The Maldives is a dream holiday destination for many travelers, honeymooners, and families. This archipelago is brimming with white sand islands, azure beaches, and some of the best all-inclusive resorts.
Just when you thought the tropical environment couldn’t get any more breath-taking, these South Asian islands offer you a beach that glows at night. Yes, the archipelago’s beaches show off with glowing blue waves crashing against the white-sand shores.
This magical natural phenomenon is also aptly nicknamed the ‘Sea of Stars’ and should not be missed. Find out how you can see these glowing Maldives beaches and where to stay to get the best seats in the house.
What Causes the Glow-In The Dark Sand Beach?
You might be wondering how Maldives’ glowing beach gets its glow. The short answer is through bioluminescent plankton.
These plankton achieve their glow through a chemical reaction in their bodies. This is a similar chemical reaction to the one that fireflies use to light up their behinds. Instead of a firefly’s yellow glow, these aquatic creatures produce a ‘cold light’ that glows a green-blue color.
While their glow may be a beautiful sight, these tiny plankton use it as a defense mechanism to keep predators at bay. The light momentarily startles any fish that try to eat the plankton, which scares them away.
Bigger fish, like whales, take advantage of this and will often swim close by to catch their own fish snack.
However, it is not only stress that triggers their luminescent abilities. It can be triggered by any movement like crashing waves or a stone falling into the sea.
Best Time to See the Shining Beach Maldives
Depending on where you’re coming from in the world, it can take a long time to reach the Maldives. So, it would be a shame to land on the islands to see a glowing Maldives beach and be disappointed on your way back home.
While the plankton are active throughout the year, the chances of spotting their blue glow cannot be guaranteed. That is why it’s best to visit during their peak seasons of visibility.
Funnily enough, the best time to see the sparkling coast is during the tourist off-season between June and October. If you’re lucky, you might still catch a glimpse of them until December. During these months, it is mid-summer and is slowly moving into winter. Although the weather is cooling down, it is still pleasantly warm.
Where Can I See the Glowing Beach in the Maldives?
While these green-blue creatures can be spotted anywhere in the Maldives, the best glowing beach location is on a remote island.
This island is called Vaadhoo Island (also known as Mudhdhoo Island) in Raa Atoll. Like many locations in the Maldives, this Atoll has beautiful beaches, marine life, and a handful of great luxury resorts to choose from.
Vaadhoo Island is one of the inhabited islands in Raa Atoll with less than 500 inhabitants but don’t worry if you prefer seclusion. There are other resort islands nearby (and mentioned below) where tourists can choose to stay and visit Vaadhoo to see the glowing beaches.
The sea water’s temperatures are often quite warm, with an average temperature of 80°F (27°C) to 86°F (30°C) year-round. Besides watching the luminous shores, the island’s clear waters also make it a popular spot to go scuba diving or kayaking.
While you’re out on the water during the day, try to see if you can spot any plankton floating about.
The plankton like the island’s warm waters. The warm tides cause the plankton to gather together, and they can sometimes be seen during the day as orange algae clumping together in the sea.
The best places to find the plankton on Vaadhoo Island are near lagoons, coves, and small bays. This gives the best chance to see the glow up close, even if they may not be in the bigger ocean. Sometimes they can also wash up on the shore, which creates a beautiful effect of lit-up footprints.
How to Reach Vaadhoo Island
Thankfully, with Go Oceans’ inclusive rates, you won’t have to worry about figuring out any travel logistics. Our team of experts not only helps you choose the top five-star islands and resorts for your stay but also takes care of all local transfers like a trip to Vaadhoo Island.
We love helping you discover the islands, which means you can easily arrange a trip to the magical beaches before or during your Maldives trip.
Can You Swim in the Sea of Stars?
Yes, you can safely swim in the glowing ‘Sea of Stars’ at night.
This truly is an amazing experience anyone should put on their bucket list. In fact, because their glowing abilities are activated by movement, there is a good chance that they will glow even brighter if you were to swim in the water.
While the plankton may be too toxic to swim in other places, Maldives has the privilege of having plankton that is safe to touch. The water is also fairly warm, making a night swim even more doable.
Places to Stay Near the Maldives’ Bioluminescence Beach
The Maldives is renowned for having resorts built on whole private islands. So, many islands are a resort in themselves.
If you’re planning on staying on a Maldives island at night for this phenomenon, there are a few accommodation options available for a comfortable stay. Whether it’s Maldives ocean huts, private villas, or family getaway homes, there’s an island resort to stay near the glowing beaches in the Maldives.
The 5-star resort of Milaidhoo Island is built inside the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It is the ideal place for sea lovers who have a deep appreciation for nature and its creatures.
It is on a private island near Vaadhoo and just on the beach’s shore. It is surrounded by a protected coral reef that provides amazing underwater views. You can see marine life either through snorkeling or diving.
Choose between a beach villa or an overwater villa built on the water with uninterrupted ocean views. Their luxury villas are decked out with private pools, bathrooms, and wooden decks. As you arrive, a bottle of champagne and a fruit basket welcomes you.
The same warm hospitality can be expected at their on-site facilities. Milaidhoo has three restaurants, two bars, a gym, and a wellness center. They also offer many aquatic activities, including conservationist activities with a marine biologist.
Another Baa Atoll one-resort-one-island near Maldives’ bioluminescent beach is Vakkaru Maldives. This resort island has over 100 luxury villas and suites with gorgeous ocean views and a spacious open-plan design.
Their villas are modern but still manage to keep that Maldivian charm. These villas are perfect for honeymooners who want direct access to the beach. They come with butler service and a private bathroom overlooking the sea.
If you need a bigger space, consider staying in one of their 15 residences. The biggest residence can sleep up to 8 adults and 2 kids. These remote accommodations have private pools and spacious outdoor areas.
Vakkaru Maldives also has plenty to keep you busy outside the villas, suites, and residences. The resort island has four restaurants and two bars with indoor and outdoor seating. They also offer diving, water sports, and indoor games.
Head to the wellness center for a relaxing massage or work up a sweat in their overwater gym. There is also a kids club to keep the young ones busy.
If you’re an art-lover with a flair for the glamorous, Joali Maldives is the resort for you. This resort on Muravandhoo island was made by artists for artists and art enthusiasts.
Choose between 73 luxury beach villas and overwater residences. These accommodations have a modern yet rustic feel, with heavy influence from their lush surroundings. Rooms are spacious with big doors and windows which allow the salty air to flow through.
Relax in your private pool or have a drink at the public pool’s bar. Other dining options include eating at the four fine-dining restaurants. Cuisines range from Italian to Japanese and Malaysian.
If you’re looking for something more adrenaline-fueled, check out their many sports and activities. Choose between wakeboarding behind a yacht, snorkeling with stingrays, or many other water activities.
For a cultural experience, the resort also takes guests on an art excursion. On this excursion, they learn more about the island’s art and sculptures. The hotel also hosts a fun scavenger hunt which encourages guests to explore the island more.
Ready for a Swim?
Maldives’ glowing beach is a captivating natural wonder worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. Better yet, try to cross swimming in the glowing blanket of water off your bucket list while you’re at it.
Nature, as we know, is unpredictable. So, there is a chance that you might not see the ‘Sea of Stars’ even if you do visit at the right time of the year. Fortunately, the Maldives has an assortment of other amazing things to do to keep you busy.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to book your tickets and try your luck with the stars.