The island of Fuvahmulah (also written as Foammulah; both are pronounced like the English word 'formula') makes up Gnaviyani Atoll, a remote place stuck in the middle of the Equatorial Channel with a population of around 8500. About 5km long and 1km wide, it’s the third biggest island in Maldives and one of the most fertile, producing many fruits and vegetables in its neatly tended fields. The natural vegetation is lush, and there are two freshwater lakes – former lagoons – making it geographically about the most varied place in the country.
In recent years the building of a harbour and an airport here have greatly lessened Fuvahmulah’s sense of isolation, and the island is slowly welcoming tourism. While there's no bikini beach yet, there is a superb stretch of sand at one end of the island, some great diving, plenty of local colour and a friendly population.