Maldives Tour - South Male Island Hopper
Join our local team and experience the natural beauty of the Maldives.
On this 7-night / 8 day tour you will gain an insight into the culture and tradition of Maldivian life. This well designed tour provides the opportunity to combine local life, with environment awareness, popular excursions, watersports, and a little relaxation. Accompanied by your local travel expert, travel to four of the local islands in the South Malé Atoll; Hulhumale, Guraidhoo, Maafushi, and Gulhi.
This is a tour that allows you to appreciate the culture, scenery, and people with the added opportunity of getting involved in local environmental projects.
Day 1 – Arrive in the Maldives
Arrive at Malé International Airport for the start of your South Malé Island Hopper Tour. Here you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your guesthouse on Hulhumale. Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this tropical urban paradise.
For guests arriving before 5.00 pm, there is an option to join your guide beachside for coffee, a very popular daily activity for Maldivians, and a chance to gain your first insight into the local side of this island paradise.
Day 2 – Exploring the islands
Your guide will accompany you on a tour of the capital city before transferring by local ferry to the local island of Guraidhoo, South Malé. Visit the fish market and local market, President’s Palace, Sultan Park, and Friday Mosque. Stop for lunch at one of the many restaurants overlooking the waterfront before boarding the afternoon ferry. Upon arrival, you will have time to settle in before either relaxing on the rooftop at the guesthouse or on the local beach to watch the sun go down. Dinner this evening is spent with a local family - don’t expect silver service as traditionally meals are eaten without the aid of a knife and fork!
Day 3 – Reefs and local life
Following breakfast, take a few steps from the beach into the ocean to explore the house reef of Guraidhoo. There is always the opportunity to encounter turtles, groupers, mantas, and a myriad of colourful fish. Your guide will provide a safety briefing and highlight how to protect the reefs by being a responsible snorkeler, they will also act as your ‘spotter’ pointing out marine life that may not have caught your eye. They will assist less confident or inexperienced snorkelers, ensuring your equipment is comfortable and you feel safe in the water.
As the afternoon cools down, join your guide to explore Guraidhoo with the opportunity to learn about the local way of life including a visit to the Mosque. Pick jasmine flowers to prepare jasmine tea and moringa leaves for tomorrow’s breakfast omelette. Stop and chat with children playing in the street and watch the ladies of the community begin their evening meal preparations. Finally, stop by a local cafe to sample tasty traditional hedhika – Maldivian savory and sweet treats served with black tea.
Day 4 – Relax on Guraidhoo Island
Enjoy a local-style breakfast (complete with the muranga leaves picked on your island tour), before travelling by speedboat to two nearby reefs. These coral reefs are teeming with colourful fish and corals. On return to Guraidhoo, the afternoon is free for you to participate in optional watersports, diving, or surfing. As the afternoon cools down there is the option to spend time on the beach, giving back to the community that has welcomed us by supporting a beach clean. Our reward will be a refreshing Kurumba (coconut water) followed by an ocean swim. This evening, enjoy a relaxed beach BBQ under the stars.
Day 5 – Maafushi Island
Start early today as we take a transfer by local ferry to the island of Maafushi. After checking into the guesthouse, we head out for some snorkelling where you will have the chance to enjoy the underwater beauty of the Maldives. We stop at a sandbank for a picnic lunch with time to swim and snorkel in the lagoon or just lie back and relax. Heading back to Maafushi, we cruise the Indian Ocean in search of dolphins. Following dinner, join your guide for a stroll through the island and learn how Maafushi led the development of local tourism. Complete your day in the traditional way with coffee at a local cafe.
Day 6 – Free time to relax in the Maldives
With so many activities and excursions available from Maafushi, our local travel experts have left the morning free for you to enjoy as you please. You can relax on the bikini beach, or embark on an aquatic adventure in the form of SUP, kayaking, and much more. Optional diving trips can be organized for certified divers. In the afternoon, there is the option to join Maafushi Eco Dive and discover the story of Renee’s Coral Garden and why coral rehabilitation projects are important in the Maldives. On route to the coral nursery, snorkel the seagrass beds with your guide and discover their importance to the Maldives ecosystem.
Day 7 – Gulhi Island
Following an early breakfast, we take a short 20-minute ferry journey to the quiet island of Gulhi. Once you have checked in to your guesthouse, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the island. Learn how to repair a fishing net and weave a traditional joali seat. Visit the boatyard to stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation and learn how the common wooden boat known locally as a ‘dhoni’ is built. Chat with the ladies sweeping the streets and cool yourself off with a Kurumba (coconut) watching the comings and goings at the harbour. Ready for some mor relaxation? Unwind on the beach or get active with one of the numerous watersport activities available.
This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner in the peaceful courtyard of your guesthouse.
Day 8 – Return to Male for your onward journey
Following breakfast at the guesthouse, you are transferred back to Malé by ferry, arriving at Velana airport (MLE) by 10:00.
Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Maldives Tour - South Male Island Hopper
Departure Dates - Departs every first and third Sunday of the month throughout the year
GUARANTEED DEPARTURES - MAXIMUM 8 PEOPLE
Price - £995 per person
NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Included in the Maldives Tour - South Male Island Hopper
Not Included in the Maldives Tour - South Male Island Hopper
Government Travel Safety Advice
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry.
Visa and Passport Information
If entering Maldives as a UK tourist, you will be granted a 30-day visa upon arrival and your passport must be valid for a minimum of one month. However, if arriving by air, most airlines state that your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into the Maldives. Check with your transport provider before travelling. You should ensure your passport has no damage or you may be stopped by Immigration, who examine passports carefully.
The visa on arrival service continues as normal for all tourist arrivals.
Local Laws and Custom
Maldives has very strong anti-drugs laws. Importing or possessing drugs can carry severe penalties, including life imprisonment. Locals and police are likely to treat seriously the possession and consumption of alcohol, and being intoxicated, outside resorts.
Local laws reflect the fact that Maldives is an Islamic country. Violations of local laws may lead to a prison sentence. Public observance of any religion other than Islam is prohibited. You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times, including dressing conservatively and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas around Mosques.
You should be sensitive to local dress standards when on local islands or if staying on an island where the resort is not the exclusive property on the island – cover your shoulders and avoid short or tight-fitting shorts (men and women); when bathing, cover arms and upper legs. Nudism and topless sunbathing are not allowed anywhere, including on resort islands.
Same-sex relations are illegal and convicted offenders could face lengthy prison sentences and fines. It is an offence to import the following items into Maldives: explosives, weapons, firearms, ammunition, pornographic material, materials deemed contrary to Islam including ‘idols for worship’ and bibles, pork and pork products, and alcohol.
Alcoholic drinks are only available on resort islands. Do not take any alcohol away from a resort.
The export of tortoise shell and coral is forbidden.
What to bring on your Maldives South Male Island Hopper
Lightweight, casual, non-synthetic clothing (cotton and natural fibers are best) which appropriately cover the body, when in the company of the local communities. (Please understand local customs and religious requirements relating to dress codes. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it needs to be respectful.
The Maldives is a Muslim country and care needs to be taken in relation to the dress code on local islands. Whilst it is acceptable for men to wear T-Shirts and shorts or swim shorts; females should avoid causing offense by maintaining a more conservative approach to clothes by wearing T-Shirts with sleeves that cover the shoulder, loose shorts that cover the thigh, or sundresses with a sarong around shoulders. Whilst the islands we visit are more tolerant of guests wearing traditional beachwear, females should NOT wear bikinis and swimwear unless on an uninhabited island, picnic island, sandbank, screened off tourist bikini beach, dive boat, or resort island.
More recently the level of acceptance can vary from island to island and between the central atolls and those in the deep north or deep south. The key point to remember is to consider you are a guest in another country and dress not to cause offense.
Whilst the law restricts the wearing of bikinis on local islands, all guesthouses provide a private tourist sunbathing area on the beach or on the terrace of the guesthouse and your guide will advise when and where this is possible. It is common practice by both locals and visitors for females to swim from local public beaches wearing a t-shirt or rash guard and shorts or leggings. When visiting the home of a local family or when having access to mosques, shoulders and legs should be covered fully by both men and women out of respect of local customs
The ideal footwear would be sandals and flip-flops.
Luggage while on your tour
Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.
We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a reusable waterbottle. A power adapter for phones, laptops, etc. The Maldives uses mostly UK 3 pin style sockets. Hair straighteners and electric razors for those who still like to keep up appearances during their holiday. Hairdryers are available at all properties either per room or available from reception upon request.
Camera/Underwater camera – The Maldives above & below sea level are worth a few photos. For guests wishing to use a guesthouse or dive center underwater camera ensure you bring along a USB or memory card in order to transfer your memories.
Earplugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper or are on board a boat and want to avoid the sound of fellow passengers at close quarters.
The Maldives has a non-convertible currency – Maldivian Rufiyaa – this cannot be purchased beforehand. One Rufiyaa is 100 Laari and is available in 1000, 500, 100, 50, 20, 10, and 5 Rufiyaa notes. One US Dollar is equivalent to 15.42 Rufiyaa. The following international currencies can be changed easily to local currency at the airport on arrival: USD/GBP/Canadian Dollar/Euro/Danish Krone/Hong Kong Dollar/Japanese Yen/Norwegian Krone/Singapore Dollar/Swiss Franc/Swedish Krone.
It is not possible to exchange currency to USD only to MVR.
MVR can only be exchanged back to the original currency prior to your departure if you have a receipt for an arrival exchange from the airport Bank of Maldives exchange counter.
It is advised not to exchange currency in Male where bank queues are common and waiting time lengthy. The US Dollar is accepted as legal tender. All major credit cards can be used (and are preferred) at resorts, hotels, shops, etc. On local islands, it is usually only hotels, guesthouses, shops, and larger restaurants that accept credit cards, and cash is generally preferred. Small restaurants, cafes, and activity providers will generally request payment in cash. Most restaurants and shops will accept USD$ in payment providing a change in local currency.
While on the local islands, approximate prices are as follows:
Snack lunch – $5 to $10 / Evening meal in guesthouse or local restaurant – $10 to $25 / Tea / Coffee – $1 for Nescafe to $5 for barrister style coffee / Soft drinks – $1.50 / Water 1.5l – $0.50 / General excursions – from $25 per person – $100 per person / Watersports – from $10 per person for a 60-minute non-motorized rental.
You should expect prices in tourist hotels and on resort islands to be considerably more expensive than this. Be sure to check that 10% service charge and 12% GST have been included in the rates offered.
Weather in Maldives
With a tropical climate, plenty of sunshine, and temperatures around 30°C throughout the year, there is never a bad time to visit the Maldives. The Maldives has two distinct seasons; dry season (northeast monsoon) from January to March and the wet season (southwest monsoon) from mid-May to November. Wet however doesn’t mean rain all the time, it just means during this period we see more rain than during the dry season. This may be a daily heavy shower but it’s very rare to have days and days of rain in succession or even a full 24 hours. There is usually more wind during this period but this helps keep the temperature at a nice level and you can still expect plenty of blue skies and sunshine.
The rare thunderstorm in the Maldives (especially around the southwest monsoon months) can be a welcome respite from the sun. Cloudy skies and slate grey seas, and crashing thunder makes for lovely reading weather. The warm temperatures will allow you to go for a walk in the rain, a thoroughly enjoyable experience. For extra exhilaration, take a swim in the rain – the sea will be extra warm. There can be heavy rain showers pretty much any time of year, but they tend to be short and cannot be accurately predicted seasonally (in other words – don’t worry too much about them – you will quite possibly experience some rain showers, but the majority of the weather should be great, and you will be unlucky to get several consecutive days of heavy rain).
Like many places in the world today, the climate and weather pattern is changing and historical data is less reliable as an indication of what to expect in the here and now. Note as the Maldives is situated so close to the equator it is possible to burn even on a cloudy day and sunscreen should be applied as a matter of course.
Maldives Standard Time is GMT/UTC + 5 and during BST + 4. Note some resorts operate Island Time, which is 1 hour ahead of Maldives standard time. The Barefoot Eco Hotel is one of these properties.
Wi-Fi is available at all our guesthouses and in most cases it is free. However, as an island nation where cabling is along the sea bed and there is only one antenna per island you should not expect the signal strength and speed of internet access to be at the level you are accustomed to back home. Weather can at times also impact the quality of connection.