Located in the extreme South of the Maldives, the Addu atoll is a heart shaped atoll. At first glance one may wonder what the atoll has to offer sine each island is tiny. There are however numerous things to do in the Addu atoll. While most of them involve getting in the water (It is the Maldives after all!), there are quite a number of activities that can be done on land too. We spent a whole week in Addu atoll and still wanted more time to explore the various nooks and crannies of the islands. We did manage to cover quite a bit. The problem is that it is tempting to do some of the activities over and over again.
THINGS TO DO IN THE ADDU ATOLL: Water Activities
When a person says Maldives, the first thing that comes to mind is clear water surrounding islands. It doesn’t therefore come as a surprise that the water sports rank highly on the things to do in Addu Atoll list. Speaking from experience, the water in the atoll is warm, clear and gorgeous. Staying out of it would be a crime.
Swimming is one of the greatest things to do in Addu atoll.
The Maldives is all about getting in the water and enjoying oneself. It doesn’t matter whether you choose the pool or the sea (though I think with a gorgeous expanse of salt water at your disposal, it is a shame to choose the pool), swimming is something that you should indulge in. It cools the body down. With the close proximity to the equator, the sun can get scorching, so the cool water is a welcome relief. It doesn’t come as a surprise that swimming is one of everyone’s favourite things to do in the Addu Atoll.
Snorkelling is one of the main things to do in the Addu atoll
One our favourite things to do in the Addu Atoll was snorkelling. Since we had carried our own gear, it was cheap. We could snorkel whenever we wanted to as long as we were mindful about the tides and the weather. In addition to this, the reefs in the atoll are pristine. They are one of the few reefs left in the world which haven’t been bleached. Hence it doesn’t come as a surprise that we wanted to spend as much time as we could taking in their beauty.
I loved Scuba diving in Addu Atoll.
There are numerous scuba diving sites in the Addu atoll. Unlike South East Asia, diving in the Maldives is rather expensive to the tone of double and sometimes triple the cost. It is however an experience that is definitely worth doing at least once. Wreck diving, Manta ray spotting, turtles and so much more makes scuba diving one of the most exhilarating things to do in the Addu atoll. It definitely gives you an adrenaline rush.
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Speaking of an adrenaline rush, the outer coast of the atoll is lashed by waves which make it a great place to surf. We were told that the weather and the seasons determine how high the waves get. Since we aren’t surfers we can’t tell you more about the best time to surf here. Contacting the resorts before you arrive however is a good idea if surfing is all you are after.
Kayaking is one of popular things to do in the Addu Atoll. You can kayak in the calm of the sea or head out to the mangroves in Hithadoo island. We had kayaking on our list but towards the fag end of our vacation the weather played spoilt sport. Oh well… There is always next time.
THINGS TO DO IN ADDU ATOLL: Activities On Land
While Maldives is all about the crystal-clear waters, there are quite a number of cool activities that can be done on land too. Here are just a few things to do in Addu atoll if you aren’t in a resort. If you are in one, then the list just gets much longer.
EXPLORING THE ISLANDS
Addu atoll has some of the most islands I have ever seen.
Exploring the islands is quite easy if you have a motorbike or a cycle at your disposal. If not, then most accommodations provide tours around the islands. Mind you, these tours are limited to the four islands that are connected by road. The remaining islands which are accessed by boat are a little harder to reach.
A lot of people enjoy sun bathing in the atoll. It isn’t one of my favourite pastimes but give me a book and the sound of the ocean and I am quite content. Beware of the sun though. It may not seem very hot, but it can scald your skin very easily.
ENJOYING THE LOCAL CUISINE
The food in the Maldives is amazing.
The Maldivian food is unique, and it is something that you should try. It’s easy enough to find a spot where the locals hang out. Every evening they gather together to eat snacks and chat. A warm glass of tea or coffee serves as an accompaniment. Since the islands have very little area for cultivation, most of the food is fish based. With tuna being the most popular.
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Beach hopping is one of the great things to do in the Addu atoll.
One of the things to do in Addu Atoll that we loved was beach hopping. Each island has its on set of beaches and quite frankly many of them differ from each other. One needs to be careful when you get into the water though. The currents can be strong and there are places where the reef drops off suddenly.
With very little light pollution, one of the amazing things to do in Addu Atoll is star gazing. The night sky appears darker then ever and the stars are like dust in the sky. We don’t know much about the constellations, but Orion was vividly on display. In fact, there were so many tiny stars in the sky that we got a neck cramp from looking up for so long.
I must mention that we were stargazing on our beach barbeque. It made the night seem so romantic and we weren’t even tending to the food. The lapping of the waves, the starlit sky and just the two of us with tiny yellow lights… I couldn’t imagine our Maldives holidays getting any better.
EXPLORING A DESERTED ISLAND
There are a number of uninhabited islands in the lagoon. Some islands are easily accessible, others are more difficult to get to. Some of the resorts offer romantic candlelight dinners on nearby islands. If that is something that piques your interest, you can enquire about it with the reception at your hotel.
CATCHING THE SUNRISE/ SUNSETS
The sunsets in Addu atoll are gorgeous.
Being tiny islands, every island in the Atoll has a great view of the sunrise and of the sunset. The sky turns a crimson colour and the reflection across the water is really gorgeous. One of the best sunsets that we saw was on the west coast of Maradhoo-Feydhoo. With the exception of the day we left, we missed the sunrises. That day was particularly gorgeous because we got a rainbow along with the sunrise.
Bird watching is one of the most amazing things to do in Addu atoll.
The fresh water lake in Hithadoo is a great place to spot birds. Head there in the evening time with your camera and make sure you have a zoom lens. The Madivian government has built quaint areas where one can sit and watch from. Don’t forget your mosquito repellent. The marshy area is infested with mosquitoes and they come out at dusk.