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Philippe Seve
Philippe Seve

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Filitheyo is a fantastic snorkeling destination that boasts almost everything the Maldives offers. The beaches are pristine and, above all, the snorkeling is extraordinary. Encounters with eagle rays, sharks, and turtles are almost a daily norm. Napoleons, anemonefish, clown triggerfish, unicornfish, puffers, starfish, sweetlips… so many sights await the snorkeling enthusiast.

Napoleon wrasse at Filitheyo
The Napoleon wrasse is a common sight around Filitheyo.

How to get to Filitheyo snorkeling spot?

Filitheyo is a resort island in the Faafu Atoll, Maldives. It can be reached by seaplane or by speedboat from Male (transfers are arranged by the resort).

Filitheyo Island snorkeling map
Filitheyo Island snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Filitheyo

The island is triangular-shaped, and surrounded by a reef. The east coast is not suitable for snorkeling or swimming (access forbidden). The other two sides, north and south, are both great for snorkeling. The choice between the north and south sides will depend on the conditions of the day, with the windward side being more sheltered.

The water entrance is from the beach. The resort has marked with poles the passages between the lagoon and the outer reef, numbered 1 to 8 on the map.

Filitheyo snorkeling exploration tips

In the lagoon, the current is usually very light, but it can be stronger on the outer reef. It is more comfortable to use different entry and exit points and to drift between the passages, following the current. See end of page for advice on currents in the Maldives.

Juvenile Queen Coris at Filitheyo
The juvenile Queen Coris is bright red with black and white spots.

1. The Northern Reef

Between passage 5 and passage 7, the lagoon is quite narrow. This area, visited by blacktip reef sharks, Napoleon wrasses, and darts, is however very interesting.

Use passages 5, 6, or 7 to get to the outer reef, which allows for great explorations. While the reef top features colorful reef species such as clownfish, triggerfish, wrasses, and snappers, the drop-off offers frequent encounters with sharks and schools of eagle rays.

Hawksbill sea turtle at Filitheyo
The Hawksbill sea turtle is easy to spot at Filitheyo.

2. The Southern Reef

On this side, the lagoon is much wider, and you have to swim 200 to 300 meters to reach passages 2 and 3. The sand, dotted with bleached coral and a few living ones, hides small treasures such as juvenile rockmover wrasse or hermit crabs gatherings.

Passage 3 takes you to the overwater bungalows, which shelter many fish in their shade.

Maldive anemonefish at Filitheyo
A Maldive anemonefish community.

Exploration of the outer reef between passages 3 and 1 is straightforward and allows you to see the same species as on the northern reef. Watch out, however, for the dhonis that pass between passage 2 and passage 1 for tours and guest transfers.

Finally, when there’s no current, you can follow the drop-off east of passage 1, which can offer some great encounters.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

This spot is the house reef of Filitheyo Island Resort.

School of Humpback snapper at Filitheyo
Large schools of Humpback red snappers visit the reef slopes.

Tips on currents

There are two factors to consider when it comes to currents in Maldives:

  • The season: from May to November, wind and current from the southwest. From January to March, wind and current from the northeast.
  • The tide: flood rising tide from the west, ebb tide from the east.

By combining these two aspects, you can get an idea of the expected current and perhaps even choose a time when it is weak.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth6 feet/2 meters in the lagoon, 33+feet/10+meters on the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom sandy beaches
  • Potential DangersBoat traffic near passages 1 and 2
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsStay at the Filitheyo Island Resort
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.