Thoddoo Island Maldives – Travel Guide & 9 Best Things

Thoddoo Island Aerial View

Picking a Maldivian island can be tricky, as there are hundreds to choose from, and many may seem similar. However, it’s incredible how each island is unique.

Thoddoo Island not only has the whitest beaches and clearest waters among the local Maldivian islands we’ve visited but also stands out as the greenest, covered by fruit plantations and palm forests.

This is a comprehensive Thoddoo travel guide with everything you need to know, from how to get there, where to stay, and what to do.

3 Islands 3 Hotels

Koimala Beach Hotel Room

GENERAL

Where is Thoddoo located?

Thoddoo Island is located 20 km north of Rasdhoo Island and 70 km from Male. While it is administratively part of the North Ari Atoll, geographically, it does not belong to any specific atoll.

Thoddoo Island on Map

Thoddoo Island Map, Maldives

Best Time to visit Thoddoo

The best time to visit Thoddoo Island in the Maldives is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During these months, you can expect clear skies and no rain, perfect for enjoying the island’s beaches and water activities.

However, if you’re looking for fewer tourists, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of November and May. There might be some rainfall, but the weather is usually still pleasant.

How Long to stay in Thoddoo?

The time you spend on Thoddoo Island depends on your travel pace and which other Maldives islands you plan to visit. We suggest staying for 4-5 days to explore the island, enjoy its beaches, snorkel around, and join a tour. 

If you’re short on time, a 2-3 day visit works, especially if you’re coming from a nearby island with a quick transfer. But if you want to explore several nearby islands and take day trips from this island, consider staying for at least 1 week. 

If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to take a day trip to Thoddoo, the answer is yes. However, you won’t be able to experience all that this island has to offer; you’ll need to make choices.

Thoddoo Island Beach View
Niki on Thoddoo Beach Tree

Best Hotels in Thoddoo

Budget ($): Karaa Village

Mid Range ($$): Ari heaven Thoddoo

Luxury ($$$): Relax Villa

TRANSPORT & PREP

How to Get to Thoddoo?

The nearest airport to this island is the international Male Airport.

From there, you can transfer to Thoddoo Island via a speedboat or the public ferry.

Male - Thoddoo SPEEDBOAT

Tourist speedboats depart from the Male Airport Jetty once or twice a day. The journey takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours and costs between 35 to 40 USD per person each way. When we visited in 2023, departure times from Male to Thoddoo were at 11:00 and 16:00, and from Thoddoo to Male at 07:00 and 13:00.

We recommend booking the speedboat online through 12Go.

Male - Thoddoo PUBLIC FERRY

There’s also a public ferry service operated by MTTC (Maldives Transport and Contracting Company), taking 7-8 hours from Male to Thoddoo, and costing around 4 USD. This ferry departed in 2023 from Malé at 09:00 every Monday and Thursday and from Thoddoo at 6:30 every Sunday and Wednesday.

The ferry from Male to Thoddoo first stops at Rasdhoo, then at Ukulhas, and again at Rasdhoo before reaching Thoddoo, making the journey quite long. That’s why we highly recommend that anyone wanting to take the cheap local ferry should consider visiting Rasdhoo first during their trip to the Maldives.

Rasdhoo is only 3 hours away from Male, and later, you can take the ferry directly from Rasdhoo to Thoddoo, which only takes 1 hour. This way, you’ll travel on a budget and save time compared to going directly to Thoddoo Island.

The Maldivian local ferries are frequently delayed and can even be canceled last minute, which is exactly what happened to us. If your ferry gets canceled in Male at 9 in the morning, simply take the 5-minute ferry back to the Male Airport Jetty and opt for the speedboat to Thoddoo. Don’t worry; we think you will be luckier, and if not, we just told you what to do.

Thoddoo to Male Ferry Timetable
public ferry time table (april 2023)

Arriving in Thoddoo

Thoddoo is larger than most of the local islands; it is 2 km long and 1 km wide, making it big enough for one to get a little lost. This island has a hospital, a school, a gym, a football field, supermarkets, diving centers, and mosques.

Islamic Customs

On Thoddoo, being a local Maldivian island, it’s important to respect Islamic customs. This means no alcohol is allowed, and it’s important to dress conservatively when walking around. Swimwear is only permitted at designated bikini beaches.

Money

Our recommendation is to bring cash to the Maldives, either in euros or USD, and exchange it for MVR in Male at unofficial exchange offices. They typically offer the best rates due to a black market. However, if needed, there is one ATM on Thoddoo island, located next to the ferry port and operated by the Bank of Maldives. 

Pick-Up

Inform your guesthouse about your arrival details. They often arrange to pick you up in a cart, but if you need to walk, don’t worry; it’s usually just a short distance. Remember to download offline Google Maps to easily find your way to your accommodation.

How to Get Around in Thoddoo?

One of the reasons we loved the Maldivian islands so much is their walkability. Thoddoo Island, though larger than other local islands, still allows you to explore on foot. Expect to cover longer distances, such as a 10 to 20-minute walk to the beach.

To fully explore the entire island on foot will require some time. That’s why many tourists on this island choose to rent a bike from their guesthouse for 5 USD a day, opting for more comfort and convenience. Locals, on the other hand, tend to use scooters to get around.

Thoddoo Island Serenity

SLEEP & FOOD

Where to Stay in Thoddoo?

Accommodation prices in Thoddoo Island start at 50 USD. We suggest staying in the village where most hotels and restaurants are situated and considering walking or cycling to the beach. We personally loved staying at Karaa Village.

BUDGET TIP: Guesthouses and hotels in the Maldives typically offer breakfast included in the room price, providing a great opportunity to save money.

While you may find hotels located closer to the beach, there are no options directly on the beaches due to local laws prohibiting construction on these lands, which are used for plantations. Locals prefer to preserve their land and avoid construction, and we hope it remains that way.

Where to Eat in Thoddoo?

Here are some restaurant recommendations in Thoddoo from us.

MUST-DOS

9 Best Things to Do in Thoddoo

Here are the 9 best activities, sightseeing, and excursion options in Thoddoo.

1. Bikini Beaches

Bikini Beach Palmtree Swing
Thoddoo Island Beach Aerial

Visit the breathtaking Thoddoo bikini beaches, some of the best we have seen in the Maldives. There are two tourist bikini beaches on opposite sides of the island.

The closer one in the northeast is smaller and less crowded. In the west, the bikini beach is busier, with more infrastructure, and is perfect for sunsets. Both have trees providing shade and some sunbeds/hammocks.

The boundaries of the bikini beach are marked by a fence made of dry palm leaves. Remember, swimwear can only be worn inside the designated bikini beach area.

2. Snorkeling

Thoddoo Island Sea Turtle
Thoddoo Island Triggerfish Pair

Try snorkeling at the Thoddoo house reef, especially at Thoddoo Snorkeling Point, where you’ll encounter many sea turtles.

3. Vaau Magu

Thoddoo Island Palmtree Road
Aerial View of Thoddoo Palmtree Road

Capture breathtaking pictures on the beautiful palm-tree-lined road.

4. Fruits plantations

Thoddoo Island Drone View
Thoddoo Island Aerial View

Thoddoo Island is where fruits and vegetables for the entire Maldives are grown and is especially known for its sweet watermelons. Walk around the farms to immerse yourself in local agriculture and observe locals working in the fields. 

Many workers from other countries, such as Pakistan, come here to work on the Maldivian farms in Thoddoo. Foods like papayas, watermelons, bananas, coconuts, lettuce, cucumbers, and pumpkins are grown here.

5. Magical sunsets

Sunset Over Sea Horizon
Bats at Maldives Sunset

Head to Sunset Beach before dark; there are swings perfect for enjoying the sunset and capturing beautiful pictures. You might also see flying foxes overhead, returning to the island from a neighboring one.

6. Explore the Island

Footprints on Thoddoo Beach
Thoddoo Island Beach Lizard

Experience the real Maldivian life by walking around the calm village. The coastline offers long stretches of pristine, white sandy beaches, perfect for a secluded experience if you venture out. You will see the locals sitting in traditional rope chairs called joali. Remember to stick to designated beaches if wearing swimwear.

7. Sandbanks

Rasdhoo Sandbank, Maldives

Visit the sandbank and picnic island near Rasdhoo. Here, bikinis are allowed. Bring enough food, drinks, and sun protection for a pleasant time. You can arrange a tour or save this for your visit to Rasdhoo itself.

8. Manta Rays

Encounter manta rays at a cleaning station near Thoddoo. Snorkeling is an option, but diving is usually better, as mantas prefer deeper waters.

9. Island Hopping

Maldives Local Ferry
Thoddoo Island Beach Scenery

Visit other local islands like Rasdhoo or Ukulhas via the local ferry or speedboat for a day trip or longer.

PACKING, tips & costs

Packing, Tips & Prices for Thoddoo

In our ultimate Maldives Itinerary Guide, we have four important lists for you that will make your trip to the Maldives even better:

Places near Thoddoo

After visiting Thoddoo Island, we highly recommend exploring Rasdhoo Island and Ukulhas Island. You can reach both islands via a local ferry, which takes around 1-2 hours and costs approximately 1-2 USD per way per person. If you plan to visit Ukulhas, you will need to transit through Rasdhoo Island.

Conclusion

Thoddoo Island Beach Boat

Thoddoo Island is the perfect island in the Maldives if you’re looking for white sandy beaches, clear waters, snorkeling with turtles, palm tree forests, and fruit plantations.

Feel free to share your questions or experiences about this island in the comments below!

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