Malta is blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. The island’s rugged coast is punctuated with sandy beaches and hidden coves, with crystal clear water that is hard to resist.
If you’re looking for the best beaches in Malta & Gozo, here are my top recommendations, with some essential information on each beach.
Important: Make sure to read my tips and safety advice for swimming in Malta, which I share at the end of the post. I’ve also included a map!
1. Ghadira Bay (Mellieha)
Ghadira is the largest and most popular beach in Malta. This beautiful sandy beach sits at the foot of the idyllic, hilltop town of Mellieha. The imposing red tower of St. Agatha lends a very romantic ambiance to the seaside.
What you need to know about Ghadira Bay
– It’s easy to get to by bus and by car. There are several bus stops along the beach, though these tend to be very crowded in summer. There are parking bays along both sides of the road, however finding a place to park your car might be a bit of a challenge during the busy summer months (especially on weekends).
– Ghadira Bay is perfect for kids as the water is very shallow.
– It is one of the most accessible beaches in Malta with wooden walkways and platforms leading to the sea.
– There are several lidos and kiosks where you can buy some food and drinks. Some of these places also rent out umbrellas and sunbeds.
– There are designated areas for those who do not wish to rent a sunbed and umbrella.
2. Paradise Bay (Mellieha)
True to its name, this sandy beach in Mellieha is a little slice of paradise. It is located in a quiet area near Cirkewwa, surrounded by rugged cliffs with views of Comino and Gozo.
What you need to know about Paradise Bay
– It’s a sheltered beach with calm, shallow water, so it’s ideal for families with small children. Since it’s quite small, the beach tends to get crowded quickly, so try to get there very early.
– Getting here by bus can be a bit tricky as there’s only one bus that goes to the beach. If you’re driving there, there’s a fairly large parking area right next to the beach.
– There’s a cafe/lido on the beach and you can also rent out a sunbed and umbrella.
3. Armier Bay (Mellieha)
Another beautiful and popular beach in Mellieha is Armier Bay, which is also close to Cirkewwa. This bay is made up of two sandy beaches – Armier and Little Armier. Armier is located in a nice, secluded spot, and it’s more popular among locals rather than tourists (there are several beach dwellings in the area).
What you need to know about Armier Bay
– The best way to get there is by car, as the nearest bus stop is about a 15-20 minute walk from the beach (which can be very tiring in the summer heat).
– There is a designated area for sunbed and umbrella rentals.
– There are also a few beach clubs and lidos in the area that serve some nice food.
4. Mgiebah Bay (Mellieha)
This remote bay in the limits of Mellieha is a hidden gem. Surrounded by beautiful, unspoilt hills, Mgiebay is a small, sandy beach and one of the few dog-friendly beaches on the island.
What you need to know about Mgiebah
– It’s a bit difficult to get to Mgiebay Bay, but totally worth the effort! There’s a small parking space at the top of the hill overlooking the beach, and from there you walk down a path. If that space is occupied, you can park your car next to Selmun Palace and walk to the beach (15-20 minute walk along a country road).
– There are no lidos or food trucks at Mgiebay, so make sure to pack enough water and food.
– While this beach is quite clean, you may come across heaps of dead seaweed on the beach. Beaches in Malta tend to be cleaned from algae by the authorities, but Mgiebay is not very accessible.
5. Golden Bay (Mellieha)
Golden Bay gets its name from its stretch of golden sand. This beach is popular among locals as well as tourists, and can get quite busy in summer, especially since there’s a large hotel right next to the bay.
What you need to know about Golden Bay
– Golden Bay is easy to get to by bus. There is a bus to next to the car park, and from there you just walk down a small hill.
– There are plenty of parking bays around Golden Bay, however finding a vacant parking spot can be a bit difficult during the busy summer months.
– Golden Bay is known for its undercurrents, so avoid swimming in choppy waters or straying too far out from the shore.
– There are some restaurants and cafes where you an enjoy a nice meal and drink.
6. Riviera Beach (Mellieha)
Situated right next to Golden Bay, Riviera Beach (also known as Ghajn Tuffieha) is possibly the most beautiful beach in Malta. Nestled within hills and cliffs, this sandy beach is simply stunning. Riviera is also a great place to watch the sunset – just grab a nice drink and head to the watchtower on the cliff overlooking the beach.
What you need to know about Riviera
– There is a parking area next to the beach, though it can be very busy. You can also get to the beach by bus.
– Riviera is not very accessible. You’ll need to go down what feel likes a never-ending flight of steps to get to the beach.
– Like Golden Bay, Riviera Beach can be a bit dangerous due to the undercurrents that are prevalent in this area. If you’re worried about this, try to stick close to the shore where the water is very shallow.
7. Gnejna (Mgarr)
Gnejna is a pretty, sandy beach in the quaint village of Mgarr, which is known for its large swathes of farmland and beautiful landscape. This beach is quite popular among locals. One side of the bay is lined with boathouses, some of which have been dug in the limestone. Gnejna is surrounded by green hills and clay slopes, making it the perfect place for those who want to pair a swim with a wee hike.
What you need to know about Gnejna
– The best way to get to Gnejna is by car. There is a parking area right next to the beach. While there is a bus that goes down to the bay, it is not very frequent. Alternatively, you can get the bus to the village centre of Mgarr and walk to the bay – although you’ll need to go down a very steep hill (and later climb your way back up).
– Mgarr is family-friendly thanks to its shallow water.
– There is a kiosk/food truck that sells drinks, snacks and ice-cream.
8. St. Peter’s Pool (Marsaxlokk)
St. Peter’s Pool is one of the most beautiful places in the south of Malta. While not exactly a beach, this natural pool in the fishing village of Marsaxlokk offers azure waters fringed by sun-bleached cliffs. This rocky bay is not as busy as other swimming spots in Malta, and it’s mostly visited by locals.
What you need to know about St. Peter’s Pool
– It’s not very easy to get to. If you’re driving there, you will need to park on the top of a cliff, where parking space is limited, and walk down a steep path followed by a flight of stairs. The nearest bus stop is over 2km away.
– I wouldn’t recommend visiting the beach with young children as the cliffs are a bit high.
– Pack some water and food as there are no amenities in the area.
9. Ramla Bay (Xaghra, Gozo)
Ramla Bay is one of the most beautiful spots in Gozo. Located at the end of a lush green valley, this sandy beach is known for its golden red sand. It is the largest and possibly the most popular beach in Gozo.
What you need to know about Ramla Bay
– You can get to the beach by bus. There is also a parking area right next to the beach.
– While this beach is family-friendly, parts of the beach are covered in pebbles, so walking into the sea can be a bit uncomfortable.
– There are public bathrooms as well as a couple of food outlets.
10. San Blas Bay (Nadur,Gozo)
This secluded bay is just heavenly. If you want to get off the beaten path in Gozo, take a trip to San Blas Bay. Sheltered between unspoilt hills, San Blas Bay is a quiet wee spot with red sand and crystal clear water.
What you need to know about San Blas Bay
– It’s not very easy to get to, but definitely worth the effort. You’ll need to walk down a steep hill in the limits of Nadur.
– There is a beach bar, but I still recommend packing your own food and water just in case it’s closed.
– Umbrella and sunbed rental is available during the summer months.
11. Hondoq ir-Rummien (Qala, Gozo)
Another beautiful beach in Gozo is Hondoq ir-Rummien, a popular swimming spot among locals. This bay is part sandy, part rocky, while the water is very clear.
What you need to know about Hondoq ir-Rummien
– It’s easily accessible by car, but you can’t get a bus to the beach. There is also a parking area right next to the beach.
– The sandy area is quite small, so it tends to be a bit crowded in summer.
– There is a cafe/kiosk with seating that serves drinks, food and sweets.
12. Blue Lagoon (Comino)
Comino’s Blue Lagoon is possibly the most photographed bay in Malta. Comino is a tiny island between Malta and Gozo, mostly known for its stunning bay with turquoise waters. Boat trips to Comino are very popular in summer, and most of them stop by Blue Lagoon and the beautiful sea caves around the island.
What you need to know about Blue Lagoon
– While the Blue Lagoon is breath-taking, this place gets very, very busy in summer. Boats packed with tourists pull into the bay all the time (though they don’t come all the way in).
– Most of the bay is rocky, with only a tiny sandy area.
– While the water tends to be clear and calm, undercurrents are a frequent occurrence. Avoid venturing beyond the designated swimming area.
Tips and safety advice for swimming in Malta
Best time to go swimming
If you’re visiting Malta in summer, head to the beach early to beat the crowds. Alternatively, you could go for a swim in the evening (after 5pm), when the beaches are quieter and you can just chill by the sea with a nice drink.
Thanks to its warm Mediterranean climate, Malta gets beautiful sunny days all year round, and the sea is fairly warm throughout the year. In fact, you can go swimming in spring and autumn and have almost the entire beach to yourself.
Sea currents and nasty creatures
When heading to the beach, pay attention to safety flags. While the sea might not look very rough, there might be some dangerous undercurrents. Steer clear of the water when the red flag is up.
Another thing to watch out for when swimming in Malta is jellyfish. While you will very rarely find dangerous jellyfish in Maltese waters, the most common jellyfish found in local beaches, the Mauve Stinger, can inflict a pretty nasty sting.
Recommendation: The WhichBeach app is a great local tool that recommends the perfect beaches to swim at based on the day’s weather conditions.
Unfortunately beach theft is quite common in summer. Avoid leaving your personal belongings unattended, especially on crowded beaches.
Recommendation: If you’re heading to the beach on your own, consider carrying a watertight dry bag, which allows you to take your valuables into the sea with you without getting them wet.
Check out my guide to staying safe and healthy in Malta.
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