We've been to a lot of beaches and the Maldives is the clear winner of the world's best beach holidays.
One beach in the Maldives islands we've voted as the world's best beach. It's the beach at Sun Island in the southern group of these 1192 coral islands in the Indian Ocean, south of Sri Lanka.
Sun Island, Maldives
Why is Sun Island the world's best best beach? Look at the Sun Island beach photos then imagine you're there - white sand, smooth as talcum powder greets you, as you immerse yourself in the most beautiful aquamarine water you can imagine.
The perfect palm trees on Sun Island complete the dazzling panorama of the beach voted by a number of travel writers as the world's best beach.
Sun Island beach resort beach
The Sun Island Resort and Spa is situated perfectly on this pristine Muldives island beach. The big free-form swimming pool stops at the edge of the beach sand, where distinctive Maldivian thatched huts allow you to take in the sun and the spectacular sights without getting sunburnt.
The Maldives are only a four hour flight from Singapore. There are two ways to get to Sun Island when you fly into the Maldives capital Male. Male international airport is on its own island, so there's a flotilla of speedboats waiting right outside arrivals to take you to the numerous island resorts, many of which cater to honeymooners.
Sun Island is the biggest of the Maldivian Islands and therefore is the best island to visit - THE most beautiful beaches on the Maldives, perfect for honeymooners, couples and families because of that rare blend of privacy and varied activities.
The speedboat ride to Sun Island in the South Ari Atoll is 2 1/2 hours through crystal clean water, or you can take the Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane for a 25 minute flight that allows you to see the brilliant white and blue of the coral islands below.
Beach photo courtesy Sun Island Resort & Spa
On arrival at the long jetty at Sun Island Resort and Spa, some travellers have reported weeping with delight at the dazzling beauty in front of them. This is where Robinson Crusoe meets resort living, and the best beach snaps you'll ever take are right in front of you. It takes an hour to walk around the pure white sand beaches of Sun Island, with the alluring over-water bungalows half way around.
Chaaya Hotels and Resorts
Beachfront Accommodation Maldives Islands
All accommodation is near the edge of the beautiful beaches all the way around Sun island, apart from the water bungalows with their Thai Restaurant at the end of the jetty. You'll stay in spacious tiled beach bungalows with their own sun loungers outside to sit back, relax and enjoy the views of these perfect beaches.
Our accommodation tip is the "superior beach bungalows" to the right of the jetty, numbered from 150 to 178 - on a beautiful Maldives beach, and near to all the resort facilities including the big resort restaurant.
Sun Island Resort beachfront
Accommodation packages at many pretty island resorts in the Maldives are "all inclusive" (AI), which means accommodation, all meals and some alcoholic drinks. The alternative is "full board", which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner but not alcoholic drinks. Because the Maldives is Muslim and doesn't encourage excessive alcohol, all inclusive is different here than in some parts of the world such as the Caribbean, where AI means alcohol supplied to excess.
In the big restaurant at Sun Island Resort and Spa, the food is plentiful, varied and very good. You are assigned your own table and waiter and it's customary to tip, which assures you of personal service at all times and also a good chance of moving tables near a good beach view.
Because alcohol is flown in from Dubai, it can be expensive with dinner, but there's a big wine list available. Try the Californian Zinfandel red (open it early and let it breathe) or the Italian Orvieto Classico white, which has a light fizz and is almost like champagne from France. These are both reasonable at $23 a bottle.
Photo of Sun Island Resort dining area
Because some of the workers here are from Sri Lanka and India, you'll taste some of the best curries you've ever had. The bacon with your eggs at breakfast is beef bacon because Muslims don't eat pork.
Here at Sun Island Resort and Spa, the Muslim management and staff were very attentive, friendly and lovely gentle people, genuinely interested in making visitors happy.
The beautiful beaches on the Maldives' Sun Island are swept every day by women staff members to maintain that picture-perfect postcard panorama, while your room is cleaned twice a day by room boys who are happy to help regardless of whether they are tipped or not.
It's obvious that this local Muslim view of riches is focused on goodness and happiness, perhaps a little different from the Western pursuit of material riches. That's another reason this is a beautiful, pure, best beach holiday.
Many Maldives islands have pretty beaches but sharp coral in the shallows, distracting from the beauty. At Sun Island, you can walk from the pool across the white powdery beach and into the stunning water that has sand as smooth as it is on the beach.
Sun Island vegetation
What to do on Maldives Islands
The focus in the Maldives is relaxing on beautiful beaches. When you've finished your bountiful breakfast, stroll the few metres to the stunning beach in front of the biggest pool in the Maldives, grab a beach towel and recline under one of the round thatched huts on the perfect beach sand. You can spend hours gazing at the beautiful flat sea in front of you with its plentiful sea-life waiting for you to join them.
Maldives coral reef snorkelling is fantastic. The best spot on Sun Island is just past the end of the jetty near the Italian restaurant, where you'll see everything from the most vibrantly colourful fish imaginable to friendly sandy-coloured stingrays. Stingray feeding at night near the northern end of the island is another wonderful sight, interacting with nature on your naturally beautiful island in the sun.
And you have to try the Araamu Spa in its peaceful tropical gardens, near the overwater bungalows. Try the couples' spa where all your clothes are delicately removed and you lie with your partner in your natural state surrounded by natural foliage around you and above you. It may sound daring, but it is one of life's great pleasures if you can relax and go with the flow.
Photo Maldives beach cafe
Near Sun Island Resort's reception are two bars and a games area, featuring everything from table tennis to billiards. If you want a bar that's away from it all, find the Beach Bar near the Water Sports area.
Here you can shelter from the tropical sun and watch or take part in everything from windsurfing to kayaking and waterskiing.
Another favourite activity is a Hello Neighbours daytrip to two nearby islands - the locals' island to see Maldivian life as it's been for centuries, and Holiday Island which is another of the Villa Hotels resorts.
You can also go on a sunset cruise, sunrise or sunset fishing trip where you're sure to catch some of the plentiful fish, or just escape to an isolated stretch of these beautiful Maldive Island beaches on Sun Island and read a good book.
Or take a bike for $21 a week and cycle around the island - no traffic, no helmets, just you and nature.
And if you really have to check the internet to see what's happening back at home, Sun Island Resort and Spa has just upgraded to high speed broadband with instantaneous access.
Because of global warming many Maldives islands are facing rising water levels which can threaten their beautiful beaches, leading to an ingenious system in which the sand is pumped back onto the beach.
Barefoot pilot - Maldives style!
Maldives Island Summary
The Maldives and particularly Sun Island have magnificent beaches that really have to be seen to be believed. The main beach near on arrival at Sun Island has the whitest sand and most stunningly aquamarine water you will ever see.
This is enhanced by the perfect positioning on this palm-lined beach of the resort pool and bar, plus thatched beach huts that will make you feel like Robinson Crusoe in comfort.
The water is warm, crystal clear and perfect.
Sun Island has been voted twice by the Maldivian government as the Maldives' most environmentally friendly resort.
A perfect Best Beach Holiday destination we highly recommend. Go to Sun Island and you'll never forget the Maldives.
Sun Island pool bar looking to the beach Trans Maldivian Airways runway off the beach
* Accommodation provided by Sun Island Resort & Spa
Accommodation near the maldives islands is at Varkala Beach India or Sri Lanka.