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Maldives beach breaks? Only the best.

With almost 1,200 islands, the Maldives is one of the best destinations in the world for a beach holiday. It’s almost certainly the most beautiful. The sand here is whiter than white, and every island is surrounded by a stunning cyan-blue lagoon. The coral reefs make for incredible snorkelling and diving – and because the water stays warm all year, you probably won’t even need to wear a wetsuit.

While some Maldivian islands are obviously inhabited by locals, over 100 of them are home to resorts, which range from high-end luxury to easy-going and casual. And because each island is so small, there’s only one resort on each – so beaches are private, and solitude is all but guaranteed. A Maldives beach holiday really is nothing short of blissful.

In this island nation, the focus is very much on romance, relaxation and making the most of the natural beauty. There are endless options for watersports, and wellness is also big business here. Nearly every resort will have a spa and you can practise yoga on the beach, with the waves gently breaking in the background. Nightlife in the Maldives is obviously very subdued, but you’ll still find welcoming bars in the resorts, and restaurants full of delicious, local produce.

Besides fantastic food and unrivalled scenery, the Maldives is also blessed with incredible weather. The islands are very close to the equator – so the climate is tropical – but the lack of landmass means the air is cooler here than in other countries in the region. While it does see rain some months of the year, the temperature rarely drops below the mid-twenties. So whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic break, or a family wanting a fun-filled adventure, you can’t go wrong with a Maldives beach holiday.

What to wear

Best beaches

Activities and attractions

Best time to visit

Maldives dress code

It’s always good to be aware of your destination’s culture and etiquette. The Maldives is a Muslim country. So, while it’s absolutely fine to wear swimwear on resort beaches, it’s advisable to dress modestly elsewhere, particularly if you visit temples or holy sites.

If you take a trip to a local island, or spend time in Malé, both men and women will need to have their shoulders and knees covered. Women should also carry a scarf so they can cover their heads if required. And on inhabited islands, swimwear can only be worn on designated ‘bikini beaches’.

It’s also important to note that public nudity is illegal in the Maldives, so topless sunbathing will not be tolerated – even in resorts. But other than that, most resorts have very few rules about what you can and can’t wear. Most people dress casually on a Maldives beach holiday, even in the evening. And while a few restaurants may have a dress code, it’s more likely to be smart-casual than formal.

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Best Beaches in the Maldives

Although the texture of the sand varies slightly from island to island, with some boasting softer grains than others, all beaches in the Maldives are nothing short of spectacular. Every island has one and – given that all are tiny, and this is the lowest-lying nation on the planet – you’re rarely more than a couple of steps away from the sea. So, when trying to decide which island to stay on, a key thing to consider is how much of a castaway experience you want.

Almost every resort occupies its own private island, so on a Maldives beach holiday you’re guaranteed a degree of seclusion. But the sounds of planes and speedboats can shatter the illusion of isolation somewhat so, for true tranquillity, you’ll want to opt for an island far away from Malé. The closest resorts can be reached in just 20 minutes, while others are over an hour away.

It’s also worth considering how many people you’re willing to share the beach with. Although you’re never going to have to fight over a sun lounger on a Maldives beach holiday, bigger resorts will obviously be busier.

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Activities and attractions

Beaches in the Maldives initially appear to be carbon copies of one another. But when picking the resort that’s right for you, think about the activities on offer and what’s going on around the island.

The Maldives is rich in marine life, and every resort offers scuba diving and snorkelling. So wherever you stay there’s a chance you might spot turtles, sharks, stingrays, plus plenty of tropical fish. But if you want to see manta rays, your best bet is to head to the Addu Atoll, South Ari Atoll or Baa Atoll – particularly between June and October, when they’re attracted by the abundance of plankton. The South Ari Atoll is also a popular hangout for whale sharks – especially Dhidhdhoo Beyru on the southwestern edge.

If you’re a keen surfer, North Malé Atoll has the best-known breaks. The surf season in the Maldives coincides with the winter months, when storms bring large swells to the archipelago. Conditions in the Southern Atolls are optimal in March and April, thanks to the northeast monsoon, while the southwest monsoon makes surfing possible in the Central and Northern Atolls from May to October. So where you choose to stay may be determined by the timing of your Maldives beach holiday.

And if you want to see something incredibly special during your Maldives beach holiday, stay near Vaadhoo Island. This tiny, inhabited island in the Raa Atoll is famous for its so-called Sea of Stars. On certain nights, bioluminescent plankton illuminate the water, creating a magical, bright blue glow. Although this phenomenon can occur elsewhere in the Maldives, this is generally recognised as the best place to see it.

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Show Less

Best time to visit the Maldives

There isn’t really a bad time to go on a Maldives beach holiday – choosing which month to visit really comes down to your priorities. While every island has its own microclimate, generally speaking there are two distinct seasons – the dry season and the wet season.

The dry season, which runs from December to April, has little rain and lower humidity. But prices are higher at this time of year, particularly over Christmas, New Year and Easter. And of course resorts will be busier.

The Maldives stays warm throughout the May-to-November wet season – average temperatures throughout the year are 24-31oC – but storms are common. However, while downpours can be heavy, it’s unlikely to rain all day or every day. Snorkelling and diving are both still great during these months. Although visibility is lower, the water remains warm, and it’s the most common time of year for whale shark and manta ray sightings.

Show More
Show Less

What to wear

Maldives dress code

It’s always good to be aware of your destination’s culture and etiquette. The Maldives is a Muslim country. So, while it’s absolutely fine to wear swimwear on resort beaches, it’s advisable to dress modestly elsewhere, particularly if you visit temples or holy sites.

If you take a trip to a local island, or spend time in Malé, both men and women will need to have their shoulders and knees covered. Women should also carry a scarf so they can cover their heads if required. And on inhabited islands, swimwear can only be worn on designated ‘bikini beaches’.

It’s also important to note that public nudity is illegal in the Maldives, so topless sunbathing will not be tolerated – even in resorts. But other than that, most resorts have very few rules about what you can and can’t wear. Most people dress casually on a Maldives beach holiday, even in the evening. And while a few restaurants may have a dress code, it’s more likely to be smart-casual than formal.

Show More
Show Less

Best beaches

Best Beaches in the Maldives

Although the texture of the sand varies slightly from island to island, with some boasting softer grains than others, all beaches in the Maldives are nothing short of spectacular. Every island has one and – given that all are tiny, and this is the lowest-lying nation on the planet – you’re rarely more than a couple of steps away from the sea. So, when trying to decide which island to stay on, a key thing to consider is how much of a castaway experience you want.

Almost every resort occupies its own private island, so on a Maldives beach holiday you’re guaranteed a degree of seclusion. But the sounds of planes and speedboats can shatter the illusion of isolation somewhat so, for true tranquillity, you’ll want to opt for an island far away from Malé. The closest resorts can be reached in just 20 minutes, while others are over an hour away.

It’s also worth considering how many people you’re willing to share the beach with. Although you’re never going to have to fight over a sun lounger on a Maldives beach holiday, bigger resorts will obviously be busier.

Show More
Show Less

Activities and attractions

Activities and attractions

Beaches in the Maldives initially appear to be carbon copies of one another. But when picking the resort that’s right for you, think about the activities on offer and what’s going on around the island.

The Maldives is rich in marine life, and every resort offers scuba diving and snorkelling. So wherever you stay there’s a chance you might spot turtles, sharks, stingrays, plus plenty of tropical fish. But if you want to see manta rays, your best bet is to head to the Addu Atoll, South Ari Atoll or Baa Atoll – particularly between June and October, when they’re attracted by the abundance of plankton. The South Ari Atoll is also a popular hangout for whale sharks – especially Dhidhdhoo Beyru on the southwestern edge.

If you’re a keen surfer, North Malé Atoll has the best-known breaks. The surf season in the Maldives coincides with the winter months, when storms bring large swells to the archipelago. Conditions in the Southern Atolls are optimal in March and April, thanks to the northeast monsoon, while the southwest monsoon makes surfing possible in the Central and Northern Atolls from May to October. So where you choose to stay may be determined by the timing of your Maldives beach holiday.

And if you want to see something incredibly special during your Maldives beach holiday, stay near Vaadhoo Island. This tiny, inhabited island in the Raa Atoll is famous for its so-called Sea of Stars. On certain nights, bioluminescent plankton illuminate the water, creating a magical, bright blue glow. Although this phenomenon can occur elsewhere in the Maldives, this is generally recognised as the best place to see it.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit

Best time to visit the Maldives

There isn’t really a bad time to go on a Maldives beach holiday – choosing which month to visit really comes down to your priorities. While every island has its own microclimate, generally speaking there are two distinct seasons – the dry season and the wet season.

The dry season, which runs from December to April, has little rain and lower humidity. But prices are higher at this time of year, particularly over Christmas, New Year and Easter. And of course resorts will be busier.

The Maldives stays warm throughout the May-to-November wet season – average temperatures throughout the year are 24-31oC – but storms are common. However, while downpours can be heavy, it’s unlikely to rain all day or every day. Snorkelling and diving are both still great during these months. Although visibility is lower, the water remains warm, and it’s the most common time of year for whale shark and manta ray sightings.

Show More
Show Less

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