Which is the best island in the Maldives?
An impossible question. There are over 100 resort islands to choose from for your holiday. These formerly uninhabited islands are now the site of some of the grandest resorts in the world.
Strictly speaking, the best Maldives island to visit depends on what you want to do. Some islands are particularly famous for their marine life. Divers should head to the Ari Atoll and stay at LUX* Ari Atoll.
Large islands can have more activities on offer. Take Kuredu Island Resort which was one of the first to get a golf course – albeit just six holes. It also hosts a wealth of activities.
In contrast, small islands can feel more exclusive. Thanks to private villas scattered across the grounds (and waters), you might find yourself asking ‘where is everyone?’. With less than 40 villas available on some of the smallest resorts, you might feel as though you’re commanding your own private island. Try Milhaidhoo Island, a bijou property with a minuscule island domain.
When budgeting, don’t forget to add up extra costs. Reaching the far island of Villingili involves an expensive 70-minute seaplane transfer across the equator to Shangri La Resort (though it’s worth it when you see the beautiful villas from above). Islands nearer Malé have less expensive speedboat transfers, which will save you a great deal of money over the seaplane. Cruise to the four-star All Inclusive Olhuveli, near the capital island on the South Malé Atoll.
Of the 1,190 islands of the Maldives, many are uninhabited. Some of these are known as ‘picnic islands’ – used by nearby resorts. Some are little more than glorified sand spits, but they do make blissful day trips if you want to channel your inner castaway.
There are around 200 inhabited islands – that is, islands where local people live. These include Malé, the capital of the country, and the nearby islands of Hulhumale and Maafushi.
Top five things to do in the Maldives
Whilst it's blissfully easy to sink into indolence in the Maldives, your resort will offer plenty of excursions and activities, too. Make sure you tick some of these experiences off your bucket list.
- Swim with a whale shark
- Snorkel over colourful coral
- Reset yourself on a spa day
- Befriend dolphins on a boat trip
- Bed down on the world’s most beautiful beaches