Guraidhoo is another compact island located only 32 kilometers away from the capital Male. Maafushi is 8 kilometers nearby. The size of Guraidhoo is only 700х500 while the population is about 1800 people.
Now the island is occupied by 10 guest houses and the new ones are being under construction. Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives is almost at a hand. The distance between them is only about 100 meters. However you’ll not be able to get there because of the security control.
Infrastructure of Guraidhoo
Guraidhoo is rather a developed island in comparison to Maafushi. Although during some time the situation will definitely change due to the construction. It is a tendency that most of the islands are no longer as spacious as they used to be. But on the time of publication you can feel a kind of freedom walking around the island.
You will find a hospital, a police station, rather a large stadium, a children’s playground and a school here. The main shopping area is in the central street which leads to the main jetty.
Moreover you may dine out in one of the three restaurants and try a local cuisine. I visited Amore — The island cafe. The prices are really very considerable there, ranging in between $5-8 per person. The service is fast and the atmosphere is very pleasant.
They said, Water Sport Center will be built not earlier than 2018.
The diving safari boat is under construction in a dry dock which is not far from the jetty. It seems like there’s still plenty of work there.
The only beach is situated in front of Kandooma Resort but it’s prohibited to bath in bikini there. You obviously can try to swim across to the resort provided that nobody could see you. But it’s actually a bad idea to build water bungalows so close to the local island. You will definitely not have privacy in this way.
The beach itself is very clean and well-maintained as well as the island. On the opposite side of the island you will find several places to watch the sunset. The one is situated close to the police office.
This island is conned by a footbridge with Guraidhoo. Between two islands the current is rather strong. On the island you can sunbath in bikini but the entrance to the water is rather uncomfortable because of the dead corrals. The house reef is rather far from the island so they organize pretty cheap snorkeling trips to reach it.
From the surf part of the picnic island I’ve even managed to see eagle rays! But the waves are really high so you will not be able to swim there.
However lots of surfers go on a trip to catch a wave here. The season usually starts from May and lasts till November.
As I’ve already mentioned before you can find a bunch of snorkeling spots around the island. You may combine your snorkeling trip together with a visit to a sandbank. That’s sad that they don’t arrange some excursions to the uninhabited island near Biyadhoo. Some time ago they were planning to build a resort there but now it’s just a private island.
The local guest houses as well as ones on Maafushi arrange different trips to such resorts as Biyadhoo, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Fun Island.
This island I would say is more picturesque than Maafushi and the atmosphere is more likable.
The public ferry transportation allows you to make a trip to Maafushi and Gulhi in the morning and come back after the lunch time.
As I mentioned before two dive centers are situated on the island. I’ve already dived in this area during Azalea Cruise trip.
Manta Divers is the center that organized my diving session. I dived together with a couple from Spain who came here only for this reason.
We planned to make our first dive near the Kandooma Inn but the cross underwater current made us to change our spot to another one near the picnic island. The diving was excellent. We’ve met plenty of sharks, shoals of fish and soft corals. Also we’ve seen several sting ray fish. And I should note the current was not so strong in this place.
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The second diving session was very close to Guraidhoo. The main purpose was to catch a sight of a frogfish. This is very small and rather elusive fish which is really very rare to this place. It’s so peculiar because it almost doesn’t float.
Apart from the frogfish we got to see stone fish, lion fish and an octopus. However we didn’t see any large creatures as the spot is located inside of the atoll.
The transfer to Guraidhoo
Transfer by a public ferry (daily):
The ferry departs from Male every day.
14:30 — direct transfer from Male to Guraidhoo
15:00 — it goes through Male – Gulhi – Mafushi – Guraidhoo
It returns from Guraidhoo at 7:00 the next morning. Note that it ferry doesn’t run on Fridays.
Transfer on a speedboat
Male – Guraidhoo. Daily at 12:30, 15:30 and 22:30 from jetty #6 in Male.
Guraidhoo – Male at 7:00, 14:30, 21:30
The price is $25 per person one way.
The transfer on a charter speedboat
This trip to Guraidhoo will take 35 minutes and it’ll cost you $350 (one way but you can share it). The trip on a speedboat should be booked beforehand but not less than in 3 days.