Maldives on a Shoestring tour

Jumping on a beautiful white sandy beach, Maldives
Encounters Group in the Maldives
Beach BBQ, Maldives
Beautiful clear waters of the Maldives
Male from the air, Maldives
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Encounters Travel

8-day local-island tour of the Maldives including snorkelling, island picnics, BBQs, fishing and local cultural experiences

Our Maldives on a Shoestring tour (formerly Maldives Magic) gives you the chance to see the real Maldives and to discover the culture, beautiful scenery, friendly local people and atmosphere of this tropical paradise while staying in comfortable locally owned guesthouses. The itinerary starts with a tour of the modern capital of Male, before visiting both Guraidhoo and Maafushi local islands. Activities include beach barbeques, cultural shows, snorkelling trips, meals taken with local families, the chance to taste traditional Maldivian snacks and much, much more! Scuba-diving options are available and we also offer the option to extend your tour in the Maldives with an add on extension to one of the many amazing island resorts for some more luxurious relaxation.

Explore the Maldives with boat trips, snorkelling over the coral reefs, picnics on uninhabited islands & sand bars, cultural shows, beach barbecues, dining with local families, diving options, resort extensions.
  • Asia
  • Maldives
Tour Types
  • Singles
  • Adventure
  • Small Group
Day 1, Arrive in Malé, transfer to hotel
Upon arrival at Malé International Airport you will be greeted by our representative and transferred by the airport shuttle taxi to your guesthouse on Hulhumalé, just 15 minutes away. Settle in after your flight before taking your first steps on the sands of this tropical paradise. The beach is 3 min walk away, with several local cafes and local restaurants, plus a watersports centre. For travellers arriving before 5.00pm there is an optional visit to Malé for sunset mocktails at the top of the highest building in Malé which provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding islands.
Guesthouse – Newtown Inn or similar
Single Room Supplement, Extra night in Hulhumalé

Day 2, Malé Tour, ferry to Guraidhoo and dinner with local family
Following breakfast served at the guesthouse you will transfer by public ferry to Male, a 20-minute journey, where a guide will accompany you on a tour of the capital city, providing opportunity to visit places of interest including The Friday Mosque, The National Museum and Sultan Park.
After lunch transfer by local ferry (approx. 14.30) to your guesthouse on the local island of Guraidhoo, South Male Atoll, 120 minutes from Male. Sit up top on the ferry to view the beauty of the many Maldives islands that pass you by whilst keeping your eyes open for dolphins!
Upon arrival you will have time to settle in before either relaxing in the garden at the guesthouse or on the local beach to watch the sun go down. Dinner this evening is spent with a local family just don't expect silver service as traditionally meals are eaten without the aid of a knife and fork!
Guraidhoo Guesthouse – Guraidhoo Palm Maldives or similar
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3, Morning snorkelling trip. Free afternoon
Following breakfast you will be taken by speedboat to nearby coral reefs for your first underwater encounter! The coral reefs of the Maldives are inhabited by diverse marine life and are teaming with colourful fish and corals. Keep your eyes open for turtles, sharks and rays you never know what may be in the blue! On return to Guraidhoo the afternoon is free for you to participate in optional watersports, diving or surfing. This evening enjoy a relaxed beach BBQ dinner.
Guraidhoo Guesthouse – Guraidhoo Palm Maldives or similar
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4, Family breakfast, island tour, Hedika & optional Bodu Beru
Breakfast this morning is taken with a local family allowing you true access to Maldivian local life. You will then have free time at your leisure to relax on the beach or enjoy optional watersport activities.
As the afternoon cools down accompanied by your guide time is spent exploring Guraidhoo with the opportunity to learn about the local way of life including a visit to the Mosque, visit the boatyard learn how the common wooden boat known locally as a 'dhoni' is built, stop and chat with children playing in the street and watch the ladies of the community begin their evening meal preparations. Stop by a local cafe to sample traditional 'hedika' - Maldivian savoury and sweet short eats served with black tea.
This evening you can enjoy an optional beach dinner under the stars accompanied by traditional dancing and the beat of the 'bodu beru' where a group of men sit around the 'bodu beru' - big drum and sing to a rhythmical beat until they reach a crescendo.
Guraidhoo Guesthouse - Guraidhoo Palm Maldives or similar
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5, Maafushi, snorkelling, sandbank and dolphin cruise boat trip
Start early today for breakfast and then a transfer by local ferry (07.00) to the local island of Maafushi, just 20 minutes away. After checking into the guesthouse, this morning you will have the chance to once again enjoy the underwater beauty of the Maldives. We stop at a sandbank for picnic lunch with time to swim or lie back and relax. Heading back to Maafushi we will cruise the Indian Ocean in search of dolphins. This evening we head out to soak up the atmosphere at a traditional local café for dinner.
Maafushi Guesthouse - Lily Rest or similar
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6, Maafushi, free time, various watersports options
Following breakfast served at the guesthouse, today is yours to enjoy as you please, relax on the beach or for those feeling energetic participate in the various optional watersport activities on offer. Optional diving trips can be organised for certified divers.
Maafushi Guesthouse - Lily Rest or similar
Full-day scuba-diving boat trip from Maafushi, Half-day scuba-diving boat trip from Maafushi, Manta Ray boat trip from Maafushi

Day 7, Visit Gulhi for a change of pace
Following an early breakfast we take a short 20 minute public ferry journey to the quiet local island of Gulhi. Once checked in to your guesthouse, your guide will accompany you on a tour of the island. Visit the boat yard to stand in awe at the size of the boats under renovation, chat with the ladies sweeping the streets and finally refresh yourself with a cool Kurumba (coconut) watching the comings and goings at the harbour. Ready for relaxation you can choose to head to the bikini beach or for the more energetic snorkel from the island beach. Optional watersports and diving trips can be organised for certified divers.
Gulhi Guesthouse - Tropic Tree or similar
Full-day scuba-diving boat trip from Gulhi, Half-day scuba-diving boat trip from Gulhi

Day 8, Transfer to Malé airport for departure
After breakfast you are transferred back to Male by public ferry (approx. 07.30-09.00), across town, and on to Male airport where the tour ends. You should expect to arrive at the airport by around 10.30am.
If you have a flight departing earlier than 1pm then we recommend taking an earlier speedboat transfer from Gulhi to the airport (at extra cost).
If you have a late afternoon or evening flight departure and understandably do not want to spend a long time waiting at the airport, then day-use rooms are available at the Newtown Inn (price includes an airport departure transfer to meet your flight). Alternatively, there are day package options at Hulhule Airport hotel to use the swimming pool, restaurant, bar etc. or a half day visit to Vilimale Local Island which is 15 minutes from Male. Other snorkelling trips or other watersport activities are also available.
Those travellers booking a resort extension will transfer from Male airport on to their resort via the resort's own transfer boat. Our guide will assist you with meeting this transfer though there may be a short wait depending on the resort boat's schedule.
3-night resort island extension, 3-night Dhoni curise extension, Extra night in Hulhumalé, Speedboat departure transfer, Day-use room & airport transfers in Hulhumalé
  • 7 night's comfortable guesthouse accommodation: 1 night Hulhumale, 3 nights Guraidhoo, 2 nights Maafushi, 1 night Gulhi
  • All transport and transfers including local ferries
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Free 30-day tourist visa on arrival to all nationalities
  • Local guides

Dates Price Single Availability

Touring with Encounters Travel

Encounters Travel specialise in creating imaginative, adventurous small group tours all around the world for the open minded traveller. They are always looking for new ways to add value and excitement to your travel experiences so that you see more than just the usual tourist spots, as well as having great fun at the same time. Their tours are designed to give you the best possible experience in each country, whilst at the same time providing good value for money without making compromises.

You will see and learn about local cultures and historic sites while enjoying some more adventurous activities along the way. They also try very hard to keep the overall style and inclusions/exclusions of their tours as consistent as possible from country to country, while taking into account the different highlights and activities available in each destination. Their escorted group tours are hosted by specially selected experts who bring their knowledge and skills to add an extra dimension to the tour.

Encounters Travel are committed to travelling responsibly, and leaving a positive impression and impact on the countries through which they travel.




tour details

This tour is operated by Encounters Travel

0 nights from pp; per Night
compare Compare tour Add this tour to the comparison list. compare Compare tour This tour has been added to the comparison list. Cick here to view.
Enquire Your passport to adventure
Suitable For: Over 9s
Meals:7 breakfasts, 4 dinners
tourhound promise
tourhound promise
TourHound Promise
  • I compare from the largest selection of touring companies available.
  • It doesn’t cost you a penny to use me, or to book a tour through TourHound.
  • I never favour one operator over another and provide a totally neutral comparison.
Contact our partner

You can contact Encounters Travel directly by:

1 Email enquiry {{formText}}
Thank You, we've sent your enquiry. The operator will contact you in the next few hours.
2 Call directly

(Please quote TourHound when you call)

0800 086 2372
tour hound
Terms and Conditions apply