11 Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

The Maldives boasts captivating turquoise waters, serene sandy shores embraced by palm trees, and abundant mesmerizing marine life that lures travellers worldwide. Comprising around 1,200 coral islands clustered across twenty-seven atolls, this country showcases a vast and stunning coastline that choosing the perfect beach for an affordable getaway can be a delightful challenge, considering exploring them all is improbable.

Whether you’re seeking a family retreat or a romantic escapade where time seems to pause, the local islands in the Maldives house ten astonishing beaches bound to leave everyone in awe. Apart from their luxurious sugary white sands, picturesque tree-lined shores, and the unmatched clarity of the Indian Ocean’s jade waters, these islands present excellent accommodation choices, a diverse array of activities, and heartfelt hospitality extended by the local communities.

These eleven incredible, most beautiful local islands in Maldives are not just about breathtaking views; they’re about creating unforgettable moments. Each one offers a unique blend of natural beauty, comfortable stay options, exciting adventures, and a warm welcome that promises a fantastic experience for every traveller.

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1-Dhigurah Island – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Dhigurah Island

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Dhigurah, meaning “Long Island,” lives up to its name as one of the longest islands in the Maldives, stretching approximately 4 kilometres in length and about 300 meters in width, ending with an expansive sandbank.

This island is renowned for its unspoiled beach, earning a spot among The World’s 50 Best Beaches by FlightNetwork. However, there’s more to Dhigurah than just its pristine shores. The surrounding waters teem with fascinating marine life, including whale sharks and manta rays. Diving enthusiasts can explore the famous Kudarah Thila, a mere 10-minute journey from Dhigurah, to witness a vibrant underwater world and swim alongside these majestic creatures.

The sandbank at Dhigurah is a natural paradise, boasting untouched beauty and an ideal spot to catch a breathtaking sunset. The narrowest point of the sandbank offers the best vantage point to witness this mesmerizing spectacle as the sun dips beyond the horizon.

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2-Thoddoo Island – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Thoddoo Island

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Thoddoo is famously known as the watermelon capital of the Maldives. If you ask any local where to find the juiciest watermelon in the Maldives, they’ll likely point you straight to Thoddoo without a second thought. It’s no surprise. This island is among the largest in the Maldives, dedicating vast land to agriculture.

Exploring Thoddoo is best done by hiring a bicycle to roam around. The rides are delightful, offering stunning vistas of lush farmlands and swaying palm trees. One of the standout spots is Thoddoo Ruhgandu, a picturesque pathway bordered by palm trees and vibrant greenery, making it a perfect spot for capturing tropical-themed photos.

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3-Ukulhas, Alif Atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Ukulhas Alif Atoll

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Ukulhas tops our list of stunning beaches and is a leader in environmental conservation in the Maldives. Situated in the North Ari Atoll, this local island embraces budget tourism with numerous guest houses and small hotels. What makes Ukulhas unique for the Maldives is its dedication to preserving nature, maintaining cleanliness, and boasting diverse marine life. Opting for an affordable holiday here is an excellent way to soak in the Maldives’ sun, sand, and sea without straining your wallet. Staying here offers an authentic experience of the Maldivian fishing community.

The west side of Ukulhas hosts a breathtakingly beautiful beach renowned for its mesmerizing sunset views. A lengthy stretch of soft, white sand adorned with low vegetation meets the crystal-clear turquoise waters, creating an ideal setting for swimming. The designated tourist beach is a true paradise, inviting visitors to sunbathe, swim, and indulge in beach activities like snorkelling. Opposite Gunbaru Inn (a recommended spot), a narrow channel in the coral leads to the house reef, perfect for exploration.

During the peak season, a wide array of water sports activities awaits. The beach area provides ample sunbeds and umbrellas, and there are plans to expand the tourist zone shortly, introducing new cafes and restaurants. For those seeking the most Instagram-worthy spot, head to the southern tip of Ukulhas, where a popular sandy playground awaits.

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4-HDh. Nolhivaram – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

Nestled in Thiladhunmathi Atoll, this island offers a serene escape from the busy city life. Its natural beauty remains unspoiled, evident as soon as you set foot on its shores. A stroll around the island reveals its spaciousness, with houses and roads allowing ample room to wander.

The beach at Nolhivaram has a secluded charm, hugged by trees that create a sense of privacy, giving visitors the feeling of having their private beach. Moreover, this island boasts two mangroves on opposite ends, adding to its natural allure.

5-Feridhoo, Ari Atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Feridhoo Ari Atoll

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Feridhoo, nestled amidst soft sandy beaches and turquoise waters, promises an enchanting beach experience in the Maldives. This picturesque, inhabited island caters to travellers seeking an unforgettable coastal retreat. Hosting a few guest houses, Feridhoo offers a laid-back and affordable holiday ideal for diving enthusiasts, snorkelling aficionados, and beachgoers alike. In the North Ari (Alifu Alifu) Atoll, Feridhoo Island is celebrated for its natural beauty, amiable locals, and simple yet charming way of life.

The island features an extensive and stunning bikini beach with a fabulous view and lush jungle backdrops, equipped with plenty of sunbeds and shaded huts for a comfortable stay. Spanning 600 meters, the local community meticulously maintains this pristine white beach, ensuring daily cleanliness. Visitors can witness both the sunset and sunrise from this beach. The small sandbar at the island’s western tip presents an idyllic spot for a delightful day of snorkelling and sun-soaking.

Read more: Top Best 11 South Ari Atoll Maldives Resorts

6-Fulidhoo, Vaavu atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Fulidhoo Vaavu atoll

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Fulidhoo, nestled within the Vaavu Atoll in the Maldives, holds a unique charm among its inhabited islands. Recently, Fulidhoo has become a magnet for tourists seeking an authentic and budget-friendly Maldivian experience. It boasts affordable accommodations, stunning white sandy beaches, and azure waters teeming with marine life. This combination draws travellers from far and wide in search of the genuine essence of the Maldives, often leaving them saying, “Loved every bit of it.”

The island is renowned for its “Langiri” events, showcasing traditional dances accompanied by drums and tambourines, representing a cherished cultural hallmark. Offering a pocket-friendly retreat, the main bikini beach captivates with its stunning beauty upon first glance. Fulidhoo boasts two tourist beaches—one on the western tip, perfect for witnessing breathtaking sunsets, and another on the eastern end, adorned with fine sand and inviting crystal-clear waters. Visitors can find shady spots and a few cosy sunbeds scattered along these beaches, providing ideal spots to relax, soak up the sun, and take a refreshing dip in the water.

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7-Kelaa, Haa Alifu Atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Kelaa Haa Alifu Atoll

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Kelaa Island, situated in the Haa Alifu atoll of the Maldives, is renowned for its stunning beaches and authentic Maldivian experience. Opening its doors to budget tourism in 2015, Kelaa offers a genuine taste of the Maldives, featuring a handful of guest houses, pristine white beaches, a captivating lagoon, and abundant remarkable marine life. Whether travelling solo, enjoying a honeymoon, or on a family vacation, Kelaa promises to offer a slice of paradise for everyone. The locals, known for their warm hospitality and kindness, go above and beyond to ensure their guests have an unforgettable stay, leading many visitors to plan return trips to this island.

Stretching from north to south, this lush-green island boasts one of the country’s longest beaches, spanning 2.5 kilometres with powdery, deep, and fine sands. Kelaa’s beaches extend over 7.5 kilometres, devoid of artificial breakwaters or walls, allowing nature to dictate the beachscape. In short, finding your ideal spot under the sun here is effortless.

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8-Omadhoo, North Ari atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Omadhoo North Ari atoll

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Omadhoo, a charming fishing village in the heart of Ari Atoll, embodies warmth and hospitality in the Maldives. Contrasting the luxurious 5-star resorts, Omadhoo offers an authentic Maldivian experience with a tranquil island lifestyle and deep-rooted local traditions. Its stunning house reef showcases vibrant and healthy corals teeming with diverse marine life, featuring fascinating creatures like sharks and turtles, creating an ideal haven for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. The island hosts a PADI-certified diving centre to cater to diving enthusiasts.

Accommodation choices are limited to a few guest houses. Still, they generally receive positive reviews, offering excellent food and ensuring a classy yet budget-friendly vacation experience that pleasantly surprises visitors. Omadhoo’s white sandy beaches epitomize the postcard-perfect stretches that have made the Maldives world-famous. At the western tip lies a stunning sand spit that becomes especially striking during low tide—a sight to behold. Facing directly west, this beach treats visitors to breathtaking sunsets. Additionally, there’s a section where the shallow waters allow for a unique experience of walking into the sea, offering a fantastic sensation. Notably, the west beach is the only area on Omadhoo where bikinis are permitted, while locals are rarely seen on this particular beach.

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9-Bodufolhudhoo, North Ari Atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Bodufolhudhoo North Ari Atoll

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Bodufolhudhoo offers an excellent option for an affordable and enjoyable trip to the Maldives, just a 1.5-hour speedboat ride from Male. This small island is a serene haven celebrated for breathtaking marine life, boasting a magnificent house reef perfect for snorkelling. Surrounded by renowned resorts like Nika Island Resort, Velidoo, and Gangehi, Bodufolhudhoo is cherished for its commitment to maintaining pristine beaches and preserving the environment, making it one of the most eco-friendly islands in the North Ari Atoll.

Let’s talk about the beach. With vast stretches of white sands facing south, “Sunset Beach” offers a clean, stunning shoreline that’s practically steps away. About 20 sun loungers await along the shore, often available for use either under the shade of lush green vegetation or basking in the sun. The turquoise waters offer unobstructed views, making this beach an ideal relaxing spot. Moreover, what sets this beach apart is its convenience and swimming safety, suitable for children and adults. The beautiful small lagoon provides a gentle and precise entry into the crystal-clear waters. It’s worth noting that the beach undergoes daily cleaning, ensuring a pristine environment for visitors to enjoy.

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10-Fulhadhoo, Baa atoll – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives Fulhadhoo Baa atoll

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Fulhadhoo is one of the local islands within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives‘ Baa Atoll. Alongside Goidhoo, Fehendhoo, and a collection of uninhabited islets, Fulhadhoo forms the scenic Goidhoo atoll. Renowned for its crystalline waters, stunning sandy beaches, fantastic snorkelling spots, affordable accommodations, and the warm hospitality of its residents, Fulhadhoo emerges as an exceptional choice for a cheap holiday, reachable within 2 hours by speedboat from Malé International Airport (VIA).

The highlight of a Fulhadhoo getaway lies in its deserted, wide, sugar-white sandy beaches. Ranked 22nd among the world’s 50 best beaches, it’s challenging to describe the sheer marvel of Fulhadhoo’s beaches. The water here is lovely, surpassing even the allure of five-star resorts you might have visited previously. Pictures can only partially capture the true beauty of these shores. Spend a week here and revel in owning the beaches, enjoying their tranquillity without sharing the space with others. The island boasts a private bikini beach for relaxation and another beach perfect for snorkelling adventures.

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11-AA. Rasdhoo – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

most beautiful local island in Maldives AA. Rasdhoo

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Rasdhoo is renowned among locals and tourists as an island paradise for diving and snorkelling, boasting several nearby dive spots. Within a short boat ride from Rasdhoo lie an uninhabited island and a stunning sandbank called Madivaru and Madivaru Finolhu, making this destination a haven for adventure seekers. Exciting excursions to these spots, whether for diving, exploring sandbanks, or visiting uninhabited islands, can be effortlessly organized from Rasdhoo itself. The island is an ideal hub for those seeking thrilling and unforgettable experiences in the Maldives.

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FAQ – Most Beautiful Local Island in Maldives

Which is the No. 1 island in Maldives?

Maafushi Island in the Maldives is a true gem that unveils the feeling of residing in a slice of paradise on Earth once you set foot on its beautiful shores.

Which island is affordable in Maldives?

Omadhoo, situated in the North Ari Atoll of the Maldives, is a vibrant island perfect for an authentic beach getaway. It’s an ideal spot for swimming and exploring the house reef while snorkelling, making it a fantastic choice for budget-conscious travellers looking to experience the Maldives without breaking the bank.

What is the most popular part of Maldives?

Baros Island is renowned as a top-tier destination in the Maldives, cherished for its innate charm, exceptional resort, and breathtaking sandy beaches. Boasting numerous water villas, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking a luxurious and private getaway with friends or loved ones, ensuring VIP treatment throughout your stay.

Which is the most prominent tourist island in Maldives?

Gan in Laamu Atoll is the longest and most expansive island in the Maldives. Connected by an 18-kilometre-long road, it’s linked to three neighbouring islands, creating a unique connection across this picturesque region.

Which Maldives island is best for honeymoon?

Vaadhoo Island, a top pick for honeymooners in the Maldives, offers a distinctive experience with its natural marvels. Renowned as the ‘sea of stars,’ the island illuminates in blue hues at night. This stunning sight occurs due to glowing phytoplankton in the sea.

Which island in the Maldives is best for couples?

The Maldives boasts numerous stunning islands ideal for couples seeking romance. Among the favourites are Baros Island, Cocoa Island, and Huvafen Fushi. These spots provide lavish stays, breathtaking beaches, and ample seclusion and unwinding opportunities.

Can I stay on a local island in the Maldives?

Staying on a local island felt more genuine compared to a resort. Cost-effective tip: Local islands in the Maldives are notably more budget-friendly than resorts, covering expenses from food to accommodation and souvenirs. Plus, if you crave a taste of resort living, most local islands offer day trips to resort islands.

Where do locals live in the Maldives?

Over half of the population resides in rural areas. Beyond Males, the main and relatively large the settlement, Maldives locals inhabit villages across small islands spread throughout the atolls.

What is the most visited beach in the Maldives?

Hulhumale Beach stands as a beloved public spot in the Maldives. Its proximity to Male airport makes it a convenient choice for budget travellers seeking powdery white sands and crystal-clear blue waters.

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