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Maldives Yacht Rally - where the sailors meet the locals and experience the true Maldives

by Maldives Yacht Rally 19 Feb 09:44 UTC 1-18 March 2023
Savaadheeththa Dhathuru © Abdulla Abeedh

The Maldives is well-known for their spectacular coral reefs and marine life, as well as their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and luxurious resorts. However, the Maldives has much more to offer tourists. The Savaadheeththa Dhathuru offers such experiences for the participants.

'Savaadheeththa Dhathuru' is a sailing event organized by the Maldives Integrated Tourism Corporation (MITDC) that invites yachtsmen from around the world to take part in a journey across the Maldives seas, stopping at local islands, exploring the heritage, experiencing famous dive sites, sandbanks, and so on.

"Savaadheeththa Dhathuru" (aka The Great Journey) was introduced with the goal of preserving Maldivian culture and heritage for future generations, by reviving nautical tourism in the Maldives.

The Savaadheeththa Dhathuru - Maldives Yacht Rally provides an opportunity to discover the wonder and beauty of the Maldives. What better way to experience the Maldives than by sailing the waters from island to island, like our forefathers did? So, let's take a closer look at what this year's rally has to offer.

The second edition of the Savaadheeththa Dhathuru, covering 169.62 nautical miles, will commence on March 1, 2023, at N. Landhoo. Following that, Lh. Hinnavaru, B. Goidhoo, AA. Thoddoo, AA. Rasdhoo, AA. Ukulhas, ADh. Dhangethi, ADh. Dhigurah, and ADh. Maamigili will be visited, with the tour ending in ADh. Maamigili.

The rally's first stop, Landhoo, is located in the Noonu Atoll in the Maldives' northernmost islands, has long been a centre for stone cutting and engraving. Landhoo was one of our rally destinations of first edition, and they have demonstrated so much more for the second edition, to let the guests enjoy local culture and traditions. Landhoo itinerary includes several activities to help visitors learn about local culture and traditions, as well as a display of the two most important cultural activities: Bodu Mas (a celebration in which fishermen catch a large fish made of woven coconut palm leaves) and Koadi (cutting down of a wooden stick). Landhoo has also arranged a tour of the island's 'Ancient Stone,' as well as a Mud Bath at the island wetland.

Lh. Hinnavaru is 23 nautical miles from Landhoo. Hinnavaru is well known for its distinctive cuisine dishes such as Athujeh, Kulhi Hadhiyaa, and Ulhaali, which will be available for purchase by participants at the stalls set up by locals. Hinnavaru's primary occupation is fishing, hence the island has large fishing fleets. As a result, the island has planned for guests to experience a fully inclusive fishing trip during this rally. A tour of the island has also been planned, as well as several water sport activities for tourists. The trip to Hinnavaru will be concluded with a barbeque.

B. Goidhoo is the rally's third stop. Goidhoo, located 44.62 nautical miles from Hinnavaru, is a hotspot for Hawksbill Turtles. Visitors to this island will be greeted with refreshing drinks and a showcase of cultural activities such as Handoo Hovun, Fangi Vinun, and others. Guests will be taken on a local sightseeing tour of Goidhoo island. The Maldivian twist on musical chairs, Fothi Foruvaa, will then be played as an entertainment activity. The islanders will also organize temporary tiny canteens to cater to their visitors during the entertainment. After participating in water sports, the visitors will play a friendly mini-beach volleyball match against the locals.

AA. Thoddoo, which is only 34.37 nautical miles from Goidhoo, is well-known for its agricultural and is the Maldives' top watermelon producer. Tours of the island and farms, including the agrotourism, will be included in the trip to Thoddoo. Additionally, the locals will put up a temporary retail business at the farm site for the guests. The visitors will also be taken to see the old shrine (Thoddoo Dhaagabaa) Buddhist Ruin Temple Site and participate in water sports. The day will end with a special dinner and music performance to celebrate International Women's Day.

AA. Rasdhoo is the fifth stop on our rally; it is the administrative centre of the Alif Alif Atoll and is located 10.65 nautical miles from Thoddoo. The day will begin with a warm welcome and refreshments, followed by an island tour of the guesthouses, gift shops, etc. Rasdhoo is well well-known for its habitats of black and white reef sharks, eagle rays, large schools of reef fish, batfish, parrot fish, napoleon fish, and schools of barracudas. Participants at Rasdhoo will have the chance to engage in water sports in the stunning waters of the Alif Alif Atoll. On the second day of their stay in Rasdhoo, guests will go fishing, followed by a BBQ dinner with a cultural show.

AA. Ukulhas, the last island of the Alif Alif Atoll administrative division, is 08.66 nautical miles from Rasdhoo and is well known for its cleanliness and well-maintained waste management system and is known as the first systematically waste-managed island in the Republic of Maldives' history. The trip to Ukulhas will include an island tour, a demonstration of the unique and cultural art of weaving coconut palm leaves (Fangi vinun) iloshi kehun and other traditional works, a tour of the Waste management centre, and a tour of the Convention Centre. The guests will also be taken to Coral Garden for snorkelling, discounted water sports, and beach games such as dodgeball. To conclude the day, guests will be treated to a Maldivian feast with live music, marketing stalls showcasing the unique traditional and cultural products of Ukulhas, and activities such as karaoke will be available for their enjoyment. The island is lately more famous for MICE tourism activities.

ADh. Dhangethi, the rally's seventh stop, is 37.61 nautical miles from Ukulhas and the first stop on our trip through the Alif Dhaal Atoll. The trip to Dhangethi Island begins with welcome refreshments and souvenirs, followed by a cultural show highlighting the work done in the Maldivians' ancient life. The guests will then be taken on an island tour to show them the beauty of the island, such as the Dhangethi mosque and banyan tree (nika gas), as well as a variety of leisure activities available to tourists. After lunch, guests will participate in traditional Maldivian games such as Mandi, Ohgondi, Thinmugoli, and other sports. Locals will also provide mini canteen service to guests. The trip to Dhangethi will conclude with an exquisite Maldivian dinner featuring a variety of delectable Maldivian cuisine.

ADh. Dhigurah is located 04.43 nautical miles from Dhangethi, and its surrounding waters are well-known for their whale shark activity. The day will start with an island tour. After lunch, beach games such as volleyball and dodgeball will be played at the sand spit for both guests and locals. At the end of the day, a traditional Maldivian dinner will be prepared at the Thundi. A local band will entertain the guests during dinner.

The rally's final stop, ADh. Maamigili, is 06.28 nautical miles from Dhigurah and is known as 'Whale Shark Island.' Guests will be greeted with refreshments, followed by special cultural dances and a traditional drum show called "Boduberu." This will be followed by a friendly mini beach volleyball match against the locals. Guests can also participate in other beach activities and swim in Maamigili's beautiful waters. In the evening, locals dressed in cultural attire will show the guests various cultural activities such as Fangi vinun, etc. A photo booth will also be set up for guests to take pictures with the island's residents to keep as memories. The trip to Maamigili will conclude with an extremely festive BBQ dinner night.

Marking the end of this beautiful journey from the Noonu Atoll and the Alif Dhaal Atoll, the rally will conclude with a special surprise Gala Night for all participants. Several distinguished Maldivian guests and dignitaries will join us for the Gala Night.

The Maldives is an oceanic haven for residents and visitors alike, and there is no better way to visit and experience the 'Maldivian ways' than on this voyage. We anticipate that the second edition will be more successful than the first.

Join the rally, and experience true Maldives!

For more information visit the official website of the yacht rally:

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