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Where to stay in the Maldives: the best islands

Floating over the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean, between Sri Lanka and India, are the Maldives, an idyllic archipelago made up of a number of islands.200 islands, grouped into 26 atolls of infinite beauty, which no matter how hard you try in catalogues and postcards, they do not manage to show exactly.

Its streets are beautiful, white-sand roads, which require to be walked barefoot, decorated with charming traditional markets, craft shops, bars and restaurants.

Paradisiacal and of infinite beauty, the Maldives is the closest and closest thing to paradise on earth.

The best areas to stay in the Maldives

The population of the Maldives quadruples every year, making the archipelago one of the busiest destinations in the world.The supply of hotels is quite well adapted to the growing demand and includes many of the most luxurious hotels and even inland hotels, built on stilts, whose accommodation is a magical experience.

There are also many resorts with all the unimaginable services and luxury hotels.However, there are more and more guest houses and affordable accommodation for travellers on a budget.

You will also find options on the islands inhabited by locals whose customs and culture are different from the West.

Therefore, before choosing one of the many islands, it is advisable to stop and think about what kind of activities and tourism we are going to enjoy.

In general terms and compared to others nearby, it is an expensive destination, although it is true that prices vary substantially from one island to another.Thus, the most expensive places to stay in the Maldives are Tulusdhoo, Biyadhoo, Mathiveri and Malé, while the cheapest are Hulhumalé, Dhifussi, Maafushi, Gulhi, Fulidhoo, Guaridhoo, Ukulhas and Rasdhoo.

Located on the southern edge of Kaafu Atoll, it is the capital of the Maldives and also the largest atoll in the country.It is densely populated, completely urbanized and has all the necessary services such as, for example, currency exchange points, being one of the few in the country that provides it.

Although it has a more urbanized environment and less paradisiacal than the rest of the islands, it treasures some charms such as the beach, where it is necessary to remember that bikini bathing is not allowed.It is crossed by a beautiful sea walk, whose eastern part enjoys a great animation, as it is full of restaurants, cafes and even cricket and football fields.

Among its streets you will also come across other attractions such as the National Museum, where the collection of pre-Hispanic pieces stands out, the Hukuru Miskiiy Mosque, the Sultan’s Park or the Singapore Bazaar, the place of reference to acquire local crafts.

It is also very close to the Malé International Airport and has access to the ferries that connect with the rest of the islands, which depart from the Villingili Ferry Terminal, located in the southeast corner.

Malé is the gateway to the country and provides access to all necessary services, as well as combining cultural activities with maritime activities and excursions to nearby islands, making it one of the best areas to sleep in the Maldives.

There is a wide and varied range of accommodation on offer, although you will find fewer resorts than on other islands. Prices are relatively expensive, so for less than 80 euros or 85 euros you will not be able to access a 4-star hotel.



This is an artificial island connected by a small road to Malé.It was built recently, since it began operating in 2004, and the reasons for this are the need to accommodate the growing population and services of the capital, such as the Malé International Airport.

The eastern part of the island is home to the beach, whose promenade is full of cafes, accommodation and restaurants.There you can also enjoy a wide range of activities such as diving, snorkelling, parasailing, surfing and even excursions to nearby islands. It also has a local market and a good range of leisure activities.

Those who want to be close to the capital and at the same time enjoy the beach and sea sports should consider staying in the Maldives.

The accommodation offer is interesting and consists mainly of guest-houses and medium category hotels, whose prices are slightly lower than in the capital, so staying in a 3 star hotel will cost you between 50 and 55 euros per night.



Located about 28 km north of Malé, this small island is a magnet for surf lovers, as its beach offers the ideal waves for surfing.So if you are a lover of this sport, do not hesitate to include this enclave among your options for sleeping in the Maldives.

As we have anticipated, it is a small island, so it has very few services, limited to a few local restaurants, some cafes and a local market.Therefore, prices are high, so that the cost of a 4-star hotel ranges from 120 euros to 140 euros per night.



It is located about 40 km to the northwest of the capital.It is an island inhabited by local people who profess Islam, so we must respect as far as possible their customs. The beach is the main attraction, ideal for swimming, as well as various water sports such as diving (has two centers), snorkeling or fishing.

Here you can also hire excursions for dolphin watching or the Sandbanks, unusual sandbanks that form along the coast as a result of the tidal flow.

It is a perfect area to stay in the Maldives for those who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and enjoy the tranquility.Small in size, accommodation is very limited, as does not exceed ten . A 4 star hotel costs between 50 and 60 euros per night.Maafushi

Located in the atoll of Kaafu, in the southern part, it is one of the most touristic of all those that conform the archipelago.So much so that it has a beach for tourists in the north of the island, which allows the use of bikini.

Maafushi is a destination that allows you to enjoy swimming in the sea and different sea activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, wakeboarding, diving and snorkeling, especially north of the reef, or sailing to beautiful nearby places such as the Furafathi sand bank.

As it receives a large influx of tourists, it has a wide range of services, including a bank with ATMs (one of the few that have them).

It is one of the favorite destinations of backpackers, so you will find one of the offers of accommodation in the Maldives more economical. Predominantly, the guest-houses with a very familiar atmosphere and the mid-range hotels, being the most reduced luxury options.Here the cost of a 3-star hotel ranges from 30 to 40 euros per night.



This small island of fishermen is located very close to the tourist island of Maafushi, in the southern atoll of Malé and about 20 km from the captainlIt has the honor of being one of the most paradisiacal and quiet, because it does not receive many visitors. So it is one of the most advisable to stay in the Maldives for those seeking to enjoy its charms and relax.

It has a beach where the use of bikini is allowed and where it is possible to enjoy all kinds of maritime activities such as snorkeling, diving, surfing and even night fishing.Among its streets you will find some local shops and restaurants where you can taste local food.In fact, you can sleep in a 4-star hotel for about 65 or 70 euros a night.



It is located in the north of Vaavu atoll, just south of the capital.Although it is not one of the most touristy, in recent years it has experienced a remarkable growth in visitors for its beauty and for being close to the popular Maafushi.

The main attraction is the local beaches, among which there is a bikini beach, both of which have rich coral beds with a great biodiversity, making them one of the best areas for snorkeling and diving.

Despite its small size, there are some small shops where you can buy basic products and several food stands located on the main street, which, by the way, is made of sand.

The concentration of accommodations is quite interesting and includes mainly simple and medium category hotels.For about 40 EUR you can sleep in a 3 star hotel.



About 20 minutes by boat from Maafushi, south of Malé, is this small island.It is a true diving paradise, with the most valuable dive sites on the atoll.

Just opposite is the Picnic Island, which is uninhabited and has the only beach that allows the use of a bikini, but also has a wonderful local beach.

It is an excellent area to stay in the Maldives for those who come with the intention of diving, have contact with the locals and run away from the company.As it is not one of the most touristy ones, the prices are relatively cheap. Thus, the average of a 3-star hotel ranges from 40 to 45 euros.



This island is located in the southern atoll of Malé, less than 20 km from Malé International Airport.It is one of the most paradisiacal islands in the Maldives, thanks to the beautiful lagoon and beach that decorate it, whose crystal clear waters are an invitation to swim, and its coral reefs, to snorkel and dive.

In fact, it has numerous diving points nearby Kandooma Caves or the Marine Protected Area of Guraidhoo Kandu.

Likewise, the island is embraced by lush tropical vegetation, among which are countless coconut and banana trees, which make it even more beautiful.Small in size, it only has one of the most complete resorts, including a bar, restaurant or spa, among many other services.

Therefore, it is a good option to stay in the Maldives for those who want to get lost.So much so that the cost is 150 euros per night, although it depends on the season.


10.Mathiveri and Gangehi Kandu

This local island is located in the atoll Alif Alif, about 80 km from the capital, being the most western island of the archipelago.

It is also famous for being an excellent starting point to reach other well known dive sites such as Gangehi Kandu or Maaya Thila , exceptional for hammerhead shark sightings.

As an added attraction, it is very close (so close that you can swim) to the Picnic Island, a deserted island where the only sound you will hear will be the sea waves and the only worry you will have is choosing the first side to get a tan.

Like the rest of the islands, it is ideal for practising maritime activities such as snorkelling, diving, surfing, sailing and even fishing in some areas.

Quiet, relaxed and very authentic, it is a great option to stay in the Maldives for those who seek to enjoy peace, relaxation, the sea and to know the local culture. The accommodation offer is quite interesting, although the prices are a little bit higher than in other surrounding islands. Thus, sleeping in a 3 star hotel costs an average of 50.



This island is located in the Ari atoll, about 70 km from Malé. It has a beach for the locals and another where the use of bikinis is allowed, whose bottoms are considered to be among the best for diving and snorkelling.

It is also one of the best conserved. So much so that it has won the Green Leaf Award for the implementation of programs aimed at the care and maintenance of its marine ecosystems and the biodiversity that characterizes them.

The surroundings have several points of interest such as the Fushi Island, totally uninhabited, the Gaagandu, ideal for snorkelling or diving, and three sand banks, which offer the possibility of exploring its reefs.

It also has several local restaurants and shops, which are concentrated on the road Bodu Magu. Remember that does not have an ATM or exchange mints.

The range of accommodation is one of the widest in the Maldives, many of which is on the beachfront, and prices are compatible with all travel budgets, although they are higher in the high season. For example, a 3-star hotel costs between $50 and $60, while a 4-star hotel ranges from $70 to $90 a night.



Located about 60 km west of Malé, it is the capital of the administrative division Alif Alif Atoll.Of local character, it has a beach where the use of the bikini is allowed, although it also has others frequented by the locals, where, as we have anticipated, the use of this swimming garment is not allowed.

It is a very popular destination among divers, as it has a recife, located about 70 meters from the beach, with a great biodiversity, being the real protagonists the recife sharks, the sea turtles or the eagle rays.

It also has an extensive range of services, including automatic cashier and bank, unlike its neighbours.

Which is the best island to stay in The Maldives?

The Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean that attracts tourists from all over the world for its paradisiacal islands and its hotels on the water .If you are thinking about where to stay in The Maldives may seem overwhelming, since it has 87 tourist islands, for that reason we present you the most popular destinations and their advantages.the capital of the Maldives, Male , has a lot to offer to the visitor, with more than 100 thousand inhabitants it has all the services you may need during your stay, as well as good restaurants, shops and night life.However, the high degree of urbanization has taken away from the relaxing atmosphere that many tourists are looking for.

So if you are looking for something more peaceful, maybe you should go to another island, like Maafushi , far from the bustle of the big cities. This is one of the favorite destinations for backpackers and an excellent place to spend the day on its beautiful beaches, sunbathing or doing some water activities.The white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of the Maldives are its main tourist attractions and you will not be disappointed in Maafushi , other options to stay in the Maldives you will find in Hulhumale , an artificial island that has a beautiful landscape and beautiful rocky beaches with good water for swimming and one of the biggest hotel offers, while those who want to dive in Addu Atoll will find some of the most beautiful corals.

If you are interested in knowing where to stay in the Maldives , you may also be interested in knowing where to stay in Sri Lanka, where to stay in Bali and where to stay in Fiji.

Which island to choose in the Maldives?


People say that the Maldives is a place of inner peace and calm, so much so that the economy of the entire country is literally built around the tourism business.However, to experience real change and get away from the hustle and bustle you need to not only go to the Maldives, but get away from Malé, the capital.

About 90 minutes from Malé by ferry, the island of Maafushi is a favorite of backpackers.It is located in the south and is a relatively large island, at least compared to other islands in the area.

It was severely damaged in the tsunami disaster, but has now been rebuilt and is once again home to a thriving fishing and tourism community, so you don’t have to hesitate to stay in this area.It has many attractions, for example in the north it has the Maafushi reef, a beautiful place to spend a day of diving and sunbathing, it is even accessible by walking when the tide is low, there is another sandbank called Furafathi, in the middle of the sea to the west, but to reach it you do require a boat, but it will be worth it for the lovers of diving who will be able to enjoy a great variety of fish, since the reef around the island is alive and healthy.

If you are in the mood for some fishing, this night time activity around Maafushi is a very relaxing and popular pastime. The hotels will offer you all the facilities for water activities such as catamaran rides or other cultural activities such as local dances while enjoying an outdoor barbecue.It is important that you consider that local laws prohibit bikinis and swimsuits that are too revealing, take this into account to make your stay enjoyable.

Hotels in Maafushi


Male is the capital of the Maldives and perhaps if the reason for your trip is to disconnect from your busy life, you may not find the ideal environment here. The city has over 100,000 inhabitants, is the seat of government and the centre of business, trade, enterprise, health and education.It is full of skyscrapers, numerous shops and local markets, however, staying here will have many advantages, such as having all the services and amenities without sacrificing the beauty that characterizes the Maldives.

It is located on the island of the same name and is fully urbanized, however, has not lost all the charm of its natural beauties.In fact, due to the coral reefs and beautiful beaches, it attracts diving enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.

The eastern promenade of Male is the recreational center of the city. Here you will find an artificial beach, as well as a wide range of cafes and typical fast food options, also open fields for football and cricket matches.Further up towards the airport there are attractions such as the Majeediyya Carnival fair.

If you don’t want to just have a beach but want to get into the cultural and historical life of the country, Male is also a good choice. In the island’s capital there is the National Museum, the National Art Gallery or Hukuru Miskiiy, the country’s oldest mosque dating from 1656.Another attraction is the two main markets, where people from all over the country gather to sell home-grown and imported vegetables, as well as their fish and seafood. coconuts and bananas are the most abundant products in the main market, while two blocks away is the fish market with the freshest local products.

Hotels in Male


Hulhumale is an artificial island that was recovered to accommodate the growing housing and commercial needs of Male.Despite being artificial, it has a beautiful landscape and beautiful rocky beaches with good water for swimming. It also boasts the Hulhumale Mosque which is known for its beautiful architecture. It is still under development, with only about 3 thousand inhabitants, but it is one of the areas with the most hotels.

Hotels in Hulhumale

Addu Atoll

Heart-shaped Addu Atoll is the southernmost tip of the country and is home to some of the country’s most colourful corals. There is a touch of late colonial flavour on Gan Island, where there was a British military base until the 1970s.The north-eastern edge has a large reef covered with live coral and large corals of various types and it is possible to dive with white tipped sharks while staying in a luxury all-inclusive hotel.

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