With white sand beaches bordering pristine waters, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose the best island in the Maldives. They’re all good!
Put on some sunscreen, slip into your sandals and throw on those shades — it’s time to follow our search for the best island in the Maldives. (Hint: they’re all equal winners).
Maldives Island #1: Fulhadhoo Island
The Maldives doesn’t just do luxury resorts, as explorers to Fulhadhoo Island will attest. Lying some distance away from the main, tourist-filled Maldives beach locations, this island is a paradise of lush greenery, gorgeous shorelines and unobstructed sunset views.
Fulhadhoo Island is a choice destination for diving and snorkelling, where marine life swarms the surrounding coral reefs undisturbed. Once you’ve had your fix of sun and sea, explore the island’s shops, local crafts and homely eateries for a fresh meal and priceless souvenirs.
Maldives Island #2: Dhigurah Island
One of the best islands in Maldives for marine life enthusiasts, Dhigurah Island is situated in the South Ari atoll, which is known for its amazing underwater ecosystem. The island boasts a cluster of independent dive shops where you can book dive trips to admire massive (but harmless) whale sharks, sea turtles and a host of other colourful marine life among the vibrant reefs.
Venture south to enjoy Dhigurah’s secluded beach, an oasis looking out to sea where you can kick back at a local cafe or wander around some rustic village shops.
Maldives Island #3: Maafushi Island
With a name that means “Big Island”, it’s no surprise that Maafushi is one of the largest Maldives islands. Its developing village centre is a great base to pick up supplies for on- and off-land adventures.
Comprising four main beaches (Public Beach, Bikini Beach, Water Sports Beach and Coral Beach), visitors have plenty of options when it comes to picking their favourite Maldives beach.
Bikini Beach is among the most popular Maldives beach locations, boasting lots of rentable deckchairs and local eats. Meanwhile, more secluded options like Public Beach are better for those seeking serenity.
Look up Active Water Sports Maafushi at the aptly named Water Sports Beach to dive into a variety of water sports, from jet-skiing to kayaking. iCom Tours on Coral Beach takes underwater explorers out to a “secret location” on their Coral Garden Tour for a day of snorkelling among reef sharks and rays.
Maldives Island #4: Mahibadhoo Island
Mahibadhoo is a unique Maldives island which does not boast a bikini beach, requiring tourists to dress more conservatively. Nonetheless, it stands out with a lively local scene and stunning coastal scenery.
Far enough away from crowds but close enough to the capital Male, Mahibadhoo Island is probably the best island in Maldives to set out from on day trips to neighbouring Maldives islands. Discover natural sights and cultural landmarks nearby, like the Buddhist monastery ruins on Dhanibidhoo and the Buddhist stupa on Isdhoo Island.
Maldives Island #5: Thulusdoo Island
Half an hour north of Male by boat, Thulusdoo Island is especially popular with surfers looking to catch some waves at Maldives beaches. Head to the two best surf spots on the island, memorably named Coke’s and Chickens’, marking the Coca-Cola factory and chicken farm, respectively, that once stood there.
Thulusdoo Island also boasts some great casual eating spots. Fusion and Toulouse by Salsa are raved about for their great service and diverse menus comprising local cuisine and familiar comfort foods like pizza and pasta.
Divers also flock to Thulusdoo’s famous dive spot, Thingiri, which is known to attract sharks and manta rays in certain seasons. The abundant sea life is protected from poaching by local conservationists but you can hop on a boat for some recreational fishing for a relaxing day on the sea.