In the last ten years, it has become somewhat easier to travel and explore the Maldives independently. Following a change in the law, there is now a national ferry network and some hotels have cropped up on the inhabited islands. There is therefore a backpacker presence now in places like Maafushi, which is not too far from Malé.
Travelling around on the ferries is a great experience and inexpensive, but can be quite slow and confusing. Timetables are not strictly adhered to and if you are looking to cover a large distance it can take as long as 36 hours. Speedboats and seaplanes are a faster but more expensive option.
Fleewinter work with carefully selected local contacts for your airport pickups, and with the support of resorts to arrange day trips or transfers for multi-stay tours. This allows us to make the local experiences available to our customers without long waits. We would advise arranging any local island trips through us and with the support of the hotel staff. We definitely recommend spending some time out on a traditional Dhoni boat even if its just a short sunset tour. You will see the Maldives like a local.