The Maldives is a beautiful archipelago in the Indian Ocean, with almost 1,200 islands that contribute to its formation. While the islands remain permanent for many years, the country is also home to tiny Sandbanks which are transitory. Maldives sandbank picnic & tours let you enjoy idyllic moments in these nameless sandbanks, taking exclusivity to another level altogether!
Most resorts in The Maldives offer some exposure to a nearby Sandbank, included as part of their Maldives tour packages. The trip involves many activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, sunset cruises, dolphin sighting, swimming with a whale and fishing, apart from a dining experience on a sandbank.
In the simplest terms, a Sandbank is a submerged part of land, only a part of which peeks out of the water body. This body of water may be an ocean, a sea or a river.
The Maldives is home to countless little sandbanks and sandbars which were once ridges but are now sunken due to the global rise in the sea levels. Take a look at some sandbank tours to upgrade your vacation in The Maldives.
#1 Half Day & Full Day Sandbank Tours
#2 Overnight Sandbank Camping by Soneva Fushi Maldives
Exclusive to the guests of the 5-star private island resort Soneva Fushi, this Sandbank tour in the Maldives is one to be cherished for a lifetime. Counted among the finest luxury resorts in the continent, Soneva Fushi goes the extra mile with its overnight Sandbank experience. Newly married vacationers will particularly love this couples-only experience.
A sweet add-on to any Maldives honeymoon package, this Sandbank tour begins after sunset, at around 7 PM. This is when you and your partner are whisked off to Soneva Fushi’s private sandbank which is splendidly set up for a romantic date.
Your personal secluded desert island for the night will have a Bedouin-style tent surrounded by diffused floor lamps and archaic lanterns. You need not worry about camping without a proper bathroom as your sandbank accommodation comes with a modern water closet with canvas partitioning.
The overnight Sandbank camping experience lasts for 12 hours and includes an intimate candlelight dinner. Delight with your soulmate in the starlit night as the resort’s attendants serve you an elaborate meal with some wine. The hosts clean up and leave the sandbank after you are done with your dinner, leaving the two of you alone to enjoy the pristine sands and the starry night sky together.
After you fill yourself with the sea breeze lying on a blanket on the cold sands, you can enter the warmth of your tent and draw the canvas curtains. The camp is furnished with wooden furniture, a comfy bed with mosquito netting, and side tables. Don’t forget to carry a change of clothes to settle in for the night, and also a mosquito repellent for the times you spend outside your tent.
The following morning, after you both are up, the hosts return to serve you a filling breakfast on the white sands at a time pre-decided by you. Leave your footprints in the sand, pack your belongings and leave this Sandbank in Baa Atoll to return to Soneva Fushi.
#3 Furafathi Sandbar Tour
Looking for affordable Maldives day tours? Check for options around public islands. While there are over a thousand islands in The Maldives, only about 200 of these are inhabited. The local island of Maafushi is a great starting point for a Sandbank tour that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
For as little as USD 25 per person, you can take a speedboat tour to Furafathi. This small patch of land is a sandbar with nothing but powdery, soft sands to fill its entire area. Also known as Sexy Beach, this Sandbank does not have any vegetation on it, making it a nice place to spread your beach towel, lie down and practise the art of doing nothing.
The surrounding lagoon is quite shallow and blessed with a bio-rich coral reef. Carry your snorkelling gear along with you to dip into the cool sea and admire the colourful fish which thrive in the reef ecosystem. Choose from Maldives vacation packages that include pre-packed snacks and cocktails packed in ice boxes which can be enjoyed on the Sandbank.
Just 15 minutes to the west of Maafushi Island, this sandbar is also a great place for pre-wedding photo shoots. The glittering waters make for a nice backdrop for romantic pictures. It is recommended to carry a sunscreen lotion as the chances of tanning are high in the afternoons.
#4 Sunbathing on Six Senses Laamu’s Private Sandbank
Many travellers prefer seaside destinations for their sunny weather and crisp air. While the best time of the year to visit The Maldives is November to February, one can pretty much travel in any month as the sun never refuses to shine in this country. For a private sunbathing experience, Six Senses Laamu offers an exclusive Sandbank to its guests.
You can book this private island’s Sandbank for a couple of hours and remain undisturbed while your skin catches some vacation tan. The property’s very own Sandbank has cushioned wooden sun beds sunken on the sparkling sands. You only have to carry your tanning lotion along with you to prepare your body to soak in as much sun as you like.
Priced at USD 195 (taxes extra) per couple, the private sunbathing experience offered by Six Senses Laamu can be booked on any day of the week. However, there are only two slots which you can pick from, 10 AM to 12 noon and 2 PM to 4 PM. Ideally timed, this is also when the sun is strongest, helping you return with an enviable tan that you can show off to your friends back home!
#5 Kuredu Maldives Sandbank Tour
Located in the Lhaviyani Atoll, Kuredu is an island which not only has some of the loveliest Maldives luxury villas but also a Sandbank equipped with a high-tech webcam. The USP of this Sandbank tour is its ability to live-stream videos of the private island to viewers all over the world.
If you thirst for more than just travelling vicariously, catch a flight to Male – the world’s smallest capital, and transfer to a seaplane to cover the 150 kilometres to Kuredu Island resort. The seaplane terminal is conveniently accessible from the Velana International Airport, Maldives.
Kuredu’s private Sandbank lets you rejoice in the beautiful Maldivian sunrise which makes the white sands glow. While afternoons are too hot for comfort, the evenings have a charm of their own. Sunsets on the sandbank are the stuff of dreams as the sky turns from blue to yellow to orange to pink to purple and finally a dark shade of black.
#6 Sandbank Picnic by Constance Halaveli Maldives
Picnics are not just meant for gardens as most imagine. Exotic island picnics also involve dining on the sands! Indulge your taste buds while vacationing in the North Ari Atoll of The Maldives when you register for Constance Halaveli’s Sandbank Picnic.
The picnic begins much before, while you are still on the Halaveli Island. You are led to a secluded Sandbank nearby on a boat, and that is when the culinary adventure begins. Under the shade of a beach umbrella, you are served the resort’s picnic basket menu by your private butler.
Expect fruit muffins, Danish pastries and croissants to work up your appetite as you pop some champagne and wait for the rest of the menu to unfold. A refreshing range of meaty spreads, aromatic seafood and vegetarian options are laid out before you. Choose from unique delicacies such as sweet corn cactus roll, buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto baguette.
Those who are keeping a watch on their weight can select from the salads on offer. Red and yellow watermelon with cheddar, prawns cocktail salad, kimchi and tofu are just a few of the options. Meat lovers can relish the cold cuts with cheese, bread and butter.
Top off the heavy lunch with something sweet. Valrhona’s luxury chocolate brownies, Thai sliced mango and local tropical fruit mix make for the perfect island desserts. Constance Halaveli’s chefs are bound to impress you with their creativity even as you enjoy the open skies and vast seas from your tiny patch of Sandbank.
Maldives Sandbank tours offer much more than the experiences listed here. There are some Sandbanks that don’t even require any water vehicle to arrive. You can simply walk on a narrow strip of sand during low tide to reach the Sandbank. When the tide is high, the connecting sandbar completely submerges, leaving you stranded on your private sandbar for a while.
Some other sandbanks can be reached through a short swim across a shallow lagoon. Swimming apart, private snorkelling is a huge pull of private sandbanks, especially if you can end the evening with a barbecue party with your family!