In an article about beaches in Maldives, you won’t find a list of the best beaches because it simply doesn’t exist. With 3,000 beaches spread across 1,200 coral islands, each beach boasts palm trees, white sands, crystal-clear warm oceans, and coral reefs. Since all of the country’s islands are of coral origin, all the beaches in Maldives are located right on coral. However, let me tell you about the peculiarities of the beaches and beach vacations in this country.

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Beaches in Maldives: general information

Here are the main points regarding beaches in this country:

  • The Maldives consists of 1,200 islands, with any island larger than 2 by 2 kilometers being considered a large island. Most islands are much smaller.
  • Beaches surround any island’s perimeter (except for the capital, Malé). Some are equipped for leisure, while others are not.
  • All beaches in Maldives are sandy, with predominantly fine, white sand. The water’s entry is shallow, and there’s never any depth right away since all the islands are of coral origin. The cliff starts where the coral reef ends. The reefs of any island can be well seen on satellite images on Google Maps.

Important note:

if you’re staying on a resort island, any beach on the island is open and accessible for sunbathing in a bikini swimwear. However, if you’re on a local island, tourists can only sunbathe in such swimwear on special bikini beaches.
best beaches in maldives
Any beach on any island looks like this: some have more palm trees, some have fewer, some are better cleaned, and some are worse. But the sand, water color, and heavenly view will be the same everywhere.

Follow the link to an article for those who don’t fully understand the difference between a local island and a resort island. There, you’ll also learn where to go for the best vacation experience.

All about bikini beaches in Maldives

Let’s start with some general information:

  • The Maldives is a Muslim country, and quite conservative at that.
  • If you sunbathe in a bikini swimwear on the island’s public beaches where locals also relax, you will offend their religion. Tourists have their own designated beaches where they can sunbathe.

Interesting fact:

A swimsuit that exposes elbows, shoulders, and knees is already considered a bikini in the Maldives. The term “bikini” here refers not only to bikini swimsuits but to all types of swimwear, women’s swimsuits, and clothing worn by Europeans for sunbathing in any country in the world.

Locals are not allowed on bikini beaches, but tourists are free to roam anywhere. However, sunbathing in a swimsuit is only allowed on designated bikini beaches.

tourist beaches in maldives
On many islands, bikini beaches are fenced off and there are signs prohibiting locals from entering. It’s worth noting that all beaches are free everywhere.

It’s important to understand that tourists are welcome on any local island. Each island tries to designate the best part of the shore for the bikini beach.

However, it’s still important to carefully choose local islands for your vacation. There are islands where the bikini beach is long, has a great reef, and is suitable for children. The island’s municipal services also keep it well-maintained. But there are islands where the bikini beach is tiny, without a reef, and quite dirty compared to others.

Here are two useful articles on this topic:

Here’s a list of local islands with big, beautiful, clean bikini beaches that I definitely recommend: Ukulhas, Dhigurah, Thoddoo, and Rasdhoo.

And here are the places I don’t recommend, where everything is much worse: Gulhi, Guraidhoo, and Maafushi.

bikini beach maldives
Bikini Beach on Todd Island. We are going snorkeling for 2-3 hours, but if you plan to relax on a non-bikini beach, your attire should be like the one in the photo.

Beach features in the Maldives: what can spoil your vacation

The beaches in Maldives are not just a paradise vacation spot; they have their own characteristics and even dangers that you need to know about.

  • There are no sea urchins in the water here, but there are stonefish that you can step on and injure your foot, and there are also many small dead corals everywhere that can easily cut your foot. It is mandatory to have insurance coverage and coral shoes. However, 90% of tourists walk barefoot and are still alive, so it’s up to you to decide.
  • The beach cleaning process is different on each island, and in general, it is endless. They clean the beach in the morning, but by evening, the ocean brings more debris to the shore. Therefore, some beaches are dirtier than others.
  • Not all beaches in Maldives have shade; some areas are without it. Be careful. The Maldives are located on the equator, and nobody pays attention to the air temperature, which is around 30 degrees Celsius year-round. You need to check the UV index. The sun is deadly; you can get sunburned with blisters within 30 minutes, especially for children.
maldives beaches
The beaches in Maldives can be like this too. You’ll have amazing photos, but without shade, you’ll burn in half an hour. These beaches work more like photo zones. Take a few photos and then find some shade.
  • And don’t forget that the closer the end of the coral reef is to the beach (the distance is different everywhere), the stronger the lateral current. When you swim to the outer side of the reef, without fins, you may not be able to return to the shore due to the strong currents.

In conclusion, the beaches in Maldives and beach vacations on any island are beautiful. If you are traveling on a package tour to a resort island, you don’t have to worry at all; you’ll end up on a paradise beach anyway. For independent travelers, I recommend choosing the “right” local island, and then you’ll have just as much fun as in paradise.

If you enjoyed the article and the content in this guide, you can buy me a coffee ^_^

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to the Maldives

  • Flight tickets and the best deals
  • Tour packages (from budget to luxury): Expedia
  • Hotels and guesthouses on any island:
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • 12go is the largest Asian transfer service. It gathers all Maldivian carriers, even the small ones that operate between local islands.
  • Tours and excursions: Viator – a limited selection of excursions, but convenient and reliable.
  • Comprehensive insurance: EKTA
  • eSIM at the same price as in telecom office in Male.