20 Incredible Maldives Beaches

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The Maldives is a paradise, with a blue sea, vibrant coral reefs and impossibly soft white-sand beaches. Most people save visiting the Maldives for special occasions, and the choice of luxury resorts across the islands makes it a spectacular destination for anyone wanting to enjoy a slice of paradise.

There are over 1200 islands, atolls and sandbanks in the Maldives, about 200 of which are uninhabited, so when it comes to choosing Maldives beaches, there are hundreds of options. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best beaches the Maldives has to offer, these beaches take the prize.

Maldives Beaches

Top 3 Maldives Tours

  • Maldives Honeymoon – 6-day experience in Rasdhoo including accommodation, meals, activities and a romantic beach picnic.
  • South Male Atoll – 4-night guided experience on a small-group tour.
  • Snorkel Safari – Snorkel in three popular spots from Male by speedboat.

20 Best Beaches In Maldives

1- Hulhumale Beach

Hulhumale Beach Maldives tropical forest, white sand and clear water
Hulhumale Beach is the perfect lush Maldives beach getaway.

Located in Kaafu Atoll, Hulhumale beach is probably the most visited Maldives beach as it also acts as a transit area for visitors going on excursions to other islands.

A huge stretch of white sand awaits you, with a shallow reed about 100 m (328 ft) from the shore.

The water is crystal clear, shallow and calm, which is the perfect introduction to your Maldives experience.

Keep in mind that Hulhumale is a public beach, and as the Maldives is a Muslim nation, bikinis are not allowed here, so make sure to wear a cover-up.

Don’t worry, though, most tourist beaches nearby don’t have this rule.

Here are some excursions to book from Hulhumale:

2- Veligandu Island Beaches

beaches of maldives Aerial drone view of picture perfect beach and turquoise lagoon on small tropical island on Maldives.
Often sandwiched between lush tropical forest and aquamarine water, typical Maldives beaches are simply alluring.

Veligandu Island is situated in the North Ari Atoll and takes just 15 minutes to reach by hydroplane from Male.

The island is only 600m long but has an array of exciting activities on offer.

The waters are teeming with tropical fish, turtles and manta rays and there are over-water villas and bars dotted around the beach.

This is the perfect place for beginner divers, and you can swim with reef sharks and dolphins before partying at one of the many discos and traditional parties on the beach.

The bars usually stay open all night so you won’t be short on refreshments.

3- Reethi Beach

Reethi Beach Maldives
Reethi Beach has forests and reefs to explore.

Reethi Beach is part of a privately owned island resort (as many are in the Maldives) called Fonimagoodhoo, in the Baa Atoll.

This is truly a perfect postcard destination with lush jungle in the island’s centre and over-water villas around the edge.

The entire island is a UNESCO BioSphere reserve, meaning the reef is filled with amazing marine life.

It’s also the world’s largest manta ray and whale shark feeding site, which is the island’s biggest attraction and an unmissable sight if you choose to visit.

Fonimagoodhoo Island is the ideal island to wake up to a sunrise and enjoy the best of what the Maldives has to offer.

4- Cocoa Island Beaches

cocoa island beaches maldives Couple on a tropical beach, jetty at Maldives
Overwater bungalows are iconic in the Maldives, offering everything a beach has to offer.

Cocoa Island is a picturesque island in the South Male Atoll, which famous photographer Eric Klemm originally owned.

The main resort is eco-friendly, with lovely wooden bungalows, and is a perfect base to enjoy the beach.

On the east side of this tiny island is a soft white sand spit, which stretches far into the sea.

The water is a balmy 30C (86 F) and the reef stretches all the way around the island, so you can snorkel, swim and dive year-round.

There are some fantastic excursions through the hotel, from island hopping trips to sunken diving wrecks.

5- Kunburudhoo Beach

maldives images beaches colourful parrot on the white sand
A colourful parrot on one of the Maldives beaches.

A quieter, less developed area, Kunburudhoo beach is the place to go for solitude and that desert island feeling.

Compared to other Maldivian islands, you will feel a little cut off from the world, as there is only one hotel with minimal facilities, but this is what makes it exciting.

You can do many of the usual activities here and its tranquillity makes it ideal for simply relaxing, enjoying a bonfire on the beach and star-gazing under the night sky.

There are also a few great local restaurants where you can enjoy freshly caught seafood with a view over the ocean.

6- Bodu Moria

maldives beautiful beaches Couple on a tropical Maldives beach
Couple on a tropical Maldives beach. Can you picture yourselves here?

With powder-soft sand and sapphire-blue water, Bodu Mora is a stunning island with panoramic views.

On the Vaavu Atoll, the island is lined with palm trees and the waters are home to hundreds of species of tropical fish.

This is one of the best places in the world to break out the snorkel and you can even try snorkelling with sharks under the guidance of experts by booking this tour around the Vaavu Atoll.

It’s only 90 minutes by speedboat from Male airport and is well-known for its variety of water sports, meaning you will have plenty of activities to keep you busy.

If you’re not into being active, the best thing to do here is wade in the shallow waters, sunbathe under the strong equatorial sun and enjoy a freshly made drink on the beach.

7- Rasfannu Beach

maldives beaches resort couple wearing white clothing on the beach with arms around each other
Enjoy a relaxing time on a tropical beach in the Maldives.

Being one of the Maldives’ artificial beaches, Rasfannu is part of a nearby beach resort and the facilities at this Maldives beach are excellent.

You can easily fill your day with activities here and it’s especially great for families.

Aside from the picture-perfect view and golden sand, there is a vast array of watersports on offer, although the ocean is far too tranquil for waves, so you won’t find much surfing.

There is also a jogging track and fishing area, as well as plenty of outdoor barbecues, swings and showers; essentially everything you will need for a great day at the beach.

Looking for something special? Book a luxury yacht for up to 15 of your friends and live the life of a superstar. You’ll be treated like royalty with staff to look after all your needs. Amenities include diving, jet skis, kayaks, fishing, visiting islands, karaoke, movies and meals in special locations. Here are three options:

8- Dhigura Beach

photos of maldives beaches Blackfinned Anemonefish
Blackfinned Anemonefish, Amphiprion nigripes, hiding among the coral in the South Ari Atoll of the Maldives.

Floating in the South Ari atoll, the island of Dhigura is famous for one thing – whale sharks.

It is only 20 minutes from Male airport, stretches for more than 3 km (1.86 miles), and is one of the Maldives’ longest (and most beautiful) islands.

There is a vast assortment of diving schools here that will be more than happy to lead you on a trip in search of these majestic marine animals, but even if you don’t dive, you can still snorkel with both whale sharks and manta rays.

Some of the best dive sites in the world are here, including Kuda Ra Thila, Manta Point and Reethi Thila, so if it’s marine life you’re after, this is the Maldives beach you’ll love.

9- Filhahohi Island Beaches

Overwater bungalows
Overwater bungalows at a tropical island in the Maldives.

An island resort, Filhahohi is the hotel of dreams you’ll see when researching the Maldives: over-water bungalows where you can dive into the sea from your bedroom and timber decks to cycle along to get to the beach.

It’s fairly popular due to its proximity to the airport, but this doesn’t detract from its beauty.

The island is also well-known for being surrounded by a house reef, which is a coral reef that doesn’t require a boat to get you there.

You can simply don your snorkel and swim to the reef right from the beach.

This makes it easy for beginners and kids to see a world-class reef without encountering deep water.

10- Sun Island Beaches

maldives beaches at night hammock slung between the trees above the sand with a jetty in the background
A hammock on one of the tropical Maldives beaches at sunset.

Sitting on the incredible Nalaguraidhoo Island, the beaches here will take your breath away.

The best place to stay here is the Sun Island Resort, where you’ll stay in palm-fringed villas and wake to the sound of the ocean.

You can ride jet skis across the sparkling water or hire a canoe or catamaran.

As there are numerous small beaches on the island, it is easy to find a private spot to yourself.

Whether you want to unwind in the spa, relax in a hammock, experience some thrilling watersports or go night-fishing under the stars, you’ll find all this and more on Sun Island.

For more beaches around the world read:

11- Kurumba Beach

pics of maldives beaches Red Lionfish
The red lionfish, Pterois volitans, is something you’ll see in the waters of the South Male Atoll in the Maldives.

A popular honeymoon destination, Kurumba was the first-ever private island resort in the Maldives, and it has lost none of its allure and charm.

The lagoon is impossibly clear, as is the ocean and after wearing yourself out with water sports, the soft white sand or a swaying hammock is the perfect place to rest your head.

There are endless activities to enjoy within the resort, from beachfront yoga to cocktail making.

On top of this, you can do some spectacular excursions from the beach, including a sunset cruise in search of dolphins, touring the reef in a glass-bottom boat or diving lessons with an expert guide.

You’ll never want to leave.

12- Mirihi Island Beach

Mirihi Island Maldives Beaches
Mirihi Island beach in the Maldives.

Mirihi Island is one of Maldive’s smallest island resorts and where you can go to disconnect and immerse yourself in luxury and paradise.

The rooms in this resort have no television, so you’ll be forced to go out and explore the untouched, golden beach and softly lapping waves.

Mirihi is another easily accessible island with its own house reef.

At only 30 minutes from the airport, you can go from window seat to snorkelling the reef in no time.

The resort’s overwater restaurant is the best place to see a famous Maldives sunset over fresh seafood and a cocktail.

13- Kandolhu Island Beach

maldives beaches overwater bungalow
A lounge chair beneath a thatched umbrella is just what the beaches of the Maldives will deliver.

Further away from the airport, Kandolhu Island will greet you with perfect white beaches and calm emerald green waters.

The ocean sparkles with millions of colours that magnify the multi-coloured house reef below the surface.

Kandolhu Maldives is the only resort you’ll find here, and with its overwater jacuzzi villas, this Maldives beach will be your private front yard each morning.

This island isn’t the place to go for a party, as the island, in general, caters to absolute privacy in every way.

From private diving lessons and room service to the fact that there are only 30 villas, you are unlikely to see another soul, which means you will feel as if you have the endless ocean and stretch of beach all to yourself.

14- Taj Exotica Beach

taj exotica Beach Maldives aerial
Taj Exotica has overwater and beach bungalows for the perfect Maldives beach vacation.

Continuing the theme of private island resorts, the Taj Exotica is the jewel in the crown of the Maldives’ exclusive and luxury destinations.

Although there is no reef around the Taj island, you can still participate in many different water sports and go diving a little further offshore.

It is also home to one of the best beaches in the entire South Male Atoll, as well as the Maldives’ largest lagoon, where you can swim to your heart’s content.

Some of the unique activities on the Taj Exotica beach are the treehouse restaurant and submarine dives, which will let you see the marine life up close and personal.

15- Bandos Maldives

best beaches in maldives Bandos Island overwater bungalow
A bungalow on the beach on the Maldives’ Bandos Island is ticket to paradise.

The island of Bandos is a short hop from Male’s airport and is becoming increasingly popular.

Don’t let this put you off, though, as you’ll still find a classically beautiful stretch of sand and crystal sea to enjoy.

Known as the ‘Island of Hospitality’, you’ll find friendly local faces aplenty, which is helpful as they’ll be guiding most of your excursions.

Bandos has the longest-running dive centre in the country, so you can rest assured you’ll be in safe hands and will see the best marine life the Maldives has to offer.

At this popular Maldives beach, snorkelling, fishing and paddling in the shallows are the activities to get stuck into, as well as endless relaxation.

16- Lily Beach

maldives beaches images Couple in yellow on a tropical beach at Maldives
There’s nothing more romantic than a Maldives beach holiday.

Lily Beach is a private Maldives beach belonging to Lily Beach Resort & Spa, located on Huvahendhoo Island in the Ari Atoll.

A full range of water sports is offered here, whether you’re looking for extremes like jet skiing, kite surfing and catamaran sailing or more laid back activities such as fishing, snorkelling and boat tours.

Some of the world’s best diving spots are situated just off Huvahendhoo, and it’s a great place to do your first ever lesson.

In the evenings, you’ll find lively beachfront entertainment into the night, with the backdrop of bonfires and spectacular sunsets, it’s a stay you won’t quickly forget.

17- Fulhadoo Beach

best beaches in the maldives Maldives landscape, ocean palm sky
Some of the best beaches in the Maldives come with lush palms and a string of overwater bungalows.

Fulhadoo Beach is one of three inhabited islands in the Maldives Baa Atoll.

The island is located away from many of the more touristy destinations and has a colourful house reef, which is home to turtles, sharks and dolphins.

It is also one of the less expensive islands to visit, which means you can enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful countries, stunning beaches and amazing marine life without breaking the bank.

There are also some popular and well-known beach bars on Fulhadhoo for you to sit and sip on a freshly mixed drink with palm trees swaying overhead.

18- Nika Island Beaches

maldives beaches Couple on a tropical beach at Maldives
Relax and have a cocktail on a picture-perfect Maldives beach.

Originally an exclusive resort island only catering to Italian tourists, this private island founded in 1983 has opened its soft white sands to everyone.

The resort’s 43 villas are all built in traditional Maldivian style.

With the ever-lasting natural beauty this island is famous for, you’ll get to experience the Maldives as originally intended – powdery sand beaches, sapphire blue waters and tropical palm trees.

The local dive sites are unmatched, but as with all the beaches in the Maldives, the main attractions are sunbathing, cooling off in the water and admiring the abundant marine life.

19- Vabbinfaru Island Beaches

glowing beaches maldives man and woman sitting on the sand facing the ocean wearing hats
Couple sunbaking on one of the pristine Maldives tropical beaches.

If you’re after authenticity, the local beach on Vabbinfaru Island is the place to be for some Maldivian charm.

The colourful coral on this reef is an unmissable sight, and due to the local popularity, you can have some lively fun as well as traditional food and drink on this beach.

The attractions on offer are fun for everyone – jet skiing, parasailing and boat trips.

Afterwards, you can enjoy dinner under the stars, with your table literally on the sand.

The island of Vabbinfaru is a paradise on earth and can be walked around in about half an hour, shoes optional.

As you walk around and encounter the different beaches of this Maldives island, you’ll find many offerings, from yoga and massages to beach volleyball and water skiing.

20- Baros Maldives

Baros Maldives two luxurious beach lounges under an umbrella on a pontoon
Pick a beach lounge at Baros and enjoy this patch of heaven on a Maldives beach.

A famous island among honeymooners, Baros might have the most beautiful lagoon in the Maldives.

The beaches here are snowy white, and the house reef surrounding the island stretches out in a sparkling turquoise circle to explore whenever you fancy.

There are no motorised watersports on this island, which the famous Baros Maldives Resort dominates, so tranquillity is on the menu here with nothing by the sound of the ocean and the fluttering of the palm trees.

The resort has trips to 30 different dive sites within a 15-mile (24 km) radius of the island, so you can spend an entire day out on the reef. 

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India Jayne trainor
India-Jayne Trainor is a British/Australian freelance writer, photographer and contributor to various online blogs and travel websites. She has travelled to almost 30 countries, most recently Cuba and Sri Lanka. Her work focuses on solo female travel, having spent two months backpacking alone through South East Asia as well as living in Germany for a year. Her favourite country to date has been Hong Kong, but she is happy in any country by the ocean. Her next destinations are Uzbekistan and a road trip through the American Mid-West. India is currently based in London, UK.