If you love the Robinson-Crusoe-feeling and you like to have a secluded local island nearly all by yourself without masses of tourists, check out Huraa Island on Kaafu Atoll. It is only 850 meters long and 300 meters wide, but this is what makes it the ideal location to calm down and relax. The atmosphere is very peaceful and laid back. About 1.000 local Maldivians live there, most of them are fishermen or work in the tourism industry. You will hardly see any cars, most people walk or take a motorbike, and flipflops are the only shoes needed. These facts make Huraa the ideal island to enjoy the silence and relax from everyday life.
With a distance of only 21 km, Huraa Island is easily accessible from Malé and Velana International Airport, the main international airport in the Maldives. From there, you can take a private speedboat transfer which is bookable with your hotel or guesthouse. Alternatively, you can take a regular speedboat or the local ferry from Malé. The ferry is by far the cheapest option but also the slowest. It only operates once or twice a day, except for Fridays. The ferry is not only used for transporting people but also all kinds of goods like food, as well as things such as refrigerators and everything local people might need to bring home to their island. It is the perfect opportunity to immerse into the local culture and daily life. The speedboat is faster and operates every few hours, but it is also a bit more expensive.
Once you arrive on Huraa Island, you will most likely be picked up from the harbor by the host of your guesthouse. Since the government of the Maldives made it possible for locals to open their own guesthouses, plenty of these accommodations are available for tourists. All of them are similar, they offer a small number of simple but clean rooms. Continental or Maldivian breakfast is included, you should definitely try the famous tuna salad. Most often, the guesthouses also offer free rent of snorkelling equipment and bath towels. Also, excursions like snorkelling, fishing or private BBQ can be booked by guesthouses. For travellers preferring more luxury, there is even a 4-star hotel with a spa area and a private beach.
Although Huraa Island is quite small, there is a variety of different options for dining. If you want to save money and taste local cuisine, just order lunch or dinner in your guesthouse. The meals are basic and mostly rice or noodles with different fish, but they taste very delicious and are rather cheap. A nice restaurant with high-quality food and a laid back atmosphere is 'The Harbor'. The place allows you to relax under a palm tree while watching the boats at the small harbor nearby. For alcohol-free cocktails (alcohol is forbidden on local islands), visit the 'Blue Terrace Restaurant'. It offers the most beautiful view of the sunset and also a good variety of local and international dishes. For a short coffee break, the 'Caffeine Hub' is a cute little place offering milkshakes, juices and coffee in a relaxed atmosphere.
Huraa Island offers everything you need for a relaxing holiday. Bikini Beach, the only place on the island where tourists are allowed to wear short swimwear only, is just some minutes away from most guesthouses and provides some free sunbeds and parasols. The highlights are the fine white sand on the beach and the beautiful colour of the water. The beach, just as the whole island, is very tranquil with hardly any other tourists. The main attraction is the house reef just next to the shore with some corals and fish – if you are lucky you can also spot some small reef sharks and stingrays. Bikini Beach is located very close to the neighbouring island, a 4-star resort with typical overwater-bungalows. If you have the desire to visit this paradise only some 100 metres away and maybe enjoy some alcoholic cocktails, you can book a day trip with your guesthouse and spend a day at the resort. After a day on the beach, there is a small shopping street that invites tourists to buy souvenirs, but there are also some stores where you can buy food, drinks and other helpful things like towels, snorkelling equipment and sunscreen.
With charming guesthouses, nice restaurants and proximity to the international airport of the Maldives, Huraa Island is the perfect location for a relaxing getaway from everyday life. With a paradisiac beach and snorkelling options nearby, the island offers everything you can think of for an exciting vacation in a calm environment. No matter if you choose to stay two weeks or just a few days after an exciting tour through Asia, Huraa Island allows you to enjoy the silence and find your inner peace without ever getting bored.
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