Maldives on a Budget
Goidhoo is an inhabited island of Baa atoll that will pleasantly surprise you with beautiful beaches, good snorkeling, and an excellent value for money and offered quality. Sometimes called the Horsburgh Atoll, that also includes the islands of Fehendhoo and Fulhadhoo, Goidhoo is administratively part of Baa Atoll, and was inhabited only relatively recently. Great in Maldivian standards, the island itself is the capital of the Goidhoo atoll, and is separated from the Baa atoll by a channel 10 km wide. Measured 1.7 km wide and 2.2 km long is one of the few islands in the Maldives with fresh lakes.
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How to Get: Transfers
Goidhoo is 100 km from Malé International Airport (VIA), and 35 km from the domestic airport on the island of Dharavandhoo (DRV). Get to Goidhoo is best by public speedboat Male-Goidhoo. Upon arrival at Malé airport, you will be met by staff and escorted to the speedboat. The journey time is 1.45 - 2 hours, depending on the weather. A public speedboat from Male is leaving Willingly ferry terminal at 9 am on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Back to Malé at 13:30, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. If you travel a large group, it's best way to book a private speed boat from Male airport. The rental price is $900-1000/boat. There is no ATM on Goidhoo, so please stock cash in Malé.
The second option (less budgetary) is by local airline from Malé airport to Dharavandoo airport. Flights are run daily, the journey time is 25 minutes, the ticket price is $ 95 one way. From Dharavandoo airport to Goidhoo by speedboat, the journey time is 40 minutes, cost for renting a boat is USD 150-200. We recommend booking airplane tickets through your guest house, not on the airline's website - it will be much cheaper!
There is one more option. There is a supply ferry going from Male to Goidhoo once a week on Sunday night (from Sunday to Monday). Usually it departs in the midnight, the journey takes about 5 hours. It goes back from Goidhoo on Saturdays at 5 AM.
Schedule and tariffs we recommend check with the host before your arrival in the Maldives.
The Goidhu island with Fehendhoo and Fulhadhoo lies in Horsburgh (Goidhoo) Atoll taht is separated from Baa (South Maalhosmadulhu) atoll by a six-mile-broad (9.7 km) channel. This atoll is oval in shape and small, its greatest length being 10 miles (16 km). The inner lagoon has a depth of 17 to 20 fathoms; it has a sandy bottom mixed with mud and clay. Unlike the lagoons of most small atolls of the Maldives, this lagoon is free from coral heads in its centre.
From the island's history it's known that in the 19th century an African settled here, who worked for many years in the palace of the Sultan in Malé, was officially freed from slavery by the King of Maldives. After receiving freedom, a house and a well were built for her on Goidhoo. This woman was called Salaam, and today there are some families on the island that are descendants of their African ancestor. The islanders are very friendly people and are always ready to help you.
Goidhoo island is quite large by local standards, but the village itself is very small, it is home to no more than 500 people. The rest of the island is embraced with tropical vegetation, mainly palm trees of several species (including coconut trees) and ficus. There are somel minimarts, a pharmacy and two cafes on the island.
The island is surrounded by numerous reefs that abound in unique marine life and fauna. Goidhoo is a home for large amphibian crabs (the size of some reaches 40 centimeters in diameter), especially many crabs can be seen at sunset around the lakes. By the way, these crabs are a delicacy among the locals, and you can try to catch them yourself.
Things to Do
Perfect place for family, romantic or a group travel experience, Goidhoo Island surrounded by a huge beautiful lagoon and white sandbanks.
It takes about 15 minutes to get to the beach, but you can use free bicycles - this is an excellent idea of transportation around the island. The beach is regularly cleaned, and there are umbrellas and sun loungers on the sand.
Goidhoo is the right destination for fishing and snorkeling, the house reef is abundant with marine life, including turtles, rays and sharks. Goidhoo Reef is also suitable for kiting and windsurfing. Expect fishing, island hopping, crab hunting, picnics on sandbars and much more exursions on offer.
Not far from Goidhoo is a private (uninhabited) islet and a beautiful sandbank where you can take an excursion. Trips to Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu and to Hanifaru Bay, the famous UNESCO Biosphere Reserve to swim with Manta Rays are available. Fun Diving trips and a variety of water sports are available on request.
As for dining - you can not worry - the portions are very generous, the food is beautifully presented and the service is unobtrusive (we recommend breakfast + dinner meal plan). In general, the food and drinks are varied and insanely delicious, including freshly caught seafood and fish!
Where to Stay
There are only two guest houses (October 2018) on Goidhoo: Horsburgh Island Guesthouseand Olive Goidhoo. The territory of the guest houses is very cozy and pleasant. A lot of greenery and flowers. The rooms are spacious, very clean and equipped with air conditioning, TV with cable channels, free wifi, and tea | coffee with all accessories. There is a sunbathing terrace, a children's playground and a restaurant. Guests like almost everything, but most of all positive feedback about the attentive and caring attitude service, from the meeting at the airport to the organization of excursions and leisure.
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