Haa Alifu is Maldives' northernmost atoll and contains Utheemu, by far the most historically interesting island in the Northern Atolls. The birthplace of Sultan Mohammed Thakurufaanu – who, with his brothers, overthrew Portuguese rule in 1573 – the island is centred around a memorial to this Maldivian hero, complete with a small museum housed in his palace and a small library next door. There’s also a gorgeous beach on Utheemu and, with the development of tourism on inhabited islands, a couple of guesthouses.
Elsewhere in the atoll is the capital island Dhidhdhoo, which offers good anchorage for passing yachts, and three remote resorts. At the very top of Haa Alifu, Uligamu is the ‘clear-in’ port for private yachts arriving in Maldivian waters. It has health and immigration officers, and yachts are able to complete all entry formalities there.