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Mathiveri is a small island located in the Alif Alif Atoll of the Maldives. It is a popular destination for tourists looking for a more authentic and affordable Maldivian experience. The island has a population of around 800 people and is known for its friendly locals, beautiful beaches, and crystal-clear waters.
The island itself is also not so large; it’s about 480×300 m. The entire island is a village. Bodufolhudhoo is another inhabited island, which is located nearby. It’s a tiny island, where you can find a few guesthouses. You can get there by local ferry.
Mathiveri has several guesthouses and small hotels that offer visitors a chance to experience the local culture and way of life. The island is an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers who want to explore the Maldives without breaking the bank.
Check: Budget tours to local islands
A small Nika Island resort is situated between these two islands. To the north of Mathiveri (about 4 km away from it), Gangehi resort can be found.
There are 3 beaches in Mathiveri:
– Stingray beach
– Local beach
– Tourist beach, or bikini beach
This beach got its name because of the stingrays, which can be seen here throughout the daylight hours. But the best time is in the early morning because they come very close to shore. In this case, you don’t need to go into the water.
These stingrays are dangerous to humans because they can sting! This is usually due to being stepped on. They have a habit of burrowing in the sand, so they are not visible. But generally, they are fearful. In addition to the rays, there are young sharks.
As the name suggests, this is the best beach on the island to watch the sunset. It’s located on the western side of the island and is a quiet and secluded spot with beautiful views of the ocean.
A picnic island is located near the beach. You can get there swimming. But you should be careful! Well on the way to the island, there is a strong current that changes every hour.
The strongest current is in the afternoon; it’s getting lower in the morning and in the evening. Some time ago this part of the beach was bigger, but because of the activity of locals the shores began to get washed away, and the sand was washed into the channel.
The sand is white there without dead corals as it washed away into the channel. In the evening you can swim there and enjoy the sunset.
Located on the eastern side of the island, Bikini Beach is a designated area for tourists to sunbathe and swim without wearing traditional Islamic clothing. The beach is secluded and has calm waters, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and swimming.
The island has a private beach for tourists where you can swim in a bikini. The water is not very deep, so the island is suitable for families with children.
The house reef is easily accessible from the shore, making it an excellent option for both experienced and novice snorkelers. You can simply wade into the water from the beach, and within minutes, you will be surrounded by a plethora of marine life. The visibility is generally excellent, allowing you to appreciate the underwater scenery.
The house reef is part of a marine protected area that encompasses several neighboring islands. This designation means that the waters around Mathiveri are well-preserved and provide a healthy ecosystem for marine life to thrive.
Picnic Island is a small sandbank located near Mathiveri Island in the Maldives. It’s a popular day trip destination for visitors looking for a secluded and picturesque spot to enjoy a picnic, swim, or simply relax.
The island is surrounded by turquoise waters, and the sandbank is made up of soft, powdery white sand. The crystal-clear waters around Picnic Island are ideal for snorkeling and swimming, and visitors can explore the diverse marine life that calls the area home.
The island is a short boat ride away from Mathiveri, and many local tour operators offer day trips to the sandbank. Visitors can spend the day lounging on the sand, swimming in crystal-clear waters, or taking a snorkeling excursion to explore the underwater world.
Picnic Island is also a popular spot for romantic getaways and private events such as weddings and honeymoons. Many tour operators offer private boat charters to the island, allowing couples and small groups to enjoy the sandbank in privacy.
Snorkeling on the house reef allows visitors to explore a diverse array of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and reef sharks. The visibility is generally excellent, and the waters are warm and calm, making it a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
In addition to the house reef, there are several snorkeling excursions that visitors can take from Mathiveri Island. These excursions usually take visitors to nearby reefs and sandbanks, where they can explore even more underwater scenery.
One popular snorkeling excursion from Mathiveri is the “Shark Point” excursion, which takes visitors to a nearby reef where they can swim with reef sharks. This excursion is generally safe, as reef sharks are not known to be aggressive toward humans.
Another popular snorkeling excursion from Mathiveri is the “Manta Ray Point” excursion, which takes visitors to a nearby reef where they can observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Manta rays are common in the Maldives, and spotting them while snorkeling is a truly unforgettable experience.
Like any other Maldives island, Mativeri is rich in reef fish. The main type of fishing – is reel, cargo, and fishing line with a hook. You can catch fish up to 2 kg. However, there is not so simple. After the fish got hooked, it can swim in corals, and pulling it out will be difficult, so the fishing line is torn and you are left with nothing. The thicker fishing line option will not work for the same reason. But if you are lucky, you can cook your catch in the guest house for free!
There are some resorts that are open for day visitors. For example, a trip to the resort of Nika will cost you $ 65 per person ($ 25 per entrance and $ 40 for transfer). Other islands are Gangehi, W Maldives, Constance Moofushi, and others.
The main sources of the economy of the island are fishing and tourism. The island has Fishing Boats which are mainly involved in the yellowfin tuna fishing industry. All the fishing boats are registered and licensed under the fish processing and exporting company. these companies export raw fish products to European countries.
Accommodation. Mathiveri Island has several guesthouses and hotels that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation options for visitors.
Restaurants and cafes. There are several restaurants and cafes on Mathiveri Island that serve local and international cuisine. Most guesthouses and hotels also have in-house restaurants and cafes.
Shops. There are several small shops on Mathiveri Island that sell essential items like groceries, snacks, and souvenirs.
Health center. Mathiveri Island has a small health center that provides basic medical services to locals and visitors.
ATM. There is an ATM on Mathiveri Island that accepts major international cards.
Ferry services. Mathiveri Island is connected to neighboring islands and Male, the capital city of the Maldives, via regular ferry services.
Also, there there are 3 dive centers on the island, but diving prices are quite high.
A few groceries can be found as well. There are no souvenir shops on the island.
Malaafaiy Restaurant. This is a local restaurant on the island that serves Maldivian cuisine such as fish curry, rice and curry, and grilled seafood. The restaurant also serves vegetarian options.
Coral Breeze Restaurant. This restaurant is located on the beach and offers a wide range of international cuisine such as Italian, Chinese, and Thai. The restaurant is known for its fresh seafood dishes.
Cafe’ Gazebo. This is a coffee shop and restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer a variety of coffee drinks, smoothies, and snacks. They also serve a range of international cuisine such as burgers, sandwiches, and pasta.
Ristorante Alí Babá. This is an Italian restaurant that offers a variety of pasta dishes, pizzas, and seafood. The restaurant is known for its homemade pasta and pizza dough.
Lemon Drop. This is a cafe and restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They offer a range of international cuisine such as burgers, sandwiches, and salads. They also serve coffee, tea, and smoothies.
Veli Beach Inn is the best guesthouse located on the island of Mathiveri in the Maldives. The guesthouse is situated near the beach and offers easy access to the island’s amenities and attractions.
The guesthouse has a range of facilities for guests including a restaurant, coffee shop, and a rooftop terrace with sea views. They also offer various activities such as snorkeling, diving, and fishing.
The staff at Veli Beach Inn are known for their friendly and helpful service. They can assist with arranging activities and excursions, and can provide information about the local area.
Cost is 4$ one way, per person; 9.00, Vilingili Terminal (it takes about 6 hours).
Departure from Male: Sunday, Tuesday at 9:00.
Departure from Mathiveri: Saturday, Monday, at 8:40.
Male-Mathiveri at 11:00 and at 15:00-16.00, on Friday at 9:30, cost – $65, the duration is 2,5 hours.
Mathiveri-Male at 6:30 and at 15:30, on Friday only in the morning, cost – $60, the duration is 2,5 hours.
A trip from the airport to Mathiveri on a private speedboat takes 1.5 hours. The transfer is organized every day upon request. The transfer cost is $878 one way (per boat, not per person).
A seaplane flight to Mathiveri takes 15 minutes and costs approximately $268 one way per person. Seaplane transfer is to be booked in advance (5 days before arrival). Seaplanes fly only during daylight hours from 06:00 till 16:00.
Ferries between Mathiveri, Bodufolhudhoo, and Ukulhas are available every day.
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