Holidays in the Maldives: which island to choose?
The Maldives includes 1192 islands, including uninhabited, local and resort islands. Which island to choose for a vacation in the Maldives, we tell in this article.
The best option for those who dream of a heavenly bounty holiday. The resort island is an uninhabited area with lush vegetation, where there is usually only one hotel. Usually it is expensive to live there, because there is zero competition and the hotel sets prices at its discretion. Even if you have a hot tour, get ready to spend a lot on excursions and other entertainment. To understand what numbers we are talking about – when checking in, many island hotels block $ 2000-3000 on the card as a deposit for “pocket expenses”.
The resort islands have everything for a beautiful holiday in a cinematic way: villas on the beaches and on the water, spa and fitness centers, swimming pools, gourmet restaurants and, of course, most importantly – white clean beaches with soft sand and warm turquoise waters Indian Ocean. Many island resorts have children’s clubs and babysitting services, but this is not the same entertainment infrastructure as in Turkey, for example.
On the island hotels you can drink alcohol and sunbathe in a swimsuit. On the inhabited islands, if anything, you cannot drink, and you are allowed to wear a swimsuit only on special tourist beaches. The Maldives is a Muslim country and everything is very strict here.
Island hotels: where to live in the Maldives
One of the largest islands 60 km from Male, this distance can be covered by seaplane in 20 minutes. Kuramachi has three luxury hotels and dozens of bungalows, both on the water and on land. Among the most popular resorts are Kuramathi Maldives. The territory has spas, 12 restaurants, cafes and bars, a kids club, its own botanical garden and jungle. There are also jogging tracks, tennis courts, sports clubs and even a football field. The combination of lush vegetation and unspoilt beaches makes this place an attractive destination for tourists from all over the world, in particular for diving enthusiasts.
Kuda Huraa Island
Where Huraa is a small 700-meter island 20 km from Male airport (you can get there by ferry in 1.5 hours). An ideal place to hide for 10 days from all worries and worries. Located on a coral reef island is the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa. It was built in the traditional style of local peoples and looks very colorful; tourists here are engaged in diving, surfing and other water activities. The hotel rooms are comfortable, stylish, surrounded by tropical greenery, and each has a private bathroom with a Maldivian shower.
This island is famous for the most beautiful weddings. A marriage registered in the Maldives is not valid in other countries, therefore the ceremony is called a ritual of renewal of feelings. In any case, a wedding on the shores of the Indian Ocean, albeit not quite real, will be remembered for a lifetime.
Actually, that’s why newlyweds and couples adore Velassara. Guests of the island of romance are accommodated in bungalows on the beach or in a water villa on stilts.
This is the island where divers make dreams come true all year round. The underwater world of Ghiravaru is famous for its beautiful corals and colorful fish. During snorkeling – snorkeling and fins – you can watch the life of rays, crabs and small sharks.
Popular islands among divers are Alaveli, Macchafushi, Viligilivaru, Batala and Elliadu. There is a convenient approach to the reefs from the sandy beaches, and there are several marine reserves nearby. The hotels have diving schools where you can take a training course. Underwater, the rule is “look but don’t touch.” Maldivian law prohibits spearfishing, breaking live and dead corals and fishing near islands.
If your budget is limited, but you still really want to go to the Maldives, choose a residential island. Check into a guesthouse or hotel in a cozy tropical village, where hospitable locals live. Yes, the landscape here is not the same as in advertising, but natural, laconic. But everywhere are the same snow-white beaches and the same rich underwater world of the Indian Ocean. Plus there is a fresh fruit market, shops and small cafes, so you can save some money. But it will not be very cheap anyway, many products are imported here. Before the trip, be sure to study reviews of local cafes in order to immediately get to the place where it is delicious.
When choosing a local island, pay attention to two important points – the presence of tourist beaches (bikini beach), where you can relax in a swimsuit, and the distance from the capital, so as not to go broke on transport. We recommend choosing relatively popular tourist destinations to increase the choice of accommodation.
On local islands, prices for a decent guest house start at $ 50 per night. The rooms are certainly not very sophisticated, but they are clean and tidy. There is air conditioning, shower, small patio and furniture for evening relaxation.
There are also hospitals on the residential islands. They don’t do complicated manipulations there, but they will provide first aid. There is a modern hospital in Male – if anything happens, go right there.
Residential islands in the Maldives: where to relax on a budget on the island
The most popular local island, which is located just 27 km from Male. You can get there either by speedboat or by local ferry (only 1.5 hours and $ 2). There is a large selection of guesthouses, cafes and restaurants on Maafushi. And you can easily find a company there for joint excursions, but don’t count on a secluded vacation on the beach.
This rather large island by Maldivian standards (20 km perimeter) is located 67 km from Male and boasts good infrastructure. Toddu has two excellent tourist beaches, a coral reef nearby, mini markets and souvenir shops. There are also fruit plantations here, Toddu is known as a major producer of papaya (it is incredibly tasty here). Among the island’s downsides is the presence of mosquitoes, so don’t forget mosquito repellent.
This island is smaller than Toddu and is not so popular among tourists, which is reflected in the prices and the schedule of transport from the airport (the island is located 76 km from Male). It has its own reef not far from the coast, and there is only one bikini beach, but it is wide and long.
A secluded island 96 km from Male. Among its main advantages are a small number of tourists and gorgeous beaches, and you can also see a rare whale shark right next to the island. The disadvantages of the island are the lack of a direct transfer on a speed boat: either fly on a seaplane, or with a transfer via Mahibadu or Dhangethi.
Transfer between islands
You can view the current schedule and book a speedboat or seaplane ticket here. Please note that the trip may be canceled due to weather or any other reason.