I recently visited Maldives for the first time and the experience was unforgettable – although this following sentence is the epitome of cheesy, I really felt enchanted by how marvelous yet mysterious the Maldives was; the fact that we stayed on a local island provided authenticity and endless questions, directed at our host, shadowed by fascination regarding the simple lifestyle. I’ll be sharing information mainly regarding Air Dhiffushi, where we resided, in this post but shall also be posting a photo diary soon after, capturing moments seen around Dhiffushi Island and providing more information on the island. As the Maldives is a destination chosen to relax, I decided to write a travel review instead of an itinerary. Here goes:
How To Get There: Dhiffushi Island is approximately 40 minutes from Velana International Airport and Male; the guesthouse arranged the transfer to and fro and our host, Koke, accompanied us both ways.
What To Expect: The guesthouse has the capacity to become a home for 11 people, housed within four rooms, each with an adjoining outdoor toilet – mine even included a hammock due to the spaciousness. The structure of the guesthouse allows for the sea breeze to be ever present while also incorporating nature seamlessly into the design, allowing for a coconut tree and another tree bearing local fruit, which I really wanted to try but couldn’t due to the fruit not being ripe. The lounge area(s) besides the dining area consists of hammocks and a wooden swing. Wifi is available throughout the compound but can lag if there are many people using the network simultaneously, so this often happened to us.
Besides the various guesthouses, there are only three establishments serving food and drinks. We visited Faruma Restuarant after our arrival in the evening and the first meal had on Dhiffushi was delicious – the menu is extensive, catering to various palettes (such as Greek, Russian, Italian, American and more), but of course also offers typical Maldivian dishes, which was what we all ordered. I was curious about two items on the menu: the passion-fruit juice and a local delicacy named roshi, which I devoured with fish curry; this was my first introduction to roshi (similar to Indian chapati), which we then ate for breakfast every day with tuna (what else?).
Air Dhiffushi provides a chef throughout the stay and for that, we were thankful because each meal was waited upon with curiosity and excitement as the flavours were a delight to our taste-buds; the produce used was local and fresh. Every meal included fish (mostly tuna) but considering Maldives thrives through tourism and their fishing industry, we weren’t surprised (or complaining). We were also provided with a host, Koke, who greeted us upon arrival at the airport and a local guide, Bamboo, who we met upon arrival at Dhiffushi – both were polite, friendly, and helpful, even buying ice-cream for us when we were lazy to walk down the road.
We mainly relaxed during our stay but when we did decide to embark on an activity, Koke or Bamboo helped us arrange the logistics. On our second day there we observed dolphins from a (colourful) boat, clearly seeing their outline move through the water, but as if that wasn’t enough, a dolphin decided to flip in mid-air trice. On our third day there we went snorkeling along a sandbank (basically a small uninhibited beach) and the amount of marine life and colours I witnessed were countless, simply breath-taking. Prices for activities are pictured below:
Additional Information: Koke guided us during a tour of the island and informed us that Dhiffushi doesn’t have a police station but I can assure you that we felt completely safe the entire time. He also brought us to a short cooking class, lead by his sister-in-law, where we learned how to prepare roshi.
In the evening, stingrays and baby sharks gather along the shore and are fed by a staff from a nearby hotel (Rashu Hiyaa) – we saw a gigantic stingray and medium-sized shark, which was a sight to remember.
Price: Mid-Range to Luxury
Other Recommendations: Exploring the entire island is an adventure that lasts for under an hour, probably even less than half an hour, so during our explorations, we stumbled upon several guesthouses that caught our eyes – listed below, for those who are interested in staying on Dhiffushi Island, are various links offering information on guesthouses:
- Captain’s Sunset Lodge (owned by the same company as Air Dhiffushi)
- Captain’s Residence (owned by the same company as Air Dhiffushi)
- Happy Life Maldives
- White Sand Beach Resort
- Ameera Maldives
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always ourselves we find in the sea.” E. E. Cummings