west of Malè. As you meander around the idyllic islands you’ll appreciate how each isle has its own personality, little paradises with different designed beaches and perched atop with coconut palms. The South Ari Atoll offers a plethora of deserted shores with ancient Buddhist and Hindu settlement ruins tucked away and waiting to be discovered.

Nalaguraidhoo Beach is known for being one of the most stunning beaches in the Maldives with clear waters, striking sands and vibrant surroundings. You’ll be left speechless as you approach this beach on your yacht charter, and you’ll be left with an image that you will treasure in your memory for years to come. The dreamy island of Dhidhoofinolhu Island where the LUX* resort sits, is also exceptionally beautiful and as the resort is established on one side of the island and on ocean-perched villas, the pristine shore is left untouched and free from villas.

2. Baa Atoll

aerial view of Rihiveli Sunrise Island on Baa Atoll in the Maldives
The Great Frigatebird at beach in the Maldives

With 61 out of 75 islands uninhabited, the Baa Atoll is a large expanse of deserted islands perfect for exploring on your luxury yacht charter. What makes this mini-archipelago particularly special is that it consists of three separate atolls with the most spectacular being the Raa Atoll, a pristine example of the rich biodiversity that the Maldives has to offer. Its natural ecosystems are bursting with a unique diversity of fauna and mangroves whilst the uninhabited island of Olhugiri has two perching sites for the Great Frigatebird and its bold red chest.

Baa Toll has the reputation of being one of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of the Maldives. With lush vegetation and white powered-sands, it is no wonder that in 2011 Baa Atoll was named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Visit Fulhadhoo beach, situated on a relatively large island but boasting several miles of secluded white sands with no one - neither locals, nor tourists - on it, for a relaxing stop-off. Or why not head to Rihiveli Sunrise Island, a tiny island with a small cluster of palms at its centre, for a night spent under the starry sky on your own paradise island.

3. Malè Atoll

indoor aquarium at Huvafen Fushi Spa in the Maldives
outdoor pool at Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives
Cocoa Island on Male Atoll in the Maldives

Malè Atoll is the largest atoll of the Maldives and where the capital, Malè - one of the world’s smallest capitals - is situated covering the entire landmass of the original. Located on North Malè, it is worth visiting on your yacht charter for its richer and lively atmosphere compared to the remote honeymoon resort isles. Head to Huvafen Fushi for a city-sleek, buzzing contemporary paradise setting where everything is a little more glitzy and dazzling. As many resorts welcome outside visitors you’ll have chance to use Huvafen Fushi’s famous underwater spa rooms with glass walls for marine viewing, salt-water flotation pool and fruit canapes.

If you’re looking for something a little different then the isolation on Cocoa Island COMO resort is for you. The white sand banks that stretch from Cocoa Island and curve far out into the South Malè Atoll waters leave metres of narrow silver strips ideal for an isolated picnic in the Maldivian sunshine. For a spectacular sight, pack some champagne to take ashore and on your little patch of land with no vegetation just water lapping around you, watch as the sun liquefies into the horizon and you’ll be struck by the peacefulness.

4. Haa Alif Atoll

chairs on beach on maldives atoll
view from afar of Haa Alif Atoll in the Maldives

This is the northernmost island group in the Maldives, and whilst other parts of the Maldives have been beautifully tailored with luxury resorts, Haa Alif Atoll only recently opened to international tourism leaving dozens of uninhabited islands available for uninterrupted exploration. The lush tropical scenery is flawless and there are hundreds of secluded coral-white beaches to ensure you have ample of options for your crew to set up beach camps for lazy breakfasts, lunches and sunset drinks.

Haa Alif Atoll is great for fishing and from the decks of your yacht you’ll be able to fish at sunrise when dog-tooth tuna, sailfish and wahoo are lazily swimming beneath the surface, before enjoying a peaceful anchorage for breakfast under palm trees.

When is the Best Time to Visit the Maldives by Yacht?

Tropical beach at sunset

To guarantee your snorkelling, sunbathing, and exploring are as flawless as possible, the best time to visit the Maldives is between December and April, their dry season, where the average temperature is 28°C and there is plenty of sunshine.

Interested in booking a luxury yacht rental?

If uncovering the enchanting atolls of the Maldives is something you would like to explore further, please see our Maldives yacht rental guide. For some inspiration, check out our sample itineraries handpicked by experts with in-depth knowledge of the region.

For more details on planning a yacht vacation around the Maldives, contact a recommended yacht charter broker.

Or, browse and compare all luxury yachts available to charter in the Indian ocean.

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