Gulhi Island 2024

March 01, 2024

Gulhi is a local island located close to Maafushi and 21 km south of Male. The population is 900 people. The island size is 670x230m.

During the early 80’s Gulhi was very popular among tourists who traveled and stayed in local islands. Nowadays we call them backpackers. Some locals said, that, during the peak seasons, the island hosted hundreds of tourists in local houses and tents on the beach.

Things to do in Gulhi

Bikini beach and house reef

There are several facilities available on the beaches of Gulhi, including public showers, changing rooms, and restrooms.

There are two beaches on the island, south, and north. The north sands are incredibly stunning where you can lounge all day under a parasol shade, go swimming and house reef snorkeling, and have a food or drink at the beach restaurant! Bikini beach is the best and the most beautiful in the area. It is a quiet beach with almost no waves, with plenty of space to enjoy the water. There are sunbeds as well.

The beaches in Gulhi are a major attraction and provide a perfect escape for those seeking relaxation and natural beauty. With pristine white sands, crystal clear waters, and a range of activities available, the beaches of Gulhi are a must-visit for anyone

Check: Budget tour to local islands

gulhi beach

Compared to Maafushi or Guraidhoo, Gulhi has a much better beach.

Gulhi has several beaches that are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. The main beach on the island is located on the east side and is a long, white-sand beach with crystal-clear water. The beach is lined with coconut palms and other tropical trees, providing shade and a picturesque backdrop.

There is no close to swimming in the house reef. So you need to take safari snorkeling to see colorful fish and amazing coral gardens.

gulhi snorkeling


Snorkeling is a popular activity on Gulhi, and the island is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and abundant marine life.

Gulhi is surrounded by several excellent snorkeling spots, including Coral Garden and Turtle Point. These spots are easily accessible from the beach and offer stunning underwater views of colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and sea turtles.

It is important to practice snorkeling safety while exploring the underwater world around Gulhi. Be sure to wear a properly fitted snorkel mask, fins, and a flotation device if needed. Also, be aware of the currents and tides, and avoid touching or disturbing marine life.

The best time for snorkeling on Gulhi and throughout the Maldives is from November to April, when the weather is dry and the seas are calm. However, snorkeling is possible year-round on the island, and there are often opportunities to see different species of marine life during the offseason as well.

With clear waters and a diverse array of marine species, the island offers a memorable snorkeling experience for visitors of all skill levels.

gulhi night fishing


There are several types of fishing available in Gulhi, including reef fishing, deep-sea fishing, and night fishing. Reef fishing is ideal for beginners and involves catching smaller fish around the coral reefs surrounding the island. Deep-sea fishing is more challenging and involves catching larger fish such as tuna, marlin, and sailfish in the deeper waters surrounding the island. Night fishing is a unique experience that involves fishing for reef fish using traditional Maldivian methods.

There are several local tour operators in Gulhi that offer fishing tours to visitors. These tours provide all the necessary fishing equipment, as well as experienced guides who know the best fishing spots around the island. Some tours also include a barbecue on the beach, where you can enjoy your freshly caught fish.

The best time for fishing on Gulhi and throughout the Maldives is from November to April when the weather is dry and the seas are calm. However, fishing is possible year-round on the island, and there are often opportunities to catch fish during the offseason as well.

gulhi dolphins

Dolphin Cruise

Pinner Dolphins are the commonest species, and they occur here in their tens of thousands. They have a regular daily routine to their lives, feeding offshore at night, coming into the atolls in the early morning, and leaving again for the open ocean in the late afternoon. It means you can easily find them during your cruise. While nothing with wildlife can be 100% guaranteed, you won’t have a better chance to watch wild dolphins playing in their natural environment than right here in the Maldives.


Resort Day Visit

The full-day excursion offers you the possibility of sampling for yourself the unique beauty of resort life.

Available resorts are Embudu Village, Holiday Inn Kandooma, Anantara Veli, Adaaran Vadhoo.



Gulhi is a popular destination for surfing in the Maldives. The island is located near several great surf spots, and there are several surf schools and rental shops on the island that cater to surfers.

Gulhi is located near several excellent surf spots, including Coral Garden, Tiger Stripes, and Quarters. These surf spots offer a range of waves suitable for different skill levels, from beginner-friendly waves to more challenging breaks for experienced surfers.

There are also several surf shops on Gulhi that offer surfboard rentals and other equipment for experienced surfers who want to explore the nearby surf spots on their own.

he best time to go surfing on Gulhi is from April to October when the waves are typically larger and more consistent. However, surfing is possible year-round on the island, and there are often smaller waves suitable for beginners during the offseason.

island diving

Scuba Diving near Gulhi

There are several excellent scuba diving sites near Gulhi, offering a chance to explore the stunning coral reefs and marine life of the Maldives.

There are several popular dive sites located within a short boat ride from Gulhi, including Kandooma Thila, Cocoa Thila, and Guraidhoo Corner. These sites offer a range of underwater landscapes, including coral gardens, steep walls, and overhangs, and are home to a diverse array of marine life, such as reef sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles.

Several dive centers located in Gulhi offer scuba diving excursions to visitors. These centers provide experienced guides, quality diving equipment, and a range of courses, including beginner and advanced levels.

The best time for diving around Gulhi and throughout the Maldives is from November to April, when the weather is dry and the seas are calm. However, diving is possible year-round on the island, and there are often opportunities to see different species of marine life during the offseason as well.

Scuba diving near Gulhi is an unforgettable experience, offering a chance to explore the rich underwater world of the Maldives. With a range of dive sites available and experienced guides on hand, visitors can discover the beauty and diversity of the coral reefs and marine life of the Maldives.

gulhi sandbank

Other activities

Water sports. Motorized and non-motorized water sports can be arranged upon request.

Cruises. A romantic cruise with sunset dinner or dolphin watching in a special cruise boat.

Picnic island visiting. Private excursion trips to nearby sandbanks and also to other inhabited picnic islands nearby can be arranged by request. Most of these trips are customized, and rates and charges depend on the services requested, and the duration of the trip.


Gulhi Infrastructure

The economy is based on fishing and boat building. Gulhi also has the oldest dockyard in the Maldives. Many boats use the dock facility in Gulhi island because of its proximity to the Malé and Velana International airport.

Gulhi has several shops and services available to visitors, including souvenir shops, convenience stores, and pharmacies. Visitors can also find a range of dining options, from local cafes and restaurants to international cuisine.

Gulhi has a small clinic that provides basic medical care to visitors and residents. In case of serious medical emergencies, patients may need to be transported to nearby hospitals on other islands.

The other facilities include a few local shops where you can buy fruits, drinks, sweets, etc.; two PADI dive centers; a water sports center; a mosque; a pharmacy.


Where to eat in Gulhi

Chefs at hotels prepare international food ranging from western, Chinese, and Indian food.

Salt Harbour. Nice staff and the food it was the best on the island, however, they are very slow to serve ( everywhere ) you need to get used to.

Noovilla Coffeeshop. Tasty at affordable prices! Polite staff, but too slow as at any local restaurant on the island.

Dhilakani Cafe. A friendly and helpful staff who will welcome you with a “hello!”. Food is tasty at a reasonable price. One must try Maldivian breakfast and soup it’s delicious.

Tropic Platter. Really nice food served by this restaurant. The staff is friendly. Very nice atmosphere and is very cozy.

gulhi island

Transfer to Gulhi

Scheduled speedboat

Price is 25 USD – 30 USD per person one way. It has to be paid to the boat captain.

Male-Gulhi: 8:30 am, 11:30 am (on Friday 10:30 am), 14:00 (on Friday 14:30), 16:30
Gulhi-Male: 8:00, 11:00 am, 14:00, 16:00

Private speedboat

Price Charged for the whole boat, 150 USD one-way.

Public ferry

Price is USD 3 per way per person

Trip duration is 80 mins

Male-Gulhi (Villingili Ferry Terminal) at 15:00
Gulhi-Male at 8:00

Please note that there are no ferry services on Fridays and Monday.

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