8 Best Local Islands in the Maldives

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Uncover the best local islands in the Maldives to see where you can enjoy the beauty of the Maldives and the unique local culture in one.

Discover the beautiful local islands in the Maldives to immerse yourself in a side of the Maldives beyond resorts and glamour. Visiting the local islands in the Maldives is where authentic charm meets budget-friendly exploration.

I visited only local islands and found them to be an affordable and breathtaking exploration of Maldivian authenticity and a complete surprise.

I have always thought the Maldives was a place only for honeymooning in the most luxurious way possible. Learning that there are 187 inhabited islands in the Maldives, many of which are local islands welcoming to tourists was a shock.

Upon visiting my entire opinion of the Maldives has changed for the better and it is now a place I highly suggest others travel to!

Below are the 8 best local islands in the Maldives to add to your itinerary!

(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost; you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)

8 Best Local Islands in the Maldives

Thulusdhoo

Thulusdhoo invites travelers to escape the conventional tourist trail and discover the genuine warmth of the Maldivian local island lifestyle. Whether you’re a surf enthusiast or a cultural explorer, Thulusdhoo promises an affordable and enriching adventure.

This is my absolute favorite island in the Maldives. If you only have time to visit one or two islands be sure to add Thulusdhoo to your list. It is the perfect combination of tropical, beachy, and local while still having enough of a tourism infrastructure to make it easy to travel to.

How to Get There:

Public Ferry:
➡️ Time: Approximately 1.5 hours
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 2 to USD 5 per person.

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 1 hour
➡️Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 30 to USD 50 per person.

Private Transfer:
➡️Time: Around 1 hour
Price: Higher cost, depending on the type of private transfer arranged.

Thulusdhoo
Thulusdhoo

Cost of Hotels: Thulusdhoo offers a range of accommodation options, including guesthouses and budget-friendly hotels.

Why Visit Thulusdhoo: Thulusdhoo has a unique blend of surf culture, traditional craftsmanship, and local island charm. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the Maldives that are gorgeous!

Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Thulusdhoo is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to March. This period offers clear skies, calm seas, and optimal conditions for surfing.


Dhigurah

Dhigurah captures the essence of a local Maldivian island, providing an affordable and authentic experience for you if are you seeking a connection with the culture and beauty of the Maldives.

How to Get There from Male

Public Ferry:
➡️ Time: Approximately 4 hours (ferry)
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 10 to USD 20 per person.

Speedboat (Additional Transfer):
➡️Time: Approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour (speedboat)
➡️Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 40 to USD 80 per person.

Cost of Hotels: Dhigurah offers budget-friendly accommodation options so you can experience the Maldives without the hefty price tag commonly associated with resort islands.

Why Visit Dhigurah: Dhigurah stands out for its long sandy beach, vibrant coral reefs, and the unique opportunity to experience local island life. Unlike many other local islands, Dhigurah boasts a large bikini beach where visitors can enjoy the sun and sea without restrictions.


Fulidhoo

Fulidhoo welcomes travelers with its simplicity, natural beauty, and the warmth of local hospitality. For those looking to escape the conventional tourist path and experience the Maldives on a budget, Fulidhoo is a charming destination worth exploring.

How to Get There from Male

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 1 to 1.5 hours
➡️ Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 30 to USD 60 per person.

Public Ferry (Additional Transfer):
➡️ Time: Approximately 2 to 2.5 hours
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 10 to USD 20 per person.

Fulidhoo
Fulidhoo

Why Visit Fulidhoo: Fulidhoo boasts a tranquil and authentic Maldivian atmosphere. The island is surrounded by clear turquoise waters and offers a beautiful bikini beach. Fulidhoo is an excellent choice for those seeking a laid-back island experience away from the bustling tourist hubs.


Guraidhoo

Guraidhoo welcomes you with open arms, offering an authentic Maldivian experience with a focus on local traditions, hospitality, and the beauty of island life. For those seeking a budget-friendly and culturally rich adventure, Guraidhoo is a captivating destination in the Maldives.

How to Get There from Male:

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour
➡️ Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 20 to USD 50 per person.

Public Ferry (Additional Transfer):
➡️ Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 5 to USD 15 per person.

Panoramic image with drone of Guraidhoo island in Maldives

Why Visit Guraidhoo: Guraidhoo offers a blend of local culture and natural beauty. The island is known for its vibrant fishing community, and visitors can witness the traditional craftsmanship of boat-building. Guraidhoo also celebrates local festivals with cultural performances, providing a unique opportunity to experience Maldivian traditions.


Maafushi

Maafushi offers a local island charm, cultural richness, and the opportunity to savor the beauty of the Maldives without breaking the bank. For those seeking an authentic and budget-friendly Maldivian experience, Maafushi is a delightful destination to explore.

How to Get There from Male:

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 1 to 1.5 hours
➡️ Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 20 to USD 50 per person.

Public Ferry (Additional Transfer):
➡️ Time: Approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 2 to USD 5 per person.

Maafushi
Maafushi

Why Visit Maafushi: Maafushi is known for its vibrant local community and the opportunity to experience Maldivian culture up close. Maafushi is an ideal destination for those looking to explore the Maldives in close proximity to Male (the Maldives capital).


Huraa

Huraa invites travelers to savor an authentic island experience, blending local hospitality with the tranquility of the Maldivian surroundings. For those seeking a peaceful and budget-friendly escape, Huraa offers a serene retreat in the heart of the Indian Ocean.

How to Get There from Male:

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour
➡️ Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 20 to USD 50 per person.

Public Ferry (Additional Transfer):
➡️ Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 5 to USD 15 per person.

Huraa, Maldives - November 20, 2017: One of the central streets of small tropical island Huraa, overlooking the Indies Ocean with one-story houses and tall palm trees, Kaafu Atoll, Kuda Huraa Island

Why Visit Huraa: Huraa offers an authentic Maldivian experience, known for its friendly community and traditional activities like fishing and boat-building. Huraa provides a quiet retreat away in a peaceful oasis.


Gulhi

Gulhi invites travelers to unwind in its peaceful surroundings, offering a budget-friendly escape for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty. For a serene retreat in the Maldives, Gulhi provides a perfect blend of affordability and authenticity.

How to Get There from Male:

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 1 to 1.5 hours
➡️ Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 30 to USD 60 per person.

Public Ferry (Additional Transfer):
➡️ Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 5 to USD 15 per person.

Aerial view of Gulhi Island, Maldives with beaches and Gulhi Harbour, Maldive Atoll - bird eyes view

Why Visit Gulhi: Gulhi is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and pristine beaches. The island provides a tranquil retreat allowing travelers to enjoy the natural beauty of the Maldives at their own pace. Gulhi is an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and authenticity.


Thoddoo

Thoddoo is an island known for its tropical landscapes, cultural richness, and the opportunity to discover the agricultural heart of the Maldives. For those seeking a budget-friendly escape surrounded by nature, Thoddoo offers a serene tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean.

How to Get There from Male:

Speedboat:
➡️ Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours
➡️ Price: Mid-range cost, ranging from USD 40 to USD 70 per person.

Public Ferry (Additional Transfer):
➡️ Time: Approximately 2 to 2.5 hours
➡️ Price: Budget-friendly, typically ranging from USD 10 to USD 20 per person.

Shoreline of a tropical island in the Maldives and view of the Indian Ocean.

Why Visit Thoddoo: Thoddoo is renowned for its lush vegetation and vibrant agriculture, particularly its vast expanses of watermelon fields. The island provides a unique opportunity to witness local life and explore the Maldives beyond its beaches. Thoddoo is an ideal destination for nature lovers and those seeking an authentic island experience.


Travel Insurance

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8 Best Local Islands in the Maldives
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