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The small Velidhu atoll is a concentration of the more beautiful that the underwater Maldives has to offer. Around this island paradise bathed by crystal clear waters, you will snorkel surrounded by rays, sharks, and hundreds of reef fishes, over a profusion of corals.

Snorkeling the coral reef of Velidhu, Maldives
An oriental sweetlips in Velidhu.

How to get to Velidhu snorkeling spot?

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

Velidhu is one of Atoll Ari’s 26 “resort islands”, featuring the Velidhu Island Resort. 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 by purchasing a day pass.

Velidhu Island snorkeling map, Maldives

Water entrance for snorkeling Velidhu

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 snorkeling tips

You can explore almost all of the atoll, but the most interesting areas, and the richest in underwater life, are on the outer side of the reef. To reach this area, swim towards the channel, making sure there are no boats in the vicinity, and reach the reef edge.

Snorkeling with manta rays in Velidhu
Manta rays are frequent visitors to the atoll shore waters.

You will then be free to follow the reef edge, towards the east or west. The reef is covered with hard coral (finger, table coral, etc.) gently descending into the ocean depths. Shoals of powder blue tang, blueface angelfish and colorful parrotfish are amongst the most spectacular reef fish you might spot in Velidhu.

Swim over the sea bed and, here and there, you will encounter a triggerfish, a bluefin trevally or an oriental sweetlips. You may also be surprised to spot a blacktip reef shark.

Maldive clownfish in Velidhu island
In some places, you will find sea anemones attached to the reef, hosting clownfish. In this picture, Maldive clownfish.

Stingrays or spotted eagle rays are common on the reef drop-off, and if you are lucky, you may also encounter a manta ray.

Restaurants and accommodation on Velidhu island

The guests of the Velidhu Island Resort all have full board, and day visitors can enjoy the resort’s restaurants.


  • 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.