MAAFUSHI ISLAND

oliver-sjostrom

Go snorkelling, dive and surf in the cool waters near the beaches of Maafushi, where the summer seems to last forever and it doesn’t get more tropical than this

Words: Emily Georgieva

Photography: Oliver Sjöström

28 February 2019

This simplistic, yet charming island is even affordable for backpackers depending on the kind of budget you’ve got planned for expenses. Maafushi became relatively popular some ten years ago and since then it has seen a lot of tourists, just passing by or staying for longer. There are a few beaches that have managed to keep some parts of their wildness and vivid spectrum.

You can expect to see hotels on the beaches and plenty of guesthouses offering accommodation, so you can take your peak. A typical beach place, Maafushi is a place that you can explore best at the beach. The combination of the Indian Ocean and the sun will brighten up your mood. You can even take a break from the land and we don’t mean going for a swim. Hanging out by the floatable bars with a cocktail in hand seems to be popular among the tourists.

The government changed the laws allowing tourism in the Maldives in 2008 and this little gem of an island has become of the most preferred locations in the South Asian country. It is easily accessible location and the biggest island that is part of the Maldives. You can learn how to dive, go for regular swims and experience a boat ride if you haven’t ticked that off your list yet.

Even though it is the biggest island in the Maldives, it is very easy and quick to explore Maafishi by walking. The central part is where you will find the stadium and the mosque if you want to see the cultural side of the land. However, if you are interested to see how the island looks like at its quietest, you need to head to the eastern side of it. It is the least populated part, almost uninhabited even.

Maldives is a Muslim country, so you can’t sunbathe in your swimsuit, but there is a designated area where this is allowed. Head to one of the two Bikini Beaches to have a typical tropical summer getaway and enjoy the ocean breeze while you’re taking all of that vitamin D. those two beaches are the only places where sunbathing in your swimming suit is legal.

After you’re done with all the snorkelling, surfing and scuba diving, why not head to the markets and small fruit shops to buy fresh bananas and coconuts? There is no better way to live that tropical vibe than to become one with the island and live that islandic lifestyle for a couple of days.

As the island is still under constructions, the authorities have thought about how to keep entertaining the tourists. You will find several night bars to spend a couple of hours at night, listen to the sound of the ocean and have an exotic drink while you’re at it.

When you’ve seen all of Maafushi, you can take a ferry to the nearby islands and explore them too. Gulhi and Guraidhoo are just a short distance away so make sure to include some time in your vacation for a visit there as well.

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