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Coconut palm fringed islands, sparkling white beaches, tranquil lagoons, turquoise blue waters studded with coloured corals and an abundance of marine life all combine to form breathtaking beauty that is the Maldives and sets the backdrop to our adventure packages. The best way to experience this natural beauty and to gain an insight into the culture and tradition of Maldivian life is to travel to an inhabited island. This provides the opportunity to combine local island life with watersports and a little relaxation. Travel to local islands and stay in local guesthouses; visit family homes, mosques and boat yards, All combined with SCUBA diving and snorkeling, allowing discovery of the underwater beauty of the Maldives.
Hulhumale, North Male Atoll, is a suburban island just a 10-minute taxi ride from Male International Airport. This artificial island was reclaimed from the sea to offer alternative living space outside of Male and whilst not a 5* resort Hulhumale provides the ideal base for a budget dive holiday or as a start or finishing point to a liveaboard dive holiday.
There are plenty of local coffee shops, a handful of restaurants and a small local shopping area. The public beach located along the east side of the island is an endless stretch of sand and provides the ideal location to swim, snorkel or just relax after a great days diving. Recently, a tourist bikini beach has been opened and is located a 15 minute walk from central Hulhumale. The capital Male is just a 20 minute ferry journey away and for those who like to end their day with a beer the only hotel serving alcohol on a local island is a short bus journey close to the airport.
Maafushi was once a very typical Maldivian local island but since the introduction of local tourism Maafushi is proving a popular destination for those wishing to experience the Maldives without paying resort prices. Maafushi is located in South Male Atoll and is only 90 minutes away from Male by ferry boat or 30 minutes by speedboat. There are two beaches on opposite sides of the island, one of which is a tourist bikini beach. With over 70 guesthouses some with 6 floors there are plenty of accommodation options to meet all budget needs. There are a variety of local cafes and guesthouse restaurants, some situated on the harbor and with water sport and excursion providers all eager for your business Maafushi provides the ideal destination to discover the Maldives on a budget and mix with other tourists. Guraidhoo also in South Male Atoll, it is a typical fishing island with about 2,300 inhabitants, with sandy roads and palm trees. A 30 minute walk around the island highlights locals going about their daily routine; carpenters at the small boat yard traditionally constructing typical dhoni boats, locals drinking coffee in the many small coffee shops and children playing simple games in the street. Sit and watch the sunset alongside the locals on the public beach or kick back in a traditional seat called a ‘jolie’ and watch the world slowly pass by. Guraidhoo is a regular stopping point for safari boats and local shops have quickly adapted by offering all kind of souvenirs and a handful of local restaurants and coffee shops. Guraidhoo offers an insight in to the ‘real Maldives’.
Gulhi is a small, quiet island with a small local population. It has two beautiful bikini beaches and is ideal for a holiday where relaxation and reclining on a sun lounger is the priority! Gulhi was one of the few islands that hosted tourists during the early 80’s, when local islands were allowed to provide bed and breakfast service. The locals are friendly by nature and welcome visitors to their charming island. The main economic activity in the island is fishing. And the island also has the oldest dock yard in the Maldives. Many of the sea going vessels in the Maldives use the dock facility in Gulhi island for annual dry dock repairs because of its proximity to the capital island Male’ and International Airport.
All of our guesthouse accommodation is handpicked to provide a balance of comfort, good service, local atmosphere and value for money. We have chosen a selection of locally operated guesthouses that provide comfortable clean rooms, friendly service and good food. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, AC, ceiling fans and complimentary WiFi, whilst water, tea and coffee is always available. Most of the guesthouses are single or double story comprised of an average of 10 rooms. Some are set facing out to the ocean with a terrace or balcony. Others
|Private Guided -
|Starting From US$ 1043 per person
|Set Departure Guided -
|Starting From US$ 949 per person
Upon arrival at Male International Airport you will be greeted by our representative and transferred by the airport taxi to your guesthouse on Hulhumale, just 15 minutes away.
Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this suburban tropical paradise. The beach is 3 min walk away, with several local cafes and local restaurants, plus a water sports centre. So, there is enough around for clients arriving locally to do.
For guests arriving before 5.00pm there is an option to join your guide on the beach for coffee, a very popular daily activity for Maldivians and chance to gain your first insight into the local side of this island paradise.
Following breakfast served at the guesthouse you will transfer by public ferry to Male, a 20-minute journey, where a guide will accompany you on a tour of the capital city, providing opportunity to visit places of interest including The Friday Mosque, The National Museum and Sultan Park.
After lunch transfer by local ferry (approx. 14.30) to your guesthouse on the local island of Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll, 120 minutes from Male. Sit up top on the ferry to view the beauty of the many Maldives islands that pass you by whilst keeping your eyes open for dolphins!
Upon arrival you will have time to settle in before either relaxing in the garden at the guesthouse or on the local beach to watch the sun go down. Dinner this evening is spent with a local family just don’t expect silver service as traditionally meals are eaten without the aid of a knife and fork!
Following breakfast accompanied by your guide take a few steps from the beach into the ocean to explore the house reef of Guraidhoo for your first underwater encounter! Your guide will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkelling and act as your ‘spotter’ pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. They will assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water.
As the afternoon cools down accompanied by your guide time is spent exploring Guraidhoo with the opportunity to learn about the local way of life including a visit to the Mosque, visit the boatyard learn how the common wooden boat known locally as a ‘dhoni’ is built, stop and chat with children playing in the street and watch the ladies of the community begin their evening meal preparations. Stop by a local cafe to sample traditional ‘hedika’ - Maldivian savoury and sweet short eats served with black tea.
Following a local style breakfast we travel by speedboat to two of the best nearby reefs. The coral reefs of the Maldives are inhabited by diverse marine life and are teaming with colourful fish and corals. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks and rays you never know what may be in the blue! On return to Guraidhoo the afternoon is free for you to participate in optional watersports, diving or surfing. This evening enjoy a relaxed beach BBQ under the stars.
Start early today for breakfast and then transfer by local ferry (07.00) to the local island of Maafushi, just 20 minutes away. After checking into the guesthouse you will have the chance to once again enjoy the underwater beauty of the Maldives. We stop at a sandbank for a picnic lunch with time to swim and snorkel in the lagoon or just lie back and relax. Heading back to Maafushi we will cruise the Indian Ocean in search of dolphins. This evening following dinner join your guide for a stroll through the island and learn how Maafushi led the development of local tourism. Complete your day in the traditional way with coffee at a local café.
Relax on the bikini beach, choose to visit a resort for the day or for those feeling energetic participate in the various optional watersport activities on offer. Optional diving trips can be organised for certified divers.
Following an early breakfast we take a short 20 minute public ferry journey to the quiet local island of Gulhi. Once checked in to your guesthouse, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the island. Visit the boat yard to stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation, chat with the ladies sweeping the streets and finally refresh yourself with a cool Kurumba (coconut) watching the comings and goings at the harbour. Ready for relaxation you can choose to head to the bikini beach or for the more energetic join your guide for a final snorkelling opportunity on the house reef of Gulhi. This evening enjoy a farewell dinner in the peaceful courtyard of your guesthouse.
After breakfast you are transferred back to Male by public ferry (approx. 07.30), across town, and on to Male airport where the tour ends. You should expect to arrive at the airport by around 10.30am. If you have a flight departing earlier than 1pm then we recommend taking an earlier speedboat transfer from Gulhi to the airport (at extra cost).