There is no other place in the world like the Maldives. Generously lapped by the waters of the Indian Ocean, these fantastic islands attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year that dream about a holiday on picture-postcard holiday, tropical atmospheres and an irresistible and well-tried accommodation system.
The Maldives are identified with the absolute ideal of beach holiday, and their fame is more than deserved. With the incredible sandy beaches of the atolls in the north, the houses on stilts over the turquoise, warm water and fishing villages in the sub islands, the Maldives offer a full panorama of everything you can expect from a tropical paradise. All, naturally, a short distance from the Indian subcontinent, land of exotic wonders and beauties that changes your soul.
Most visitors will come to Male, an island that is well organised to welcome tourists from all over the world and in large numbers. Allow yourself to be enchanted by the imposing mosques, the colourful spice markets and, between one activity and another, don’t forget to wear sun cream and plunge yourself into the spectacular universe of the most talked about and beloved beaches in the world.
The most enterprising travellers, as perhaps you are, will not waste too much time on the main island and will take some time to reach the best atolls in the Maldives, where breath-taking wonders await you, with infinity pools overlooking the sea, huts for shelter from the sun and all the beach life that you could wish for.
But the Maldives are not just strips of sandy coastline where you can sip a drink under a palm tree in one of the many luxury resorts here. With the arrival of tourism, the waves of the Indian Ocean have become heralds of incredible opportunities for water sports such as surfing, and a thousand other options to experience in the water or on land. And if the fact of having arrived in one of the most romantic and spectacular places in the world was not enough, know that your holiday would not be complete without a diving plan in search of the exceptional sea life that inhabits the sea beds in this place. The Maldives are incredibly famous for the variety of species that inhabit them. It is therefore no coincidence that we are talking about one of the most loved locations in the world for snorkelling opportunities. Some resorts provide days on their private beaches, where they have small coral structures for their clients. Come and swim alongside sea turtles, sharks, stingrays and a number of other colourful tropical fish.
One last thing, the Maldives are a priceless heritage of planet Earth that could disappear from one moment to the next. These emerged islands are, in fact, just one metre above sea level, and due to the troubled climate changes of recent years - with consequent rising of water levels - they are destined to disappear in the not-too-distant future. So is there a better time to come to one of the most wonderful paradises on earth?
This is why at Costa Cruises we aim to show you the best of this extraordinary location that you must visit at least once in your lifetime. We have prepared a full list of all the best beaches in the Maldives, so that you can select your itinerary without having to
do some research yourself about the most unique and characteristic beach of them all.
We have collected them in this guide for you, and all you need to do is visit them. You will thank us when you come back on board our cruise liner having experienced this amazing opportunity.
- Male beaches
- Cocoa Island
- Halaveli Beach
- Rangali Island beaches
- Kunfunadhoo Beach
- Huvafen Fushi Island beaches
- Veligandu Island beaches
- Bikini Beach
- Gulhi Beach
Male is the largest and most densely populated city in the Maldives. With its population of 160 thousand inhabitants in a surface area of 6 square kilometres, it is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world. The city is in the north part of the Male Atoll and consists of a central island, an airport island and two less important islands. If you are only here for a few hours, Male is certainly the destination for you: this spectacular place is the personification of exotic attraction of the local culture and breath-taking beauty of its beaches.
One of the main bathing attractions of Male (or Malé) is the artificial beach. Located on the east coast of the central island, this beautiful coastal area has been created by man, for man. This is why it is one of the best organised and structured in the Maldives. The waters here are calm, warm and not too deep: come here if you have young children or beginner swimmers with you that prefer to have small dips in the water and not long swims. The area has plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants and shops, where you can try the local cuisine and entertain yourself with cricket and football matches between dips in the water.
There is also a small public beach on Male, the only one in the entire town close to the ferry that takes you to the airport area. If you come here, remember that you must a strict ethical and moral code. If you are planning to enter the water, do so with your clothes on to avoid breaking the rules of local Islamic culture.
The areas dedicated to resorts usually offer daily access to simply extraordinary private beaches.. Hiring parasols, sunbeds, cabanas, access to swimming pools and bar services - as well as permission to wear western-style bathing costumes to make sure you have the best tan possible!
If you have a bit of time, make a quick stop on Hulhumale Island, located in the northern part of the Male atoll. It is here that you need to come if you want fun in a breath-takingly beautiful oasis that is not too far from the capital. From boat tours to organised underwater excursions, go to Hulhumale if you want to enjoy some snorkelling in the Indian Ocean. With a bit of luck, you may see some dolphins! There is a beautiful mosque to visit at the hottest time of the day, to split the day of sun and sea in the Maldives up a bit with some cultural activity.
Would you ever have imagined landing on an island surrounded in every direction by the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean? Reaching Cocoa Island and walking up the incredible wooden walkways that take you to the houses built on stilts on the water is a simply unforgettable experience. This paradise is on the island of Caafu, in the south of the atoll of Male, and can be reached by boat in 40 minutes from the capital. This is luxury holiday resort built to adapt perfectly to the pure, winding sand of a picture-perfect island.
The island has a central area of thick tropical vegetation surrounded by the coastal areas of white coral sand that is as soft as fluffy clouds. The water is clear, calm and transparent, perfect for a day of diving and snorkelling, or to enjoy a day of sun in one of the private floating houses that can be rented to enjoy an atmosphere of pure luxury. Spoil yourself with some sun, tropical postcard landscapes, unforgettable dips in the water and so much natural beauty in a magical context that will leave you with unforgettable memories. You can choose from a huge selection of solutions for your day on Cocoa Island, with your straw parasols and sunbeds just a few metres from the sea.
Bring your children here too, they will be so happy to swim in the calm, warm, clear water teeming with fish that want to make friends with you. It will no doubt be their favourite childhood experience! If you prefer adventure, you can always choose one of the specific water sports centres: come and do some diving, snorkelling, or swim alongside manta rays and dolphins. Come and do some kayaking, windsurfing or fishing. And if you get bored, you can also go sailing in a catamaran or try competitive fishing. You will be spoilt for choice!
If you want to end the day in style, there is so much to choose from here: Cocoa Island has some of the best restaurants in the Maldives. Enjoy a dinner with your feet in the sand in one of the many local restaurants and try out the unmistakeable taste of fresh fish and Indian cooking from the Kerala region, which is tasty and spicy just to the right extent.
The wonderful resort of Velassaru covers the entire island and offers a contemporary beach resort for all those wanting a holiday in the Maldives with all the comfort, architecture and design that you can admire in one of the top luxury locations. Velassaru combines luxurious bathing establishments with the wild, unspoilt beauty of the beaches in this amazing destination. The organised zones mix perfectly with the verdant, tropical nature that dominates the heart of the island. With its 130 bungalows and villas, each of them with incomparable view of the lagoon, Velassaru provides equipped, minimalist-style beaches where you can spend hours on the beach, with the odd swim thrown in.
Velassaru also provides several amenities to help your stay be an unforgettable one: come and enjoy the spa, the entertainment facilities and enjoy a wonderful meal in one of the restaurants on the beach. Here you will only find local food, to make the most of the location's holistic experience.
Come to Velassaru for the sun, luxury, but also for snorkelling and diving. Enjoy this unique opportunity to try water sports in the Maldives, or spend the perfect day in one of the many infinity pools provided by the locals.
One of the many picture-perfect paradises in the Maldives. You can’t say you have been here unless you have visited an island like Halaveli or some of its sisters. The white sand that your feet sink into guides you to a landscape of crystal-clear, turquoise waters that disappear onto the horizon. Halaveli is an incredible spectacle, and it is no coincidence that tourists who decide to return to this island year after year come for the incredible natural beauty of this stretch of coastline.
Come here to swim in the sea teeming with fish north of the Ari Atoll, where the locals are friendly and there are lots of opportunities for fun and relaxation. Like everywhere else in the Maldives, Halaveli is also a perfect destination for snorkelling amidst colourful fish, manta rays, dolphins and other wonderful creatures. And if after a swim you need to decompress, no problem: you always treat yourself to a wellness path in one of the many spas on the beach, where you will be treated like royalty.
Some of the water sports you can try are water-skiing, wake-boarding, catamaran sailing and, of course, windsurfing.
Rangali Island beaches
There is no other island like Rangali. This is partly due to the luxurious bathing establishments that you find here, where you will be immersed in attention and comfort, and a little beach each of these wonderful establishments blends perfectly into the natural context it is a part of. Surround yourself with the water gardens, and the spectacular beaches that disappear into the crystal-clear, warm sea and enjoy a drink in the shade of a palm tree.
All you need is snorkel and fins to experience the sea beds with the same enthusiasm: here the underwater fauna swims around happily just a few meters from the establishments, and swimming in the water is a fantastic experience, worthy of being captured on film - if you are a fan of underwater photos!
Rangali is not just restaurants, well-being and good life. The area also has about 10 facilities that have been designed to preserve the traditional life in the Maldives, a little world that must be preserved from the hordes of tourists that come to the island each year. Rangali is the perfect place to admire the sunset, and if you are lucky enough, you could also swim with manta rays in the crystal-clear water.
Rangali also have child-friendly resorts, so that adults can enjoy the beach and water sports safe in the knowledge that their children are enjoying themselves just as much!
If you come to the Maldives, a trip to Kunfunadhoo will change your life forever. This is another of the wonderful islands, where time passes differently than in the rest of the world. You have come to a magical place: perfect beaches emerge from the verdant heart of the forest and merge with the crystal-clear sea, ideal for a swim with the family or a day of snorkelling amidst the beautiful local underwater fauna. You can’t say you have been to the Maldives if you have not hired a straw parasol on the beach and you have ordered a wonderful coconut.
And after a day of sunbathing, there is nothing better than a drink at one of the cocktail bars on the beach and a seafood and Indian dinner in the small restaurants along the coast. Just book a day on the beach in one of the many local facilities to be treated like a king. Remember to bring your camera. Each centimetre of beach deserves your attention.
Huvafen Fushi Island beaches
If there is an island where you could accidentally bump into a Hollywood VIP, then this is Huvafen Fushi, a tropical paradise par excellence in the wonderful Maldives. The structures on the island offer incomparable luxury, glass floors for walking on the amazing water of the Indian Ocean and another thousand opportunities for your full immersion in the beauty of this place.
The fluffy-soft, white-sand beaches await you for many hours of sunbathing, but if you get bored of that you can always go for a swim or sit under one of the green palm trees. And if you feel regenerated and on form after a spa treatment, you can always put on a mask and snorkel and go snorkelling in one of the points that will be suggested by the local staff. The coral reef awaits you with its infinite population of fish and see creatures that live undisturbed in this area. If you are not sure what you are looking at, you can always ask one of the marine biologists that work here and ask them to accompany you, so that you enjoy the Maldives’ beautiful fauna to the full.
The food is divine, here: come and try fresh fish in one of the beach restaurants. Sip your cocktail with your feet in the sand and feel like you own this wonderful place for once.
Veligandu Island beaches
The gorgeous beaches on Veligandu Island await you with their incomparable natural beauty. Here, there is everything you need for a day of relaxation and comfort in the most uncontaminated part of the Maldives.
Relax on the beach, enjoy the sun, try some water sports, including, naturally, snorkelling. Go as far as the coral reef to admire the fauna in its most beautiful, natural habitat. Anything that comes to mind, swimming pools, hiring surf boards, you can do it here. And if you are tired, enjoy a top-class drink and lunch in one of the many restaurants here. Excellent location for children too, like almost all the beaches that we have mentioned so far.
If you want, here you can hire drones to admire the Maldives from up high. And if you are wanting a break from the beach, you can always go on one of the organised picnic trips.
The people who have never visited the Maldives think that bikinis are second nature here. The truth is that a western-style swimming costume like this could be ill-viewed in all the beaches. That is why the Bikini Beaches have become so famous. These beaches make an exception and allow access to all types of beach dress code.
Bikini is on Maafushi Island, but there are similar beaches on Rasdhoo and Gaafaru too. They are all located in isolated, public areas, entirely dedicated to tourists. Local inhabitants cannot enter these beaches. True suntan lovers come here to tan under the Maldives sun If you are looking for a small corner of paradise where you can relax and switch off completely, you have come to the right place. Blue, crystal-clear waters, palm trees where you can enjoy the shade in the warmest hours and so much natural beauty!
Gulhi is an island on the Male atoll, offering an opportunity to wear a bikini, in addition to lots of fun, natural beauty and a picture-perfect sea. You can come here for the real spirit of the Maldives in a breath-taking context.
Go snorkelling, go fishing, swim with the manta rays and dolphins or just enjoy the sun, parasol and fun on the coast, waited on hand and foot with drinks and relaxation. Don’t forget your camera: the ocean here takes on hues of blue that will take your breath away and you will want to capture it forever.
If you prefer water sports, all you have to do is agree with one of the local facilities to hire an excursion and all the equipment required for having fun. If you can, come here in the early morning or stay until dusk: the rising sun in Gulhi is a spectacle that deserves to be seen at least once in your life.
There are some trips from Gulhi that take you to a sandbank not far from the coast. There is not much room here, and it is advisable to arrive before midday. Finding yourself on a small island of sand surrounded by sea in all directions is an unforgettable experience.
Set sail for the Maldives with Costa Cruises
Set sail for the Maldives today with Costa Cruises. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear waters of Male’s luxury beaches: these and other beauties await you in this magical place that will win you over with culture, beauty and perfect landscapes.
Come with us and have an unforgettable holiday here, paradise on earth like no other. We are expecting you!