When it comes to planning a trip to the Maldives, most people think of luxurious overwater bungalows, crystal-clear waters, and white sandy beaches. However, there’s more to the Maldives than just the popular tourist spots. One such hidden gem is Gulhi Island, a charming little island that offers a unique and authentic Maldivian experience. In this guide, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about Gulhi Island, from its stunning beaches to its local culture and traditions.
Getting to Gulhi Island
Located in the South Male Atoll, Gulhi Island is easily accessible from Male, the capital of the Maldives. Visitors can take a 45-minute ferry ride from Male to reach this picturesque island. The journey itself is a delightful experience, as you sail through the turquoise waters and catch glimpses of other nearby islands.
Where to Stay
While Gulhi Island is relatively small, it offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. From cozy guesthouses to boutique hotels, you’ll find plenty of choices for a comfortable stay on the island. The best part is that most accommodations are just a stone’s throw away from the beach, allowing you to wake up to the soothing sound of the ocean waves.
Things to Do
One of the main highlights of Gulhi Island is its pristine beaches. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swim, or simply take a leisurely stroll, the island’s beaches are perfect for relaxation. You can also try your hand at various water sports, such as snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. The vibrant marine life and coral reefs around Gulhi Island are a paradise for underwater enthusiasts.
Eat Like a Local
Exploring the local cuisine is an essential part of any travel experience, and Gulhi Island won’t disappoint you in this regard. From fresh seafood to traditional Maldivian dishes, the island’s eateries offer a delectable array of food. Don’t forget to try the local favorite, mas huni, a flavorful mix of shredded smoked fish, coconut, and spices, typically enjoyed with freshly baked roshi (flatbread).
Immerse in Local Culture
Gulhi Island provides a glimpse into the authentic Maldivian way of life. The friendly locals are always warm and welcoming, eager to share their traditions and customs with visitors. You can visit the island’s mosque, where you can observe the daily prayers and learn about the religious practices of the community. Additionally, taking part in a traditional Bodu Beru (big drum) performance is a must for a cultural immersion experience.
As you can see, Gulhi Island is a true hidden gem in the Maldives, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, local culture, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful beach getaway or a chance to explore the authentic side of the Maldives, Gulhi Island has something to offer for every traveler. So, the next time you plan a trip to the Maldives, consider escaping to this idyllic island and uncovering its many treasures.
Q: Is Gulhi Island suitable for families with children?
A: Yes, Gulhi Island is family-friendly and offers a safe and enjoyable environment for families with children. The calm beaches and various water activities make it an ideal destination for a memorable family vacation.
Q: What is the best time of year to visit Gulhi Island?
A: The best time to visit Gulhi Island is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this period, the weather is ideal for outdoor activities, and the sea is calm and clear for snorkeling and diving.
Q: Are there any cultural etiquettes visitors should be aware of while on Gulhi Island?
A: Visitors are encouraged to dress modestly, especially when visiting the local communities and places of worship. It is also respectful to ask for permission before taking photographs of the locals.
Q: Is there a need to exchange currency on Gulhi Island?
A: While most businesses on the island accept major currencies such as US dollars and Euros, it is advisable to carry Maldivian Rufiyaa for small purchases and transactions. Currency exchange facilities are available in Male.
Q: What is the nightlife like on Gulhi Island?
A: Gulhi Island is a tranquil destination, and the nightlife is relatively low-key. You can enjoy a peaceful evening by the beach or indulge in a laid-back dinner at the local restaurants. For those seeking a livelier nightlife scene, nearby islands offer more options for entertainment.