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Posted 04/07/2017 in Maldives blogs

South Male Island Hopping

South Male Island Hopping


SOUTH MALE LOCAL ISLAND HOPPING

 

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.  Guaridhoo offers an insight in to the ‘real Maldives’.


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 are built around a private garden or beach area, but in each you can be assured of a warm welcome.

Note: The Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore alcohol is not available on local islands. Subject to availability day/evening visits to resorts can be arranged. Bikinis are also not allowed to be worn on local island public beaches; however most of our guesthouses offer private gardens or private beach areas for guests.


ITINERARY

DAY ONE:
Upon arrival at Male International Airport you will be greeted and transferred to your guesthouse on Hulhumale. Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this tropical urban paradise.

DAY TWO:
This morning your guide will accompany you on a tour of the capital city before transferring by local ferry to the local island of Guraidhoo, South Male. Visit the fish market and local market, Presidents Palace, Sultan Park and Friday Mosque. Stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the water front before boarding the afternoon ferry. Upon arrival you will have time to settle in before either relaxing in the garden at the guesthouse or on the 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!


DAY THREE:
Following breakfast you will be taken by speedboat to nearby coral reefs for your first underwater encounter!  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 dinner.


DAY FOUR:
Breakfast this morning is taken with a local family allowing you true access to Maldivian local life.

You will then have free time at your leisure to relax on the beach or enjoy optional watersport activities.

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.

This evening enjoy a beach dinner under the stars accompanied by traditional dancing and the beat of the ‘bodu beru’ where a group of men sit around the ‘bodu beru’ – big drum and sing to a rhythmical beat until they reach a crescendo.


DAY FIVE:

Start early today for breakfast and then a transfer by local ferry (07.00) to the local island of Maafushi, just 20 minutes away. After checking into the guesthouse, this morning you will have the chance to once again enjoy the underwater beauty of the Maldives. We stop at a sandbank for lunch with time to swim or lie back and relax. Heading back to Maafushi we will cruise the Indian Ocean in search of dolphins. This evening a dinner comprised of local dishes is taken at your guesthouse.


DAY SIX:
With so many activities and excursions available from Maafushi we leave today for you to enjoy as you please. 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.


DAY SEVEN:

With so many activities and excursions available from Maafushi we leave today for you to enjoy as you please. 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.


DAY EIGHT:

Following breakfast you are transferred back to Male by public ferry and on to Male airport arriving by 10:30.

INCLUDED

7 Night Standard room 2* guesthouse accommodation based on double/twin share

4 Dinners including local dinner, BBQ and cultural dinner

1 picnic lunch

Airport and domestic transfer assistance

Local Island Return transfer by public ferry

Hedika Experience

Snorkeling, sandbank and dolphin cruise

Snorkeling tour

Male Tour and Local island tour

Services of local tour leader

Local Tax


Accommodation Options:

Includes standard room at Newtown Inn/Guraidhoo Palm Inn/Lily Rest or similar

Upgrades not currently available


Transfer Options:

Arrival in Maldives at any time day one

Departure from Maldives required after midday in order to take departure ferry transfer option included

No ferry transfers on Friday.

Departure scheduled speedboat transfer $25 one way per person

 

Scheduled Tours:

Departs every SUNDAY


Notes: Additional days can be added

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