Thoddoo Island is located 67 km west of Male and also 20 km away from Rasdhoo Island. Thoddoo is about 2 km in length and 1 km in width. One-third of the total area is agricultural, another third is the village itself, and the rest of the island is jungle. The island’s population is about 1,400 people. The first thing that catches your eye is a huge amount of trees and green plants, and also white sand on the beach.
Thoddoo is a famous island because of the beach area. A tourist beach is located in the western part of the island. It’ll take you 15 minutes to get there (if you go from the neighboring guest house). You just need to go through the plantations of various fruits. In this case, the bicycle is an excellent option. Nowadays almost every guest house offers a bicycle (and if you ride well on a scooter and live in the Thoddoo Retreat, then manager Adam can give you to take a small ride).
The borders of bikini beach are marked by small fences. The beach is very clean and well-maintained. The length is a bit more than 100 m. During the peak season the beach is really overcrowded. Therefore, there are not enough sun loungers and hammock (in comparison to Ukulhas, where there are many of them).
The island has a great popularity among the guests from CIS countries. In 200 m from the shore there are floating buoys in the water, which mark the boundaries of the area, free of motorboats. Like in other islands, the bikini is allowed only on a tourist beach.
Thick bushes grow along the coast, and numerous pathways take you to the ocean. However, there is only one way that can lead you to the bikini beach. The sand itself is fine; there are absolutely no glass or dead coral on it, so you can safely walk there.
There are several hammocks under trees for you to have a rest.
The water is fairly clean and practically free of litter.
Thoddoo house reef is rather big and extended. However, there are not so many snorkeling points. A reef is located rather close to the bikini beach, near to one of the borders marked by buoys. But there are only a few types of corals and several fish species. Somebody can be satisfied with it, but a truly magnificent reef with lots of small fish (and even with rays and sharks) is located far from the coast.
A sand bank that is seen from the beach is a landmark. It’s not the edge of the reef, so the current there is not so strong. But to get there, you should be good at swimming and use fins. I swam without them, but it took me much time. Firstly, I just was not able to swim more quickly. Secondly, you’re to swim all the time approximately 300 meters, because the depth is about 2-2,5 meters.
But in the reef area you can easily stand, it’s shallow there. And don’t swim alone, just in case. There might be a strong current.
Sometimes it’s possible to see glowing plankton
It was mentioned that island is rather big, and going sightseeing on foot in hot weather may take much time. That’s why a good and budget option is hiring a bike. In the morning or in the evening you can go round the island and see all the sights of it outside the tourist beach.
This type of activity can be organized by yourself – just find a local guy, who will show you the plantation, or you can order a tour in your guest house. You’ll also be provided with a fruits basket.
Thoddoo is one of a few islands in Maldives that exports fruit and vegetables to other islands. There grow papayas, watermelons, bananas, coconuts, etc. If you want to pick fruit from a tree, you’d better get permission from the locals.
Cafes and restaurants
There are only 4 cafes on the island (one is near the harbor (for locals); another is near the football ground (with rather high prices); the other is not far from the mobile tower (with local colour and reasonable prices). And the last one is on the way to bikini beach.
Thoddoo food, like that of other local islands, is not very diverse. There you can try rice, tuna, fried chicken, pasta, tuna soup with coconut milk, pancakes with tuna and coconut, casserole with tuna and rice, various tuna pasties. And, of course, a variety of fresh juices are available. The average dinner cost for two is about $10-15.
There are only 2 diving centres on the island. Apart from diving, they offer snorkeling with manta rays, water skiing, parasailing, wet-biking, etc. At least there is some competition between activities.
And, of course, you’re free to go fishing any time you wish.
All the things needed can be found on the island; there is a hospital, a school, a kindergarten, a gym and a football ground. There are two large mosques, one of which is being built by a Maldivian rich guy, an owner of the resort chain, for quite a long time.
On Thoddoo, like on any local island, people go swimming in the morning (till 12.00), then they eat, rest or sleep till 16.00, and after 16.00 and till sunset they go swimming again. By the way, don’t forget to take sunscreen (at least SPF30).
Animal life of Thoddoo, like that of any local island, is not very diverse. Ashore there are a lot of crabs and hermit crabs of all sizes. On the beach herons can be found. When it gets dark, you can see huge flying foxes sweeping over your head. They are not dangerous for human, and they eat fruit. Speaking about reptiles, there are small iguanas and geckos.
And, of course, on Thoddoo (depending on the season) there are a lot of mosquitoes. So make sure that you’ve taken mosquito repellents with you. Most of the mosquitoes are found near plantations, and not everywhere, but only in some areas.
Transfer To Thoddoo
Cost: $15 one way, per person (the travelling time is about 5 hours).
Departure from Male: every day at midnight (except Thursdays and Fridays).
Departure from Thoddoo: every day at midnight (except Thursdays and Fridays).
NOTE: as its private ferry it can go earlier or be canceled.
Cost: $35 one way, per person (the traveling time is approximately 1 hour).
It’s available every day, except of Friday
Departure from Male to Thoddoo: at 11:00 and 16:00.
Departure from Thoddoo to Male: 07.00.