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Visit Fainu: a fine address in Raa Atoll

By: Ruby Amir
28 November 2021, MVT 15:36
Swings on the beach in Fainu island. PHOTO/SAVE FAINU
By: Ruby Amir
28 November 2021, MVT 15:36

Fainu is a topographical beauty showing off its diverse flora and fauna in Raa Atoll. This is an island that, when seen from above, touches you with its vast area of tropical jungle that encircles a flourishing ecosystem. The island is home to early colonizers of equatorial forest trees, some aged to be more than 100 years that form the isle’s facade. Beautiful foliage thrives splendidly in the islands’ dense tropicality, walking through them, a spectacle like no other. Farmland plots are strategically planned out by the island’s farmers, the scene, a row of neat square grids from a drone’s perspective.

Fainu is an island that is favoured in history, with stories of earlier settlements. The island is believed to be visited by the Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta on his journey to the Maldives. Historically, the island was also known to be a hub of trading. The islanders’ are hand in hand with keeping the traditions at bay while striving for a sustainable community adaptive to nature’s resources. An illustration of this can be seen in the frequent beach cleanups with the whole island involved, from children to adults, among other sustainably driven activities.


A rare phenomenon that occurs in Fainu every year is that of the natural formation of a small lagoon within the existing beach. This occurrence in local terms is known as ‘ Kuda Moodhu’ or ‘ Beessaa Veli’. It is something that the islanders’ and neighbouring islanders’ look forward to every year. Family get-togethers, specifically among children, are enjoyed here due to the protectiveness the enclosed lagoon offers.

The island's cultural heritage is portrayed in the remnants of an era of different faith and social norms. By merely taking a walk on the streets of Fainu, you will witness the different ways the locals strive in a community built on moral values. Whether it is to witness a woman engaged in preparing ‘ Kanamadhu’, the Indian almond, for export or seeing a fisherman hauling in his catch of the day, the island life would stimulate your senses.

Beach on the island of Fainu

If you are an ocean lover, the waters surrounding the island will enchant you in wonder, taking you to new heights of underwater cruising. If you want to get hands-on in the islanders’ lifestyle and learn a skill or two, this is made possible. A visit to Fainu will leave you charmed and with the will to return again.

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R. Fainu