Maldives on a Budget

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August, 2019

Best place to dive with sharks, Fuvahmulah is an island-atoll in the Maldives. Located on the equator between the two southern atolls of Addu and Huvadhu, Fuvahmulah is the unique and most beautiful island in the country - it is rock in the middle of open ocean. Unlike the two thousand islands of the Maldives archipelago, which are coral reefs, Fuhvamulah is of volcanic origin, which makes it more similar to the Indonesian islands of Bali or Gili. With lush tropical vegetation, mango landscapes, coconut palms, papaya plantations and various kinds of flowers, Fuwamulah is the only island in the Maldives with freshwater lakes.

Located in Gnaviyani atoll, Fuvahmulah is 1hour 10 min by plane from Male Airport and is known for its beaches, surfing, diving and fishing experiences. The island's treasure is the unique white Thundi pebble beach, which is on the list of ten unique beaches of the world. For millions of years, under the influence of ocean currents, unique reef formations and several types of pebbles were formed.

Local residents are mainly associated with agriculture and fisheries. The islanders are one of the happiest people in the world who are proud to be born in this beautiful place, and Fuvahmulah in social media is represented in all its glory.

The ideal option for a budget holiday in the Maldives, in 2016-17 the island opened to international tourism, offering several guest houses and mini-hotels for accommodation.


How to Get: Transfers

Located 3 degrees south of the equator, Fuvahmulah is 500 kilometers from Male city. The island is home to Fuvahmulah (FVM) domestic airport that is linked with daily flights (2 flights per day) to Velana International Airport (MLE).

In Male, the guest are served by hotels's representatives which meet guests on arrival and escorted to an domestic terminal. Next, you will have a direct flight to Fuvahmulah (1 hour 10 min) and after 5 minutes by car from the airport to your hotel.

The Island

The Fuhvamulah is measured 4.5 km long and 1.2 km wide with a submerged reef (Rashikedefaro) extending about three kilometers southeast. In the past, Fuvahmulah was a small coral atoll, the southern end of which was open on a place called Diyarehifaando, and inside the island was a salt lagoon forming a natural harbor. In the southern part there is a spot known as Kudhuheraival (forest on a small island), which indicates that in the olden days there was a small separate islet. Over time, the inner lagoon lost its salinity, and all that is left today are two small lakes, swamps and swampy taro fields. In this respect, Fuvamulah is similar to the Nukutavake island in the Central Pacific.

Fuvahmulah means "The Island of the Palms of Areca", Fuva (or Fua) in the Dhivehi. Other places in the world, such as Penang in Malaysia and Guvahati in Assam, India, are also named after this palm tree. The original name of the island could be Mula, but it was called Fuvahmula to distinguish it from Boli Mulah, another island in the ancient Maldives.

In the past, having no lagoon and being exposed to the ocean waves, Fuvahmulah was often inaccessible to seafarers. In the early 2000s, a harbor was built on the island's southeastern tip that to a certain extent minimized the problem. The domestic airport on the island was buid in 2011 that gradually opened the island for the whole country. Admiralty nautical charts and some geographers called the island of Fua Mulaku. On old French charts, the island appeared under the name Poue Molluque.

The population is 14 000 people, the locals have their own dialect, which differs from the official Maldivian language. The local houses are spacious, have huge private courtyards, patios, are surrounded by beautiful gardens with a variety of flowers and fruit trees. Residents talk about the distinctive form of the Dhivehi language, known as the 'Mulaku Bass'.


Being the second nearest atoll to the equator and the first atoll in the southern hemisphere among the atolls of the Maldives, Fuwahmoolah has many distinctive features that make the island unique and beautiful than other islands in the country. Being an atoll island and the third largest island in the Maldives, Fuvahmulah is home to a variety of habitats: tropical forests and marshes to freshwater lakes, well overgrown marshy areas, white sandy beaches, various variations and pebble texture plus gravel beaches and fertile humus lands, larger in area than any other island in the Maldives. Two freshwater lakes, as well as many swamps and swampy terrain on the island, give habitats to various plant and animal species that can not be found anywhere else in the Maldives.

Previously, Fuvahmulah had many bicycles, the ideal way of transportation around a large flat island. Today the one asphalt road is built, which runs from the airport and connects all parts of the island. Motobikes are a popular mode of transport on Fuvahmulah.


Scuba Diving

Fuvahmulah atoll has been named the ‘Best Place to Dive with Sharks in Asia’ by ZuBlu diving.

Without a doubt, diving in Fuvahmulah is ultimate. When go to diving in Fuvahmulah, divers can spot 7 types of rare sharks in one dive. Here divers can see dozens of Tiger sharks everyday. The island is home to a shallow cleaning stations when avid divers can enjoy Thresher Sharks cleaning under the sun shine. Hundreds of Black Oceanic Mantas Brostrics arrive for matting, when divers can enjoy their playful breeding behaviour. The gorgeous schools of Great and Scalloped Hammerheads stay on the current. Pure pregnant giant whale sharks. The only Dreams of all divers - Longimanus and Mola-Mola! Fuvahmulah is only the place when all these rare pelagic are avaliable to see all together, throughout the year, in natural environment and comfortable conditions. READ MORE

Things to Do

The most favorite activity on the island is fishing. There is a lot of fish arond the island that keeps close to the reef. Fishing is the main source of income for local residents. Yellowfin tuna, skipjack, barracuda, vaahu - daily. In addition, there is a special type of tuna - Bonito, which is banned for export. Guests have a unique opportunity to go fishing with local residents.

Diving is another major activity on the island of Fuhvamulah, where the most important attraction is the Tiger Zoo dive site - a real nursery of tiger sharks. Fuvahmulah Dive School was officially approved by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) in late October 2017.

Besides diving on the island, there are many other entertainments that can make your holiday full of fun and fun. Magnificent beaches, surfing, snorkeling, jungle trekking, Thai massage and a variety of excursions. Sport is very popular with locals. Football, volleyball, cricket - guests can easily join local sports teams! The island is an ideal place for events and parties such as weddings, business forums, health programs, festivals and concerts.

Where to Stay

The island annually opens new guest houses, modern lodges and budget-friendly hotels for international tourism. Comfortable rooms are equipped with air conditioning, flat-screen cable TVs, safes, DVD players, fans, and some have iPod docking stations. The rooms also have a kettle, a minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi.

Almost all hotels have restaurants and cafes, ranging from local cuisine to Thai food and fresh seafood. Food options are very diverse and inexpensive, and food and drinks can also be found on the beach and in the village. READ MORE


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