Best of the Maldives: Iconic Island – Soneva Gili

Soneva Gili - One Palm Island

When people ask ‘What are the Maldives like?’, my first response is always, ‘You know those pictures of a tropical island that is a plot of sand with a single palm tree like in the cartoons? That is the Maldives. Just think of over a thousand of those.’

Well, of course, they are not all that miniscule, but it gets the notion across in a dramatic way. I find that I have to add a bit of hyperbole because most people struggle to truly get their head around the smallness of the islands. When you tell people the islands are small, they think ‘oh, probably takes just a short while to drive around.’ No, it takes a short while to WALK around.

But is there an island that actually fits that iconic stereotype. In fact, I use a photograph of such an island as the background to my About page.

It turns out the name of this dollop of sand is called…wait for it…One Palm Island. Not much in the imagination department, but I guess it is what it says on the tin. It’s just off the ‘coast’ of Soneva Gili about a few hundred yards into the atoll. The Soneva site describes the private dinner you can have there…

“Private dining on One Palm Island. Imagine a tiny strip of sand with one lone palm tree. Imagine the island twinkling in candlelight, surrounded only by the sea and the stars above. A private barbeque dinner on One Palm Island is an experience you will never forget.”

New Yorker - tropical island

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