Milandhoo is an island in the Shaviyani Atoll administrative division and geographically a part of the Miladhummadulhu group in Thiladhunmati Atoll.
Up to 1997, the island was uninhabited until the country’s Minister of Atolls initiated a project to build homes on the island to house residents of nearby Maakandoodhoo which had become contaminated.
When the tsunami severely damaged Maakandoodhoo in 2004, the project was fast-tracked and the island was officially recognized as an inhabited island on March 20, 2005. The island now has 2,140 inhabitants.
Milandhoo: What to Do
The island has a couple of freshwater attractions. In northwestern Milandhoo
there is lake Sikundi Kulhi (prawn lake) which has an abundance of translucent prawns and shrimp. These shrimp are very small and only grow to be up to 1.5 inches (38 mm) in length. The lake also has barracudas, and various species of crab that live around its shore.
The clay deposits in the middle of the lake are used in the Maldives in a number of traditional medical practices.
Nearby, visitors can also find bottle gourd plants, ironwood, sea hibiscus, and mangroves. On the southwestern portion of the island, visitors can also make the trip to Rayy Kulhi (Red Pond).
The pond gets its name from the gourd plants and mangroves in the surrounding swamp which redden the water. While the pond is smaller and shallower than Sikundi Kulhi, it is a popular picnic destination.
Milandhoo also has a number of pristine white sand beaches that serve as perfect destinations for just relaxing in the sand, swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving.
Local guides, either independent, or associated with guest houses, can take visitors on dive or snorkel trips that will allow them to see and swim with some of the local marine life, including manta rays, turtles, and sharks.
Milandhoo: Where to Stay
The two primary accommodations on Milandhoo are the Viceroy Maldives, which is
up-scale and ultra luxurious, and the Marco Milan Lodge. The Viceroy is another of the Viceroy chain, which has a number of luxury resorts located in glamorous locations all around the world.
It comes with five star amenities, including a restaurant and a spa.
The Marco Milan Lodge is a more affordable option, but is still very comfortable, and comes with a variety of amenities, including a restaurant.