8 Amazing Facts about Fulidhoo Island and Vaavu Atoll!
Our island home Fulidhoo is located in Vaavu Atoll (also called Felidhe Atoll) which is just over an hour away from Male International Airport by speedboat. Here are just a few reasons why it’s such a special place!
1. Fulidhoo Island is only 700 metres long by 200 metres wide!
That’s right – Fulidhoo Island is super small. If you stand in some spots on the main road, you can see the ocean in four directions! It’s handy when it comes to diving, because every guesthouse on the island is close to the dive centre and you never have to walk more than a few minutes to hop on the boat for a dive.
2. There are only about 200 people who live on the island.
Although Fulidhoo is technically home to more people than this, a lot of the islanders have migrated to Male’ for work. Quite a few islanders also work in nearby resorts and therefore only come home on leave. Even though we have small population, we have a medical clinic, pharmacy, school, mosque, cafes and a few shops. Everything we need for a good simple life 🙂
3. Vaavu Atoll is the least populated atoll in the country!
With only five inhabited islands in the whole atoll, Vaavu is very sparsely populated. In total, there are about 1600 people registered to the atoll. This means that although we are close to Male, the atoll feels very remote.
4. The most eastern point of the country is located in Vaavu Atoll.
The easternmost geographical point of the Maldives is located in Vaavu Atoll, at Fottheyo Muli, close to Foththeyo Bodufushi Island. There’s no land between that point and Indonesia!
5. Fulidhoo Island is famous for its skilled drummers and dancers.
Bodu Beyru – which literally just means ‘Big Drum’ – is a traditional local instrument played for all types of celebrations. Drummers play in groups and sing upbeat choruses while dancers whirl in circles. Guests and tourists are often invited to the island stage or local cafes to witness these performances and dance with the local men and women. Even if this is a Muslim country, the islanders still love to dance! For big public holidays, locals also perform traditional stick and folk dances, which are wonderful to watch.
6. Fulidhoo lagoon is home to a family of stingrays that greets boats on arrival.
On arrival in Fulidhoo, if you look over the edge of your speedboat or ferry, the likelihood is that you will see large stingrays swimming up to the boat. When Fulidhoo was mainly a fishing island, the stingrays learnt that when the boats came back – that’s when the fishermen cleaned their fish and threw the guts in the lagoon. So now they associate the sound of boat engines, with getting a free meal! These animals are gentle and curious and not at all to be feared, but we recommend not touching or feeding them.
7. Once a year, the young men dress up like demons!
It might look scary but it’s tradition! For the celebration of Eid-Al-Adha or simply known as ‘Big Eid’ in Maldives, it is traditional for Maldivians to dress up as demons and parade along the streets of the islands, scaring local residents! Although this is an Islamic festival, this tradition is purely Maldivian, and some suggest it actually predates the country’s conversion to Islam.
8. It’s the best destination for diving and snorkelling!
Ok maybe this one won’t come as a surprise – but Fulidhoo really is a wonderful destination for ocean adventures. And even when you’re not diving, the snorkelling excursions here are some of the best in the country – you can swim with dolphins, dozens of sharks, even with manta rays and then jump off a shipwreck and visit a deserted sandbank – so even non-diving days are magical!