MALDIVES - Local Islands
The Maldives consists of 1200 islands in the South Asia region (only 200 of these are inhabited and 100 are private tourist resorts). The country is known for its snorkeling, stunning white sand beaches, and blue lagoons.
I can promise it definitely lives up to its name. Every island that I went to is heaven on Earth! Easily the most stunning country I have ever been to and I was surprised by all the different Marine life, which made it such an amazing experience.
Many people are under the impression that all of the Maldives is outrageously expensive. Whilst you could easily spend a lot of money, there are also cheaper options to holiday here.
I’m sure everyone’s seen pictures of the private resort islands with luxury overwater villas, but there are also local, inhabited islands that are just as beautiful! These islands are not as touristy, which I always like, the local Maldivians live here and really work the land. There are plenty of well-priced accommodation options as well as cheaper boat/ ferry transfers.
Personally I recommend doing a bit of both local and private Islands to get the full experience, but seeing the real culture of the local islands was an amazing experience in itself. Plus I met some of the friendliest and welcoming people!
Below is a list of Inhabited Islands I went to and where I stayed. This is my honest opinion and I can honestly recommend them all:
Apart from the main Island, Thoddoo was the first Island I visited and I was blown away by its beauty. We arrived just in time to walk to the beach for sunset and it was the most beautiful pastel colours I have ever seen. Then the next day we went back to that beach and was again mesmerized by the colour of the water! The brightest aqua you can imagine, and surrounded by white sand, palms and lounges for free to relax on.
Throughout the rest of the Island there are a few small restaurants, mini markets etc. but the local islands do not have much on them; they are the best places for natural beauty and unspoiled beaches. The Maldives is a Muslim country and you will see some of the locals around who are nice and friendly. Also you will see more tourists at the beach but as a whole not too many, it is a nice and peaceful island.
I stayed at Royal Stay Inn which was a lovely quiet place and filled with beautiful gardens and flowers. Also very friendly staff, the service here was really above and beyond! Links below:
Hangnaameedhoo is much the same but an even smaller island which you can walk from one end to the other in about 15 minutes. It also has very beautiful beach and ocean colours, but my favourite thing about this island was the huge reef right off shore. There are plenty of different fish and other interesting marine life to see.
I loved all the tall and fallen palm trees which creates a picture perfect tropical paradise! Plus they sell fresh coconuts to drink for very cheap. You won’t have to share the beach with many people here so you will have plenty of space.
Here I stayed at Kalaafaanu Retreat which was a beautiful, peaceful place with its own restaurant next door. I loved that they also have snorkeling gear you can borrow for free! Definitely worth checking them out:
Some people go straight from the airport to an island but if you have the chance to stay a day or two on the main Island Hulhumale, I 100% recommend staying on the gorgeous Eastern Beach. This is a really long white sand beach with beautiful palm trees and water sport activities. Whilst it is not a big city, Male and Hulhumale are more built up than the local islands. And the sunset is just as spectacular!
I really recommend staying at Planktons beach house. It is a beautiful modern building right on the white sand beach. I loved the rooftop terrace and having breakfast on the beach! Also they offer day activities and trips if you are looking for more things to do. Links are below:
Stay tuned for the Maldives private resort post coming soon!