Best Beaches in the Maldives

This unique destination doesn’t boast traditional beaches, but what it does offer is unlike anything else in the world.

Maldives
Anything but ordinary, the beaches in the Maldives will make travelers want to return year after year.Shutterstock

Silica soft, blinding white sands meet crystal-clear turquoise waters in every atoll of the Maldives. Simply put, it doesn’t get more pristine than the beaches of this expansive island nation.

But there’s something visitors need to know about the beaches in the Maldives. It’s rare to see vast, wide stretches, mostly because the islands are so small. The large majority of the resorts are on their own private island, with beaches circling the outer edge. Like with the resorts, not all beaches are created equal, but these are the best beaches in the Maldives.

Maagau Island

Baglioni Maldives Resort
An aerial view of the beach at Baglioni Maldives Resort.Baglioni Maldives Resort

The newly opened Italian-style Baglioni Maldives Resort has one of the most breathtaking beaches I’ve seen in the Maldives. Not long after arriving, one of the local employees said this was the most beautiful beach he’s been to in the islands.

More expansive than normal, with perfect white sand followed by a colorful house reef, it’s ideal for kids wanting to splash around and adults looking to snorkel.

Niyama Private Islands

Niyama dining
One of the more incredible dining options at Niyama.Niyama

On these two idyllic islands, Play and Chill, connected via a wooden bridge, there are plenty of beaches to choose from. No matter which of Niyama’s private islands you’re on, there are ultra-wide stretches of white, dotted with palm trees for shade.

Don’t be surprised if you’re the only one on the beach; they’re private and large, meaning you grab a lounge chair, a fresh coconut water and bask in the sun with the soft white powder under your feet.

Muravandhoo Island

Joali beach villas
Joali’s stylish beach villas offer distinct privacy.Joali

The resort on Muravandhoo Island is the newly opened Joali. One of the best places to stay in the Maldives also has one of the most unique beaches. It’s special because it only appears during certain times of the day. This five-star resort has one of the Maldives longest sandbars where guests can book a private snorkeling session, romantic dinner for two or camp overnight.

Beside Mura Bar and the pool is another stretch of sand where you can lay out, sip cocktails and go for a dip when the Maldivian sun gets too hot.

Reethi Rah

One & Only
Enjoy lunch and then the beautiful waters,One & Only

The One & Only Reethi Rah is well-known for its top-notch beach. Its location on one of the North Malé Atoll’s largest islands means the beaches are bigger and wider. This alone makes it one of the top beaches in the country, not to mention the soft sands and teal water.

The resort’s beach villas have private access to their own pieces of the perfect sand. Its calm waters also make it an excellent place for snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding and private meals.

Cocoa Island

A 40-minute speed boat ride from Malé brings you to one of the most famous beaches in the Maldives. Its unique location between two channels means there’s an abundance of wildlife here to view from the beach and in the water.

Stay at the newly renovated COMO Cocoa Island and take part in all the marine life activities on one of the most breathtaking reefs and beaches in the world.

Baros Island

Baros beach
Guests of Baros enjoy private access to this extraordinary beach.Baros

Known as one of the first five-star resorts and a top honeymoon destination, Baros also has one of the best lagoons in the Maldives. A 25-minute speedboat ride from the airport brings you to a whole other world.

Each beach villa has private beach access to supremely clean sands with gentle waters and a fantastic house reef to snorkel around. There is also plenty of lush palm tree cover while relaxing on your personal beach chairs.

Mirihi Island

portable hammock on Mirihi island
Always pays to pack a portable hammock, especially when you’re heading to Mirihi Island.Shutterstock

This beach isn’t on the list for how it looks during the day, but for what appears on it at night. On the tiny island of Mirihi, lucky guests can catch the water glowing and twinkling with bioluminescent plankton.

There are several other islands to catch this natural phenomenon, including other Crown & Champa Resorts like Kuredo. But the tiny size means you’ll have more of the beach to yourself to see the blue lights, undisturbed. Go from summer to winter when they are most likely to be seen and make sure there isn’t a full moon.

Landaa Giraavaru

Landaa Giraavaru
If you want more than the beach and snorkeling, take a spin in the resort’s three-person submarine.Four Seasons

A private seaplane ride from the capital takes you to a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The beaches at the Four Seasons Landaa Giraavaru are among the best places in the world to spot manta rays and turtles. The resort also has the world’s first three-person submarine to explore the plentiful marine life.

If the thought of a tiny submarine makes you feel claustrophobic, sit back on the blindingly bright beach and watch the reef sharks and turtles swim by, or walk down the island’s winding tail that turns into a sandbank when the tide goes out.