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Updated by Joanna James on May 02, 2024
Headline for The Top 5 Local Islands to Visit in the Maldives – Cultural Insights & Fun Adventures Await
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Top 5 Local Islands to Visit in the Maldives – Cultural Insights & Fun Adventures Await

When you think of the Maldives, images of overwater bungalows and exclusive resorts may come to mind. However, this tropical paradise has a secret waiting to be discovered – its local islands. These vibrant communities offer an authentic glimpse into Maldivian life and culture and are worth visiting.


Thulusdhoo Island

The capital of Kaafu Atoll, Thulusdhoo Island is a captivating destination to explore. Apart from its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, it’s also popular amongst surfers the world over as a prime spot to ride the waves in style. Whether you are a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to learn, it provides a memorable experience including at hotspots such as Cokes and Chickens. For something different, you can easily rent a bike to explore this small island on a pedal-powered adventure where you can soak up some local culture as well.


Male Island

The nation’s bustling capital, Male, is amongst the key places to visit and while it’s sometimes overlooked by travellers, it's a destination worth exploring. With that in mind, when looking for the best island resort in Maldives, choose one in the South Male Atoll within easy reach of Male; these include properties like Adaaran Prestige Vadoo which offer group and private tours to the city. Apart from gaining a unique glimpse into urban life amidst the hustle and bustle, you can head to popular attractions. Some of the top sites are the Old Friday Mosque (Hukuru Miskiy), the Grand Friday Mosque, the National Museum, Sultan Park, and the Male Fish Market each providing something new to discover.


Utheemu Island

For history enthusiasts, Utheemu Island in the Haa Alif Atoll is a must-visit. It's not just any island, it's the birthplace and home of Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu, a national hero; he is well known amongst Maldivians for being instrumental in leading the cause to defeat and overthrow the Portuguese from the country in 1573. Today, his childhood home named Utheemu Palace has been turned into a museum where you can see traditional items, decor and furniture used at the time as you immerse yourself in the stories of the past.


Maafushi Island

Maafushi Island is a hub of excitement and adventure, conveniently located near Male. It's the perfect place to experience a range of water sports, from snorkelling amidst colourful coral and fish to diving alongside majestic manta rays, slow-moving turtles, and stealthy sharks. But the thrills do not stop there. You can also embark on fishing expeditions as well as try your hand at jet skiing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, parasailing and more. You will additionally find plenty of souvenir shops on the island, ideal when you need to buy some holiday mementoes.


Ukulhas Island

Located within the Northern Ari Atoll, Ukulhas Island strikes a perfect balance between tranquillity and adventure. With one of the longest bikini beaches (this is the term used for a public beach where foreigners are permitted to wear bikinis) in the Maldives, it's a place to relax and unwind. But there’s much more to do here than unwind on idyllic shores. You can look forward to snorkelling and diving experiences to encounter everything from zebra sharks to manta rays. Meanwhile, fishing enthusiasts can head out to sea to catch blue marlin and yellowfin tuna, before returning and enjoying the laidback pace of island life.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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