Located in the Indian Ocean near Sri Lanka and India, the Maldives is an archipelagic nation and is one of the most coveted vacation spots in the world. This is not surprising as the Maldives is famous for its unbeatable beauty and has some of the best beaches in the world, along with turquoise waters, a vibrant sea life and lush greeneries.

This island nation is also unique in its geography and topography, with over 26 natural atolls, 200 locally inhabited islands and thousands of other coral islands and sandbanks. It can be quite overwhelming if you are here for the first time, so here’s a guide on what to expect when it comes to visiting the many local islands in the Maldives:

Getting around between islands

Getting around the many atolls in Maldives is a great experience and is highly recommended to get a bit of variety in your trip. You can either charter a seaplane or helicopter for the quickest and most spectacular way to travel, though this can be costly. Another option is taking a traditional Maldivian boat called dhoni to travel between nearby islands, or use a speedboat or a public ferry though the frequency is a little unpredictable.

The main factor when it comes to choosing how you want to get around is your budget, as it varies by a lot based on the type of transportation you choose. Public ferries cost $2-$20 per person depending on distance, and speedboats cost about $10-$80 per person. The distance between the islands can also be very big, as they span across 289 sq km of land so do plan wisely!

Which local island to go to?

With so many islands to choose from, it may be a little hard to decide where to go if you have limited time. Some of the islands can also be quite a distance away so it may not be cheap to travel there, though they are more beautiful the further away they are! Here are some recommended islands and what is there to do there, but the ultimate choice is up to you and what best fits your needs:

Maafushi: One of the most popular islands in Maldives, famed for its water sports offerings and scuba diving. Here, you can also sign up for shark diving and visit the Bikini beach, where you will find charming little coffee shops and delicious food. There are also many souvenir shops available here if you are looking to shop!

Fulidhoo: This is one of the smaller islands but is very charming as it is relatively quiet but equally as beautiful. Diving is a must here as the low volume in tourists means more untapped waters!

Ukulhas: Has one of the longest bikini beaches among other islands so this place does attract quite a few tourists. Nevertheless, it’s a great place to visit for the sealife here is unbeatable and this is perfect for snorkeling and diving. You may even see turtles at the house reef close to the beach, as well as mantas and sharks! There are 4 sandbanks here and you will have a wonderful time exploring the untouched corals and spotting rare fishes here.

Thoddoo: Thoddoo island is not too far from Male, which makes this place accessible and great to go to! There are two beautiful beaches here and a large island with greeneries and farms as well. This is a great island for families as well as those looking for a relaxing time away from the crowd. This island also grows most of the fruits for the country so it is worth checking out for the fresh tropical fruits!

What to expect at the local islands?

Even though the Maldives is a popular vacation spot, there are still some general rules to observe. Here are some things to expect:

Attire: As this is a Muslim country, it is advisable to practice decorum outside the beach areas. Swimwear at designated bikini beaches is fine, but bring along coverups like light scarf or cardigan when you are strolling around other areas of the islands.
Prayer times: Muslims pray 5 times a day, and mosques are fitted with speakers to broadcast prayer calls. This can be as early as 5am every morning so do be aware of that especially if you stay closer to a mosque!

Weekends are on Fridays and Saturdays, so do take note as some shops might be closed and ferry schedules differ according to this as well.

Club Med Kani Maldives is an all-inclusive resort located in Kani island. However, guests staying with us can sign up for special excursions to some of these other local islands as well. Book a package with us today or speak to our travel advisor to find out more!