Discovering Gan Island – Visiting anywhere in the Maldives generally means you have to choose which type of experience you want – luxurious resort or seclusion and local culture. Resorts here tend to be either on a private island or are located in a part of an island that’s been cut off from civilization, so to speak. Gan Island is a bit of a rarity in this instance. The island, and its hotel, Equator Village, offer you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds.
Gan Island hasn’t always been as accessible as it is today, but thanks to Sri Lankan Airlines, four flights have been added departing from Colombo to Gan. This is the first airline to offer a destination in the Maldives farther than Male. Being able to fly directly to the island means you no longer have to arrive in Male and transfer to a domestic flight, air-taxi, or speedboat. Besides that obvious hassle, the direct route also cuts costs that can be associated with getting so far remote.
In the most southern portion of the Maldives, Gan Island is part of Addu Atoll and has fascinating history. Gan Island has played the role of both an air- and a naval base – first, during World War II and later during the Cold War.
Addu Atoll is made up of seven unique islands. Four of these islands are connected via causeways that are passable by car, bike, or on foot. Arriving on Gan promises the seclusion you’re seeking from a remote island, but also offers the proximity to more inhabited islands, such as Maradoo, to get a feel for real life in the Maldives.
Equator Village Hotel is about a half-mile from your airport. If you’re looking for luxury that doesn’t scream opulence, you’re in the right place. The hotel is located on the former air/naval base. By modern standards, it’s not a lavish place, but the variety of amenities is overshadowed by the truly fantastic location. The hotel’s design is simple, but all suites have private bath facilities, refrigerators, and air conditioning, as well as a lovely veranda.