Hanimaadhoo island is one the biggest islands in Maldives. Its length is approximately 7 km! And it is ‘just’ 750 m wide. On one of the sides of this wonderful island a white beach is located, which is ideal for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking. In fact, the whole side is one beautiful beach. Great, isn’t it?
It is on this side where a lagoon with a stunning home reef is located. The underwater world there can boast of a great variety of species.
The other side of the island is scattered with pieces of corals and shells. The edge of the reef is situated there, that’s why you should be careful when walking there, because you can hurt yourself.
The only minus of this Maldivian paradise is a distance to Male. It’s approximately 300 km. So the only type of transfer available there is a domestic flight. But this remoteness can be made up for by the island’s nature, true solitude, and magnificent views.
Apart from the international airport, there is a village on the island that takes up about one third of the island. The island’s population is 2 thousand people. There is a hospital, a school, a mosque, a post-office, and a police station – in fact, they can be found on any inhabited island.
At the northern end of the island a climate observatory is located. The data provided by the observatory is used not only for weather forecast, but also for monitoring climate changes in the region. This issue is very important in Maldives, because seal level is rising, and soon (in 50 years or so) the majority of Maldivian islands can disappear under water…
In recent years more and more people are moving to Hanimaadhoo from Hathifushi and Hondaidhoo. It is planned that this island will soon become an important tourist center of the northern province of Maldives.
There are only 2 guest houses and an eco hotel on the island. I’ll tell you about the in more detail, because it has a very unique concept.
So, The Barefoot Eco Hotel is not just another simple hotel on a wonderful inhabited island. It is an important eco center of the island. Their primary target is to preserve Hanimadhoo nature with the help of tourists. Apart from using renewable energy resources (solar panels are installed there), they also try to use easy-processing materials.
Besides, they engage in implementing an eco programme, and tourists are also encouraged to participate in it. They help to monitor coral reefs, dolphins’ activity during diving, snorkeling. Read more about their programs here.
A good idea, if you ask me. They should launch such programs on every island to preserve Maldivian beauty.
I’d also like to mention that the hotel has its own floating bar (!), where you can be taken by boat.
But I should say that the cost of staying there starts from $190 per night without taxes, and it is really a fly in the ointment. Besides, judging by reviews, this is the only decent place where you can stay on the island. I hope the situation will change soon.
Activities in Hanimaadhoo
We know already that the island is located far from Male. Does it make sense to go there?
It depends on your objectives. If the only thing you want is solitude and Maldivian beauty to enjoy, then this island is definitely what you need.
A long beach, turquoise water, lots of green plants and practically no tourists – this is what you can find on the island.
Besides, the following activities are available there:
- snorkeling (day and night) from the boat;
- dolphin watching;
- cycling and walking around the island;
- kayaking (a great opportunity to admire the whole island);
- manta ray watching;
- fishing (night and morning);
- excursions to the neighboring inhabited and uninhabited islands and resorts.
There are several local islands near Hanimadhoo, where you can get by local ferry.
Transfer to Hanimaadhoo
Because of its remoteness from Male the only kind of transfer to the island is a domestic flight (not by seaplane).