Thoddoo island: a paradise island for fruit lovers

We spent 10 days in the Maldives in November 2014 on Thoddoo island.

Since 2009, the Maldivian government dropped the ban from allowing local islands to operate guesthouses, therefore breaking the monopoly enjoyed by millionaire resort owners and bringing tourist dollars into the rural economy.

This has made budget travelling to the Maldives accessible for backpackers like us.

Our 'getting ready for the Maldives!' selfie
We were very excited to finally enjoy our dream holiday in the Maldives

Staying on a guesthouse on one of the local islands is a cost effective alternative to staying in the more expensive resorts which charge upwards of thousands of dollars a night.

We paid $65 (£42) a night for a room at Serene Sky Guesthouse and just loved it.

Where is Thoddoo island ?

Thoddoo island is located 67km from the capital city of Male, reachable by public overnight ferry. It is an oval shaped island, 1km across with around 1,400 inhabitants.

The streets of Thoddoo island

One of the great things of staying on a local Island in the Maldives is that you get to live with the locals and learn about the Maldivian way of life.  The people are quite shy towards foreigners but once we get to know them we found them to be really kind hearted people.

Our tuna BBQ with Nassir
Nassir worked at Serene Sky Guesthouse and was one of the nicest and obliging people we'd met

We also found them to be very honest, not trying to rip you off: unlike in India, we were never made to feel like a walking ATM cash cow.

The streets of Thoddoo are not particularly pretty but you can find everything you need like supermarkets and restaurants.

A typical street on Thoddoo island
A typical street on Thoddoo island – motorbikes are the most popular transport and there are small shops like this one dotted around

The fruits of Thoddoo island

Ahhh the fruits…they grow everywhere on Thoddoo.  The island is in fact one of largest exporters of fruits and vegetables in the Maldives as we found when taking the public ferry there:

Public ferry carrying fruit to Male from Thoddoo
Thoddoo is one of the largest suppliers of fruit and vegetables and public ferry transfers are usually filled up with boxes of fruit exports

Papayas are particularly commonplace in the Maldives so we went papaya crazy, having lots of it for breakfast, on the beach, for lunch and dinner… and usually for free as the locals will gladly offer them to you.

Papaya on the beach
Stefan enjoying papaya on the beach on Thoddoo island
Sebastien's big, er, papaya
“WOW Sebastien: what a big, er, papaya you have!”
Nomadic Boys papaya selfie
Uh oh – Sebatien's run out of papaya…tantrum soon to follow…!

One of the highlights of any visit on Thoddoo island is to take a fruit tour and sample all the different delights the island has to offer. There will always be a variety of fruits in season regardless of when you visit.

So, as well as the papaya, Thoddoo also has wonderful radish and passion fruit:

Radish and passion fruits of Thoddoo island
Sebastien proudly showing off the radish and passion fruits of Thoddoo island

…pumpkins:

Stefan and Nassir with pumpkins on Thoddoo island
Stefan and Nassir showing off the pumpkins of Thoddoo island

…and also small sweet coconuts:

 

The beautiful white sandy beach of Thoddoo island

The highlight of any stay in the Maldives will be the beach.  Even if it rains (the weather is extremely unpredictable there), the water is always warm.  And even if the water is choppy on one part of the island, it will be surprisingly calm on the other side.

The bikini beach on Thoddoo island
The beautiful secluded bikini beach on Thoddoo island, which we had all to ourselves

Thoddoo features a huge white-sandy beach with a private ‘bikini' beach located in the southeast side (see map above).  It is called a ‘bikini' beach because women (tourists) are allowed to come here in their bikinis (instead of being covered up).

We also noticed the bikini beach was particularly popular with some of the local men of Thoddoo island who would sneak in for a cheeky peak…they must have been a bit disappointed when they only saw us two fooling around instead of a hot topless Russian girl sunbathing:

Stefan at the bikini beach of Thoddoo island
Stefan enjoying the solitude of the bikini beach of Thoddoo island

We were on Thoddoo island in late November, just before the peak season kicked off in December and had the entire beach all to ourselves every day:

 

Scuba diving on Thoddoo island

Scuba diving was one of the main reasons we wanted to travel to the Maldives.  The new scuba diving school on Thoddoo island charged from $50 per fun dive, inclusive of all gear and boat ride.

This part of Maldives is popular with scuba divers for opportunities to see turtles, manta rays and even sharks.

For us, it was a dream to see sharks whilst diving.  On one dive to the nearby island called Rasdhoo, we saw white tip reef sharks like this one swimming some 5 metres away from us:

White tip reef shark
White tip reef shark spotted whilst scuba diving near the island of Rasdhoo

Scuba diving is usually offered by most guesthouses as most islands will have a diving school or will be located to a nearby island with a diving school. In our case, a new excellent diving school had just opened up on Thoddoo island, operated by Anatoliy from Latvia.

Snorkelling on Thoddoo island

Thoddoo island has several coral reefs located near it, some a short swimming distance away, others a boat ride away.  Either way, the enthusiastic snorkelers will be in heaven here.

Stefan snorkelling with lobster
Stefan meets lobster when snorkelling in one of Thoddoo island's many coral reefs
Stefan showing off his snorkelling gear
Stefan showing off his snorkelling gear on Thoddoo island's ‘bikini' beach

Fishing trips on Thoddoo island

A fishing trip was included as part of our accommodation ‘package'. It involved a 5am start as we joined the many local fishermen out on their boats using fishing lines to fish for tuna.

Sebastien caught a tuna fish!
Sebastien caught this tuna fish during our fishing trip

We caught in total 5 big tuna fish after 2 hours of early morning fishing and enjoyed a delicious BBQ for lunch:

Stefan showing off his tuna BBQ
After our fishing trip, we got to BBQ and eat our tuna
Our tuna BBQ
Our tuna BBQ with Nassir

Water sports on Thoddoo island

We also had some water ski thrown in as part of our $65 a night accommodation package.  This was great fun and Sebastien took to it like a pro:

Sebastien water skiing
Sebastien taking to water ski like a pro

Unfortunately, Stefan didn't quite get it:

Stefan trying to water ski
Stefan trying and failing to water ski

Check out our Maldives travel video right here:

 

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36 thoughts on “Thoddoo island: a paradise island for fruit lovers”

  1. this article brings back so many memories from my 2018 trip to the Maldives, one of my favourites ever! got to do some amazing diving at the Maaya Thila. the waters, the beaches, the weather, the locals – ah! the Maldives are truly a gem in this world. you guys make me miss the fruit from there SO MUCH!

  2. The guy in some of the photos “Nassir” used to be one of the top footballers in Maldives.
    He played for the national team and scored the winner in the final of the SAFF Championship in 2008 when Maldives beat India for its first ever International tournament win.

  3. hey guys, nice article. I have question about nigh boat to Thoddoo. What time is departure, arrival and price? And did you visit Rashdoo?? Thanks 🙂 Edita

  4. Haha, this is the nicest traveling blog ever! i am just considering maldives, and this blog was a huge plus on the pro-side 🙂 Thank you guys

  5. This was an awesome writeup… In fact I’ve planned a trip to this very island, and booked the same guest house, and dive package with the same guy, before I read this…. 🙂
    Hopefully it’ll be a gr8 trip for me too…

      • Hi guys! This trip looks amazing! Would you say it was easy to figure out once you touched down? In terms of ferries etc? Looking to go to Sri Lanka in January and would LOVE to hop over to the Maldives while I am there. I am a single female traveler who may have a male friend accompany me at some point. Would you say this island is safe for me if I were to go alone? Thanks for any feedback!

        • Thanks for your comment. Definitely recommend. Maybe book the accommodation but the public ferry you can get when you’re on the ground 🙂

  6. Looks like a great trip! I am thinking of a trip to Thoddoo and wondering what is the best way to get there directly from Male airport? Did you guys fly or take a boat?
    Thanks

    • Hi Tyler thanks for your comment. The flight to Thoddoo is extremely expensive (at least on our budget), so we took the ferry from the airport island to Male island ($1 pp, 10 minutes and leaves every 10 minutes) then te public ferry to Thoddoo (around 5 hours, $10 pp).

      Hope you enjoy- it’s lovely out there 🙂

  7. Looks like you had an amazing time! Thoddoo looks entirely different from where we stayed…. our island was entirely sand and nothing grew there at all! Next time we will have to check out Thoddoo as well.

  8. Quel beau voyage ! Quels beaux et excellents moments ! Nous avons la chance de vous découvrir dans votre périple… J’avoue que j’aimerai souvent me “télé porter ” et vous y rejoindre !
    Bisous les twiń s

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