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  4. Top-beaches of the Maldives: 21 places with a fantastic coast

The Maldivian beaches are world-famous for the snow-white sands and crystal-clear waters. It is not so easy to choose among the great selection of places. You can decide which Maldivian beach is the best, based on different criteria - proximity to Male airport, house reef presence, preferred infrastructure and other details. In this article, we are going to explore the peculiarities of enjoying the beach rest in the Maldives and will bring to your attention not a rating and even not an overlook, but a parade of the best places of the archipelago, which you will certainly remember.

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Пляж на Мальдивах

Unique features of the beach holiday in the Maldives

The Maldives is an Islamic state, which places certain restrictions on the beach rest. In the Maldives it is forbidden to:

  • Swim naked or topless at any island of the archipelago.
  • Wear bikini, but this is not related to the beaches which belong to the separate resorts. On several local islands the bikini-beaches are available for tourists.
  • Bring alcohol to the Maldives and drink it (except at the private resort islands).
  • Go fishing independently.
  • Damage corals.
  • Throw litter on the ground or into the ocean.

Besides above-mentioned the hotel administration advise guests to avoid swimming in the dark time. This restriction does not apply to night diving and snorkeling if accompanied by an instructor.

Milaidhoo Island Resort
Diving in the Maldives | Milaidhoo Island Resort

Interesting facts about the Maldivian beaches

  • At the Fuvahmulah Island, 500 kilometers away from Male, there is a Thundi beach, which has no look-alike in the world. Its sand is formed of tiny white round pebble stone, uncommonly smooth and shiny. A phenomenon called Bisaaveli appears often here, when a part of beach sand shifts from the shore to the edge of the reef, forming a lagoon, surrounded by sands and island coast.
  • The ghost crabs (cleaners) help to keep the beach tidy. They eat everything they can find on the beach, including the vegetation and the garbage, brought by the high water.
  • The most of the snow-white Maldivian sand is undigested coral remains, produced by the parrotfish. This fish eats seaweed and dead corals, spending 90% of its time on it. Every fish creates up to 320 kilos of such sand per year.
  • A popular Maldivian proverb "no news, no shoes" is fully reasonable. Firstly, the rest is truly careless; secondly, there is this sand. It is made of corals and does not get warm. It is comfortable to walk barefoot at many resorts even during the intense heat.
  • The sands at the Maldives tend to shift twice a year depending on the monsoons. From January till March they move to the south-west, from May to September - to the north-east.

Песчаный мальдивский пляж

The most splendid beaches of the Maldives

There are no unattractive beaches in the Maldives. Every tiny spot of sandy land at the shore of the Indian Ocean will bring joy to the traveler. From the other side, some beaches have their peculiarities and benefits.

Fulhadhoo beach, Baa Atoll

It is located on the identically named island of Baa Atoll and is mentioned in Forbes Top 50 best beaches of the world. This place fantastically unites pristine natural beauty and traditional lifestyle of a small local village of 250 citizens, which is situated in the eastern part of the island.

The island itself is set quite far from the popular touristic routes, which allows fully enjoying privacy among the palm trees. Fulhadhoo beach does not possess great infrastructure but you can hide from the sun in the shadow of tropical greenery.

Fulhadhoo benefits:

  • One of the most beautiful beaches of the local Maldivian islands.
  • Families with kids will enjoy the shallow warm lagoons with azure water.
  • Great snorkeling at the coral reefs.

Please notice: swimming in bikini is only permitted in the western part of the island.

How to get here from Male: the distance to the island is over 100 kilometers. A speedboat trip to Goidhoo island takes about 2-2.5 hours and is followed by a 10-minute trip on another boat to Fulhadhoo island.

Nearby hotels: Azoush Tourist Guesthouse, Village Hideaway and SPA.

Fulhadhoo | Itte maldiviano

Fehendhoo island of Baa Atoll

It is a neighbor to Fulhadhoo island of Baa Atoll. The island has splendid snow-white beaches, the purest ocean water and a small village of just 150 citizens. You can always find a private spot to rest in a hammock of the palm trees shadow here.

The benefits of the island beaches:

There is a little stony island just 50 meters away from the beach area, where you can fully enjoy solitude surrounded by fantastic ocean nature. The island is set among the coral reefs, where tropical fish shoals live.

Please notice: there are places for swimming in a bikini.

Nearby hotel: Fehendhoo Stay, Tropical Village.

How to get here from Male:

  • By a speedboat to Goidhoo Atoll, followed by a hotel boat transfer.
  • By plane to Dharavandhoo airport, followed by a private boat transfer.

The distance from the airport to the island is about 100 kilometers.

Dhigurah Island beaches, the South Ari Atoll

This resort island is located in the South Ari Atoll area. Translated from the Maldivian language, "dhigurah" means "a long island". It got the original name thanks to its stretched form. The most part of Dhigurah is covered by the lush tropical greenery, which combined with pearl-white beaches, makes it one of the most picturesque places of the Maldivian Islands.

Dhigurah beaches peculiarities:

Thanks to the absence of high waves and grand depth, Dhigurah beaches are suitable for family vacations. The perfect picture is completed by a beautiful house reef, where you can admire whale sharks, rare turtles and mantas.

Please notice: there are places for swimming in a bikini.

How to get here from Male:

  • By seaplane or speedboat (faster and more expensive option)
  • By №307 ferry to Mahibadhoo Island with a transfer to №308 ferry on certain days of the week (quite long, but budget option)

The airport is approximately 100 kilometers away from the island.

Nearby hotel: Boutique Beach All Inclusive Diving Hotel, Athiri Beach Maldives, TME Retreats Dhigurah.


Dhigurah | Bliss Dhigurah

Bandos Maldives, the North Male Atoll

This is an island of the North Male Atoll, popular among tourists due to a comfortable location nearby the airport. The Bandos pride is a white beach, lush vegetation and clear blue water, creating a sense of peace.


  • The beach is equipped with sunbeds, hammocks and tent-beds.
  • Shallow and safe lagoons, inflatable slides and a pool provide great conditions for a family vacation.
  • The island is surrounded by one of the best house reefs in the Maldives.
  • Water activities enthusiasts can enjoy water skiing, jet skiing and any other water transport.

Nearby hotel: Bandos Maldives 4*.

How to get here from Male: by speedboat in less than 20 minutes.

Bandos Maldives
Bandos Maldives

Taj Exotica, South Male

A resort in the South Male area takes a special place among the best Indian Ocean resorts. Taj Exotica does not have a house reef, but it is fully remunerated by a grand and splendid lagoon, the purity of velvet beach and the whole island, comfortable villas, spotless service, and fantastic panoramas.

Beach holiday peculiarities:

  • The beach is equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas and fridges with water.
  • Local waters are inhabited besides tiny fish, by manta rays and small reef sharks.
  • The hotel can organize a full range of water activities including snorkeling and diving on request.

Please notice: the hotel is located close to the airport, there might be some noise from the planes.

How to get here from Male: by boat within 15 minutes.

Taj Exotica
Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives

Meeru, North Male

It is a green island-resort in the North Male Atoll area. The only island resort Meeru Island Resort and Spa 4* is surrounded by a beautiful lagoon and wide white sandy beach. The island is quite big, that is why there is always a place for privacy at the beach. The well-designed villas over the azure lagoon offer a great vista of the infinite ocean.

Beach activities include:

  • Complimentary tours to the house reef twice a day
  • Diving center services
  • Catamaran and kayak tours
  • Fishing

How to get here from Male: by boat in 45 minutes.

Meeru Island Resort & Spa
Meeru Island Resort & Spa

Kuda Huraa, North Male

It is a private resort of the North Male Atoll. There is only one hotel on the island - Four Seasons Resort Maldives 5*, which has received a high mark from Forbes in 2020. The hotel provides about 100 overwater villas and bungalows, surrounded by tropical greenery. The beach is covered by gentle coral grains, equipped with hammocks and sunbeds. Only the resort guests have access here.

Kuda Huraa beach activities include:

  • Surfing and other water entertainments
  • Shark safari
  • Dolphin watching in the open sea
  • Diving center services

Windsurfing and snorkeling equipment are offered by the hotel free of charge. Kids may enjoy beach games program. One of the popular local entertainments is marine citizens feeding in the evening.

How to get here from Male: by speedboat in 25 minutes.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Nalaguraidhoo, South Ari

Nalaguraidhoo is a big private island of the South Ari Atoll, surrounded by the clean beaches. A long sand bar, located at the eastern part of the island, is a great spot for romantic dates, wedding ceremonies and private parties.

Peculiarities of vacation here:

The island is really green. The waters in the southern part are calmer, but the northern part is well-equipped with sunbeds, tents and a pool. Right in front of the northern beach, there is a tiny island with an Italian Al Pontile restaurant on it. The waters around this venue are considered the best place for snorkeling on the island.

Beach entertainments:

  • Canoeing
  • Windsurfing
  • Catamaran
  • Sailing
  • Water ski
  • Jet ski
  • Family water activities
  • Night fishing
  • Whale sharks tours

Nearby hotel: Sun Island Resort and SPA 5*, which has received the TripAdvisor awards several times and also is considered a leading family and eco-resort of the country.

How to get here from Male: by domestic flight to Maamigili, followed by a hotel boat trip.

Sun Island Resort & Spa
Sun Island Resort & Spa

Thoddoo, North Ari

A picturesque island of the North Ari Atoll offers its guests to visit one of the most splendid beaches of the Maldives. The calm sapphire water and flat sandy bottom create perfect conditions for swimming and snorkeling, especially for children and inexperienced swimmers. Here you can unwind in hammocks or sunbeds in the palm trees shadow.

Thoddoo beaches peculiarities:

  • There are places for swimming in a bikini. The best bikini-beach is situated in the western part of the island.
  • There is a swing set above the water for awesome Instagram photos.

Entertainments include: jet ski, wakeboarding, banana rides, snorkeling, diving, tours to neighboring islands, sand bar and uninhabited island.

Nearby hotel: Coco Villa, Lunara Residence 4*.

There are several options to get here from Male:

  • By public boat in 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  • By №304 ferry with a transfer to №303 ferry at Rasdhoo Island on certain days of the week.

Hurawalhi, Lhaviyani Atoll

It is a resort-island with a large underwater restaurant, located in the Lhaviyani Atoll. Hurawalhi Island Resort 5* offers everything necessary for both guests dreaming of a careless holiday and extreme enthusiasts. The island location between two channels favors the unbelievable variety and number of marine inhabitants.

Hurawalhi beach activities:

  • Snorkeling
  • Jet ski
  • Parasailing
  • Waterskiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Canoeing
  • Windsurfing
  • Catamaran

How to get here from Male: a trip by seaplane takes about 40 minutes.

Hurawalhi Island Resort
Hurawalhi Island Resort

Kanuhura Island beaches, Lhaviyani Atoll

Another Lhaviyani Atoll private island provides pristine beaches surrounded by tropical gardens and sparkling ocean water. Here you can reach a perfect balance between active leisure and inner peace.

Among the beach activities there are:

  • Water sports
  • Diving
  • Romantic dinners under the full moon and beach picnics

Nearby hotel: Kanuhura 5*.

How to get here from Male: by seaplane within 40 minutes.

Kanuhura Maldives
Kanuhura Maldives

Milaidhoo beaches, Baa Atoll

A small island of Baa Atoll has beaches that are a part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Due to its proximity to the coral reef, this area possesses a rich marine life perfect for snorkeling and diving. Besides swimming and sunbathing you can go fishing with local fishermen, take a private tour with a marine biologist or enjoy diving.

Milaidhoo beach entertainments:

  • Kayaks
  • Glass-bottom canoe
  • Windsurfing
  • Stand up surfing
  • Catamaran

Milaidhoo Island 5* guests can use snorkeling equipment for free.

How to get here from Male: by seaplane in 30 minutes.

Milaidhoo Island
Milaidhoo Island

Bikini-Beach, Alif-Alif Atoll

A great public beach is located in the touristic part of Rsadhoo Island in Alif-Alif Atoll area. As far as it is an inhabited island, there are beaches for local citizens in the opposite side of the island.

Bikini-beach peculiarities:

  • The territory of the beach is quite wide, green and equipped with sunbeds.
  • Bikini-beach is popular among budget travelers.
  • Right by the beach, there is a big reef with a lot of underwater inhabitants, including sharks, manta rays and moray eels.

Please notice: beside private beaches, Bikini-beach is the only official beach in the Maldives, where the bikini is allowed.

Nearby hotel: Rasreef Maldives, Rasdhoo Island Inn.

How to get here from Male: by ferry three times a week or by everyday speedboat. The distance to the island is 59 kilometers.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa beach, the South Ari Atoll

Lily Beach Resort & Spa is a famous resort located on the Huvahendhoo Island in the South Ari Atoll area. The beach has wave breakers, the bottom sometimes is rocky. This is compensated by the luxurious villas set right on the beach allowing to descent to the house reef.

Activities available at the resort beach:

  • Water skiing and jet ski
  • Glass-bottom canoe
  • Exciting snorkeling and diving
  • Sharks and manta rays feeding

How to get here from Male: by seaplane in 25 minutes.

Lily Beach Resort & Spa
Lily Beach Resort & Spa

Cocoa Island, the South Male Atoll

COMO Cocoa Island is a small island resort in the South Male Atoll area, surrounded by a large coral reef. Velvet sand, swinging palm trees and the purest water allow to rest from everyday life.

The overwater villas with wooden terraces allow to slide right into the azure lagoon and explore the vivid house reef. You can snorkel with curious turtles and sharks, and admire the dolphins.

The resort provides complimentary snorkeling and non-motorized equipment for water sports.

How to get here from Male: by speedboat in 40 minutes.

COMO Cocoa Island
COMO Cocoa Island

Reethi Beach, Baa Atoll

A paradise corner, located on a tiny island of Fonimagoodhoo in Baa Atoll area, belongs to a famous Reethi Beach Resort 4*. A long sandy beach is bordered by luscious tropical greenery. It is equipped with a bar, sunbeds, hammocks, pillows and decorated with pathways, allowing to go barefoot around the island territory.

Benefits of stay:

There is a nice house reef, where you can encounter manta rays, octopuses and moray eels.

How to get here from Male: by seaplane in 35 minutes. The distance to the island is 125 kilometers.

Reethi Beach Resort
Reethi Beach Resort

Kandolhu at the North Ari Atoll

A small Kandolhu Island of the North Ari Atoll offers a luxurious Kandolhu Island Resort 5*.  The resort provides a green and very clean beach. A house reef invites for an exciting snorkeling. The island is situated not far from the best diving spots of the North and South Ari. A wide range of non-motorized equipment for water sports is available at the well-equipped beach.

How to get here from Male: by seaplane in 25 minutes.

Kandolhu Island Maldives

Kandolhu Island Maldives

Finolhu Kanifushi Island beach, Baa Atoll

Finolhu Kanifushi is one of the best beach resorts of the Maldives. It is situated at Baa Atoll, within the territory of Biosphere Reserve, protected by UNESCO.


The name of the island can be translated as a "sandbank". The white sand bar is a landmark of the island, a spot for romantic walks and beautiful sunsets. The resort beaches spread for about two kilometers. The tropical plants enrich the sandy paths. Those who seek peace may enjoy the whisper of waves and azure ocean.

Active pastime enthusiasts may enjoy diving, touring on boats and catamarans or attend one of the beach parties.

Nearby hotel: Finolhu Resort 5*.

How to get here from Male:

  • By seaplane in 30 minutes.
  • By domestic flight to Dharavandhoo Island, followed by a speedboat transfer.

Finolhu Resort

Finolhu Resort

Huvafen Fushi, the North Male Atoll

Huvafen Fushi is a private resort for adults, visited to enjoy the gentle sun rays, calm privacy and island beautiful nature. Azure water of every imaginable shade, fine white sand, cocoa palm trees and bright-blue sky will make you fall in love with them.


  • One of the best house reefs in the Maldives.
  • A shallow lagoon in the northern part of the island provides a perfect place for snorkeling and fishing.
  • A wide range of beach activities.

How to get here from Male: by hotel boat in 30 minutes.

Huvafen Fushi
Huvafen Fushi

Veligandu, the North Ari Atoll

It is a romantic island with adults-only Veligandu Island Resort & Spa 4*, which is located in the North Ari Atoll. Pristine beaches, full of relaxation and privacy, combine calm and active leisure possibilities.


A beautiful resort beach is equipped with hammocks and sunbeds with thatched umbrellas.

For active guests, there are a lot of water sports available, including snorkeling, diving and different tours.

There is a unique water illumination by underwater lights at the territory of water villas.

Veligandu translated from dhivehi means a "sand bar", which is located in the southern part of the island. The best snorkeling at the house reef may be found here. There are several exciting diving spots nearby, where you can encounter reef sharks, manta rays and hammer sharks.

How to get here from Male: by seaplane in 20 minutes.

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
Veligandu Island Resort & Spa

Vaadhoo Island beaches, Raa Atoll

This place deserves your full attention. The famous "sea of stars", a unique natural wonder, created by bioluminescent phytoplankton living in local waters can be seen here. Night walks over the carpet of myriads of twinkling stars to live your shining footsteps on it… This charming scene leaves every Vaadhoo guests breathless.

This exciting phenomenon can be seen on other Maldivian beaches as well, but here, at Vaadhoo, it is the brightest.

Nearby hotel: Adaaran Prestige Vadoo 5*.

How to get here from Male: by speedboat in 15 minutes.

Adaaran Prestige Vadoo
Adaaran Prestige Vadoo

The best beaches of the Maldives on the map

As we can see, Maldivian beaches can meet the expectations of the most sophisticated travelers. You can choose a hotel with a fantastic beach from the Maldivian hotel catalogue.


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