Off the Beaten Path in the Maldives: Exploring Local Islands Beyond the Resorts

The Maldives, with its white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, is a dream holiday destination for many. While resorts offer luxury and comfort, truly immersive Maldives holidays involve stepping off the beaten path and exploring local islands. These islands provide a glimpse into the authentic Maldivian culture and lifestyle, offering experiences that extend beyond the confines of resort life.

Why Explore Beyond the Resorts?

The Untouched Beauty

Touring the local islands allows you to witness the untouched beauty of the Maldives. These islands are less commercialised, offering pristine beaches, lush vegetation, and a vibrant marine life that’s often missed in the resort-centric holidays.

Authentic Maldivian Culture

Local islands are the heart and soul of the Maldives. They offer a deeper insight into the traditional Maldivian lifestyle, where community spirit thrives and ancient traditions are kept alive. Visiting these islands enriches your Maldives holidays by offering a cultural immersion that’s hard to find in mainstream tourist spots.

Top Local Islands to Visit


Maafushi is one of the most visited local islands. Its charm lies in its local crafts market, bustling cafes, and a vibrant marine life that makes it a haven for snorkelers and divers.


Dhigurah is known for its long beach and opportunities for whale shark spotting. A walk around the island reveals a traditional Maldivian village life, with small houses, sand roads and friendly locals.


Thulusdhoo offers a blend of surf and culture. This island is famous for its surf spots and local industries like ‘Dhivehi lacquer work’. The colourful coral walls and the laid-back atmosphere make it a must-visit during your Maldives holidays.

Immersing in Maldivian Culture

Traditional Food

On these islands, you can try traditional Maldivian dishes like ‘Mas Huni’, a breakfast dish made from tuna, coconut, and chillies, or ‘Bis Keemiya’, a local pastry. Sampling these delicacies provides a taste of the authentic Maldivian cuisine.

Cultural Practices

Local islands are great places to witness unique Maldivian customs and traditions. From communal fishing trips to local music and dance performances, these experiences offer a deeper understanding of the Maldivian way of life.

Tips for Exploring Local Islands

Travel Arrangements

Regular ferries operate between Male and these local islands. It’s advisable to check the ferry schedule beforehand. Alternatively, speedboats can be arranged at a higher cost.

Respect Local Norms

While local islands are welcoming, it’s important to respect local culture. Dress modestly, especially when visiting non-tourist areas, and follow local rules to maintain a harmonious relationship with the community.

Exploring local islands offers a more authentic and enriching experience during your Maldives holidays. Such an exploration can reveal the true allure of the Maldives, which lies not just in its natural beauty but also in its culture and lifestyle. So on your next trip to the Maldives, consider stepping off the beaten path and discovering the charm of local islands.

Until next time.

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