Northern Atolls Diving Holidays: An Overview

Having the entire sea to yourself and being the only dive group on any given site is a rarity further south (unless you're really far south), but is one of the charms of exploring this region that includes the atolls of Baa, Raa, Lhaviyani and Noonu.

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Louisa and Amy are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The best spot on Earth for seeing manta rays is in the Baa Atoll.
  • Fewer and more spread out resorts so you rarely see another diver other than your group.
  • Stunning hotels, including one of our all time favourites world-wide.

Our Guide to Northern Atolls Diving Holidays

Coral coverage in this area is a little "hit-and-miss" with some areas being home to very healthy hard coral gardens and others featuring only average reef health. However, what seems quite consistent is the abundance and diversity of fish life in this area. Many sites exhibit astonishing biomass as well as an impressive variety of species.

Baa Atoll is known to be one of the better places in the Maldives for diving with manta rays and whale sharks and at the right time of year this is virtually guaranteed. This makes this part of the country very exciting for divers. Add to the fantastic marine life some of the very best hotels in the islands and you will not be disappointed.


Original Highlight

A villa at Soneva Fushi with large pool
Image of Louisa Fisher

Baa Atoll is home to one of our favourite resorts on earth: Soneva Fushi. Dinner at 'Fresh in the Garden' - a giant treehouse in the middle of the island - is one of the most romantic places with delicious Mediterranean cuisine.

Louisa, Original Diver

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 27°C / 80°F
  • Rainfall — 8cm / 3.3 inches
  • Water Temp. — 28°C / 82°F
Flight from London

10:15 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +6 hrs

Top picks for Northern Atolls

Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi


If Robinson Crusoe was in hotel development, he would have built Soneva Fushi. A luxury hideaway on the island of Kunfunadhoo in the Baa Atoll reached by a half-hour scenic seaplane flight from the sanctity of the private lounge in Malé, the only international airport.

Where to stay

Dining at Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru, luxury hotel in the Maldives

Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru


Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll, with its verdant, beach-fringed coral islands, is a quintessential Maldivean paradise.

Where to stay

Picture of Massage Treatment from Four Seasons Explorer

Four Seasons Explorer

Northern Atolls

Launched in 2002 the Four Seasons Explorer is a 128-ft catamaran – a floating Four Seasons basically. Cruising the central and northern atolls, this is one of the best liveaboards in the world.

Where to stay

Original Travel's dossier (restaurants, sights, useful tips) arrived through our letterbox before we left, and we sacked off TripAdvisor for the entire trip.


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