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   Faafu Atoll,
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Faafu Atoll:

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Location: Faafu Atoll (Maldives)
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Faafu Atoll is the northern most atoll of the Nilandhoo Atoll group. About 30 minutes flight time from Male airport by air taxi it is lucky to have only one resort - Filitheyo Island.

Filitheyo Island is on the east side of the atoll and is quite simply superb. The resort is a true 5 star holiday destination with white sandy beaches, nice diving, lovely accommodation, an incredible restaurent, and one of the best diving operations I have ever witnessed.

As with any Maldives holiday, getting there takes a little time. All flights arrive at Male airport and you then usually transfer over to a sea plane taxi to get to your island. The sea plane will usually call to at least two resorts and Filitheyo tends to be at the end of the run so journey time can be anything from 30 minutes to 60.

The island itself is a typical desert island paradise. Blue waters, white sand beaches and masses of Palm trees. The accommodation is a mixture of standard and delux bungalows, with the delux bungalows split as beach based and pontoon based.

All of the accommodation is of a high standard, the main differences for the delux bungalows is first and foremost location (closeness to the restaurent and dive centre etc.) followed by them being detached and then with extra beach space (for the land based ones - the pontoon versions get a Jacuzzi instead!). As well as feeling luxurious they are also well thought out with a second entrance into your open air bathroom (which looks stunning!) that allows you to come in from the beach and have a hot shower, without leaving sand everywhere.

The service on the island is really top notch. We had a few niggles with wake up calls (next time we take an alarm clock!) but everything else was absolutely flawless. There is a huge quantity of staff on the island that are all friendly and clearly there to make sure you have a great time. One thing we started to appreciate is how much care and time goes into keeping the island looking perfect. There seemed to be a small army of people working every day to keep the beaches pristine and the paths and palm trees looking perfect!

The restaurent deserves a special mention. We understand that the head chef is Swiss and it sure shows. My wife is French and has a very high standard in this area - she was literally blown away by the quality and variety of the food! There are over 20 chefs visible at meal times, and whilst you are eating from a buffet the food is anything but typical buffet food. No dish was repeated whilst we were there! The desserts were universally incredible and I can guarantee that unless you are a saint you will put on weight!

The resort facilities are designed to blend into the island and to be as unobtrusive as possible - whilst we were there the resort was busy but never felt crowded - we kept wondering where everyone else was!

There are plenty of things to do apart from lying on the beach, and the resort boasts a fully equipped gym which whilst we never went near looked very good, there is also a pretty big book library and Internet access if you need it.

There are two main bars situated at each end of the island. The main decision you have to make is should you go all inclusive or not. This easy if you like to drink alcohol - yes you do. However, we tended to drink maybe one drink a night plus the usual load of soft drinks and water, and in this case we think we broke even. If you don't drink alcohol then you should steer clear of the all inclusive option. Be aware though that this is a dessert island and drinks are expensive (4 USD for a soft drink!).

So, onto the diving...

The sole dive operation on the island is run by Werner Lau, and as you would expect from a german operation it is excellent. The facilities are the best I have ever seen (as part of a Nitrox course we toured the cleanest and well organised compressor room I have ever seen). Every diver has to do a check dive before they are allowed loose and they take this seriously - I tried to do a partial mask flood and was told to do it again properly! You have your own basket allocated to you for storage and all logistics of getting to and from the dive sites plus dive briefings are detailed and thorough. I also witnessed the dive centre manager quietly taking a customer to task because they did not follow a dive plan and were jeopardising their own safety!

Diving is expensive with a dive on the house reef costing 45 USD - if you go out on the boat add another 10 USD. The quality of the diving is the only area that I have a slight concern about. The maldives are recovering well from the effects of the coral bleaching that took place not so long ago, but there is still obvious areas of coral bleaching. That said we visited a good few dive sites that contained a lot of vigorous hard and soft coral growth that was chock full of reef fish - you will think you are swimming in an aquarium!

All dives inside the main atoll are fairly easy and look good, however, it is a different story when it comes to the channel dive sites that tend to have medium to fast currents. On these dive sites, you sometimes have currents that go beyond drift diving and you are encouraged by the dive centre (!) to adopt a hold on and look policy! If the current is small then this does not take place but if the current is ripping through then you have no option but to find a piece of hard coral (!) and hold on.

With the best will in the world, coral damage will take place in this situation - in just a week of diving I saw at least 3 cases of coral damage from divers which if you extrapolate up explains why these dive sites look tired. It might be better if the channel sites were dived less often and allowed to recover.

Because, the dive centre is operated by a German company the island has a very international set of visitors. Most holiday makers are German, followed by French, Italien, and then English plus others. However, the whole island tends to speak english as a matter of course and we had a great time. I would strongly recommend this resort as a great place to have a holiday.

Mikey.
Location Photos: (shared by My Blue Planet users)
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The deluxe pontoon cabins
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The sunset view from the sunset bar!
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A typical dive boat.
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Every cabin has a verandah looking out onto the beach, the d...
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The dive centre getting ready for the next boat dive
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Barbara is the manager of the dive centre here with some cus...
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The main pool on the island
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Your Taxi to the Island from Male airport.
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About 10% of the lunch time buffet! There are chefs everywhe...
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Climate Data:
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Average air temperature: Chance of rain: Hours of sun / day:
Surface water temperature: Water temperature at 30m: Water visibility:
General Info:

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Most visitors thought
Faafu Atoll was:
Fantastic.
Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews
Non diving activities: Not many!
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Rating: Ranked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviews95%
Highest ranked My Blue Planet photo shared by Sushi.
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Bluespotted Ray
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Bottlenose Dolphin
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Clown Anemonefish
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Dugong
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Emperor Angelfish
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Great Barracuda
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Great Hammerhead
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Green Sea Turtle
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Grey Reef Shark
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Leatherback Sea Turtle
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Leopard Seal
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Loggerhead Sea Turtle
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Manta Ray
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Marbled Ray
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Nurse Shark
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Pilot Whale
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Scorpion Fish
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Sixgill Shark
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Spotted Eagle Ray
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Trumpetfish
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Whale Shark
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Whitetip Reef Shark
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