Out in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka, this chain of 26 atolls (an atoll being a series of islands in a roughly circular formation) is for many a quintessential tropical paradise of swaying palms; powdery white sands; and warm, gin-clear turquoise waters. And though the Maldives also have the rep of being pricey and exclusive, this isn’t necessarily the case for all of its islands – and exhibit A is one called Dhiffushi.
One of the islands on North Malé Atoll (which is also home to the Maldivian capital and international gateway Malé, an hourlong short speedboat ride away), Dhiffushi is tiny – just over 22 hectares (55 acres); inhabited by just over a thousand people; and home to not just some of the Maldives’ trademark dreamy tropical beaches but even more “castaway” feeling and much less crowded than on various other atolls. Its waters range from lazily-lounging shallows (including overwater hammocks) to scuba-diving-level, colourful-coral-laden deep, and there’s a water-sports centre offering kayaking; jetskiing; banana boat riding; wake boarding; dolphin-spotting; snorkelling/diving with giant marine turtles; and various other exciting aquatic activities.
What’s more, after arriving via public ferry or speedboat from Malé, you’ll find visitors have a choice of 18 lodgings, including a small hotel, a villa, and a number of guesthouses.
Wanting to experience the tropical bliss of the Maldive Islands but still think it’s out of your range? Well, with the affordable prices on Dhiffushi and Iberia’s low-cost flights to Malé, now is the time to make this dream come true.
Photo: Nathan Williams