Tag Archives: local island maldives

Maldives on the Cheap: Thulusdhoo Local Island

Local Island Guide: Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo is one of the most beautiful islands in the Maldives. It is one of the best islands to visit if you are on a budget as it is a local island with a lot of cheap hotels. It also has a mid-range hotel with one of the best infinity pools in the Maldives! I also have to say it’s one of my favourite islands so far, along with the best scuba diving island Fuvamulah.

Photo of local island Thulusdhoo
Hanging out on this picturesque jetty in Thulusdhoo
Maldives on a Budget – What to do in Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo island has lots of activities like surfing, snorkelling and scuba diving and all are cheap activities for the Maldives makings this the perfect island for an affordable Maldives holiday! I really enjoyed strolling around the island as many islands are too small to have an enjoyable walk. Other activities can include a tour of the Coca Cola factory that is here.

Surfing in Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo has some great surf spots and lots of visitors to this island come for the surfing. From what I saw the surfing looks like it is not so beginner friendly (so not for visitors like me!) as I saw huge waves and a lot of really good surfers out there. There are lessons for beginners available too.

Snorkelling in Thulusdhoo

I didn’t snorkel or see many snorkellers around Thulusdhoo so I definitely recommend trying a snorkelling trip to snorkel sites where the snorkelling should be better. That said, from just walking around the island I saw bumphead parrotfish and baby black tip reef sharks cruising around so while the coral may not be decent, there is still a lot of marine life to see.

 

Cheap Scuba Diving in Thulusdhoo

I really enjoyed the scuba diving in Thulusdhoo. We saw some fairly decent coral, white tip reef sharks, two huge schools of bumphead parrotfish and a huge eagle ray. There is also a chance of seeing manta rays on a deep cleaning station. Though for the best place for manta rays in the Maldives, head to Hanifaru Bay in Baa Atoll, read more about that here. There are package deals for multiple dives and work permit/ Maldivian national discount is $45 per dive.

Maldives on the cheap Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives
Walking around Thulusdhoo and spotting baby sharks and surfers
Thulusdhoo Island Accommodation: Where to stay in Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo has some of the most amazing looking guesthouses in the Maldives. I absolutely loved staying in Seasons Paradise in Thulusdhoo. It has the best infinity pool on a local island, perhaps including resorts as the swimming pool is on the top floor with amazing ocean views. While I was swimming in the pool, I saw spinner dolphins cruising past. The double beds were huge, with TVs in the room and a small balcony outside. The hotel also has a rooftop spa and a gym although I didn’t use either as I was busy enjoying the best rooftop pool in the Maldives. The price is approximately $100 per night with breakfast included on a work permit/ Maldivian National discount so expect to pay a bit more for tourist price. There was also no issue with a foreigner and Maldivian sharing a room. The hotel will also offer Full Board and all inclusive package. I also loved the hotel design of this Thulusdhoo luxury beach guesthouse and it is also directly across from bikini beach.


Booking.com

 

Maldives on the cheap Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives
The best rooftop infinity pool in the Maldives
Bikini Beach in Thulusdhoo

You can wear a bikini on bikini beach in Thulusdhoo. As it is a popular surf spot in the Maldives. many locals seemed relaxed about tourists needing to be covered up and I felt that I could wear shorter dresses around the island that showed my shoulders as some Maldivian women were doing the same. You can wear a bikini while on the beach, however it is not considered respectful to walk around in a bikini or bikini top so take a cover up.

Drinking alcohol in Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo is a local island and therefore under Maldivian law you cannot drink or buy alcohol on this island. However, nearby there are some floating bars, liveaboard boats with licenses to sell alcohol so for a small fee ($5) you can take a short speedboat to these safari boats to have a drink or enjoy a party boat evening. Drinks are not expensive, a rum and coke was approximately $5.

Maldives on the cheap Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives
Instagram perfect photoshoot around Thulusdhoo
Thulusdhoo Restaurants: Where to Eat

I really enjoyed eating at Santa Rosa restaurant which also looks like a cute guesthouse. Here, we had some of the best kottu roshi in the Maldives! (that I’ve had so far!) and all for very cheap prices. Food costs approximately $5-10 a meal. I also recommend the pizza at Thulusdhoo Surf Camp and the views at Canopus Retreat where we stopped for a coconut on their beds with views of the surfers.

Transport to Thulusdhoo from Male

You can take the speedboat from Male or from the airport to Thulusdhoo. The journey takes around 30 minutes and costs 150 rufiya for work permit holders. There is also an island ferry which takes approximately 45 minutes.

Thulusdhoo Speedboats from Male and the Airport
Thulusdhoo Speedboats from Male and the Airport
Thulusdhoo Location

Thulusdhoo is one of the best islands to visit as it is close to Male and therefore close to the main international airport in the Maldives. It is very easy to travel to islands in Kaafu Atoll because Male has such good speedboat and ferry transport options.

More Travel Blog Posts about visiting the Maldives

For further information about visiting Maldives local islands, read my post of FAQs here

For the cheapest island to visit in the Maldives, check out Maafushi for cheap diving and water sports.

For the quietest island in the Maldives where you can avoid the crowds, check out Gulhi island. It also has the best beach in the Maldives (that I’ve seen so far!)

For the best budget scuba diving in the Maldives (and some of the top diving of my life) find out about Fuvahmulah island.

Planning a Maldives trip? Read my Maldives packing list here

Pin Me

Maldives on the cheap pinterest graphic Maldives on the cheap pinterest graphic

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase on the website I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my Maldives travel blog!

Cheap Maldives Holiday: Gulhi, Local Island Maldives

Local Island Guide: Gulhi

Gulhi is one of the best quiet islands in the Maldives. It has one of the best beaches in the Maldives, a bikini beach which is a huge, white sand beach with clear, turquoise water. It is genuinely one of the most stunning beaches I have seen and this tiny island is definitely worth a visit, even if it’s just for the beach alone. It is also an authentic traditional island to experience local Maldivian life.

Picture of Gulhi island wings
Gulhi has some great Instagram spots
Maldives on a Budget – What to do in Gulhi

Like many small, local islands in the Maldives, there are a range of water activities to do and not much else!

Surfing in Gulhi

Gulhi has a certain amount of good breaks for surfing and looks more beginner friendly than other islands such as Thulusdhoo which have much larger waves. I didn’t manage to surf here but the locals are very keen surfers and welcoming!

Water Sports in the Maldives – Gulhi

At the entrance to bikini beach, there are lots of different water sports on offer. Jetskiing, paddle boarding, banana boats and other inflatable fun.

Snorkelling in Gulhi

The coral reef off bikini beach has some decent snorkelling and I was able to see a range of reef fish although the snorkelling trip to other sites was much better. The snorkelling excursion was very enjoyable, it cost around $20 per person as we joined another family on a small boat. We visited three different snorkelling sites and a sandbank as part of our cheap snorkelling trip.

Picture of Cheap Snorkelling Trips in Gulhi
My mum and I snorkelling near Gulhi
Cheap Scuba Diving in the Maldives: Gulhi

Gulhi has some great scuba diving nearby. There is a wreck dive which I really enjoyed and the coral is healthy – not like in some other dive sites in the Maldives. We saw several hawksbill turtles, white tip reef sharks and a lot of different marine fish.

Maldives Budget Accommodation: Where to stay in Gulhi

We stayed in basic but clean rooms at Ilaa Beach. The staff were lovely and very helpful. The cost of this Maldives hotel was approximately $50 per night per double room. The views from breakfast were great and ask for a room on the top floor for the best seaviews. As it is a local island, things take time to organise so don’t expect fast customer service but do expect friendly people who will try their best to help! My friend also recently stayed at Tropic Tree which is just next door and had a great time. For more luxury accommodation on Gulhi, you could consider Sandy Heaven.

Bikini Beach in Gulhi

Gulhi has the best bikini beach in the Maldives (in my opinion!) with a cute swing for photos in the middle of it. The sunbeds were free of charge to use and we ate several times at the nearby restaurant, Premier Beach Restaurant which had delicious local Maldivian food like curries, kottu roshi and fish soups. It also had some lovely looking rooms to stay in.

Photo of Gulhi Swing on bikini beach
My sister and I posing on the swings in Gulhi on bikini beach
Gulhi Restaurants: Where to Eat

Gulhi has a lot of great restaurants for where to eat local Maldivian food. Western food is not generally as good on local islands as they can lack proper ingredients to make it. I strongly recommend trying kottu roshi as this is the best Maldivian food. I enjoyed eating in Tropic Tree and the beach restaurant but my favourite was Noovilla Coffeshop because of their friendly staff (Joey!) and yummy food, especially vegetarian kottu roshi!

Drinking alcohol in the Maldives: Gulhi

While Gulhi is a local island and drinking alcohol is forbidden on all non-resort islands in the Maldives, it is possible to spend an evening at a “floating bar”. These are safari or liveaboard boats which people can drink alcohol on as they are not subject to the same Maldivian alcohol laws as local islands. We arranged a speedboat from another hotel as it was cheaper and paid $10 each for the speedboat transfer as these floating bars are in Maafushi island which is about 10 minutes by boat.

Photo of the most beautiful beach in the Maldives
Endless blue views from the best beach in the Maldives – Gulhi’s bikini beach!
Gulhi Location

Gulhi is one of the top islands to visit in the Maldives because it is so close to Male and the airport. If you have a couple of days at the end of your Maldives itinerary then I definitely recommend visiting Gulhi.

Transport to Gulhi from Male

To get from the airport to Gulhi you can arrange for a speedboat transfer. It costs around $20 tourist price and 100 rufiya for work permit holders or Maldivian Nationals. The same speedboat then goes from the airport to Male and from Male to Gulhi if you are exploring Male first. Call this number for the boat to Gulhi +9607949797. Sometimes there are changes to schedules or boats so always ask on the phone for another number if it is not correct. There are slow ferries that also travel to Gulhi but I recommend the speedboat as it is much faster and easier to find information about! Bear in mind your flight times as if you have an early flight you may need to pay for a private speedboat transfer which could cost around $150.

For general information about visiting Maldives local islands read my blog post here to answer all your questions about which Maldives island to visit and where to stay in the Maldives and the best islands to visit.

The best island for scuba diving in the Maldives is Fuvahmulah. If you are a diver read this post here for the best diving in the Maldives that is also really cheap diving for the Maldives.

For the best island for surfing in the Maldives, and one of the most picturesque islands, check out Thulusdhoo

Booked your Maldives vacation? Read my Maldives packing guide here

Pin Me

Gulhi island Maldives Gulhi island Maldives

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my Maldives travel blog!