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  • Writer's pictureIndy Escapes Crew

Best Local Islands in the Maldives

Updated: Aug 24, 2022

The turquoise seas of the Maldives, as well as the languid sands lined with palm palms and the extraordinary marine life, draw visitors from all over the world. The nation comprises around 1,200 coral islands, which are clustered together in a double chain of twenty-six atolls to form the country.


When you have a coastline that is both gorgeous and expansive, it might be challenging to choose lovely beaches for your next budget trip, and you are unlikely to be able to see them all.



Dhigurah


Located in the South Ari Atoll or as the locals call it, Alifu Dhaal Atoll. Dhigurah means "Long Island" and although extremely narrow in comparison to its length, this island has one of the biggest bikini beaches in the county. With more than half of the island being covered in tropical palm trees nestled with pristine white sandy beaches, you will be able to find your own little patch where you won't see another person all day! Dhigurah is also one of the best spots to swim with the Whale Sharks in the Maldives, as they are year-round residents of the area. Overall, Dhigurah is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful inhabited islands in the world and our favorite island in the Maldives.



Maafushi


Maafushi is the home of the Maldivian guesthouse business. Located in the Kaafu Atoll, around 45 minutes away from Malé by speedboat, the island has beachfront hotels with rooftop pools. The Maafhusi bikini beach has swings and palm trees, there are a few watersports and dive centers on the islands, along with the only place to buy alcohol when staying at a local island. The famous, Kaani Princess is a boat docked just offshore where you can sip on a cocktail and what the sunset over the Indian Ocean.


Dharavandhoo


Dharavandhoo, home to several domestic airports situated across the Maldives, is often regarded as the center of local tourism in the Baa Atoll. Like most islands in the Maldives, Dharavandhoo's economy is based mainly on tourism-related activities. The island provides a variety of guesthouses and excursions to ensure that you get the most out of your time in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of the Maldives, where you can swim with schools of Manta Ray, and if you are lucky, even Whale Shark too!


Fulidhoo


The guesthouses in Fulidhoo provide all of the amenities that the resorts in the Maldives are famous for, but at a far lower price than the resorts themselves. With a vast white sandy beach encircling the island, the variety of marine life you'll see even during a short snorkeling expedition in the adjacent turquoise lagoon, from friendly stingrays to the shipwreck in Vaavu Atoll and the world-famous Alymata Resort where you will fund schools of the residence nurse sharks.


Thulusdhoo


Thulusdhoo is located in the Kaafu Atoll and is around 28 kilometers north of the capital Malé. The island is well-known among surfers for its excellent waves, affordability compared to surfing at a resort, and also for its laid-back vibes. Chickens & Cokes, two world-class surf locations near the island, bring flocks of tourists all year round! There are several guesthouses and water sports centers on the island to choose from.


Fuvahmulah


Fuvahmulah is one of the most beautiful and historically significant islands in the Maldives. As a one-island atoll, it has several distinguishing characteristics that distinguish it from other atolls. One of these features is that is segregated from all other atolls except for Addu Atoll which has an irregular speed boat service that connects the islands. The second feature is that there is a large unprotected plateau to the south of the island which brings colder currents. Thirdly, those colder currents bring an abundance of marine life, both in themselves and in their predators. Indy Escapes founder, Lucas Chesterton has been diving in Fuvahmulah, and in one day, he saw multiple Tiger Sharks, a thresher shark, a whale shark, and an oceanic manta ray - this place is incredible!


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