With its 26 atolls, the Maldives has much more to offer than the crowded spots around Malè and Gaafu Dhaalu, which can be reached by charter boats. Just below the equator we find the most southern atoll of these islands, Addu Atoll, where the island of Gan was used as a base for the military aviation of the British Crown until 1976. When tourism exploded in the 1980’s, many people from Gan and neighboring Foammulah went working in the various resorts because they could speak excellent English. The result today is a thriving population of over 20,000 inhabitants living in the largest villages in the Maldives, connected by the second longest communication system of roads and bridges that connect the coasts west of Addu with the rest of the territory. The surfing conditions of this atoll differs from the characteristics of the other Maldivian islands: soft and calm waves are don’t exist. For this reason, and due to the often very sharp reef on the surface, beginners and those who want to learn will find themselves in difficulty with these technical and fast waves. In the far west of the atoll there is Kottey , located near a muddy lagoon, which offers a series of reefbreaks during the SW monsoon season. The waves are big, they break on a very sharp coral reef and there is no exit channel sheltered by the foams. Slightly further north there is Demon Point, which offers small and perfect waves, but given its small size, it can’t host more than 3-4 surfers. When the swell is small, drive to Gaukendi Bridge and surf left on the south side or peak in the center; avoid jumping on the north side because the waves are always close-out. At high tide, the seafloor becomes quite high and therefore the spot isn’t dangerous; the ride in this spot is quite short. The best wave in Gan unrolls right above a living coral reef located in front of the new airport launch pad and the approach lights (which give the name to the Approach Lights spot) make it easy to recognize the last section of the wave, much more safer at high tide than at low tide. The waves in the outside peak easily reach and exceed 10ft and they are very powerful. To reach this line-up it is possible to walk from the Equator village and then row across the lagoon (this is not too recommended) or use the dhoni boats and be dropped off right above the spot. Outside the tip of the islet of Madihera , there is an excellent quality left tends to roll up above the reef pass and which is divided into 2 distinct wave sections. This spot works best on glassy days with no wind or weak NE breezes; any wind from south to northwest, ruin this fantastic wave which, however, in perfect conditions, offers breathtaking tubes. Viligili is the area where the new Shangri-La resort was built (from which the spot of the same name takes its name) which, being private, could deprive all non-customers access to some of the most beautiful waves in Addu. In small swell conditions from southeast and southwest, there is a right reefbreak on the east side of the atoll which usually works better during the southern hemisphere summer. The most eastern pass of Viligili has a lot of peaks on the Milikèdè side. Kanda Muli is a magnet for all swells but it is to be avoided in side wind conditions, with too large swell or at low tide. In small swell conditions and any N wind you will find plenty of peaks to surf, especially left waves. With just over 2 hours of navigation by dhoni, it is possible to reach the unsurfed spot of Air Equator , noticed by the pilot Andy Burr. It is offshore in the NW wind, and from above it seems to be a perfect and fast tubing wave. Fuamullah islet doesn’t have many good waves, but nevertheless it is possible to surf Thundi Beach here , the only beachbreak in all of the Maldives located on the east side. Near the harbor, local surfer Zubair usually surfs off a reef pass which produces decent waves when the SW wind blows. The bad news is that you can’t spend the night there and all fast boats charge around $ 800 for this short trip, which is why it’s not crowded. Are you curious? Contact us now for a surfing stay in the Maldives!
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||Equator Village||Aquaventure Manta Lodge 2 stelle||Charming Holiday Lodge|
|From 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020||€ 504||€ 357||€ 263|
Exposure to swells is the main feature of the Maldives as they constantly receive 4-12ft of swells in winter (from April to October) and 2-6ft in summer (from December to March), all from the Indian Ocean. Unlike the other Atolls, the summer conditions could be a lot of fun on the west side of Viligili. Winds from south to west are frequent during the SW monsoon season (from May to September) where the only chance to surf is in Kottey. It is very difficult for this area to be flat, even during the high tourist season from December to March. During the spring season, the tide level is between 2-3ft, while the neap tides can be as small as a few cm. Avoid full moon and new moon weeks as some spots can be unusable or dangerous.
How to get there: Gan has just opened a new terminal at the international airport, but most visitors arrive via Male (MLE) with airlines such as Emirates, Qatar, Singapore or Sri Lankan. The island offers 8 domestic flights (no problems for the transport of surfboards) to Addu (GAN) at a price of about 270 $. These planes fly 2 times a day and each journey takes approximately 1h15m. Direct charter flights from both Europe and Sri Lanka have started a few years ago.
Getting around: There are no charter boats to live in. Rent a van (10 $ / trip) to reach the western spots. Stay at the Equator village and travel with the dhoni (the cost to rent a dhoni is about $ 125 / day). These boats take 15min to get to the Viligili waves and 5h to reach Foammulah (the fastest boats take 1h but cost 800 $).
Accommodation and food: The Equator hotel is a very good hotel and is well known among German divers. The all inclusive package (including alcohol) costs $ 102 / single, $ 136 / double, $ 160 / triple per day. Turquoise Voyage sells packages for surfers. The buffet is usually abundant and it is based on fish. Small local restaurants sell spicy food for around $ 10 per meal.
Climate: The humid equatorial climate of this area is around 25 ° -30 ° C throughout the year, and it is affected by the influence of 2 monsoons (Ne and SW) and their transition periods (April and November). Addu is hit by more intense but less frequent rains than Malè. The monsoons arrive less strong in this atoll and the months of July and August are characterized by the prevalence of the SE wind. The storms are strong but they pass quickly. The water temperature is warm all year round.
Nature and culture: Having been the base of the British royal aviation and the place where Buddhist tombs were preserved before 1153, this atoll is rich in cultural heritages. The 16km coastal road is a great route to follow for bike rides and diving is one of the activities for which Addu is best suited as the ocean is full of sharks, corals, barracudas and WWII wrecks.
Dangers and annoyances: You could encounter some small sharks in the reefs of Gan and Viligili, but the greatest danger is given by the reefs. Most of the waves in the atoll break into very shallow water and the reef is often sharp. Be careful when walking in the trash in Kottey. Shangri-la could ban free access to the Viligili commercials and it could charge $ 300-700 / night.
Tips: Since the Addu Atoll is not very known and not crowded, it is advisable to book a group holiday to share the costs of the van or the dhoni. Bring a semi-gun in case the swell has a good fit. To surf Viligili it is essential to rent a dhoni, while to reach Kottey, even with thunderstorms, a van is enough. Pack lots of paraffin and sunscreen in your suitcase.
Exchange rate 1 EUR = 1.08 USD
Exchange rate variations (more than 3%) will lead to an adjustment of costs. They will be communicated within 20 days of departure.
The tariff does not include