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Top beaches you need to visit this summer

għajn tuffieħa

Photo: James Bianchi

Summer is well and truly upon us and if you’re in Malta anytime between June and September, we highly recommend scheduling in a couple (or at least 5) beach days. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite beaches, just for you

għajn tuffieħa

Location: Manikata, Mellieħa
Type: Sandy
Tip: The beach is known for having rather strong undercurrents, especially during off-season

għajn tuffieħa bay

Photo: James Bianchi

Għajn Tuffieħa Tower overlooking the bay

Photo: James Bianchi

red sand and clear blue water

Photo: James Bianchi

With clay slopes and high cliffs on either side of the bay, red sand and clear blue water, Għajn Tuffieħa, which is Maltese for ‘Apple’s Eye’, is easily one of Malta’s most stunning beaches. Only accessible by a network of footpaths and a flight of steps, the trip may be challenging for some, but definitely worth it. It’s a blue flag certified beach, as well as a Special Area of Conservation, due to its unique geological features. Oh, and there’s a lifeguard, restaurant, toilet and shower facilities on the sand, too. Which means you’ll only need to face those dreaded steps when and only when you’re ready to call it a day.

How to get there:

Għajn Tuffieħa is one of the few beaches on the island that is incredibly easy to reach by public transport, via the bus route that is headed to Golden Bay. The bus stop you need to get off at is called ‘Riviera.’ Several bus routes head on over to Għajn Tuffieħa, including from Valletta, Sliema and Buġibba.

golden bay

Location: Manikata, Mellieħa
Type: Sandy
Tip: Bring a volleyball along!

golden bay

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Known for its reddish sand and naturally formed dunes on its surrounding slopes, Golden bay is larger, somewhat easier to access and has a couple more restaurants on site than its sister, Għajn Tuffieħa. Perched on the cliffs, you will find a 17th century watch tower built by the Knights of Malta. One of the few bays in Malta where you can cook up some sausages on the barbecue in the evenings, Golden Bay is a favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. 

How to get there:

Driving yourself to Golden Bay is pretty straightforward. There are two parking areas close to the bay, one in front of the Radisson Golden Sands hotel and one down near the edge of the beach. By public transport, many routes pass by the bay, from Valletta, Sliema, even Qawra. It’s important to note that the first stop ‘Riviera’ is the stop for Għajn Tuffieħa. Stay on board until the final stop ‘Għajn Tuffieħa bus terminus’. Seems counter-intuitive but trust us.

Ġnejna bay

Location: Limits of Mġarr
Type: Sandy
Tip: The rightmost, hidden part of the bay is known for nudists 

sandy section of Ġnejna bay

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

flat limestone and rock section

Photo: James Bianchi

The third sandy beach of the chain of beaches including Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay, Ġnejna is slightly smaller and much less crowded. If you’re not the greatest fan of sand, just a few metres away is a stretch of flat limestone and rock, perfect for absorbing those rays. Known for its unusual clay slopes and limestone cliffs, the walk down to Ġnejna from Għajn Tuffieħa is a little risky, but much like many things in life, definitely worth it, especially if you’re looking for adventure.

How to get there:

Drive to the village of Mġarr, towards the church found in the village core, and follow the street signs. On the edge of the beach, you’ll find a large car park. By public transport, on the other hand, most bus routes will only take you to the village of Mġarr. Route 101, however, passes from Ċirkewwa (the Gozo ferry point) through Mellieħa, Ġnejna and vice versa.

fomm ir-riħ

Location: Limits of Mġarr
Type: Pebbly
Tip: Make sure to bring water and a packed lunch with you

fomm ir-riħ bay

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Known as one of the most isolated beaches in Malta (but coincidentally also one of the most beautiful), Fomm ir-Riħ is not for the faint-hearted. A favourite amongst snorkelers, divers and those who appreciate lack of mobile reception, peace and serenity. It’s a 20-minute hike down a sometimes steep and slippery pathway to get there, but we guarantee you that it’s worth the trip. The remote beach offers views of cliffs, valleys and the crystal blue clear waters.

How to get there:

Drive to Rabat and follow signs to Baħrija. Drive through the main road and take your first right. Around 2km on, when the road begins going downhill, take another right. You will find yourself in a small car park. You’ll see a small footpath leading to the bay that runs along a ledge.

Għadira Bay

Location: Mellieħa
Type: Sandy
Tip: Get there as early as you can to find free parking and a good spot

Għadira Bay featuring the red tower

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Presenting Malta’s largest (and possibly most visited) beach, Mellieħa Bay, also referred to as Għadira Bay. Roughly 800m long and awarded a Blue Flag status, Għadira is perfect to spend the day basking in the sun with family and friends. Facilities such as water sports, including water-skiing, windsurfing, banana rides and sea kayaking are available, making this bay a must-visit spot on your holiday. It’s easily accessible and also features several restaurants, snack bars and two hotels. 

How to get there:

Getting to Għadira is easy however, parking is usually rather limited and problematic, especially if you’re visiting later in the day. Though there is a small parking area along the road, we would recommend either getting there early or parking up in Mellieħa and taking the bus down to the bay. The bay is located on the main road, leading to Ċirkewwa and cannot be missed.

paradise Bay

Location: Mellieħa
Type: Sandy
Tip: Mornings and weekdays are best because it gets rather crowded on weekends

paradise bay

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Offering a completely unobstructed view of Gozo and Comino Island, Paradise Bay really does live up to its name. Again, this bay can only be accessed by a fairly long flight of steps but don’t fret, anything your heart desires is available on the beach, including: sun-beds, umbrellas, showers, restrooms, food and drinks, too! Although it is mainly a sandy beach, it is surrounded by caves and rocky inlets, making for some great snorkelling opportunities. Not to mention that throughout summer, the Lido is open every night for dinner, with live entertainment on selected nights during the week.

How to get there:

The bay is at the north-western tip of Malta, just past Mellieħa and close to the Gozo Ferry terminal in Ċirkewwa. Just before the Paradise Bay Hotel building, there’s a sign on the left of the road, which you should follow till you the parking area. By public transport, catching a bus from the Mellieħa centre will take you directly to the parking area above the bay. You can also catch routes from Valletta, too.

st. peter's pool

Location: Delimara, Marsaxlokk
Type: Rocky
Tip: bring snacks and a whole lot of sun-block as there aren’t too many shaded areas

St. Peter's natural swimming pool

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

One of the most well-known natural swimming pools Malta has to offer, St. Peter’s Pool is straight off a postcard. Located in the Southwest of the island, it offers stunning snorkelling opportunities, as well as sunbathing ones, on the high flat rocks that surround the pool. Though there are ladders providing access to the sea, the more adventurous ones can also dive into the water from a few metres up. Popular with locals and tourists alike, St. Peter’s Pool is rather difficult to get to and parking on top of the cliff overlooking the pool isn’t recommended. 

How to get there:

Drive down the main road leading to the south of Malta, pass the village of Marsaxlokk and approach tas-Silġ, a rounded hilltop, sanctuary site. Drive around 2km on the narrow uneven road, which will lead you to the bay. There are no public transport buses that can take you directly to the bay. The closes bus stop is ‘Abdosir’, which is a 2.3 kilometre walk.

kalanka bay

Location: Delimara, Marsaxlokk
Type: Rocky
Tip: There are no amenities so bring a packed lunch

kalanka bay

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Photo: James Bianchi

Il-Kalanka bay, which translates to ‘creek’, is rarely mentioned on major tourist information guides. It’s well hidden in the southeast of Malta, nearby to St. Peter’s Pool. Even in the peak months, you can still find some serenity and quiet here, shaded areas and smooth-curved limestone, perfect for sunbathing. Surrounded by cliffs, unique for their sole composition of Globigerina Limestone. Recently installed signage makes the bay easier to find, and the natural swimming hole can be reached by a convenient path of around 50 metres.

How to get there:

Public transport doesn’t travel this far due to the roads being dusty and not exactly well-maintained. Coming from Marsaxlokk bay, follow the long road toward St.Peter’s Pool. When you pass the parking lot, continue straight ahead to Delimara, where you’ll see the signs.

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