Out of the 1200 or so Maldives islands only 200 are inhabited. Most of the population lives in Male, the capital, but there are small village islands, local islands, scattered throughout the country. With the combination of interesting villages, tropical weather, sun-soaked sparkling beaches, some really exciting water sports and plenty of unique marine life, it’s undeniable that Maldives is an ideal place for holidaying.
Local Villages Guraidhoo
The Maldives village of Guraidhoo is located in South Male Atoll and is just 2 hours by a local ferry from Male.It’s a great place for a quiet and peaceful getaway.
Guraidhoo is a typical Maldives village with 2,300 inhabitants, of Muslim faith, whose main occupation is fishing and boat building. Palm trees and sandy roads lead you through the village. It generally takes 30 minutes to take a walk around the village. A Maldivian local can act as a guide to take you around and talk about some of the history and points of interest.Tourism in this village island is developing and you will find souvenir and small shops, a pharmacy, café/restaurants and schools. You’ll see local Maldives people building fishing boats or dhonis at local shipyards and shop owners may try to entice you into checking out their shops. Just let them know you’re staying on the island and you’ll have lots of chances for that later… you’re basically a local! They’re used to resort tourists that stop on short outings and who have cash to spend so if you’re staying on the island just assure them you’re not one of the regular tourists.
Guraidhoo rarely experiences temperature below 25 degrees C and this will be a refreshing change from the hot sunny days. The local climate is mostly influenced by the southwest monsoon and the northwest monsoon that brings in severe rains in June and July. The village offers some good snorkelling, surfing and diving spots in South Male Atoll.
The Life and Culture of Maldives People
Maldives is home to many communities and the local flavour can be felt easily during festivals with native folk music, dance and other performances. It is believed that the first people of Maldives came from Sri Lanka and southern part of India and others believed that the Aryans sailed here and established their settlement. Excavations have revealed that Buddhism and Hinduism prevailed in earlier times.
Islam is now the major religion with a large portion of the population following the religion. For example you’ll find on Guraidoo that Fridays are a day that revolves around going to the mosque. In the morning and throughout the day you’ll hear the prayer calls. Depending on how you sleep you might like to bring earplugs for the early morning.
Maldives people speak Dhivehi, a language originated from Sanskrit but a huge population also speaks and understands English, especially those who are in regular contact with tourists. In the Maldives village of Guraidhoo this is also true.People in the country live in communities where they are familiar with everyone and living like extended families with their neighbours.Traditional gender roles are generally followed here where men go out to work and women take care of the homes, cooking and the children.
Our guest houses are located in real Maldives villages