It was a really insightful look at the culture and environment of the Maldives, which was a world away from all inclusive luxury resorts. I learnt a lot about reefs and the huge climate and plastic challenges facing the islands. All in all, the guides and people in the group made it a lot of fun, the sea and sea life were stunning and I came back more relaxed than I’ve been for years!
Engage with the locals
Embark on a journey to discover the tranquil beauty of Goidhoo Atoll. Snorkel a vibrant marine ecosystem, encountering an array of coral reefs and colorful marine life. Delve into the captivating history and rich culture of three local islands, immersing yourself in their way of life. Learn the art of cooking Maldivian cuisine, as local ladies guide you through the flavors and techniques that make their dishes unique.
Witness incredible biodiversity as you explore mangroves, seagrass beds, and island lakes. Engage with inspiring NGOs and connect with friendly locals, gaining insights into their sustainability efforts and community initiatives. This purposeful journey will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper understanding of the Maldivian culture and environment.
- From USD 1999 per person
- Private tours
- Contact us to confirm availability
- Arrival on day 1 by midday
- Velana International Airport (MLE)
- 8 days & 7 nights
- Minimum 1 person
- Maximum 8 persons
WHAT ARE THE MALDIVES ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?
- Travelers must have a confirmed accommodation/tour booking.
- Travelers must have a passport or travel document valid for a minimum 30 days from date of entry to the Maldives.
- Travelers must have a return flight ticket.
- The online traveler declaration form IMUGA must be completed within the 96 hour period prior to arrival in country.
- 7 night Deluxe room guesthouse accommodation
- 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners
- Airport assistance
- Return transfer by public scheduled speedboat
- Island tours & hedhika experience
- Snorkeling tours inclusive of equipment
- Beach Clean and Coral Nursery Visit
- Malé City Walking tour
- Secret Paradise Tour Leader
- Local tax ($3 green tax per person per night, 10% service charge, and 16% GST)
- 7 Lunches
- International Flights
- Travel Insurance
What to bring
- All this together with full details on everything you need to know about travel within the Maldives will be provided in our welcome information pack.
- The Maldives is a Muslim country and therefore alcohol is not available on local islands.
- Bikinis are not allowed to be worn on local island beaches; however, all of our guesthouses offer either private gardens, balconies or tourist beach areas for guests where bikini swimwear can be worn.
Snorkel marine rich tropical waters
Learn how to make mashuni roshi
Discover mangroves, seagrass and lakes
Delve into the history and culture of the people
Make an impact. Complete a community beach clean
What to Expect
Upon arrival at Velana International Airport you will be welcomed by your Maldivian guide who will assist with your transfer to Hulhumale. After settling into your guest house, we journey across Male to the smaller neighbouring island of Villimale, to discover the quieter side of city life. Accompanied by your guide, wander the quiet streets with their pastel coloured local houses, witness how development is impacting coral reefs and learn more about the challenges faced by our island nation. Whilst on the island you will also learn about the conservation efforts of Save the Beach. This inspiring NGO is working to maintain the Maldives aquatic ecosystems. The project monitors nearby reefs, organises beach cleans and engages locals through their education.
Spend the morning exploring Male on foot with your guide. Learn the stories of Hukuru Miskiy – The Friday Mosque, visit key points of interest that weave their history into the story of this unusual capital city and take in the smells and flavors at the local markets.
After time for lunch board a speedboat for the two-hour journey to the island of Goidhoo. Goidhoo retains a cultural feel with ancient mosques and wells. The island’s natural wonders include freshwater lakes, which are quite unusual in the Maldives, mangroves and a beautiful beach, as well as many vegetable and fruit farms.
After checking into a local island hotel drop by a local cafe to sample traditional hedika. This afternoon tradition is best described as the Maldives equivalent of tapas! Walk into any café between 3pm and 5pm and you will find an array of bite size savoury and sweet delights, served with black tea. Then it’s time to hit the beach for a sunset swim.
This morning immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of the Maldives as you embark on your first underwater adventure. Your guide will provide a safety briefing on responsible snorkeling and act as your ‘spotter’ during the experience, pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. They will assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water. A vibrant tapestry of ocean life will unfold before your eyes, from shimmering schools of tropical fish to elusive creatures tucked within the coral, each one adds to the symphony of hues that paint this underwater landscape.
Back on dry land, in the afternoon you will explore the island of Goidhoo. In the 19th century, a female African slave who had been bought by the king on his Hajj trip to Mecca was formally released from slavery. A house and a well were built for her to settle on Goidhoo.
The freeing of slaves before the death of the owner was a common practice among the very high nobility in the Maldives. Now there are some families from Goidhoo that can trace their decadency to this African ancestor.
This morning we kayak one of the island’s mangrove lakes and learn why the mangroves play such an important role in the Maldives. Your guide will coach you on how to paddle and manoeuvre the kayak before we set off to explore this unique Maldives ecosystem. As you navigate the waterway, your guide will provide valuable insights, sharing stories of the delicate balance between the mangroves, the surrounding marine environment, and the local communities. They will emphasize the need to preserve and protect these invaluable habitats, highlighting the vital role each of us play in conserving the natural wonders of the Maldives.
Late afternoon, take a speedboat transfer to Fehendhoo, one of the least populated islands in the Baa Atoll. On arrival, your guide will take you on an exploration of the island. In 1602, Frenchman Francois Pyrard found himself wrecked on the reef here, before his attempts to learn the language won him favour with beyfulhun, who subsequently took him to the capital.
Pyrard’s account of his time in the Maldives would be the world’s only real glimpse into the mysterious atolls between the 14th and 19th centuries. The wreck of his ship, the Corbin, can still be found on the reef but the treasures within are still to be located. Maybe you will get lucky!
Once again we head out for a guided snorkeling tour this morning. Why? Because you are in the Maldives, which is 99% ocean, and each snorkeling experience is unique! Fehendhoo is surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefs that are teeming with colourful fish and various sea mammals. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks and rays.
Late afternoon, transfer by speedboat to Fulhadhoo, arguably one of the most beautiful islands of the Baa Atoll. After checking into your local accommodation we take a tropical forest walk to enjoy sunset at the island beach which has been ranked in the world’s top 25 beaches. Don’t forget your torch!
This morning you will meet the ladies of the local Womens Development Committee (WDC). Island WDCs play an important role in mobilising local women, and providing an avenue for women to network, collaborate and implement initiatives for community development. Under their watchful gaze, you will prepare breakfast, learning how to make mashuni (a typical Maldivian breakfast dish comprising of tuna, onion, coconut, and chilli) and roshi (flatbread). Sit together to share
After lunch, enjoy an idyllic journey through Goidhoo Atoll, where a series of stunning sandbanks await your discovery. But the ultimate destination awaits—an uninhabited Robinson Crusoe island. As you step onto its shores, you will feel like an intrepid explorer, discovering a place that feels like it belongs only to you. The island’s beaches will invite you to wander and explore their hidden corners. As the sun starts to set, casting hues of gold and orange across the sky, savour the local flavors of a traditional fish and coconut BBQ!
After breakfast, visit Fulhadhoo’s coral nursery where you will learn the story behind the project and understand why coral rehabilitation projects are extremely important in the Maldives. You will witness firsthand the intricate process of coral propagation. The techniques used, such as fragment collection, nurturing, and monitoring the growth of new coral colonies.
In the afternoon, spend time giving back to the community that has welcomed you by participating in an island clean. The act of cleaning is a powerful reminder of the importance of responsible tourism and environmental stewardship. Your reward will be a refreshing ocean swim!
This evening, enjoy a cultural dinner consisting of traditional Maldivian dishes accompanied by live music beneath the stars.
Transfer to Velana International Airport by scheduled speedboat arriving by 10:00.
Your Trip Accommodation
Hulhumale – Newtown Inn
This 10-room property is located in the heart of Hulhumale, but just a short walk from the beach. Rooms are comfortable and offer all the facilities required following your flight for a comfortable overnight stay. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, flat-screen satellite TV, an in-room safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.
Goidhoo – Olive Goidhoo
Olive Goidhoo is a 12-bedroom guest house with an outdoor terrace, that overlooks the island’s vast agricultural fields and the ocean. All rooms are furnished with king-size beds. Garden View Rooms feature a balcony facing the lavish island greenery. Omala Café & Restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining facilities. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, in-room safety deposit box, Wi-Fi and tea and coffee making facilities.
Fehendhoo – Sama Garden
Set on a beach area of Fehendhoo,Sama Garden Hotel offers 18 rooms comfortably furnished rooms. All rooms offer an en-suite bathroom, AC and fan, flat-screen satellite TV, an in-room safety deposit box, and Wi-Fi.
Fulhadhoo – Island Luxury Dive Hotel
Island Luxury Dive Hotel is located just a short walk from the island’s tourist beach. The hotel provides 8 comfortable deluxe rooms, with spacious bathrooms and a kitchenette located on the first floor where guests can prepare snacks and beverages independently if they wish. This premium property is situated facing the stunning forest, showcasing the lush greenery that that is abundant on the island.
Hear From Our Previous Guests
One of the most unforgettable travel experiences to date. There is a whole other side to the Maldives that can and should be explored, far away from the outdated resorts holiday which produce unfair tourism leakages. Being able to experience the local islands, and the impact that local responsible travel can have on local communities and their fragile islands ecosystem was truly inspiring.