Maldives on a Budget
The famous surf spot and diving site, Himmafushi is the populated island of North Malé Atoll (Kaafu Atoll) and a perfect place to discover Maldivian island life experience. Located halfway to Diffushi, between Malé Airport and Huraa Island, Himmafushi is a great destination for budget holiday in the Maldives if you like snorkeling, surfing and water sports.
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How to Get: Transfers
Himmafushi is a local island approximately 17 km from Malé International Airport and the capital city of Maldives. Before your trip to Himmafushi from Malé, take care of the cash (rufia or dollars) - there is no ATM on the island. Some guest houses accept Visa/Mastercard for payment, but there is a 4% tax on the amount. If you want to get to the island on a budget, by ferry on the same day, plan an arrival to the Maldives on any days except Friday (day off). To get to your hotel in Himmafush it is possible by two ways: public ferry or speedboat.
- Public Ferry - 15:00, jetty #1 in Malé, everyday except Fridays, cost 2 USD. Departure on Thursdays at 22:30. The journey takes 45 minutes. From Himmafushi to Male, daily at 08:00, except Fridays. On Thursdays departure at 18:00. The journey takes 50 minutes.
- Speed Boat - 20 min, leaves from airport at anytime, 100 USD/boat one way
- Dhoni - 1 hour, leave from airport at anytime, 100 USD/boat
- Public Speed Boat - jorney time 20 min, leaves 3 times per day, must book in advance, 10 USD/per
Since 2009, Himmafushi has attracted more and more foreign tourists after the Maldivian government was allowed to open guest houses (mini-hotels) in populated islands, and Himmafushi was one of the first to provide investment in tourism. The popularity of the beautiful island is rapidly gaining momentum, and visitors enjoy the real taste of Maldives culture, and local residents receive additional income from tourism.
At the local shipyard you can observe carpenters for their daily routine, creating traditional dhoni boats of all sizes, or admire the original craftsmanship of local artisans in souvenir shops. It does not matter if you just want to relax, dive or catch a wave - all the possibilities in Himmafushi at budget prices. If you want to see the Maldives from the inside, then you are here.
Measured 900X750 meters, a typical fishing island with a population of about 800 souls, Himmafushi is covered with sandy roads and coconut palms, and all the sights above the sea level can be discovered in 40 minutes by foot or by bicycle, which some hotels offer for hire.
Ideal for swimming and snorkeling, Bikini Beach is in the island's northern tip near some guest houses. A short strip of sand with fringed coconut trees has not yet received the official status of a tourist beach, but this is the only place on the island where you can sunbathing and swim in a bikini.
Try surfing! North Male features some of the best and most consistent waves in all of the Maldives. Himmafushi has waves of all experiences, shapes and sizes within 15 minutes of the island.
Jailbreak is on the island's south edge offering daily free riding at any time of the day. Jailbreaks – this is the main break of the island, named after the fact it’s right in front of a jail and until recently it was actually illegal to surf there (as the entrance was on private property), but now it’s no worries! the reeling right hand point/reef break offers some long rides and fast barrel sections. If you’re getting to the break from the land make sure you pack your reef booties. The best season for surfing is from the middle of March to the end of November.
Two other famous waves in the Maldives - Honkys and Sultans - can be caught on the nearby island of Thanburudhoo (5 minutes by boat). Sultans is a super fast right wave that works better with large swells and can become very long with a southern swell. The best conditions with the western wind and tide.
Ninjas – a slightly more mellow break (also referred to as Piddlies) Ninjas is one of the more beginner friendly and longboard friendly waves in the area and is best surfed at 4 foot and under and breaks much slower than most of the waves in the area. Perfect for learning and cruising!
Cokes – one of the most famous surf breaks in the Maldives this right hander is very similar to Jailbreaks actually, although slightly faster on the right swell. Well worth checking either as a day trip from Himmasfushi (it’s about $80 on a private trip) or if you want to spend some more time on this wave you can also stay on Thulusdhoo. Read More about Surfing in Maldives...
- Snorkeling Safari: The mask and snorkel is an invariable accessory for every traveler in the Maldives, where a diverse marine life makes snorkeling a real treat for your eyes. An unforgettable experience in which a guide will accompany you and show you the best snorkelling sites, and after telling you the important role that this or that creature plays in the ocean ecosystem. Himmafushi has no its own house reef, but in each hotel you can arrange a tour of the nearest coral reefs. Rates from $ 30.
- Sport fishing: If you like fishing in Himmafushi there is an opportunity to catch a big fish and in the finale the staff of your guest house will gladly cook your catch for you.
- Dolphins watсhing. Dolphins are common on the horizon of the Maldives. Playful sea animals have their own daily routine. Dolphins in search of food hunt at night away from the islands, entering the atolls early in the morning, and leaving again to the open ocean after dinner. This reliable schedule means that it is very easy to spot them at a certain time every day. A unique and unforgettable experience for the whole family.
- Resort tours: Around of Himmafushi are several luxury resorts, including 5-star Gili Lankanfushi Maldives. Full day excursion or 1-2 nights all inclusive package offers you the opportunity to visit several islands and appreciate their unique beauty and facilities, especially if you stay in Water Villa. There you can find alcoholic beverages, which are banned in Himmafushi. Prices of tours from $ 110.
The first and only diving center in Himmafushi, located next to Villa & Lodge, Just Dive Maldives provides standard PADI courses, quality diving equipment and fun diving trips to the best dive sites of Khaafu Atoll with a team of professional instructors under German management. Certified divers require: your certificate, a logbook, and a valid medical certificate. The school also offers diving gear for rent, and there are places where you can store your own.
Popular dive sites: Hp Reef, Okobe Thila, Nassimo Thila, Manta point, Colloseum, Aquarium and many others, including wreck-diving. Expect to see an abundant marine life and amazing sea creatures, including colorful corals, whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and pelagic fish species.
Things to Do
Maldives has 1198 islands, and only a very few can boast a surf spot right in front of the island. This rare opportunity to discover the real Maldives and learn about local life while riding the world-class waves. In addition to surfing and diving, there are day trips to neighboring luxury resorts, snorkeling exursions, fishing ... Himmafushi is accustomed to foreign tourists and quickly adapted, offering all kinds of entertainment that the paradise Maldives has to offer.
Given that almost every hotel has a cafe or restaurant - you will not remain hungry at Himmafushi. The menu is mostly a mix of local and popular Western dishes, including pastas, salads, sandwiches, meat and fish with rice, and fresh bread. Breakfast is very hearty, and definitely try the traditional Maldivian breakfast 'mas-huni-roshi'. Outside the guest houses, in the village there are some restaurants, if you want to know the real tastes of Maldivian cuisine, especially some of the post-dinner snacks cooked deep-fried, known as 'khedika'. The average bill in a restaurant for two is approximately $ 10-15.
Fish can be found from local fishermen and cooked independently (in some hotels there are accessories for barbecue) or ask the staff. The island also has a handful of grocery and souvenir shops with reasonable, budgetary prices. After sunset, night entertainment - "Bodu Beru" - the best option.
Where to Stay
Today (2019) there are 12 hotels on Himmafushi, with good value for money on reviews, and the hosts (a wonderful family) try to make the most for an unforgettable holiday of the guests to ... like everything! Few "budget" islands can boast such cordiality and responsiveness of local residents. READ MORE
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