Which Maldives Island Is the Best? We Dare You to Choose Just One of These!

January 20, 2022

which maldives island is the best

Widely considered one of the most beautiful island nations in the world, you’ve seen photos of Maldives’ highly photographed beaches. With decadent overwater bungalows cantilevered over shimmering aqua lagoons, stunning sugar-white sand beaches, and kaleidoscope sunsets dipping into the horizon, it’s no wonder the Maldives make it to the top of so many bucket lists.

Add to that the plethora of water activities, e.g. some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world with mysterious caves, dazzling coral reefs and walls, multi-colored tropical fish, captivating sea creatures like sharks, turtles, and manta rays, and the clear waters of Maldives are a magnet for outdoor adventurers.

But you do not have to be an adventurer to relish a Maldives vacation. It’s a favorite with honeymooners and beach bums. Did we mention the water temperature? It’s bathwater-warm…you can leave your wetsuit at home.

The Maldives at a Glance

which maldives island is the best

The Republic of Maldives is an archipelago on the Indian subcontinent of Asia in the Indian Ocean. ItMa

  • 541 miles north to south,
  • 81 miles east to west,
  • 35,000 total square miles
  • 115 square miles of dry land
  • One of the world’s most dispersed countries
  • Lowest country in the world, with an average natural ground level of only 4’ 11” above sea level
  • Currency: rufiyaa, $USD1 equals about 15 rufiyaas.
  • Official language: Dhivehi; secondary is English

Climate

The Maldives has a tropical monsoon climate. Because it has the lowest elevation of any country in the world, the temperature is hot and humid.

Two seasons dominate Maldives’ weather:

  1. The dry season is associated with the winter northeastern monsoon
  2. The rainy season is associated with the southwest monsoon which brings strong winds and storms.

Best Time to Visit

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The best time to visit the Maldives is from November to April. When there is little precipitation and warm temperatures. Unfortunately, this is also the busiest time of year and, as such, the room rates at resorts are expensive.

Culture & Customs

The Maldives has been an Islamic nation since the 12th century, with religious traditions entrenched in the culture. Mosques dot the capital of Malé, and you’ll see most local men and women dressed in very conservative attire.

Should you wish to visit a mosque that is open to non-Muslims, be sure to dress accordingly with shoulders and knees covered.

World-Class Beaches

male

The Maldives claim to have some of the most perfect beaches in the world. Some may have softer sand while others boast the most luminous turquoise waters on earth. It’s no wonder over a million tourists a year flock to this remote paradise.

Interestingly, a great many of the islands exist of only a resort, sometimes with a name synonymous to the island itself.

Many of the activities will be the same on each island, so I won’t repeat these under each island. Here they are:

  • Stay in an overwater bungalow
  • Relax at the idyllic beaches
  • Enjoy sunsets
  • Massage and spa
  • Snorkeling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Catamaran and boating
  • Windsurfing
  • Fishing
  • Dolphin watching or shark spotting tours
  • High-end dining
  • Soak in culture

INSIDER TIP: Click here for the ONLY beach packing list you’ll ever need!

When trying to decide which Maldives island is the best…why choose just one? With so many gorgeous island options, why not plan an island-hopping vacation?

Alimatha

alimatha

Location: Vaavu Atoll

Alimatha is said to be the most popular island in the Maldives. Myaru kandu is a world-famous dive channel and is on the list of government-sanctioned list of protected dive sites. This reef is spectacular and beloved because of this channel. Myaru kandu means “sea of sharks” in the Maldivian language.

Bandos

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Male Atoll

Biyadhoo

which maldives island is the best

Location: South Male Atoll

Dharavandhoo

which maldives island is the best

Location: Baa Atoll

Dharavandhoo is a sanctuary for a variety of marine life, including manta rays and whale sharks. This globally renowned eco-life zone is now strictly protected by law.

Dhuni Kolhu

which maldives island is the best

Location: Baa Atoll

Embudu

which maldives island is the best

Location: South Male Atoll

Embudu Village is one of the most affordable and convenient resorts in the Maldives.

Furanafushi

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Male Atoll

Gili Lankanfushi

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Male Atoll

Hulhumale

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Male Atoll

Hulhumalé is an artificial island, reclaimed to establish a new landmass required to meet the existing and future housing, industrial and commercial development demands of the Malé region.

Komandoo

which maldives island is the best

Location: Lhaviyani Atoll

Kuda Huraa

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Male Atoll

Kuredu

which maldives island is the best

Location: Lhaviyani Atoll

Stretching just over a mile in length, Kuredu is one of the largest resort islands in the Maldives, with 14 restaurants (one underwater!) and bars, two spas, a soccer field, and a golf course.

Laamu

which maldives island is the best

Location: Laamu (aka Haddhunmathi) Atoll

Scarif, tropical planet in the 2016 Star Wars anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was filmed here.

Maafushi

which maldives island is the best

Location: South Male Atoll

A highlight of Maafushi is the brightly colored homes and shops and a great example of Maldivian culture.

Madriguraidhoo

which maldives island is the best

Location: Lhaviyani Atoll

Male

male

Location: Kaafu Atoll

Male is the capital and commercial center of the island country in which people majorly come to experience the culture and tradition, and food. If arriving at the port or airport in Male, don’t just head out to the prettier islands. Take a day to explore Male’s protected ocean pool called the Artificial Beach, the Grand Friday Mosque, Mal- Fish Market, Mal-s National Museum, Tsunami Monument, and Sultan Mosque.

Maamigili

which maldives island is the best

Location: Alif Dhaal Atoll

Maamigili island is located at the heart of the Maldives whale shark point known as the “Maldives Whale Shark Home” only place where these magnificent creatures can be found, the second-best spot in Asia to snorkel and dive with this amazing big fish.

Mirihi

mihiri

Location: Alif Dhaal Atoll

Mirihi was the first island in the Maldives with overwater bungalows. It is popular with divers for the wreck of the Made-Ge, which is host to numerous marine life such as sharks, glassfish, batfish, and jacks.

Thoddoo

which maldives island is the best

Location: Alif Alif Atoll

A third of Thoddoo is reserved for farms, another third is the village, and the rest is the jungle the local culture of Maldives. Thoddoo Island is one of the best places to visit in the Maldives if you are interested in the authentic lifestyle of the locals

Vaadhoo

vaadhoo

Location: South Male Atoll

Vaadhoo Island is home to the phenomenon of bioluminescence observed in the sea waters surrounding the island where beaches glow with magical blue-green neon dots and makes it look like stars are washing up onshore. The reason for the eon blue spots is due to a chemical reaction that happens when a microorganism in the water is disturbed by oxygen.

Vabbinfaru

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Male Atoll

Veligandu

which maldives island is the best

Location: North Ari Atoll

Founded in the 1980s, Veligandu Island Resort is the oldest in the Maldives and is still considered one of the most fashionable and expensive resorts. Veligandu also offers unique a spectacular reef with underwater lighting.

What to Eat in the Maldives

fish

Since the Maldives is almost 99% sea, fish (mainly tuna) is the most important staple. The cuisine found in the island nation is a mix of Indian, Arabic, Sri Lankan, and East Asian influences, and relies heavily on the region’s available ingredients.

  • Fihunu mas – barbecued fish that has been basted with chili
  • Tandoor – masala spiced reef fish cutlet
  • Garudhiya – a fish broth served with rice, lime, chili, and onions
  • Mas huni – shredded smoked fish with grated coconuts and onions. This is considered the most popular breakfast food in the country.
  • Kulhi Boakibaa – fish cake cooked on special occasions made of smoked tuna, scraped coconut, onions, and ground rice.
  • Bis Keemiya (samosas) – pastries stuffed with savory filling like spiced potatoes and vegetables
  • Boshi mashuni -a blend of shredded, blanched (but still crunchy) banana flowers, fresh coconut, and spices.
  • Mas aluvi roshi – flatbread made with potato and fish

What Not to Do

Public displays of affection, such as kissing or hand-holding, are illegal.

While technically illegal, alcohol can be consumed while on a resort.

The Maldives is a Muslim country and appreciates modesty in dress. Booty shorts and bikinis are fine at the beach, but be sure to bring a sarong or cover-up for walking around the resort. In town and at the airport, men and women should be dressed conservatively with shoulders and legs covered.

Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen. The archipelago rests on the equator, so with the sun beating down at a 90-degree angle, you won’t want to risk sunburn ruining your trip.

Epilogue

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The magnificent beauty of the Maldives has to be seen to believe. Photos just don’t do it justice and the task of deciding which Maldives island is the best will prove almost impossible. So….enjoy them all, if you can!

Click below to PIN so you can find which Maldives island is the best again:

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About the Author

Patti MorrowPatti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials” and she was named one of the “Top 35 Travel Blogs” in the world.

She is also the star of the upcoming TV series “Destination Takeover” which is scheduled to premiere in the new few months.

Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled extensively through six continents looking for fabulous destinations, exotic beaches, and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer tribe.

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