10 Beautiful Maldives Islands for Budget Travellers

10 Beautiful Maldives Islands for Travellers on a Budget

Explore the Maldives without breaking the bank!

With its pristine white sand beaches, world-class accommodations, crystal clear waters, and stunning islands, the Maldives is without a doubt one of the best tropical destinations in the world. It is home to many luxurious hotels and overwater villa resorts that offer top-of-the-line services and water activities on the most well-known islands in the archipelago.

However, enjoying a vacation in the Maldives doesn’t have to always cost you a fortune. In fact, there are quite a handful of picturesque Maldives islands with hotels and resorts that will guarantee you a wonderful tropical vacation without breaking the bank. Experience paradise with these beautiful Maldives islands for budget travel!

Also read: 10 Airbnbs in the Maldives for the Tropical Vacation You Deserve

The best Maldives islands for travellers on a budget

1. Mathiveri, Alif Alif Atoll

Aerial view of Mathiveri, Maldives

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If you’re looking to experience a peaceful remote getaway, then travelling to Mathiveri is perfect. A tiny inhabited island located in the western part of the Maldives, it’s home to three breathtaking Maldives beaches: Stingray Beach, Bikini Beach, and Local Beach. The island is home to many budget guesthouses that are perfect for couples, families, and solo travellers. Apart from that, there are also a lot of affordable local food choices made especially by Maldivian chefs! 

Here, you get a feel of the Maldivian vacation and the local island life without emptying your pockets. Some activities to indulge in include a variety of adrenaline-focused water sports, snorkelling, diving, wakeboarding, dolphin and manta ray watching, and many more.

Also read: What Safety-Conscious Travellers Can Do in the Maldives That Won’t Break the Bank

2. Maafushi Island

Maafushi Island, Maldives

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Located in the southern part of Male Atoll is Maafushi Island, one of the more popular affordable places to experience Maldives beaches. This budget island in the Maldives is conveniently located near the Male airport and is accessible by a ferry, a speedboat, and a plane. 

Maafushi boasts incredible and pristine waters and white sand beaches lined with affordable accommodations such as cottages and hotels, as well as restaurants. The island is also known for its friendly locals, so you can easily mingle and learn a thing or two about Maldivian culture.

Also read: How Safe Is Travelling to the Maldives These Days? Here’s a Primer

3. Naifaru, Lhaviyani Atoll

Aerial view of Naifaru shore, Maldives

Image credit: Mohamed Muaz

Naifaru is known for its lush and vibrant coral beds, but more than that, the island is popular for its boat-building industry, with each traditional dhoni (boat) carefully crafted by local fishermen. It is also home to the Atoll Marine Center which serves as a rescue and rehabilitation center for turtles on the island. 

Apart from diving and snorkelling as popular pastimes on the island, there’s still a never-ending list of things to do on your tropical vacation at Naifaru! The island is very family-friendly. In fact, foodies and kids alike would be delighted to try the Chilli Pot Restaurant, a place that puts hungry tummies at ease! Choose from a wide range of cuisines and scrumptious food such as pizzas, submarine sandwiches, fried chicken, and more. 

Meanwhile, chill travellers can opt to just sunbathe on sandy beaches or float in the beautiful lagoon. There are also many affordable guesthouses and cottages for backpackers who don’t want to splurge too much on a Maldivian holiday.

4. Dhiffushi, Kaafu Atoll

Dhiffushi Island pathway, Maldives

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Dhiffushi is one of the smaller islands in the archipelago. But despite its size, tourism in Dhiffushi is actually starting to grow. The island is home to warm and friendly Maldivians, a place where you can enjoy the Maldivian resort life for an affordable price. 

Here, you can find two bikini beaches; one being the hotspot of tourists with its pristine stretch of fine white sand at Rashu Hiya Resort, and the other a quieter beach for travellers who prefer to relax off the beaten track. At night, you can also enjoy the night sky and dine under the mesmerising sea of stars in the Maldives.

Fun Fact: As the easternmost inhabited island in the Maldives, Dhiffushi is the first island in the archipelago to experience the sunrise daily!

5. Dharavandhoo, Baa Atoll

Aerial view of Dharavandhoo manta rays, Maldives

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Dharavandhoo is another island in the Maldives that is conveniently located close to the Male airport. This immaculate island is lined with beautiful Maldives island resorts that offer a bang for one’s buck. It’s also a hotspot amongst ocean and nature lovers, offering top-of-the-line snorkelling and diving experiences on rich coral reefs, as well as manta ray and whale shark encounters.

Did we also mention that Dharavandhoo is also located just right at the heart of the UNESCO-certified marine biosphere reserve of the Maldives? This makes the island all the more ideal for manta ray viewing at Hanifaru Bay.

Also read: 7 Amazing Luxury Wildlife Travel Experiences to Try Today

6. Dhigurah, South Ari Atoll

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Dhigurah Island, a whale watcher’s wonderland, speaks for itself: It’s a long Maldivian island in the south that boasts of white sandy shores, home to the atoll’s group of whale sharks. For adventurous souls out there, make sure to go snorkelling for a closer encounter with the whale sharks, as it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

There is a small village on the island, but in order to get there, you have to walk or bike through the jungle. Once you get to the village, there’s a pretty decent amount of grocery stores, souvenir shops, and accommodations ranging from budget B&Bs to hotels.

7. Thulusdhoo Island

Image credit: Abdulla Faiz

If you’re looking for adventure, definitely consider booking a trip to Thulusdhoo Island as it is popular for consistent surf breaks and exceptional beaches. Thulusdhoo Island is lined with affordable Maldives island resorts, too! This Maldivian escape offers both adventure and tranquillity if you’re someone looking to either catch the waves or just sit by the shore and bask in the sun.

8. Guraidhoo, Gnaviyani Atoll

Image credit: Saffu

Experience vacationing like royalty and encounter marine wildlife in one of the most beautiful Maldives islands: Guraidhoo in Gnaviyani Atoll. The island is only a 35- to 40-minute speed boat ride from Male. Many years ago, Guraidhoo was a top choice amongst sultans who needed to take time off. Today, budget travellers rest and relax on the same beach lined with different Maldives island resorts.

Of course, a trip to this island is never complete without a quick dip with the turtles at Turtle Point and a close encounter with manta rays at Manta Point. Less inhabited islands nearby are also great for surfing, so make sure you book lessons with Guraidhoo Surf Camp.

Also read: 15 Best Beaches in Asia for Summer Travel

9. Omadhoo Island, South Ari Atoll

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Omadhoo Island is proof that you don’t always have to spend a fortune to get the best experiences. Another inhabited island on the archipelago, Omadhoo is rich in coral reefs, turtles, reef sharks, rays, and a wide variety of tropical fishes. You can go snorkelling and chance upon whale sharks or just sit and relax by the shallow waters of its bikini beach.

Enjoy a full, authentic Maldivian holiday experience with its friendly locals and a wide range of guesthouses and restaurants all for an affordable price.

10. Fulidhoo, Vaavu Atoll

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For the perfect Maldivian island experience, look no further because Fulidhoo in Vaavu Atoll offers a complete package. It’s the ideal destination for anyone looking to spend a vacation in the Maldives without breaking the bank. The island is home to beautifully kept places by vibrant Maldivians who will give you a warm welcome upon arrival until the second you leave.

Be prepared to immerse yourself in many different local cultures, events, and dancing during your stay. As for the beaches, Fulidhoo does not disappoint as they have two picture-perfect white sand beaches that are local and tourist favourites for swimming.

Also read: 12 Airbnbs in the Bahamas for Your Caribbean Getaway

We hope this list is enough for you to plan your next beach trip to the Maldives islands! So the next time you think going on a tropical vacation on the archipelago is out of your budget, remember these underrated Maldives island resorts and beaches. Bask in the sun all day, learn how to surf, and dine under a sea of stars in the Maldives without breaking the bank!

Featured image credit: MelanieMaya via CanvaPro

About Author

Patricia Caleon
Patricia Caleon

Patricia is a simple girl who likes to express herself through pictures and words. Not much for talking; writing and taking pictures have always been her way of telling people of her stories and adventures. On a normal day, you'll probably see her reading a good book in one hand and a cup of coffee in another.