Is it worth visiting GAN Island, Maldives?

Everyone who visits Maldives goes to Male, the capital. There is another international airport in Maldives, known as Gan Island, which is right on the equator line. Gan island is not too popular and doesn't have too many flights. Gan island doesn't have too many attractions/things to do either. So many would have this question- is it worth going to Gan or should we stick to Male? After spending a few days here at Gan Island, this post gives you an idea of what to expect at Gan Island and for what kind of travelers/tourists Gan would be worth visiting.

Visiting Gan Island, Maldives is worth if
1. You would like to visit a newer/less popular/less crowded destinations for a break
2. You are looking for some calm n peaceful place to spend long break (like say you're trying to write a book- you may get about 90 days visa on arrival at Gan
3. Wherever you go, you're very likely to spend most of your time inside resort campus. Doesn't make a huge difference if you're in Maldives, Mauritius or Miami- in such cases, visiting Gan would be lot cheaper and quicker.
4. You'd like to add an extension to your Srilanka or Maldives trip-spend a few days more in Gan before returning
5. You managed to grab a cheap ticket to Gan- doesn't really matter what's there
6. You'd like to undertake some course like PADI, Flying etc in absolute peace

Visiting Gan Island won't be worth if
1. You will easily get bored if there's nothing much to see or do at a destination [I have listed all possible things to do in this post]
2.  You need high flexibility to reschedule your travel (GAN doesn't have too many flights)
3. You are traveling with someone who could continuously crib about your selection of destination for various reasons
4.  are travelling with someone who might need medical attention (GAN has very limited infrastructure, facilities- so specialty medicines, expert doctors may not be available)
5. If your idea of vacation is visiting pubs, beach parties and so on. GAN has very limited night life and action

Good things about Gan
Not so good things about GAN island, Maldives
  • Absolute peace- no traffic, no crowd, very calm, serene and peaceful city to spend time in
  • Budget hotels to luxury resorts are available
  • Free Visa on arrival for Indians and many nationals
  • Can go to nearby islands by ferry
  • Nothing much to see/do etc to keep you busy- one will easily get bored in a few days
  • Everything is imported from elsewhere and hence is generally a bit expensive
  • Advance booking may be needed if you’d need a cab or wish to do scuba dive
  • Limited connectivity- Only 2 flights per week from Colombo, 4-5 daily flights to Male by Maldivian is bit expensive
  • Limited public transportation, ferry
Cost of visiting Gan Island:
Below is a rough estimate of how much your trip to Gan Island would cost.
#
Activity
Cost (INR)
USD
Remarks
1
Flight
7500 onwards
100
Depends on origin, class, season, sale etc
2
Stay
1800 per night onwards
25
Budget hotels-25$ a day
Resorts- 100 USD+ a day onwards
Most luxurious- Shangri La- 600 USD per day
3
Daily expense- food, few  taxi, ferry rides etc
1500-2000+
30-40 $+
Depends on actual





In total our 5 day trip cost us about 40000 INR for two people. 20k for flight+ 12k for hotel, another 8k approx for food, ferry n other things.

In summary, I won't regret our trip to Gan Island, Maldives- it was a totally different experience compared to crowded tourist destinations we usually visit. I wish there was an earlier flight out- I would have returned 2 days earlier to save some time n money. I suggest you keep Gan Island on your radar, plan a trip if you spot a decent deal. Srilankan regularly runs sales and promos, so you might manage to find some tempting fare from your city to Gan Island, Maldives.

Related: Bus service details in Gan * Koattey Magu scenic reserve in Gan * Is Top Slip worth visiting? 

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