Thoddoo was the second island I visited during my time in the Maldives. It was recommended to me because of its close proximity to Ukulhas, and also because it’s known as the “Green” island, due to rich vegetation and fruit farming. In fact, most of the Maldives’ Papaya and Watermelon comes from this island. I was sold at Watermelon!
I arrived at Thoddoo on the local ferry from Ukulhas, that had one short stop off at neighbouring Rasdhoo before our final destination. The 1.5-hour ferry cost me a total of $2 and I was the only foreigner aboard which was definitely a unique experience.
Thoddoo can also be reached by ferry from Male city. Boats can be booked through the guesthouse.
Local boat | 4 hours | $20USD one way
Speedboat | 1 hour | $35USD one way
Arriving in Thoddoo I felt the same relaxed island vibe that I had felt in Huraa and Ukulhas, but there was something more. I was instantly drawn to this island, it’s tall palm trees, sleepy village, and turquoise waters. Then, even more so when I arrived at the guesthouse.
Where to stay:
Veli Thoddoo Inn is one of the locally run guesthouses on the island, and this tropical, leafy guesthouse instantaneously felt like home. Surrounded by a lovely garden, with fruit trees located all around I was quick to settle in. Azmy, the owner, showed me the exterior and even picked me a welcome passionfruit straight from the vines in the backyard. As you know, it’s the little gestures that always stand out the most and Azmy’s hospitality would be a standout for me on my whole travels through these islands.
Get $20AUD off Veli Thoddoo Inn when you book and stay using this link https://www.booking.com/s/11_6/7438bbf8
Azmy has been working closely with the community here to create a haven for tourists from all over the world. He and a friend started to revive the eastern beach so that tourists would be able to enjoy that side of the island, as there is currently only one tourist beach in use. You really feel the sense of pride they have in their island, to take the time to develop and beautify the beach. I speak with Azmy about community-based tourism here and he informs me that 90% of the guesthouses are all locally run meaning that nearly all of the tourism money stays on the island, an important factor when it comes to responsible tourism.
We talk about the rich history of Thoddoo, and how music plays a large role in the community here. During the high season, musicians will take to the streets and guests are invited to dance the traditional Maldivian drum rhythms into the hours of the morning.
What to do:
My stay here becomes a time to relax, catch up on some writing and enjoy the beach and reef. Did I mention that Thoddoo had the most beautiful coloured ocean I had ever seen? It was naturally turquoise caused by the reflection of the undisturbed white sand seabed. The pictures speak for themselves.
The in-house reef was also the best I had seen in the Maldives. No one can say how the reef has remained so intact, nearly completely unaffected by coral bleaching and home to an abundance of marine life, including turtles and moray eels. I had the chance to snorkel with these friendly creatures, who come to the reef for food during the early afternoons.
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One of the other things I loved about Thoddoo were the palm trees and sandy roads. Bicycles are available to rent and guests can ride through the watermelon and papaya plantations, through the local village and back down to the entrance to the beach. It’s a great way to explore the island, and while everything is accessible my foot, riding can be much more convenient.
Bicycle hire is available from Coco Guesthouse for $5 a day
Where to eat:
Like Ukulhas, there aren’t too many restaurants to choose from but enough to enjoy either local or international cuisine. One of my highlights was Black Anchor. A slight change from seafood, I indulged in some of the best pasta I have had anywhere in the world. I always seem to find things in the strangest places, like the time I had the best chocolate mud cake in India, or the best hotdog in France.
There are also a few other local restaurants located within a convenient walking distance to the guesthouses and all are reasonably priced.
I would recommend a 3-day stay here, more if you want to soak up some of the most amazing local waters and beaches in the Maldives, and if you really want to “slow down”. Azmy and the team at Veli Thoddoo Inn will surely make your stay a memorable one.
Veli Thoddoo Inn: $35USD per night
Ferry Transfer: $70USD return
Meals: Average $10 per meal including drink
Bicycle Hire: $5 per day
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