It is important to remember that all resort islands permit bikinis on beaches - it is just in the non-resort islands that impositions are placed. You need not worry about swimwear restrictions if you stay on resort islands.
1. Bikini Beach, Maafushi
This Bikini Beach is part of a public beach in Maafushi which is restricted to locals. However, locals are not permitted into the bikini beach area, so you are bound to run into only tourists here. The Maafushi beach is popular as a destination to relax and unwind, so prepare to leave all the stress behind as you step into paradise. The calm, blue waters, swaying palms and white sand are bound to melt your stress away!
Location: Maafushi, Kaafu Atoll
How to reach: A private speedboat from Malé to Maafushi costs about USD 200 per way, which can be shared between the occupants. You can also take a ferry for USD 4 per person per way. The ride takes about one and a half hours.
Things to do: This is one of the best beaches for you to relax and enjoy your vacation leisurely, as you can lounge by the ocean in peace. There are sun loungers and coconut vendors available in the tourist area. Sip a refreshing tender coconut as you relax in a bikini by the beach. You can even revel in a friendly game of beach volleyball with other beachgoers and make new friends!
2. Bikini Beach, Rasdhoo
This bikini beach is one of the largest in the country and is breathtakingly beautiful. The Rasdhoo Beach boasts of a large, pristine white sandy area where you can stroll hand-in-hand with a loved one, and bask in the glory of the sun. Ari Atoll is close to the airport, which is a bonus. The cafés, restaurants and guesthouses close-by make it a tourist favourite. What else do you need to fall in love with this wonderland? Stunning sunsets? We've got that too!
Location: Rasdhoo Island, North Ari Atoll
How to reach: A ferry or speedboat from Malé can get you to this beach in about an hour, for USD 40. A private boat costs about USD 500.
Things to do: Rasdhoo offers excellent snorkelling options as the coral reefs are breathtakingly beautiful. This beach is also very safe for children as it is not too deep - novice swimmers can even swim to their heart's content here. The scintillating beach is clean and not very populated, making it a great option for you and your loved ones to even have a picnic, and build sandcastles. Rasdhoo beach is also large and has a beautiful canopy of coconut palms on one side, where you can bask in the rays of the sun.
3. Bikini Beach, Gaafaru Local Island
Gaafaru promises a unique experience as the island is mostly populated by locals. You are assured of an authentic Maldivian experience, complete with adventurous explorations on land and in the ocean. Catch up with some friendly locals on your way to the beach, meet tourists in the Bikini Beach and explore the unexplored at Gaafaru!
Location: Gaafaru Island, Kaafu Atoll
How to reach: A ferry ride costs around USD 5 per person, and takes three and a half hours to reach Gaafaru Island from Malé. A speedboat, costing USD 300, takes about one and a half hours to reach Gaafaru
Things to do: Gaafaru is a local inhabited island that has few tourists, which means that you can have an undisturbed, authentic Maldivian experience here. On the Bikini beach, there are free sun loungers that you can relax on. Since the beach is usually not very populated, you can take glorious photos! Gaafaru Island is worth exploring as well - the town has brightly painted buildings that are aesthetically pleasing, and gorgeous. Dolphin cruises are also offered here, so you can say hello to these friendly animals as you sway on boats. You can also swim with sea turtles, dive for corals and go shipwreck hunting at Gaafaru Island - the possibilities are endless!
4. Picnic Island Beach
Located on a private resort island, this beach is open to non-resident tourists for an entry fee. This means that you don't have to stay at the resort to enjoy the beach - you can merely come, enjoy the bikini beach and return to your accommodation on other islands in one day!
Location: Kuda Bandos, North Malé Atoll
How to reach: There are no direct ferries to Picnic Island as it is privately owned. You have to take the Safari Boat offered by the Malahini Kuda Bandos resort, for prices ranging from USD 50
Things to do: This beach is open only from Sunday to Thursday to tourists, as it is open to locals on the rest of the days. You can enjoy watersports on this bikini beach in the Maldives, like parasailing, diving, snorkelling, speed boating, driving water scooters and canoeing. You can also enjoy picnics on Picnic Island, and build sandcastles - a perfect beach date! Remember to bring your own gear for snorkelling.
5. Dhigurah Beach
Dhigurah Beach is popular for its gorgeous diving spots, where you are bound to bump noses with whale sharks. Located in the small Dhigurah Island, it gives you great privacy as it is not very populated. This bikini beach in Maldives is about five kilometres long and extends to a narrow point, where you can walk around the island. It has only two diving centres which offer whale shark tours at USD 70, excluding equipment. The stark visibility of the waters also allows you to spot turtles and fish. With bikini privileges too, this beach offers the whole deal!
Location: Dhigurah Island, South Ari Atoll
How to reach: A speedboat from Malé takes you to the island in four and a half hours, for a fare of USD 80 (for pre-scheduled timings) or USD 1000 (for private bookings). A ferry costs USD 8 per person.
Things to do: This is one of the most romantic beaches in the country, which lights up with numerous stars at night. This makes it perfect for a romantic midnight dip in the warm sea, and a private dinner by the ocean. Its seclusion gives you comforting privacy, and you can enjoy your vacation away from prying eyes. The currents are not too strong, and you can swim and dive in peace here. Adventure junkies can swim with whale sharks in Dhigurah Beach! For prices starting from USD 40, you can swim with whale sharks in a portion of the beach, and have the time of your life. There are also kayaking and canoeing options. Keep in mind that the beach is not very clean - some stretches are littered with plastics, but as you keep walking, you are bound to come across pristine stretches.
6. Bikini Beach, Dhangethi
Located close to Dhigurah, this island is also a hotspot for marine life. The Bikini Beach area is secluded, which gives you ample privacy to flaunt your beach bod in peace. This means that you get great Gram-worthy shots too! This beach is cleaner and wider than Dhigurah and is more difficult to access, but the sights are worth the wait.
Location: Dhangethi, Ari Atoll
How to reach: You can hire a speedboat to Dhangethi Island from Malé, for a price of USD 50 per person. A ferry ride costs less but takes longer as there is no direct ferry to Dhangethi. You have to take a transfer from Mahibadhoo, but you may end up losing a lot of time in the process
Things to do: While the reefs on Dhangethi Island are pretty far from the shore itself, there is a shark point and a manta point close to shore, where you can go diving with rays and sharks. This makes it a great point for snorkelling and diving. Guesthouses nearby offer other water sports like canoeing and surfing. The beach is clean and scarcely populated, making it a comfortable lounge where you can enjoy the sunset. The views are truly spectacular!
Things to Keep in Mind While Visiting Bikini Beaches in Maldives
- Remember that the Maldives is a Muslim country that forbids bikini swimwear on public beaches
- You need to wear clothes covering the shoulders and knees when out in public places
- Look out for a signboard permitting swimwear, before you flaunt your beach bod
- Bikini beaches usually have cordoned areas where only tourists are allowed, so do not wander away from the designated bikini-permitted area
- Nudity is not allowed on public beaches - there are no nude beaches in the Maldives, so do not go topless on the beaches
- Nudity is not allowed in some resort islands either, so confirm with the resort management before you strip down
- Always carry a Sarong and a tee in case you wander into a public beach where bikinis may not be allowed
- When it comes to transportation, ferries are definitely the cheaper option. Ferries are available only according to pre-planned schedules and tickets cannot be bought online, so inquire about the timings once you arrive at Malé
- Most ferries have daily trips to the destinations mentioned above at multiple times during the day, so you don't worry about missing your boat. However, remember that schedules can change, and some locations may not have daily trips. Ferries take a longer time to reach the islands, but you can safely take them as the views are breathtaking! If you're serendipitous, you may spot dolphins or turtles on your way!