Gaafaru Falhu

This small atoll has just one island, also called Gaafaru, with a population of 1100 and a couple of guesthouses. The channel to the north of the atoll, Kaashidhoo Kuda Kandu, has long been a shipping lane, and several vessels have veered off course and ended up on the hidden reefs of Gaafaru Falhu.

There are three diveable wrecks – SS Seagull (1879), Erlangen (1894) and Lady Christine (1974). None is anywhere near intact, but the remains all have good coral growth and plentiful fish. Dive trips are possible from the nearby resorts of Oblu by Atmosphere at Helengeli and Smartline Eriyadu, as well as from Gaafaru itself and from live-aboard dive boats.

To reach Gaafaru, take public ferry 307, which leaves Male's New Harbour at 11am Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, arriving in Gaafaru at 2.45pm. From Gaafaru, boats leave for Male every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday at 9.15am and arrive in Male at 1pm.

Kaashidhoo

The island of Kaashidhoo is way out by itself, in a channel north of North Male Atoll. The island has a clinic, a secondary school and over 1800 people, which makes it one of the most populous in Kaafu. Some of the ruins here are believed to be remains of an old Buddhist temple. Local crops include watermelon, lemon, banana, cucumber and zucchini, but the island is best known for its raa – the ‘palm toddy’ made from the sap of a palm tree, drunk fresh or slightly fermented.

Local boats going to or from the Northern Atolls sometimes shelter in the lagoon in Kaashidhoo in bad weather. Dive boats on longer trips might stop to dive at Kaashidhoo East Faru, a good place to see large pelagic marine life. There's one guesthouse on the island at present, and more are planned.

To reach Kaashidhoo, take public ferry 307, which leaves Male's New Harbour at 11am Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, arriving in Kaashidhoo at 5pm. From Kaashidhoo, boats leave for Male every Saturday, Monday and Wednesday at 7am and arrive in Male at 1pm.