Discover the quieter side of city life by exploring the smaller island of Villimale, located southwest of Male with TripAdvisors' leading Maldives tour company. Travel with your guide by public ferry from Male to Villimale. Wander the quiet streets, learn the names of local trees and spend time with an NGO conservation group to learn about the work they carry out. Sample traditional ‘hedika’ at a local café on the beach and enjoy the sunset before returning to Male.
From the meeting point, jump into a taxi with your guide in order to reach the terminal where your ferry departs to Villimale from.
Experience the hustle and bustle of the ferry terminal, local people will be coming and going between their home island and Male. Observe the variety of items that are being transported after a days shopping in the capital. The ferry journey to Villimale is a short 15 minute crossing but don't be afraid to start up a conversation with those sitting next to you. They will be interested to know where you have come from and what you think of the Maldives.
The island, once a resort and also a prison, was 'developed' to assist with the ever growing population of Male. It offers the ideal escape from the ever busy capital city. Wide, open streets, an abundance of greenery so unlike Male, two local beaches and peaceful almost tranquil atmosphere.
Stepping off the ferry in Villimale, you may not be stepping back in time but you will be able to understand and visualise how the city islands would have been prior to urban modernisation. After an introduction to the NGO Save the beach representative, they will conduct a 60-minute walking tour of the island, which will allow you to understand and appreciate the local way of 'city' life.
Learn about the Maldivian ecosystems and conservation challenges arising from coastal development, unique to small island nations. Observe the before and after of reclamation works and harbor development. Identify trees and learn the Dhivehi names for species that may be common to you back home.
Traditional evening tea at one of the local cafes on the beach provides time to chat further with your guide and the NGO representative. Save the Beach is passionate about conservation, waste management, coral planting and more and they will willing share information and insights into how improvements are being made in these areas throughout the Maldives.
Sample 'hedika' local savoury snacks served with black tea and allow your taste buds to discover Maldivian flavors. Before returning to the 'big city,' we take time to sit back and relax in true Maldivian style and watch the sunset colours fill the sky.