This page have been written in collaboration with aurelie (5 spots)

The small Velidhu atoll is a concentrate of the more beautiful that the Maldives have to offer. His lavish reef has everything of a natural aquarium. Around this island paradise bathed by crystal clear waters, you will evolve in the middle of rays, sharks and hundreds of fishes, over a profusion of corals.

How to get there?

The island of Velidhu lies 50 miles/80km from Malé, the capital of the Maldives. It takes 1 hour 30 minutes to get there by boat (or 20 minutes by seaplane) from Malé.

Snorkeling the coral reef of Velidhu, Maldives

Velidhu is one of the Atoll Ari’s 26 “resort islands”. It is the site of the Velidhu Island Resort, a three-star hotel with beach bungalows on stilts. If you are staying at the hotel, you will have direct access to the snorkeling spot. If you are not staying at the hotel, you can spend a day on the island for a flat fee.

Water entrance

We recommend entering the water from the main beach, near the diving club. Opt for the southern part (to the left of the diving club when you are facing the sea), as you will be closer to the reef.

Velidhu Island snorkeling map, Maldives

Exploration

You can explore almost all of the atoll, but the most interesting areas, and richest in underwater life, are on the outer part of the reef.

To reach this area, swim towards the channel that has been opened up to let boats into the atoll. Go through the channel (making sure there are no boats in the vicinity) to reach the other side of the reef.

Snorkeling with manta rays in Velidhu

You will then be free to move along the outer side of the atoll, towards the east or west. The reef awaiting you there is a pure delight. It is covered with hard coral (finger, table coral, etc.), and forms sloping ledges of varying widths, before gently descending into the ocean depths. In the presence of the density and variety of the underwater life here, sometimes you will not know which way to look: shoals of powder blue tang go by above the coral, scarcely troubled by the superb angelfish and parrotfish meandering on the reef alone. Swim over the sea bed and, here and there, a triggerfish, a small group of bluefin trevally or an oriental sweetlips. And as you find yourself face to face with the clownfish playing in their anemone, you may be surprised by a blacktip reef shark darting between the coral beds.

Maldives clownfish in Velidhu island

Stingrays or spotted eagle rays are common on the reef drop-off. But if you are really lucky, you may get a glimpse of the silhouette of a manta ray in the deep blue ocean, before joining it for a few moments in its majestic ballet.

Restaurants & accommodation

The residents of the Velidhu Island Resort all have full board. Non-residents can choose between bringing their own lunch or dining at the hotel restaurant. Drinking water is available everywhere on the island.

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth2ft/0.5m on the reef flat, 30ft/9m on the drop off
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

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.