Snorkelling Top 7
All resorts offer snorkelling, but that may be a $20 boat trip once a day, at worst. The fair resorts put on several free snorkelling trips a day if their house reef is not accessible.
Easily accessed, stunning house reefs make these seven islands the cream of the crop. Some you can snorkel the whole way round: Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo has a seamless drop-off with great coral where whale sharks have been sighted; Eriyadu’s edge is just a short swim in any direction; and Dhiggiri’s close-by channel attracts spectacular predators.
Equipment at Dhiggiri comes within the all-inclusive deal, and there are guided snorkelling trips all day. Staff at Athuruga arrange personalised excursions in a comfortable speedboat. The new water villas at Lily Beach make access to their coral gardens a matter of a few steps and a few metres swim.
Adaaran Bathala's position at the atoll edge brings snorkellers face to face with everything from turtles and tuna to eagle rays and even hammerhead sharks. Angsana Ihuru was named the best house reef in Maldives, with an embarrassment of fish species and living coral.
New resort on a new atoll bringing an easy-going club feel to a near-perfect island. Great snorkeling, great food, great facilities and great fun.
Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo
Ellaidhoo is excellent for snorkelling and diving, with a consistent house reef and its own wreck. Fun and sun seekers ferry each day to next door island Maaga.
Simple, quiet luxury at a young, modern resort famed for its house reef and world-beating beach. A cosy bar and superb spa add to the experience of a perfect island.
Reputed All-Inclusive that feels like a smart club. No corners cut at a resort where it’s easy to enjoy underwater pursuits, dine on the beach, and relax amid solid beauty.
Pad barefoot around little, laid back Eriyadu. With a close reef and great beach, this peaceful island is known for its snorkelling, diving, and buffets, all good value.
A small, barefoot resort in the original Maldives style. Mainly but not exclusively Italian, it offers a good beach, nearby snorkeling and a friendly atmosphere within an all-inclusive package.
Bathala Island Resort
Bathala brings the quiet, diving Germans and the partying Italians together, on an island famed for its beach, snorkelling and proximity to world-class dive sites.
An all new, premium all-inclusive resort. The same qualities of snorkeling, diving and fun, with the added beauty of setting, cuisine and service.
A new resort on one of the all-time best snorkeling and diving islands. Now with all the other bits of a great resort added: good rooms, top food and drink, plenty of sports and excursions. And a lot of fun.
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