Maafushi to Fulidhoo

How to Go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo [Ferries & Speedboats]

We’d started our Maldives island exploration on the busiest and biggest of the “local” islands, Maafushi, and now it was time to kick back a little bit and head to a smaller island. We’d picked Fulidhoo.  Fulidhoo is the most northern of the inhabited islands of Vaavu Atoll in the Maldives.  And yes that means it’s on a different atoll to Maafushi, which usually means that you need to transit via Malé if you want to use the public ferries in the Maldives.  Not this time though.  Here’s our guide on how to go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo.

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After 3 nights in Maafushi, we bid our host at the Sun Shine View farewell and headed to the ferry jetty.  He was collecting new guests and so joined us at the jetty and we chatted about life, tourism, and his role as a school teacher here in Maafushi.  It was fascinating and I encourage you to stay there for this alone!  There are two ways to get to Fulidhoo from Maafushi, a speedboat and the public ferry, so I’ll cover details of both of them.  First though before you depart Maafushi a couple of points.

There is no ATM on Fulidhoo, so you’ll need to get any cash you need while on Maafushi.  (Our guide to cash, ATMs, and currency in the Maldives is here).  Secondly, Fulidhoo is a much smaller island, with fewer people, and fewer facilities than Maafushi, prepare to slow down and relax! Fulidhoo was the second island that we visited on our 2 week itinerary in the Maldives.

Where is Fulidhoo?

Fulidhoo Island is the most northerly of Vaavu Atoll’s islands, it is about 58 kilometers (36 miles from Malé, the capital of the Maldives), and it’s about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from Maafushi to Fulidhoo.

There are 5 inhabited islands in the Vaavu Atoll, Felidhoo, Fulidhoo, Keyodhoo, Rakeedhoo, and Thinadhoo.  In turn, there are a total of 1,192 islands in the Maldives, located within 20 administrative atolls, with 26 physical atolls.  Only 187 islands are inhabited.  An atoll is simply a name for a coral reef, ring-shaped island, or series of islets.

Our guide to the island and 6 reasons to visit Fulidhoo is here.

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How to Go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo – Transport Options

There are two options for going to Fulidhoo from Maafushi.  There’s a public ferry three times a week and there are speedboats, so you’ll need to plan your Maldives itinerary carefully to take account of the timetables if you plan on taking public ferries.  You should read our guide to the Maldives public ferries here.

How to go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo

We’d arrived on Maafushi on a speedboat from Malé Airport (you can read about that here), but if we’d traveled on any other day than a Friday we would have been able to take the public ferry (we did that later in the trip).  And one of the public ferries that goes from Malé to Maafushi actually continues onto Fulidhoo, which is unusual as ferries don’t usually transit the different atolls.

Maafushi to Fulidhoo by Public Ferry

The Maafushi to Fulidhoo public ferry runs THREE days a week.  It also runs a different THREE days a week in the opposite direction.  You can’t pre-book tickets on this ferry.

Maafushi to Fulidhoo Public Ferry Timetable

There is one public ferry that goes between Maafushi and Fulidhoo and here’s the timetable

The timetable for the 306 ferry from Maafushi to Fulidhoo is as follows:

Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday:  Leaves Maafushi at 11:35 and arrives at Fulidhoo at 13:20

You can find the MTCC public ferry timetables here.  You’ll want to read our guide to Maldives public ferries in conjunction with it.

If you’re looking for this boat in the opposite direction then

The timetable for the 306 ferry from Fulidhoo to Maasfushi is as follows:

Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday:  Leaves Fulidhoo at 10:45 and arrives Maafushi at 12:25. If you’re heading to Maafushi, our guide to the island is here.

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Buying tickets for the Maafushi to Fulidhoo Public Ferry

You’ll buy your tickets for the Maafushi to Fulidhoo public ferry when you’re actually on the boat.  Just board the boat, drop your bigger bags in the luggage store (usually at the back of the ferry), and find a seat. 

One of the boat crew will come round and sell you a ticket.  All the tickets have the price on them, and the crew will always find change if you only have large notes.  You’ll need to pay for these ferry tickets in cash in Maldivian Rufiyaa.

Cost of Public Ferry from Maafushi to Fulidhoo

Tickets from Maafushi to Fulidhoo on the public ferry cost 53 MVR per person. 

Tickets Maafushi to Fulidhoo Ferry

Boarding the Maafushi to Fulidhoo Public Ferry

The public ferry jetty in Maasfushi is also where all the speedboats and day trips come in and leave from.  (There is a new jetty being built, but that ground to a halt following the elections and hasn’t restarted yet, despite being about 99% complete!).

The ferry is pretty recognizable and very different from the speedboats, so just stand in a line when it approaches, the dock area is quite small.

Wait until all the passengers who have traveled on the Malé to Maafushi ferry have got off and then hop on.  All the ferries board from the front, step up, and walk through the ferry.  Your luggage goes to the back of the boat and is stacked up and you just pick a seat.

Maafushi to Fulidhoo Ferry arriving in Maafushi

The signs on the seats for “don’t sit here” are from COVID and can be ignored unless they reinstate any controls.  We opted for window seats (check that they open, some don’t), with a curtain and on the opposite side of the boat to the sun. 

What’s the public ferry from Maafushi to Fulidhoo like?

The ferries are wooden boats, with rows of seats.  Round the outside of the ferry, there are benches, where you can lie down and sleep if you want, or get more air.  In the middle of this ferry are rows of plastic chairs. 

on the Maafushi to fulidhoo Ferry

We left Maafushi just a few minutes late and headed off.  We bought our tickets from the crew, and were offered a coconut, but declined and sat back to enjoy the trip.

We had a cellphone signal pretty much all the way here – (the best eSIM to buy for the Maldives is here), but if your phone doesn’t take eSIMs then here’s our guide to SIMs for the Maldives.

Maafushi to Fulidhoo Ferry

The ferry from Maafushi to Fulidhoo takes about 2 hours and the weather was good for the whole trip.  We passed dolphins on the way and the crew were really quick to point them out so no one missed them.  (We saw them on the way back from Fulidhoo to Maafushi too)

Jetty in Fulidhoo on arrival

Maafushi to Fulidhoo Speedboats

If you’ve not managed to arrange your schedule to travel from Maafushi to Fulidhoo on a day when the public ferry is running, then you can take a speedboat.  However, there are no scheduled speedboats that run between Maafushi and Fulidhoo, so you’ll need to arrange a private speedboat.  The best way to do that is via your hotel or guesthouse.

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Arriving on Fulidhoo Island

Whether you arrive by public ferry or speedboat onto Fulidhoo Island, you’ll arrive at the single jetty on the island.  I’ve marked it on the map and you can’t miss it.  This is also where the dive boats leave from and any trips that you might plan.

Your hotel will know when you’re arriving, but will also confirm with you, and they’ll be waiting to meet you.  Google Maps isn’t totally accurate when it comes to placing hotels and restaurants on Fulidhoo, so it’s a good job they do meet you.  Our hosts from the Malas Island View were on hand to meet us.  Our big bags were transported in a small truck and we followed along behind to check in.

While the “roads” on Maafushi were reasonably solid sand, here on Fulidhoo the sand is a lot softer, so bags with wheels aren’t much use here. 

Map of Ferry Jetties for going from Maafushi to Fulidhoo

You can also see the full map of ferry jetties here

Map of How to Go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo

The cheapest way to go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo

The cheapest way to get to Fulidhoo from Maafushi is also the only way (unless you’re forking out for a private speedboat) and that’s to take the public ferry. 

Tips for Traveling the Maldives

Final Words on How to Go from Maafushi to Fulidhoo

There is something glorious about arriving somewhere on a public ferry.  And Fulidhoo is one of those places.  While visitors made up a good proportion of the people on the public ferry that we took, there were also a good number of locals using the ferry too.  This is a great way to travel, seeing dolphins en-route was lovely and whether you sleep or take the opportunity to watch the islands and resorts slip by, it is delightful as you slowly chug toward Fulidhoo.

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