Tag Archives: local islands maldives

Rasdhoo Island Maldives

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 
Rasdhoo Island Views

Looking for the best local island in the Maldives? Rasdhoo island is an amazing local island to stay on during your Maldives. It has some superb scuba diving, a lovely white sand beach, a range of restaurants and Rasdhoo accommodation to stay in.

Where is Rasdhoo Maldives?

Rasdhoo is located in its own atoll. 

How to get to Rasdhoo?

To get to Rasdhoo from Male airport you can take a speedboat for approximately 1.5 hours from Male or from Male airport. You can book your speedboat through your hotel or island accommodation as this is the easiest way to get up to date information about boat transfers.

It is possible to take a seaplane if flying to Kuramathi resort. Please note seaplanes are very expensive so if you are going to a local island a speedboat transfer is best.

Where to stay in Rasdhoo?

Rasdhoo Stay is a fantastic, budget hotel in the Maldives. The rooms are spacious, clean and well equipped with kettles and tea/coffee. The bathrooms are basic with good, hot water showers. In the garden there are also sunbeds and lots of greenery around and the staff are very helpful and accommodating. For example, I needed to change my Rasdhoo trip date last minute due to a speedboat cancellation because of the bad weather. The staff were very accommodating and did not charge me for the extra night, which I really appreciated. Compare prices for Rasdhoo Stay on Agoda here and Booking.com here.

Balcony Views from Rasdhoo Stay

Things to Do in Rasdhoo

Things to do in Rasdhoo – Drinks at a Rooftop

As a local island in the Maldives, Rasdhoo is a dry island and so there is no alcohol served there or bars available. There is a wonderful rooftop bar and restaurant with lovely beach views where I recommend having a sunset mocktail and enjoying the Indian food they offer at Club Gabbiano. 

Things to Do in Rasdhoo – Sunset drinks at Club Gabbiano

Things to do in Rasdhoo – Excursions from Rasdhoo Island Maldives

There are many day trip excursions available around Rasdhoo for snorkelling trips, dolphin spotting trips and island sandbanks. 

Things to do in Rasdhoo – Eat Local Maldivian Food in Rasdhoo

Bamboo Hut is a great restaurant for local Maldivian food. I thoroughly recommend their vegetarian friendly kottu roshi. 

Things to Do in Rasdhoo – Scuba Diving Rasdhoo

Scuba diving is my number one recommendation for things to do in Rasdhoo island. I thoroughly recommend Drop Dive Maldives as a great dive centre. If you aren’t a qualified scuba diver then I recommend taking a dive course to become a certified scuba diver like a PADI or SSI Open Water Course. This dive shop also still took me out on the boat even though I was the only scuba diver on a couple of occasions, which I really appreciated as I went in low season.

Things to Do in Rasdhoo – Water Sports

From banana boats to kite surfing, Rasdhoo has a water sports centre where you can try many different water activities depending on the time of year.

Things to Do in Rasdhoo – Beach Time

Rasdhoo has a lovely stretch of white sand beach where you can enjoy sunset every evening. The water is clear and turquoise and extremely beautiful

Rasdhoo Bikini Beach

There is a bikini beach in Rasdhoo. This means there is an area where you can wear bikinis and swimsuits and you do not need to cover up. It is recommended to cover up while you are walking around other areas of the island to be respectful.

Bikini Beach in Rasdhoo

Resort Islands near Rasdhoo

There is the resort island of Kuramathi which is next to Rasdhoo island so you could consider combining a vacation to Rasdhoo with staying on Kuramathi for a mix of Maldivian local islands and a resort island. For more information about the differences between local islands in the Maldives and resort islands in the Maldives read my article here. Look at rooms and reviews for Kuramathi Resort here on Agoda or Kuramathi Resort here on Agoda

When is the best time to visit Rasdhoo, Maldives?

The Maldives has monsoon season from May-October. This can mean heavy rain and big storms. I visited Rasdhoo in July and despite being monsoon season, I had nearly zero rain and many days of blue skies. It also means manta ray season in Baa atoll and a lot of marine life can be spotted during rainy season in the Maldives. For more about how to snorkel with manta rays in the Maldives then read this Maldives article.

Rasdhoo to Thoddoo

Thoddoo is a nearby island to Rasdhoo which I also recommend visiting for wonderful snorkelling with turtles right off the bikini beach which may be the best bikini beach in the Maldives. Read my full Thoddoo island review here

Want more information about travelling to the Maldives?

For my Maldives Packing list head to this article here

For my Maldivian island reviews check out the following best local islands in the Maldives:

Dhiffushi Local Island Maldives Review

Gulhi Local Island Maldives Guide

Maafushi Local Island Maldives Guide

Fuvamulah Local Island Maldives Guide

Thulusdhoo Local Island Maldives Guide

 

 

One Week in the Maldives Itinerary

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

One week itinerary for the Maldives

For a short vacation to the Maldives you could consider the below one week itinerary for your Maldives trip.

Is a week long enough to visit the Maldives?

I think it is definitely enough time to visit two islands in your one week Maldives trip without feeling rushed. You can also experience snorkelling, scuba diving and surfing within this itinerary, and all within 30 minutes by speedboat from Male airport so you won’t waste your week in the Maldives travelling around.

I recommend visiting two islands in one week. If you are planning a budget trip to the Maldives then visit local islands near Male so that you can take speedboats and ferries rather than a domestic flight which can be expensive.

 

Photo of local island Thulusdhoo
Visit Thulusdhoo: One of my favourite local islands only 30 minutes from Male airport

Where to go for one week in the Maldives?

If you only have one week in the Maldives then consider Kaafu atoll which means staying on islands close to Male – the main international airport. Outside of this atoll will mean either a longer speedboat journey (1 hour +), or a seaplane flight or a domestic flight which will take up more of your travel time for your one week Maldives vacation.

One week trip to the Maldives: local or resort island?

First decide what kind of Maldives vacation do you want to have. Luxury or budget end? Either way you will have access to amazing white sand beaches, clear water and beautiful coral reefs. For the differences between local islands in the Maldives and resort islands read this article

If you are considering visiting local islands then I have local Maldives islands reviews below:

Thulusdhoo island review

Gulhi island review

Dhiffushi island review

Thoddoo island review

Maafushi island review

Fuvahmulah island review

Maldives One Week Itinerary: Marine Life

If you want the best Maldives one week itinerary for scuba diving and marine life, think about what you want to see and what season it is. For manta rays then head to Hanifaru Bay in Baa atoll – read all about snorkeling with manta rays in the Maldives here.

For the best diving, consider my favourite island Fuvahmulah, famous for its tiger shark diving in the Maldives. However, there is way more than just diving with tiger sharks here, you can also see thresher sharks, whale sharks, oceanic manta rays and a good chance of hammerheads in season. Read all about Fuvaumulah in the Maldives here

 

local island Gulhi beautiful beach
The beautiful bikini beach in Gulhi – local island near Male

Resort Day Pass

If you want a taste of a Maldives luxury resort experience but without the high price of a luxury resort in the Maldives, try a resort day pass like at Club Med. For a fraction of the price of staying overnight you can use the facilities, all inclusive drinks and food and sometimes transfers can be included too. Message them on their Facebook page for up-to-date prices.

How much is a week in the Maldives?

The cost of a 1 week Maldives vacation will depend totally on if you decide to stay at a luxury resort. The price of Maldives resorts usually range from $300 per night up to $18,000 and more.

One week budget itinerary – the Maldives local islands

The cost of a Maldives trip if on a budget can be around $70 per day depending on activities. On local islands, guesthouses can cost around $50 per room so the cost for a couple visiting the Maldives will be around $25 per night for accommodation.

1 week in Maldives : Budget trip to the Maldives

Eating local food on islands can be around $5 per meal so very budget friendly and breakfast is usually included in the room price. Snorkelling trips can cost around $20 per person, the price of scuba dives from around $40+.

One week luxury Maldives

If you want to stay at a luxury resort in the Maldives then I recommend staying for 6 nights and having your final night visiting a local island to experience the authentic Maldives. Lots of resorts offer package and all-inclusive deals so compare them for the best Maldives package. I think it is great to experience a resort for the luxury holiday side but local islands will always be my favourite islands to explore especially for a budget Maldives trip.


Booking.com

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

One Week in the Maldives itinerary – evening at Crossroads

Another alternative to a resort and local islands is to visit Crossroads. This up and coming island is home to several different resorts, bars and restaurants so is worth exploring and will have much more going on in the evening than local islands. You can take the ferry here from Male Ferry terminal, ferries take 15 minutes, leave every 30 minutes from 11am-11.30pm and costs approximately $42 return for tourists. Work Permit Holders and Locals cost is 160 Rufiya/ $10 return.

One week itinerary in Baa Atoll, Maldives

If you only have one week to visit the Maldives but are keen to snorkel with manta rays in the best spot in the world – Hanifaru Bay then book domestic flights from Male to Dharavandhoo and spend 7 days in Baa atoll. For more information on snorkelling with mantas in the Maldives read my blog post here.

underwater photo of snorkelling with a manta
Snorkel trips to see manta rays in the Maldives

Where to stay in Male, Maldives

I would personally avoid staying in Male unless necessary. I think it can be worth a day trip if you have time to spare but it is extremely busy and crowded. That said there are some great restaurants, cafes and boutique shops that are worth visiting for a day trip in Male. Hulhumale has much nicer accommodation for similar prices. Male has a lot of hotels but most of them are very expensive, they can cost from $150+ per night and the cheap hotels are not particularly nice. The cheapest hotels in Male are usually around $60 per night for work permit holders/locals and will be more expensive for tourist rate.


Booking.com

 

One week diving trip in the Maldives

Fuvahmulah in the south of the Maldives is the best scuba diving in the world, and definitely in the Maldives. The marine megafauna in this area is so incredible, in three days of diving we saw thresher sharks, tiger sharks, whale sharks and oceanic manta rays. Read my Maldives blog post here for how to get to Fuvahmulah, the best diving destination in the Maldives.

Cheap diving in the Maldives with oceanic manta rays
Me admiring an oceanic manta ray while scuba diving on a budget in the Maldives

For more information about visiting local islands, what to wear on local islands and where you can drink alcohol in the Maldives, read this Maldives blog post

For what to pack for the Maldives, consult my Maldives packing guide.

Pin Me for Later

Pinterest Graphic for Maldives One Week Holidaypinterest graphic for maldives itinerary

 


Maldives on a Budget: Maldives Local Islands

Maldives Local Island Guide

What can you expect when visiting local islands in the Maldives? So far I have loved visiting local islands. They are cheap, authentic and the best places to visit in the Maldives. Staying at Maldives resorts has some advantages but they are not the real authentic Maldives experience.  Local islands are full of life, families, cats, beautiful beaches, greenery and great Maldivian food. They are also the best budget islands in the Maldives as you can find affordable hotels on local islands (costing around 50$ per night). They are the best places to go in the Maldives for cheap scuba diving.

gulhi bikini beach
The beautiful bikini beach on Gulhi, Maldives – a Local Island near Male

Local People in the Maldives

In my experience, the locals are friendly, honest and very welcoming to tourists. I believe many Maldivians are happy to meet tourists who are interested in their culture and visiting the authentic Maldives, rather than just staying at an expensive resort. The local language is Dhivehi, which has a beautiful and unusual script, but most Maldivians speak excellent English, particularly the younger generation so it’s very easy to travel around and to find people who will help you.

Religion in the Maldives

The local population is Muslim (by law) and therefore tourists, male and female, are expected to respect Islamic customs like covering shoulders and knees, even when swimming. Following Islamic law, all local islands are dry and you will not be able to purchase or drink alcohol.

Alcohol in the Maldives

Tourists are only able to drink and purchase alcohol at resort islands. Alcohol is forbidden in all local islands in the Maldives. It is also not permitted to bring any alcohol into the country.

Drink coconuts instead of alcohol on local island - Gulhi
Drink coconuts instead of alcohol on local island – Gulhi

Dress Code in the Maldives – Local Islands

My first question when moving to the Maldives was what to wear when visiting local islands. In order to respect local customs, it is best for men and women to cover shoulders and knees when visiting or staying on local islands. In my experience, lots of local islands seem very relaxed about this rule and I have felt comfortable showing my shoulders in islands like Fuvahmulah where locals also have the freedom to bare some skin.

What to wear in the Maldives
Wearing beach wear in Maafushi Local Island

Can I wear a bikini on local islands?

Many local islands have recently opened up “bikini beach” areas which means that you can wear bikinis or swimsuits on the beach. It is only for this specific area on the island though so pack cover ups for walking to and from the beach. Some more touristy islands like Maafushi local island don’t mind people wearing shorts to the beach.

What are the differences between staying in a resort and staying on a local island?

The number one difference, in my opinion, is that in a resort you can drink alcohol and wear bikinis whereas local islands are dry and bikinis are only acceptable in designated areas such as “bikini beaches”. Local islands will have a slower pace of island life and a relaxed attitude to customer service. Spending your Maldives trip on local islands is the best budget stay in the Maldives. Visiting local islands are by far the cheapest alternative to staying in an expensive resort. Resorts can cost anywhere from $300 a night up to $18,000 a night! Local islands have the same natural beauty of the Maldives like white sand beaches and clear, turquoise waters. The benefits are also more choice of places to stay, budget Maldives accommodation, choice of restaurants, shops and dive centres meaning there is more competition and prices are extremely cheap.

Drinking alcohol on local islands

Alcohol is forbidden by law on local islands and therefore you will only be able to find non-alcoholic beer sold on these islands. If you are looking for a party island in the Maldives, then I recommend staying in a resort island where alcohol is allowed and there are bars. Alternatively, you could stay on a local island and consider spending an evening at a resort to enjoy a sunset cocktail. Many resorts will offer day passes or you can hire a boat to take you there for an evening dinner and drinks. You are not allowed to bring alcohol into the Maldives or bring from resort islands to local islands. However, some islands have liveaboard safari boats that have bars where you can drink and they dock near local islands. Read about Maafushi and its party boats on this blog post.

Snorkelling trips on local islands

Snorkelling trips on local islands are much more reasonably priced than on resort islands. We paid around $20 per person for a half day of snorkelling which included three different snorkelling sites and a sandbank stop. The cost of excursions like dolphin spotting will also be much cheaper on a local island than at a resort. Recently, I saw the cost of a dolphin cruise as advertised at $10 per person.
For the cheapest snorkelling with turtles consider a stay on Thoddoo island, where you can snorkel with turtles just off of bikini beach – no boat required!
Read here for more information about snorkelling with mantas in the Maldives. 

underwater photo of snorkelling with a manta
Snorkel trips to see manta rays in the Maldives

Affordable Maldives Holiday: Best Price Maldives Holiday

Guesthouses on local islands are the best place to stay in the Maldives when on a budget. This can help keep the cost of your Maldives trip cheap. Guesthouses can start from $50 a night per room upwards and when eating in local restaurants, dinner can cost as little as $5 per meal. Consider staying in a guesthouse and book via booking.com to compare guesthouse prices and facilities. For my Maldives full local island guide – read this article here.



Booking.com

Island Hopping in the Maldives

Local islands are well connected with public ferries, speedboats and private speedboats all which mean it is very easy to travel between local islands and to travel cheaply. Staying in a resort means you rely upon resort speedboats to take you there which is often a significant additional cost.

Budget Maldives: Where to stay in the Maldives?

Local islands that welcome tourism have a range of budget guesthouses and it completely depends on how developed the island is for tourism. Some islands may only offer rooms for rent, while others have hotels and guesthouses. I usually compare prices on Agoda, booking.com and/or consider contacting the guesthouse. Recently I found that booking on an external website like Agoda was cheaper than the price quoted directly from the hotel. Calling hotels is usually more effective than emailing in my experience.

What currency can I use on local islands?

Both US dollars and Maldivian Rufiya are accepted on local islands. Bear in mind if you use US dollars in local shops then you are likely to receive Maldivian Rufiya as change.

Cash or Credit Cards

For local islands it is definitely better to have cash to pay for things. Card machines are not always reliable and most guesthouses will have to charge an extra credit/debit card fee because of the bank (even when paying with a Maldivian card). Smaller shops in Male or on local islands may also only accept Maldivian Rufiya so I recommend having some small change

Budget Maldives: Local Island Day Trips

Even when staying in a resort, you can visit a local island as a day trip. Some resorts offer guided tours to nearby local islands. Tourists could also consider splitting the trip between a resort and a local island to experience both sides of the Maldives.

Electrical Plugs

Most places in the Maldives use the English three pin plug. Resorts often provide adapters whereas local island guesthouses may not. For more information on what to pack for the Maldives then read this post.

Visas for the Maldives

Most nationalities will be granted a 30 day on arrival tourist visa. Check on your government website to confirm this.

What to not bring into the Maldives

Bringing alcohol into the Maldives is forbidden as is bringing in pork products and pornography.

Marine Life in the Maldives

The underwater world in the Maldives is incredible making it one of the best countries for snorkelling and scuba diving. If you are new to diving then consider getting qualified with PADI or SSI during your trip. For more about the best scuba diving in the Maldives, read this post. 
You can see manta rays, whale sharks, tiger sharks, turtles and much more marine life when visiting the Maldives. For specific information about snorkelling with manta rays in Baa Atoll, read my manta post here.
For the best diving islands consider visiting Fuvahmulah, Rasdhoo and Guraidhoo.
Cheap Diving in the Maldives on Local Islands
Diving on local islands is the best budget scuba diving in the Maldives. Resort dive centres can cost from $100+ for one dive whereas local island prices are approximately $40 a dive. From an appearance perspective, local dive centres may not look as swish as the resort dive centres and the equipment may not be as brand new. However, I have always felt safe when diving with local centres and I have found the locals to be extremely knowledgeable and professional dive guides.

cheap diving Maldives - photo of oceanic manta photobombing me and friends while scuba diving
Photobombed by an oceanic manta on local island Fuvahmulah- dive goals

Local Island Wildlife
While staying in local island be aware that there will be more mosquitoes than at resort islands as resorts fog regularly and local islands do not. Take insect repellent. Harmless snakes, geckos, mice, rats and lizards may also be seen on local islands but can also be found in resorts. Resorts will have a team of pest controllers to deal with any unwanted insects or wildlife whereas on local islands do not expect people to run around after you because of a gecko on the wall!
Mosquitoes in the Maldives
Mosquitoes are abundant on local islands and I therefore recommend purchasing insect repellent (I use DEET 50% which you can buy from Amazon here) as the insect spray available from local shops in the Maldives is not particularly strong (only about 5% DEET). The Maldives is not malarial, however there are cases of dengue fever and therefore I recommend covering your shoulders and legs in the evening and use insect spray, particularly on local islands.
Unmarried Couples in the Maldives
So far on local islands I have not experienced any problems with staying as an unmarried couple. This is never a problem if both guests are foreigners. However one Maldivian and one foreigner of the opposite sex can cause problems as technically this is frowned upon and one hotel that I am aware of forced a mixed nationality (Maldivian and foreigner) couple to pay for two rooms even though they shared one room. This seems to be very rare and most places I have stayed and heard of respect the freedom of their guests.
Local Food in the Maldives
Most Maldivian food consists of tuna and other fish like reef fish. These are often mixed with rice and/or chappatis. My personal favourite is a Maldivian take on a Sri Lankan dish called Kottu Roshi. Local restaurants can have a very relaxed attitude to customer service and I have waited up to two hours for dinner before! (restaurants in Fuvahmulah!) Therefore when visiting local restaurants, bring along patience and a sense of humour and also consider going to a restaurant before you get too hungry! Vegetarian food is not very common, however most restaurants will still cook vegetarian dishes on request. Make it clear that vegetarian means no fish and no meat when ordering (and this may need to be repeated several times to make sure!). Many local restaurants still use plastic straws (resorts tend to be more eco-friendly) so to travel responsibly make sure you say “no straw” when ordering drinks. Many drinks like Coca-cola are sold on local islands in plastic bottles instead of cans so I always make sure to ask before ordering to reduce my plastic consumption. I always take a refillable water bottle to fill up from like these metal ones from Amazon.
Best Local Islands to Visit in the Maldives on a Budget

Many people, including locals and expats living in the Maldives often ask: which islands to visit in the Maldives?

The islands that I have visited so far are below. Each Maldives island I have visited has it’s own blog post on my Maldives travel blog which includes what to do in the Maldives, island hopping prices, budget diving price in the Maldives and everything you need to know for an affordable Maldives vacation.

Fuvahmulah Island – read here for the best diving in the Maldives (and I’m not exaggerating!)
Gulhi Local Island – most beautiful bikini beach on a local island
Thoddoo Public Island – most beautiful bikini beach and best snorkelling with turtles
Maafushi Local island and closest to the airport- read my blog post for the best party island and the cheapest water sports in the Maldives
Thulusdhoo local island Maldives- read my blog post now for party, surfing, hotel destination with the best rooftop pool in the Maldives
Dhiffushi local island Maldives- read my Maldives blog post for a tiny island near Male
and for what to bring to the Maldives – read this blog post for packing lists
For the best budget resort read my honest review about Kihaa resort in Baa Atoll


Pin It
Pinterest Graphic
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.