When it comes to beaches, Pulau Weh has plenty of them. North, South, East, West – whichever part of the island you plan to travel, there’s a beach awaiting your visit. Like with all other places, there are some better beaches than others. Below are the beaches I recommend, especially if you are looking for a beautiful natural landscape, swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
Table of Contents
Which Beach in Pulau Weh is for you?
I enjoyed spending time at Gapang Beach, because it has a very chilled out vibe.
Along the shore of Gapang Beach in Pulau Weh are various dive centres because Pulau Weh diving is a must-do. Whilst there are some dive centres on the island offering cheap dive options, I suggest visiting the centres at Gapang Beach instead. Here you’ll find most of the renowned dive centres on the island including Bubble Addict, Lumba Lumba, and Monster Divers, which make safety a priority and offer excellent service. There is also a freedive centre and a yoga studio.
The view over the beach is lovely, with various shades of blue in the water. It is rocky in various parts of the beach, but once you’re in the water it’s a lovely spot for swimming and snorkeling. There’s an excellent house reef at Gapang, also making it a great spot for a shore dive. We even spotted an old tank wreck during our shore dive with Bubble Addict in Pulau Weh.
All along the beach are beautiful overhanging Gapang trees, offering plenty of shade during a sunny hot day. The vibe here is easy and it has a great community feel. Numerous expats stay here, specifically those who run the dive centres, so it’s comfortable to swim in your bikini here.
Dare I say it – Long Beach at Pulau Weh is the most beautiful beach on the island.
Located about 3km northwest from the village of Iboih, Long Beach is a long stretch of white sand and turquoise blue waters.
It’s peaceful. It’s mesmerizing. It’s one of those places that takes your breath away.
Long Beach in Pulau Weh is perfect for swimming because of its calm waters and also is a great spot for snorkeling. And it is possible to swim in your bikini throughout the day here.
This is also the spot where I had the most amazing Italian pasta – I mean who would have thought right? But it’s house-made noodles using traditional recipes from Italy and it was so delicious.
Samur Tiga Beach
Samur Tiga Beach is located on the western side of the island. It’s a lovely stretch of sand and once again turquoise blue waters. Depending on the wind conditions, Samur Tiga Beach can be a good spot for swimming and relaxing at the beach, but do keep an eye out for the wind.
This part of the island is quieter so it is relaxing to spend time of the beach soaking in the sun and listening to the gentle crash of the waves along the shoreline.
During the day, it’s great for swimming and it is possible to swim in a bikini in the mornings and early afternoons. In the evenings, you’ll find a mix of locals and Indonesian visitors enjoying some time in the water before the sunset. So best to cover up when swimming during this time.
At Samur Tiga is where you’ll find the Casa Nemo Resort and Freddie’s Resort. They both offer beachside decks overlooking Samur Tiga, where you can eat, drink, and be merry. They are also great accommodation options.
Iboih Beach & Rubiah Island
Iboih Beach and Rubiah Island is the spot if you are looking to snorkel. It’s no denying that the view from Iboih Beach and over Rubiah Island is gorgeous. To get to Rubiah Island, you need to hop onto a boat from Iboih Beach and is a short 5-10 minutes trip over. It’s about IDR150,000 (U$11) on a wooden boat or IDR250,000 (U$18) on a speed boat round trip.
With various small homestays, shops, and local restaurants lining the village of Iboih, it has become the most popular spot in Pulau Weh to visit. And so it does get very busy during the day. As a lot of locals visit this part of the island for swimming and snorkeling, it is best to cover up whilst swimming. We did visit Iboih and Rubiah Island on a day when it wasn’t overly busy so it was ok to swim in a bikini. Also, in my personal opinion, I wouldn’t necessarily stay here as I feel there are better places around the island to stay.
In the village of Iboih, there are plenty of small shops selling local souvenirs and hiring snorkel equipment. From the beach in Iboih itself, it is possible to swim out to snorkel which is equally as good as Rubiah Island. You could even rent a canoe to explore this area, which is another good option.
On Rubiah Island itself, there are a number of local warungs selling food and drinks. Pretty basic facilities here. If you do plan to venture onto the island, I would focus on the snorkeling and then head back to the main land to eat. The best time to snorkel here is from around 10am until mid-afternoon. But if you are after some really good colorful coral, I highly recommend booking yourself a dive in Pulau Weh.
Pantai Pasir Putih
Pantai Pasir Putih is located on the southern part of the island.
It’s a white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise colored water. There are a number of small local beach cafes who have built a swing in the sand which the locals love to take photos on.
This is a spot where a lot of locals come to swim, and you won’t find many tourists (if any) here, so I don’t recommend swimming in your bikini here. Around this part of the island, there’s not too much to do so I don’t recommend staying here unless you are really looking for a remote part of the island to stay.
Pantai Paradiso is located close to downtown Sabang…near ‘Sabang Fair’ and is a good spot to spend during sunset. In the early evenings, locals gather along the short concrete wall lined along the beach to sit, chill out, each some street food, and watch the sunset.
This is also the spot to try some local Acehnese foods such as the sate gurita, which is an octopus sate. For a plate of 5, you are looking at around IDR25,000 (A$2.5 | U$1.8).
It’s not really a beach for swimming as it is quite rocky, but definitely lovely to walk along in the early evening to catch the sunset.
Map of Pulau Weh Beaches
To help you, I’ve also created a custom map marking the locations of the different beaches in Pulau Weh:
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I kept scrolling down the page saying to myself that is the best beach, then the next one and so on – What an amazing place with so many beautiful beaches to enjoy. No wonder the diving is so good here. Thanks for sharing.
I loved Palau Weh, it was totally unexpected during my trip. I havent been on all the island you recommend, but my favorte one was just far from anything, very remote beach from which you could watch stunning sunset. I just loved the place. THe water is so clear in Palau Weh and it’s possible to snorkel so close to the beach :O
i have never heard of it even though I am Malaysian, therefore proving this is really off the beaten path. The lesser known places are a dream for nature and judging by the photos this is the really the case at Pulau Weh. Thanks for including the sensititvity of covering up when more locals are there, it helps with tourist images and cultural considerations.
From pictures and your descriptions, Long Beach is easily my favorite. Not that others are beautiful. Above all, I’m shocked to find out the development in Pulau Weh and that you could wear a bikini. How does it work? Is there a restriction for locals to attend the bikini beaches? Or some kind of agreement between the foreign businesses and the local government?
Im a big sucker for beaches and white sand and this post surely is right up my way so thaks to start with . I have never visited this part of the world but seeing this post would love to. Such a wide choice of different types of beaches. My favorite will be Long Beach with the white sands and blue waters. All the beaches look great and seems like it is complimented by the great food as well. What else could you want sun sand and great food. I wish I can make it to Pulau Weh in the next year or so.
I heard about Pulau Weh before but I didn’t have enough time to visit it during my last trip to Malaysia. I couldn’t find a lot of pictures of it back then but damn, those beaches sure look amazing! Now I want to visit even more and surely will one day. Thanks for this lovely recommendation
The Long Beach is surely on my wishlist after reading your blog. The photographs are incredibly beautiful and looks like a dream. Must be a great place for snorkelling.
The pictures made it very difficult to decide which one is the best. I quite liked the bridge at the Long beach and the sunset at Pantai Paradiso. I had not heard of Palau weh before reading your article. Thanks for introducing so many new beaches to me.
Just arrived in Pulau Weh and find it amazing. Thanks for the article, it’s a great reference! Just a note, Samur Tiga Beach is on the east side of the island. Your map shows it correctly, but the description says *western*. Cheers!