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Oh, the Maldives. Honeymoon destination for some and desktop screensavers for many. It’s no wonder the Maldives is such a popular choice for special occasions, its beaches simply can’t be rivaled. With crystal clear, tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, glistening lagoons, sugar-white sand and house reefs filled with colorful fish, it’s the destination of a lifetime. We’ve rounded up the best beaches in the Maldives:

By Shutterstock | Tropical studio

1. Cocoa Island

The Maldives is made up of almost two thousand tiny coral islands, divided into 26 geographic sections. The islands are best enjoyed at private resorts and it’s not unusual that an individual resort has its whole own island to itself. Cocoa Island has some of the best beaches in the Maldives thanks to its unique location next to two flowing channels, which creates the perfect environment for marine life. The beaches are an amazing place to unwind after a busy day snorkeling, with the spas offering treatments. There’s only one place to stay on the island, which is Cocoa Island Resort, where you can really tick something off your luxury travel experience bucket list and kick back in an overwater bungalow. To get to Cocoa Island you’ll need to take a speedboat from Male, the Maldives’ capital.

By sadat hossen

2. Mirihi Island Beach

Mirihi Island Beach is known for its emerald green waters and sugar-white sands. It’s located on the small, private island of South Ari Atoll, which is home to several resorts — the most popular choice being Mirihi Island Resort, which is an incredibly romantic, 5-star resort experience where you can eat world-class food and enjoy picture-perfect sunsets. The island is a thirty-minute seaplane ride from Male.

By Circumnavigation

3. Hulhumale’ Beach

Hulhumale’, located in Kaafu Atoll, is often voted as one of the best beaches in the Maldives. The beach isn’t linked to a resort, meaning you can have a cheaper trip, staying in more economic hotels and eating at more budget-friendly restaurants. Who said it wasn’t possible to do the Maldives on a budget?!

The Maldives is a Muslim nation and, as with all beaches in the Maldives which are not located on private resorts, you can’t wear a bikini on the beach. Instead, you can sit beneath softly moving palm tree leaves and soak in the incredible view (and save your skin from the sun’s fierce rays). The beach is known for its amazing sunsets, and you can opt for a sunset cruise for a truly unforgettable experience. The beach is just a 10-minute drive from Male airport, making it one of the easiest beaches to get to in the Maldives.

By Guadalupe Polito

4. Nika Island

The beaches on Nika Island are known for their incredible turquoise waters and white sands. The island, which is located in the North Ari Atoll division, boasts several private beaches where you can truly unwind. It’s a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving and the surrounding waters are filled with almost every type of tropical fish you can imagine. There are several romantic restaurants where you can relax with your significant other after a long day of sunbathing and swimming. Nike Island can be reached by a thirty-minute plane ride from Male International Airport.

By Shesternina Polina

5. Reethi Beach

A favorite for honeymooners, Reethi Beach located on Baa Atoll island, couldn’t be a more perfect beach if it tried. It’s known for its shallow waters, soft white sand, and lines of palm trees. It’s a truly idyllic experience with the luxury Reethi Beach Resort being the highlight of your trip (and the only place to stay on the island). As with most of the islands, it can be reached by seaplane from Male.

By Shen max

6. Angsana Ihuru Island on the North Male Atoll

Live your very own ‘Finding Nemo’ dream on Angsana Ihuru Island, on the North Male Atoll. It’s said to have the best-preserved reef in the Maldives, meaning it’s an incredible place for a spot of snorkeling. After a busy day seeing tons of marine life, you can kick back on its long stretches of sand.

By Hans Swift

Top Tips

– The best time to visit the Maldives is in the dry season, which runs from December to April when there is the lowest chance of rain.

– To get to the islands, you’ll have to take a seaplane or speedboat from Male, which is a bustling capital with plenty to see and do. We recommend staying for a night in Male, where you can explore some of its vibrant markets and add a bit of texture to your trip. If it’s your first time in such an exotic destination, or you want to make sure everything runs smoothly, check out our article Is the Maldives Safe to help put you at ease.

– Visit now! Some of the islands are disappearing due to erosion. So what are you waiting for?

By Shutterstock | haveseen

Read more about things to know before heading to the Maldives.

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