Life in Omadhoo is simple and has changed very little over the past few hundred years. Islanders wake with first light for the morning prayers, and make the most of the cooler hours to sweep the sandy paths between their houses. Breakfast is usually the traditional mas huni, a mixture of tuna, scraped coconut and flecks of chilli, scooped into a roshi, a paper-thin chapatti of flour and water.
As the children head to the island school, many Omadhoo residents will head to work, with most making their livelihood from fishing, teaching, owning small shops and businesses or by working in the island council.
In the afternoon, children play in the streets and by the shore whilst their parents escape the heat of the day in a joalhi, a traditional Maldivian rope chair, sometimes hung from a tree like a hammock.
Days are punctuated by the five calls to prayer, heard from the island’s mosque, and many of the islanders will congregate outside the mosque to chat after prayers. Although an entirely Muslim country, with a strong Islamic identity, Maldivians pride themselves on their moderate views and are warmly accepting of visitors from other countries.
Evenings are filled with dinner preparations, usually fresh fish, curries and rice and with entertainment: chess, traditional drumming and talking politics until the small hours.
Visitors find that they soon slip into the pace of island living, especially after hours in the ocean, and enjoy lazy afternoons and quiet evenings.
The beach in Omadhoo is one of those picture perfect stretches of sand that have made the Maldives famous across the world. Guests are welcome to sunbathe and swim in swimwear in the designated Bikini Beach, practice yoga, read in the shade or snorkel along the house to look for turtles, schooling fish and harmless, juvenile sharks.
If you’re looking for a new experience, take a kayak around the lagoon or sign up for a Discover Scuba Diving programme with the island’s dive school. When there’s so many ways to have fun, it’s difficult to choose!