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Community & Conservation in Paradise

The Maldives has earned a reputation as the ultimate secluded island paradise, and many of the country’s high-end resorts deliver the very top levels of luxury, but away from the tourist-centred glitz, the archipelago has a diversity of vibrant local communities and conservation initiatives that most visitors never get to see. Stay in resorts on locally-lived-on islands to experience a proper taste of daily Maldives life.

Discover how sustainability and conservation is deeply interwoven into life on each island, creating an example of practical environmental responsibility for the rest of the world to follow. Immerse yourself in ordinary island life, wandering through gently bustling towns and villages, tasting delicious local specialities, soaking up the atmosphere at quayside cafes and glimpsing a deeper layer to this island idyll.

Explore Goidhoo Atoll

Whenever the Maldives are mentioned, images of white sandy beaches fringed with swaying palm trees instantly spring to mind; an ideal place for some rest and relaxation, with a spot of world-class snorkelling and diving to boot. But away from the serene beaches lies the heart of the Maldives, full of culture, tradition and community spirit. Uncover the tranquil beauty of the Goidhoo Atoll, which remains relatively off the tourist radar, and immerse yourself in the rich culture and sustainability endeavours of three local islands, gaining a deeper understanding into their unique way of life through their traditional cuisine and community-driven initiatives. Combine the islands’ beauty and tranquillity with their intricate tapestry of Maldivian culture.

Malé, Hulhumale & Villimale

Explore the small island of Villimale to discover the quieter side of city life. Wander along streets lined with their pastel-hued houses, learn about the impact of development on the surrounding coral reefs and the challenges faced by this island nation in balancing progress with conservation. Learn about the conservation efforts of Save the Beach, an inspiring NGO working to maintain the Maldives aquatic ecosystems. The project monitors nearby reefs, organises beach cleans and boosts local engagement through education programs.

The area of Hulhumale, nestled in the North Malé Atoll. is just a 10-minute taxi ride from Malé Airport. Reclaimed from the sea, this artificial island offers an appealing alternative to the hustle and bustle of Malé city, and serves as the perfect gateway to start or end your Maldives trip. Discover an array of cafes, restaurants, and a characterful shopping district, along with a stretch of sandy beach for a leisurely swim. Explore nearby Malé city, learn the stories of Hukuru Miskiy - The Friday Mosque - take in the sights, sounds and smells at busy markets and learn the story of this unusual capital city.

Goidhoo Island

An island rich in culture, Goidhoo Island blends ancient mosques with mangrove-laden lakes, pristine beaches and a flourishing agricultural industry, defying conventional expectations of a typical Maldivian island.

Kayak through Goidhoo Island’s mangroves, learning about the intricacies of this unique ecosystem from your guide. See the delicate balance between the mangroves, the marine environment, and the local community in action, and how each plays a vital role in conserving the entire ecosystem.

Immerse yourself in island life, swim amongst coral reefs brimming with sea creatures, and glimpse a traditional Maldivian way of life. Between explorations, make sure you stop to sample hedika, an afternoon tea tradition available in many local cafes between 3pm and 5pm where an array of bite-sized savoury and sweet treats are served alongside black tea.

Fehendhoo Island

Fehendhoo Island, a hidden gem in the heart of Baa Atoll, is home to just 150 residents who all reside within its charming village. Beyond this close-knit community lies a lush tapestry of tropical jungles surrounded by pristine aquamarine waters and vibrant coral reefs, where exotic schools of fish swim beneath the waves. Given its modest populace, the island boasts minimal infrastructure, graced only by a handful of local shops and a cosy cafe. There are plenty of beautiful beaches inviting you to bask in the sun's warmth or seek a shady spot beneath the palms. Head out for a guided snorkelling tour through crystal clear waters and coral reefs to watch colourful fish and perhaps a few larger sea mammals too - keep your eyes peeled for turtles, sharks and rays.

Fulhadhoo Island

Fulhadhoo is graced with a stunning beach that has earned a coveted place among the top 25 beaches worldwide - a true slice of heaven on Earth. Encircled by the turquoise ocean, this island is a picture perfect paradise. Visit Fulhadhoo’s coral nursery to learn about the coral rehabilitation projects operating here and participate in an island clean, contributing to the protection of this fragile environment.

Fulhadhoo’s village, home to a community of 250 residents, rests on the island’s eastern edge and is home to the Women’s Development Committee (WDC). This NGO plays an important role in mobilising local women, providing an avenue for women to network, collaborate and implement initiatives for community development. Under the ladies’ watchful eyes, you will prepare breakfast, learning how to make mashuni (a typical Maldivian breakfast dish comprising of tuna, onion, coconut, and chilli) and roshi (flatbread). Sit down together and share a meal as you learn about their community initiatives and lives on this gorgeous island.

A note on cost…

The guide price of £1,990US$2,490 is a per person price (not including international flights) staying 1 night in Hulhumale, 2 nights on Goidhoo Island, 1 night on Fehendhoo Island, and 3 nights on Fulhadhoo Island - all in our favourite mid-range hotels.

How yours looks is up to you, our tailor-made specialists work with you to create your perfect journey.

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