Refreshing, Serene, Tranquil…
These are the words that come to mind when one sees the lush, green piece of land floating on the open expanse of the blue ocean.
Maldives is just the place for you. It is the most chosen island nation among the numerous others in the Indian ocean for a heavenly beachy vacation. We have heard and read a lot about all the natural wonders in the Maldives. But what meets the eyes on this gorgeous piece of land is nothing compared to what it hides below the surface of its azure waters. The vibrant and colorful aquatic lives and corals are definitely a treat for sore eyes.
One of the most preferred honeymoon destinations for newlyweds from around the world, Maldives provides an experience of a lifetime. Not only is it suitable for romantic couples, but it is also well suited for a fun family and friends trip as well. It is equally exciting for adventure longing and tourists who prefer nature’s solitude too.
With over 1100 islands grouped into a double chain of 26 atolls, Maldives is a dreamy destination and a really strong bucket list contestant. Obviously going on an All-Island Tour is next to impossible.
So, here’s what we think are the best islands of the Maldives which one should not miss. You will never be ready for what’s in the chore.
Don’t forget your camera behind!
1. Utheemu Island:
Stocked with historical significance, Utheemu is one of the most popular islands in the Maldives. In addition to the gleaming ocean, this island was the home of Sultan – Mohamed Thakurufaanu. He was the ruler who drove off the Portuguese from this beautiful land of garlands and took the Maldives on the path to its independence. Situated in the Haa Alif Atoll, it has been extremely popular among the history buffs and tourists who love to explore a destination’s past glory.
How to reach: From Male International airport flies to Hanimaadhoo Domestic airport. From there take a ferry to reach the island.
Activities to do: Apart from the usual beach activities, what you should not miss is a visit to the Utheemu Ganduvaru, a magnificent palace made of rich timber wood built by the Sultan. The entry fee is around INR 350 per person and is open from 9 am to 6 pm on all days except Fridays and Saturdays.
2. COMO Cocoa Island:
The island of luxury, COMO island is what every romantic couple is looking for during their honeymoon. Jammed with star hotels and picturesque water bungalows surrounded by white sandy beaches that seem to be touching the sky, one cannot ask for anything more. Also known as Makunufushi by the Maldivians, it is located in the South Malé’s coral atoll. Head to this Maldives Island for some much-needed privacy, rejuvenating treatment, romantic candlelight dinners, and much more.
How to reach: 40 to 45 minutes speed boat ride from Male International airport
Activities to do: scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming among other beach activities. Also, go for a rejuvenating spa treatment.
3. Addu Atoll:
Popularly known as the Seenu Atoll, this is one among the well-known atolls of Maldives. One among the destinations for a chain of luxury resorts, this atoll is home to some of the internationally renowned islands. Meedhoo Island, Hithadhoo Island, Hulhudhoo Island, Feydhoo Island, and Maradhoo Island are a few of the many Maldive islands that are frequently traveled by tourists from all around the globe.
How to reach: 5-minute speed boat ride from Gan Airport
Activities to do: Diving, snorkeling, fishing, swimming, and other water sports activities. You can also go on a hike along the tropical landscape fringed with palm trees or through the local villages. You could also go on an island tour.
4. Vaadhoo Island:
Looking like any other popular Maldive island sits Vaadhoo island in the Raa Atoll. But, once the sun sets you are in for a spectacular experience. Once what was just another gorgeous, white, foamy beach transforms into blue glowing magical waters. As though matching with the starlit sky, the ocean too reflects the same mysterious sparkling nature. This is nothing but bioluminescent planktons that grow on the shores of its beaches. A perfect spot for a romantic getaway this island should definitely be on your list of islands to visit in the Maldives.
How to reach: With a distance of just 8km from Male, it is easily connected by road
Activities to do: snorkeling, diving, swimming, kayaking, etc
5. Maafushi Island:
Deemed to be the capital of Medhu Uthuru province, this is considered to be one of the best islands to visit in the Maldives. With its comfortable staying options and myriad of activities to participate in, it has gained itself a name in the maps of one of the popular islands in this island country. Though it may seem to be like any other island of Maldives, what makes it special is that this is the only island that is still inhabited by its native tribes.
How to reach: You can take a cab from the Male island to the Male Island Villingili Ferry Terminal or famously known as the Maafushi Ferry.
Activities to do: Island hopping, snorkeling, catamaran riding, shark diving, scuba diving, swimming, dolphin safari are some of the popular activities among others.
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6. Malé Atoll:
Who hasn’t heard about this piece of heaven?
This is one of the important and must-visit islands of Maldives. A royal atoll which was home for royal families of Maldives is now called the King’s Island. Suitable for all kinds of tourists of all ages, this is an inclusive group of islands that supports all kinds of tourist activities ranging from shopping, lounging, sightseeing, and even a variety of water sports activities.
How to reach: It is just a speed boat ride away from the international Male Airport
Activities to do: visit the National Museum, Male Fish Market, and importantly don’t miss out on the adventurous underwater scooter rides.
7. Fulhadhoo Island:
One of the inhabited islands at Baa Atoll, Fulhadhoo island is ideal for families with children. With palm trees swaying along the powdery beaches, this stunning island has an abundance of coral reefs, dolphins, turtles, and schools of fishes.
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, relax in the serene atmosphere of the island. Even though it is inhabited, the number of locals are far less compared to other Maldives Islands. Go for a stroll along the beachside and observe the culture by mingling with the locals.
How to reach: 2 hours boat ride to Godhoo islands from Male and 15 minutes ride from Godhoo islands to Fulhadoo island
Activities to do: Snorkelling, diving, Spa treatment, swimming along with colorful fishes, spotting dolphins and turtles
8. Mathiveri Island:
Another inhabited island that attracts tourists not only for its famous beaches, like the Stingray beach, Local beach, and the Bikini beach but also for the abundance of coral reefs underwater. Spot the Sting rays early in the morning as well as young sharks at the Stingray beach, Picnic with family, enjoy the sunset at the Local beach, and sunbathe at the Tourist beach ideal for families too.
How to reach: 15 minutes by seaplane or 1 and half hours by speed boat from Male
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Dolphin watching, manta ray watching, wakeboarding, diving
9. Himmafushi Island:
Yet to gain popularity, and adding to the list of inhabited Maldives islands is this beautiful piece of heaven waiting for you to explore. Explore the rich marine life in its crystal clear water. The island is extremely popular for its underwater animals like the carved rosewood manta rays, sharks, dolphins, and many more. The coconut tree-lined Bikini beach is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. Surf at one of the top surfing spots in the Maldives, the Jailbreak, so named after a prison located behind the surfing spot.
Experience the local life, taste the delicious local cuisines, and do not miss the amazing coral headstones in the cemetery.
How to reach: 20 minutes ride by speedboat from Male International Airport or 30 minutes by public ferry
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Surfing, Swimming, watch out for spinner dolphins
10. Alimatha Island:
The best island in the Maldives for honeymooners is this quiet and undisturbed destination. The azure waters, pristine beaches, lagoons attract tourists to its beach villas and overwater villas for a dream vacation. Enjoy a body massage at the spa, fine dining at the famous restaurants, enjoy a boat ride into the sunset, dive at the famous Government protected diving site Miyaru Kandu, and have an amazing experience surrounded by water. The night time swimming along with Stingrays is a must-do activity here.
How to reach: 90-minute boat ride from Male or 20 minutes by seaplane from Male
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Scuba diving, canoeing, Windsurfing, diving with the sharks, Ayurveda Massage
11. Fihalhohi Island:
Romance with your partner in one of the most romantic islands in the Maldives. Fihalhohi island with its serene landscape, stunning beaches lined with palm trees, and lush vegetation attract tourists in droves. The Maldives overwater villas are a great hit among the tourists. With a plunge pool of your own, jump in at any time as there are no restrictions and swim with the colorful fishes.
How to reach:45 minutes boat ride from Male International airport
Activities to do: Diving, snorkeling, Spa massage
12. Biyadhoo Island:
The thickly forested island rich in vegetation is owned by the Indian Taj group. The island of Biyadhoo is also famous for its scuba diving sites. Relax and glimpse the sunset or sunrise at the Biyadhoo beach. The abundant water life like a sea turtle, manta rays can be spotted at Kandooma Thila, Corals of Kandooma Caves is what draws the tourists to this popular destination. Have a spa treatment and enjoy your holiday.
How to reach: 40 minutes by speedboat from Male International airport
Activities to do: Scuba diving, Snorkelling, fishing, sail a catamaran
13. Sun Island:
Also known as Nalaguraidhoo island, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions. As the island lies on the equatorial region the island is drenched in bright sunlight giving it the name Sun Island too. The golden sands, blue skies, blue oceans, and the reefs add to its charm, and the various water sport activities offered draw tourists from far and wide.
Spend precious time with your loved ones at the gorgeous Nalaguraidhoo beach. The vibrant underwater life at this magical island is to be seen to be believed.
How to reach: 30 minutes ride by Seaplane from Male International airport
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Windsurfing, Diving, Canoeing, Nighttime fishing.
14. Landhoo Island:
The rich past of the country is seen in the remnants of the once stronghold of Buddhism prevalent here. An ancient mound 292 feet in diameter and 28 feet in height is said to be the remnants of a Buddhist Stupa that proves that Buddhism thrived here a long time ago. The island is also home to the largest Mangrove vegetation.
One of the inhabited Maldives islands, Landhoo island is rich in folklore and as the story goes the mound is the remains of a cooking place of the early inhabitants of the island.
How to reach:15 minutes ride by speed boat from Male International Airport
Activities to do: visit Maa Badhige site, Chakadu Lake, Kulavadhu Mangrove Park apart from the water sport attractions
15. Hulhumale Island:
An amazing island created for housing and industrial purposes, Hulhumale Island has a clean white sand beach with crystal clear water. This man-made island is ideal for all budgets and suits all types of holidays, be it with family or friends.
Enjoy the seafood, Thai food, and Indian food in the restaurants lining the shores. The Sunrise and Sunset are not to be missed. Visit the inhabited island and mingle with the locals and enjoy their culture in this popular tourist destination.
How to reach: 10 minutes drive from Male International Airport, Sinamale bridge between Hulhule and Male island
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Scuba diving, Wakf boarding, Jet skiing
16. Milaidhoo Island:
Rich in tropical greenery and surrounded by coral reefs, the island of Milaidhoo in the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is breathtakingly beautiful. All the villas on this Maldives island have a 180-degree view of the ocean and have their own infinity pool.
Have a spa treatment, go on a catamaran, spot the white sharks and manta rays, and round your day off with a delicious spread and cocktail. Do not miss out on some unique experience at this calm and peaceful island.
How to reach: 30-minute ride in a Seaplane from Male International Airport
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Diving, Sailing, Kayaking, Yoga, Dolphin cruise and many more
17. Baros Island:
One of the most popular getaways for honeymooners, Baros Island, is a colorful combination of turquoise blue water, white sandy beach, and lush green vegetation, The resorts here are eco friendly. Stay in the overwater villas with their own plunge pools or in any of the villas on the beachfront and enjoy the abundant marine life such as the turtles, manta rays, shoals of colorful fish, and the fragile coral reef that makes this island one of the top tourist destinations.
The local and international cuisines are mouth-watering. The water sports activities will keep you engaged throughout your stay.
How to reach:25 minute ride on a speed boat from Male International Airport
Activities to do: Snorkelling, Canoeing, Windsurfing, fishing, diving, spa, yoga
18. Thoddoo Island:
Just like a pearl in the ocean, Thoddoo Island is one of the most popular islands in the Maldives among the hundreds that form this island nation. This island is famous for its watermelon production. Preferred by young couples as their honeymoon destination this island offers some of the most mouthwatering seafood cuisines and insight into the authentic Maldivian lifestyle.
How to reach: Either through a speedboat or a public ferry service from the city of Male.
Activities to do: Other than water activities, you can take a tour of the local market, enjoy some seafood from the street vendors, and interact with the friendly locals.
19. Dhigurah Island:
At about 100kms from Male resides this pretty little island neatly tucked away among the lush greenery. You will not find many people residing on this island and hence it is one of the best islands in the Maldives for couples. Loaded with luxurious resorts and great spas this island is one to unplug, charge, and reload yourself before you come back and face real life.
How to reach: Just a speed boat ride away from Male city.
Activities to do: Shark safari, whale shark snorkeling, house reef snorkeling, dolphin spotting, picnicking on the shores, manta snorkeling, fishing, and many more water activities.
20. Ukulhas Island:
Like a dreamland out of a fairytale book, this island situated on the Alif Alif Atoll is one of the best islands in the Maldives that is known for its sparkly clean pristine blue sea and tropical landscapes. A very tourist-friendly island, it is best suited for honeymooners on a family vacation. The locals are extremely welcoming and are good hosts. This island showcases the true essence of the Maldives where multiple ethnic groups live together in harmony still being true to their respective cultures.
How to reach: 4 hours ride on a public ferry from the Male International airport.
Activities to do: Take a village tour and indulge in some delicious native cuisines and culture etc, you can also try some water activities like fishing, swimming, etc.
21. Meedhoo Island:
A very sparsely populated island of Maldives, this island is a part of Raa Atoll this is one of the oldest known settlements of the sect of people called the Aryans. Apparently settled somewhere between 800 and 500 BCE, the name of this island is said to have been derived from a Sanskrit word – Meedhoo, meaning Huge Island. The best season to truly enjoy this beautiful island is between November and March.
How to reach: A 5-minute speedboat journey by speedboat from Male International airport.
Activities to do: Apart from the array of watersports activities in Maldives, you can also go on an island tour and visit Old Mosque and Kogannu.
22. Fuvahmulah Island:
House to the second largest freshwater lake in the whole of Maldives, this island is filled with lush palm trees and a variety of vegetation. The main attraction of this island is the freshwater lake. Even the Maldivian government uses water from this lake to make medicines. This lake is also a spot for some enthusiastic water sports activities. This is the only island in the entire Maldives, that occupies the entire atoll all on its own.
How to reach: Take connecting flights from Male International Airport to Gan Airport. From there take a ferry to reach the Island.
Activities to do: Fishing, swimming, boating are some of the most popular activities here.
23. Dhidhdhoo Island:
Best island in the Maldives for a honeymoon, Dhidhdhoo island is what one can call a visual treat. With peace and tranquility all around, this piece of heaven is just the medicine we need to kindle romance and have a memorable honeymoon experience. Take a stroll along the serene white beach with your partner and end your perfect evening with a candlelight dinner by the shore, under the starry sky.
How to reach: A seaplane from Male Airport to Dharavandhoo Airport. You need to further take a 30 minutes flight to reach Dhidhdhoo from there
Activities to do: Swimming, night fishing, spa therapy, and many more water sports activities.
24. Feydhoo Island:
Experience true Maldivian habitat only in Feydhoo Island. There is a very interesting background as to how this came to be inhabited. This story dates back to the times of World War 2. When the island that the native Maldivian people were living on, i.e the Gan island was turned into an airbase, they were shipped to a neighboring island temporarily. However, that temporary island became their permanent residence and it has now grown into a closely-knit native Maldivian community.
How to reach: 10 minutes by a Taxi driving on the Link Road which connects the island with Gan International Airport, Maldives
Activities to do: Cycle around the island, explore the beaches, relax and enjoy the sunrise and the sunset
25. Thulusdhoo Island:
Among the unexplored islands of Maldives, Thulusdhoo island will rank the highest. Lined with palm trees and surrounded by white sandy beaches this island is the best for a secluded and private holiday experience. Just bask in the sun and get yourself a golden tan. Give to the depths of the ocean and enjoy the company of the millions of species of underwater animals. Take the path less traveled and have a vacation experience like never before.
How to reach: 20-minute speed boat ride from Male International airport
Activities to do: Surfing, paddling, fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc
And the list can go on and on. However, due to limited space and time let’s just stop here. Hope you have picked your favorite Maldives island or two to go from the bunch of them. The experience you will have on each island is unique to one another.
One Place – Many Worlds, that’s the Maldives for you in four words!
If you need any assistance with your travel itinerary plans, or stays and transportation, or anything related to travel for that matter, do feel free to reach out to us anytime.