Places to visit in the Maldives for a dream-worthy vacation

These places to visit in the Maldives will have you dreaming about your next vacation in paradise


Maldives is one of those idyllic locations that our mind wanders to when thinking of a paradise island. Yet, it is a real-life place full of breathtaking beaches, unmatchable marine life, and ounces of fun to be had. If you are thinking of exploring this untouched tropical land, we have compiled a list of the best places to visit in the Maldives which will be sure to spark your interest. Are you ready for a daydream vacation? Pack your bags and get ready to relax in paradise.

When is the best time to visit the Maldives?

Located in the Indian Ocean, to the southeast of India and Sri Lanka, this country is made up of over 1000 islands. Yet, surprisingly, only 200 of these islands are inhabited. Temperatures here are moderate throughout the entire year making them an ideal destination to visit whatever month. Yet these islands are popular for winter sun getaways with the high season falling between November-April. During the low season in May-October, you can expect Monsoons. Apart from being an idyllic honeymoon destination, the Maldives is also a famous diving spot thanks to the warm, crystal clear waters that stay a relaxing 27ºC-29ºC all year round. So, here are the best Maldives places to visit no matter what kind of holiday you are after.

Understanding all the islands to visit in the Maldives

You may think that the Maldives is a small corner of paradise, yet in reality, it is a vast place. The archipelago’s islands are split into three categories: Resort islands, Local islands, and Uninhabited islands. Of course, uninhabited islands are islands where no one lives. Resort islands are islands that are owned by one hotel and the accommodation is controlled by one hotel chain. People can visit the resort islands to make use of the hotel facilities but this is managed on a resort-by-resort basis. 

Local islands are the islands where local people live and have set up their own hotels. Tourism is practically the only source of income in the Maldives and it was only recently that the government allowed locals the opportunity to run their own guest houses and hotels. The Maldives islands vary in size and the distance between one side of the archipelago to the other is 1200 kilometers. There is a public ferry that transports people between the inhabited islands but the journey times between the places to visit in the Maldives are set to a specific schedule and can take up to 15 hours to travel between islands. Many people choose to travel by private speedboats to make the journey time more accessible. 

Description Male is the capital of the Maldives and a fantastic base for your island adventures

Male: One of the most popular places to visit in the Maldives

With so many places to visit in the Maldives, Male is the perfect place to start. This is the Maldives’ largest island and is considered to be the capital. Here it is possible to really get a feel for the spirit of the place, especially when visiting one of the many vibrant markets or tea houses. 

The National Museum is a popular attraction amongst travelers to Male alongside the Tsunami monument

The National Museum is a popular attraction amongst travelers to Male alongside the Tsunami monument. Yet what makes Male one of the best places to visit in the Maldives is the great diving and watersports options so close to the city center. Male is a must-visit Maldives site and the island’s spa hotels offer a fantastic place to be based for those keen to venture off and explore other islands.

Vaadhoo Island are a must-see in the Maldives

Vaadhoo Island: Uncover one of the famous places to visit in the Maldives

It is no secret that the islands that make up the Maldives are visually stunning. In fact, it is easy to think that you have died and gone to heaven while on vacation here. However, not all islands are created equal. Take Vaadhoo Island for example. It may appear like any of the other idyllic places to visit in the Maldives but this island has something special. During the summer months, as the sun begins to set over the breathtakingly beautiful setting, the sea lights up with a shimmering pale blue light. It is as if fireflies are living in the Ocean yet this natural phenomenon is caused by glow-in-the-dark phytoplankton living in the water making it one of the most important places to visit in the Maldives for nature lovers.

Discover Bodufinolhu Island and the natural beauty that it holds

When running through the best places to visit in the Maldives, we cannot forget the heavenly paradise of Bodufinolhu island, the atoll of South Malé. Situated 38 km from the capital, this island is made up of a wide sandbank, 800 m long and 30 m wide. The beach is one of the most beautiful in the area and (this will interest the more intrepid) has a lagoon that can be crossed on foot to reach two deserted islets. Live out your Treasure Island fantasies and enjoy the perfect seclusion that this island hideaway provides. It is also possible to practice sports such as water-skiing and jet-skiing on the crystal-clear waters. Yet, if you are in search of rest and relaxation, the island’s luxury hotel is the ideal bolthole where your stresses and worries will melt away in the heat of the Maldivian sunshine.

Heavenly paradise of Bodufinolhu island, Maldives

Addu City: Enjoy a spot of Maldives sightseeing while in paradise

Addu City is the second most urban places to visit in the Maldives after Male. Explore captivating vistas, stroll along coconut tree-lined streets and see some of the top 10 best places to visit in the Maldives, many of which can be found on this island. One such historical landmark is the unmissable Mosque of the Judge which is a must-see that tells the story of the Sultanate’s rule over the city.

One such historical landmark is the unmissable Mosque of the Judge which is a must-see that tells the story of the Sultanate’s rule over the city

History fans will also be fascinated by a trip to Gan Island and the Bonda Badi, both of which are key sites leftover from the British rule of the island. The freshwater lake and nature reserve of Koattey are also must-visit places.

A trip to the Mosque of the Judge is a must when in Addu City

Guraidhoo Island: One of the Maldives’ famous places for surfing

If you thought that the places to visit in the Maldives were all tranquil tropical islands, then you are wrong. Guraidhoo Island is one of the best vacation spots in the Maldives for surfers thanks to the strong currents that create large waves ideal for surfing. Since it is prohibited to wear swimwear on the beaches, travelers head to Picnic Island, a designated area of the island where swimming in a bikini is allowed. It is also here that you can find some of the best waves. The iconic Kandooma Right is also another famous surf spot that attracts flocks of people keen to ride the adrenaline-inducing riptides and mountainous waves. As well as surfing, travelers to this island can enjoy a snorkel safari where they can meet all kinds of marine life and nighttime fishing where locals help you to catch tropical fish that can be barbecued later for dinner.

Thoddoo: Step off the world in one of the must-visit places in the Maldives

Thoddoo is one of the best places to visit in the Maldives for honeymoon travel thanks to its picturesque surroundings and wild natural beauty. The small size is made up for by a large number of things to do while exploring Thoddoo. Soak up the sun on Bikini beach, a breathtaking stretch of sand ideal for sunbathing as there are plenty of shady spots when the sun gets too intense. Snorkel in its warm, crystal clear waters and explore the colorful coral reefs found just a stone’s throw from the beach. This island is also the biggest producer of watermelons in the Maldives and a plantation tour is a different way to experience authentic island life.

Swim in the crystal clear waters of a Bikini Beach in Thoddoo

Maafushi Island: One of the best islands to visit in the Maldives for solo travelers

If you are craving a slice of paradise and don’t want to be tied down to anyone else’s plans then Maafushi Island is one of the ideal places to see in the Maldives. It is considered to be one of the most social places to visit in the Maldives and the array of activities on offer makes it easy for solo travelers to mix in with other holidaymakers. Bikini Beach is a top sunbathing spot thanks to its relaxed laws that allow men and women to be on beaches in swimwear, which is prohibited on public beaches due to Islamic law. Spend time snorkeling, fishing and enjoying the vast array of watersports and don’t leave without trying Hedhikaa, the local sweet treat that’s loved by locals and tourists alike. The sunsets on Maafushi are spectacular and since Islamic law prohibits the sale of alcohol, hop on a free boat and visit a floating bar to enjoy a sundowner in paradise. 

Would you try snorkeling in the warm waters of Maafushi Island?