Give me the sea, and a little cottage just to be.

Although I was given the opportunity to travel to the Maldives on an all-expenses-paid business trip, for me as for many others it’s believed that the Maldives are a destination only the chosen ones are able to afford. 

Which isn’t a lie – luxurious resorts, five-star all inclusive get-aways can cost quite a fortune, however you usually get what you pay for!

But anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve always been drawn to experience the true culture of a destination and explore “beyond the guidebook”.

Although many resort islands offer day trips to local islands, this sort of tour doesn’t scratch the surface compared to staying over for a couple days and experience the “real” Maldives first hand.

Maldivians are very communicative and friendly people with their own customs and traditions. Despite the fact that they are Muslims, there are almost no externals of their religion. There are certainly some rules that have to be followed when you are going to visit the local islands. But they won’t make you feel inconvenient.

  • Alcohol is generally prohibited under Islamic law, and in the Maldives it is only allowed on the resort premises and really should not be taken off a resort island.
  • Staying on a local island means that you will be staying within the community and will witness many aspects of daily life. One of these will be the call to prayer. This compelling and melodious sound, particularly at sun rise and sunset can be quite mesmerizing. Should you have the opportunity to visit a mosque men should ensure their legs and body are covered. Whilst women should also ensure their head and shoulders are covered by a shawl or sarong for example.
  • While theres nothing better than soaking in the sun and running around in your bikini all day, swimwear should be limited to resorts, boats and designated tourist areas such as the premises of your hotel on local islands. In the majority of cases wearing a t-shirt, long dress, shorts or loose pants is the norm and completely acceptable for female travelers. Just don’t run around town wearing your bikini and if you’re ever unsure just ask for advice from your guesthouse. It is their responsibility to ensure guests are dressed appropriately.
  • Pork is also forbidden so don’t expect bacon for breakfast, Instead take the opportunity to try a traditional Maldivian breakfast dish: masshuni and roshi – flaked tuna, grated coconut, chilli and lemon mixed together and eaten with a flat style bread which makes a refreshing change!

The locals will be happy to help you with discovering their amazing islands and I’ve only came across some of the nicest and kindest people I’ve ever met.

Hence the reason why I’ve decided to stay on an island still inhabited by the locals rather than a private resort and experience the local life of the Maldives first hand.

Huraa Island Maldives

Huraa is a local island situated between Himmafushi and Thulusdhoo islands just about 21 km (30 min by boat) from Male, the capital of Maldives.

Picture this: crystal clear waters, swaying palm trees and white sands without hundreds of tourists and excessive hotel rates.

Getting there:

  • Public ferry transport every day except friday, 90 Minutes, 3 USD per person
  • Schedule Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun 2:30PM (Vilingili terminal, Jetty next to MMA building) / 3:30PM (private Huraa ferry- not always up to schedule!) Male – Huraa, 8 AM Huraa – Male
  • Thursday and Saturday extra ferry 7PM Huraa – Male, 11PM Male – Huraa
  • Maldives Airport is actually on Hulhumale island – transport to Male – every 15 Minutes – 1 USD – Tickets to buy at the airport 
  • Male harbour – Huraa –  2 USD per Person – Tickets to buy in the ferry or small shop in the jetty
  • Private speedboat – every day anytime up to your wish, only 25 – 35 Minutes up to weather situation
  • Adult price for oneway 50 USD, roundtrip 100 USD, child up to 2 years for free, up to 6 years 50% of the prices.

Source: www.huraa-islands.com

What to expect:

  • Local inhabited island (600 people) – part of Kaafu Atoll – North Male Atoll 
  • Total measures 0.85 x 0,3 km – walk around in 1 hour
  • Local shops with food, drugstore, souvenir shops
  • Coral Reef located about 100 m off shore
  • Colorful houses offering a tropical paradise vibe

Personal recommendation:

Stay @ Pearl Sands of Maldives

Each of their tastefully designed rooms opens up to the stunning view of the sea. Coupled with fine cuisine, a spa, outdoor activities, excursions, white sandy private beaches, beautiful sunsets and clear turquoise water – a memorable getaway doesn’t get any better than at Pearl Sands of Maldives.

Special thanks to the general manager Mr. Norbert F. and his exceptional staff for making my stay as amazing as I could have wished for!


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