There is so much information out there about various exotic islands in The Maldives, but how much do we know about its capital? A lot of visitors to this archipelago often ask – “Where is Malé?”
Malé – capital city of The Maldives, is one of only 200 islands in this Asian country that are inhabited. While there are about 1,200 islands in The Maldives, most of the islands are privately owned by luxury resorts.
Where is the Location of Malé?
The Maldives is divided into several administrative atolls, which are further divided into geographic atolls, which are essentially a collection of islands. Malé – the world’s smallest capital is a part of the North Malé geographic atoll, which is one of the atolls that form the Kaafu Atoll.
The physical coordinates of this densely populated island city is 4°10′31″ North and 73°30′32″ East. If you look at how the islands of The Maldives are scattered from top to bottom, across the Equator, you will notice that this isle sits right at the centre.
If you plan to explore various islands across the country, you will discover that Malé is quite a convenient location to go hopping from one islet to another. In fact, most of Maldives’ island hopping tours begin from the capital.
Is Malé an Island?
Interestingly, Malé is both an island and a group of islands. The entire city is formed of 6 islands in total – Malé, Hulhulé, Vilimalé, Hulhumalé, Thilafushi and Gulhifalhu. Of these, Hulhulé is home to Malé International Airport.
Speaking of Vilimalé, this is a carbon neutral island that compensates for all of its carbon emissions through its ecological diversity. Previously known as Vilingili, this local island was once a resort island and then a prison, before it was repurposed as an alternative housing location for the Maldivians.
The island of Vilimalé also hosts a lot of mangroves and even a freshwater lake! A freshwater lake is a rare occurrence in a country known for its marine biodiversity and saltwater creatures. It is here that you will be able to find freshwater fish such as tilapia.
The public island of Hulhumalé is an artificial island which was reclaimed from the Indian Ocean with the help of dredgers. When the main island of Malé began to become overpopulated, the authorities decided to shift some of the locals to the newly formed Hulhumalé.
Just like Malé, this island has a lot of hotels to host tourists on a budget who are often not able to afford the expensive private island resorts in The Maldives.
Thilafushi is an artificial island made for the purpose of throwing garbage. Nicknamed ‘trash island’, this isle serves solely as a landfill for the capital and nearby islands. Meanwhile, Gulhifalhu is a crescent-shaped island that is still being reclaimed.
Now that you are through with this article, if you still find yourself thinking, ‘Where is Malé?’, only a trip to this island can answer your question. Contact Samudra Maldives to figure out the logistics and enjoy a vacation here.