Maldives: 9 Things to know about Amazing Addu

The atoll of the heart, Addu Atoll has many amazing features that are not true with the most of the islands to the north of the Maldives and a unique history that has not been written.  A direct flight from Colombo to the Southern tip of chain of  atolls called Maldives takes you to a whole world for the discerning visitor to explore. Here are some 9 things you take note when visit Addu Atoll.

  1. 17 kilometers to explore

Visit the four of the biggest islands  of the Maldives without taking a boat ride. It is only in  Addu Atoll where you can walk through major populations areas. After landing at Gan International Airport, you take a  ride on a bike all the  way through Feydhoo, Maradhoo and Hithadhoo.  Famous among the Adduans as the long island, Hithaddhoo ends in Koattey (literally means Fort) is about 17 km for the airport.

  1. Southern Hemisphere

Addu Atoll is in the Southern Hemisphere and is the  southernmost atoll. The rest of  the archipelago, except Addu’s northern   neighbor Fuahmulak, are located   on the north of the equator. Sometimes your Captain of  the flight may announce the passing over the imaginary midline of the earth. Perhaps you may even get a certificate for having crossed the equator.


  1. Independent People

Adduans have always been on their own. Being in the southern tip of the Maldives the atoll until recently has been independent of capital Male. The people had direct trade connections with Sri Lanka and probably India.  It was only after the English came, Male’ took control of the exports and imports and control of the ruling over the people by an Atoll Chief appointed by Male. Presently Adduans have their own elected mayor to run the city.

  1. Special Days means Nothing to Adduans

The  nationally marked  special days such as Independence Day, National Day, Victory Day or Matyre’s Day has nothing to do with the Adduans. Addu have never gone through any of  those  things the  capital  went through. While Male’ marks 26th of July as the Independence from British in 1965, the British left  Addu in 1976.

  1. Well off Before British Left

When the British came to Addu, the people used Starling Pounds and Shillings,  had access to the best medical care, they talked and worked  and  played  organized soccer with the British. Many perhaps talked better English than the officials of the government that broke  the deal  of independence.

Addu History


  1. Addu, the Heart of Maldivian Tourism

It is quite understandable that tourism began in 1972 following the development of airport in Hulhule island. All these were made possible by hundreds and thousands of pounds pumped up north from the heart of Maldives by the British. In Addu people used Pounds while in Male £1 was 100 Rufiya. When the British left in 1976, Adduans went to male with pounds and so tourism flourished with investments and English speaking manpower that came from the heart of Maldives.

  1. The First Airport

Gan International  Airport was the first airport built in the Maldives in 1957. Built by the British the concrete runway and apron are being used even today.  Hulhule Airport was built years later


  1. Special Foods

If you happen to visit Addu, try local foods such as Addu Bondi (a delicacy made from gabulhi  (coconut) , palm sugar and rosewater), Naaroa Faludha (a sweet made with breadfruit and flavoured with jasmine) or the famous  Addu Curry made from Addu Havaadhu, a spice mix made only in the atoll.


  1. A Center of Education

People of Addu has always valued education and was ahead of the rest of Maldives until Male became the center of everything. But many Adduans used their financial edge to educate the children in Male’, And the schools run by the private people taught to English medium before government schools in Addu and elsewhere outside Male.


Visit Addu, the heart of Maldives where you get enough to explore that every visitor becomes an explorer, where you have enough history that you become a historian; where you meet enough people that you become a friend of the people.



History and Culture of Addu Atoll