Exploring Malta On A €30 Budget: The North Edition
The north of Malta boasts plenty of beaches, scenery and historic sites to check out. Dedicating time and planning out when you’re going to visit these extraordinary locations can often come as a challenge and can begin to start digging into the bank.
Worry not, as we now give you a list and day guide of travelling to the best spots in the north of Malta, all within a budget of €30. Although buses are cheap to use across the islands, fees for modes of transport have not been included.
Start the day off right with a delicious and filling breakfast. The popular restaurant and café, La Nave Bistro, is located in Buġibba and with its extensive menu, it won’t disappoint. Buġibba, and its neighbouring towns St. Pauls Bay and Qawra, are all known as being Malta’s beachside localities and can all become extremely busy during the summer months – whether it be due to groups passing through or flocking to check out the sea views and extensive list of restaurants, bars and eateries that are available.
La Nave Bistro’s breakfast menu serves everything from pancakes to omelettes, eggs benedict and more. With views of the ocean right next to it, why wouldn’t you want to go and enjoy a nice breakfast there? We recommend their Avocado Benedict.
Get this for €8.90.
Check out their website here to view their menu.
After you’ve finished breakfast, you can check out a landmark site just up the road from La Nave. The Qawra Tower is a small watch tower that was completed all the way back in 1638. The tower was built to give entrance to St. Paul’s Bay (to the west) and Salina Bay (to the east).
In 1715, an artillery battery was built around the tower and during the 1760s, an entrenchment wall was built around both the tower and battery and some sections of it to this day, can still be seen.
This is the perfect chance for you to digest your breakfast whilst exploring more about the history and culture of Malta and Buġbba (as well as St. Pauls Bay and Qawra).
The beauty of Buġibba is that all of the hotspots and bustling areas are within walking distance of each other – and your walk won’t have you dreading the journey as you’ll be able to walk along the Buġibba promenade, having views of the sea and breaths of the fresh sea air. There are plenty of touristy shops when heading towards the Buġibba centre square should you want to take home a small reminder of Buġibba.
If you are ready to move on to the next locality, hop onto the 221 bus route at the ‘Ben’ bus stop which is just outside the aquarium and you’ll be on the way to Mellieħa.
Once you reach Mellieħa, you’ll want to stop at the ‘Adenau’ bus stop which is very close to the next activity. Just up from the bus stop, you’ll find the Mellieħa WWII Shelters. Once you step inside, you are immediately taken back to the time of World War II.
You’ll be able to walk underground the locality of Mellieħa, through the limestone tunnels – which were all hand dug during the war. There are medals and information boards throughout the tunnels where visitors can admire and learn more about the history of WWII and how the Mellieħa tunnels were used for safety and resource storage.
Prices are extremely affordable – only €2.40 for adults and €.070 for children. It is important to note that they only accept cash and tickets can be purchased from the venue. Not only is it a mesmerising experience to learn more about Malta’s position in WWII and how they were impacted, but you’ll also be able to take a cool break depending on the weather outside (if it’s hot).
Once you have finished the tour, just across the street on the main road, you’ll find the ‘Our Lady of The Grotto Shrine’. Visitors will be able to travel underground and see the stunning statue of Mary holding a baby (Jesus) amongst the remaining scenery in the Parish. There is a very impressive amount of history and the development of the shrine dates back to hundreds of years ago. When exploring this part of Mellieħa, this is definitely something you won’t want to miss.
After you have explored, perhaps it’s time for something to eat. Located in the heart of Mellieħa, Sea View Café serves delicious meals from its extensive menu. This is the place for you if you’re after anything like sandwiches, baguettes, salads, burgers or late breakfasts.
The café offers views looking out to the beautiful Għadira Bay which in summer, is flourishing with tourists. You can sit here for hours after your busy morning and take in the sun and views whilst enjoying a delicious lunch.
For light eating – if the weather is quite warm, we recommend ‘The Veggie’ sandwich. Get this for just €6.50.
Check out their Facebook here to view their menu.
After taking some time to sightsee prior to lunch and see the beautiful Mellieħa, it’s time to head over to the final location.
Just up the main road in Mellieħa from where you got off the bus, you will reach the ‘Adenau’ bus stop which will take you to Golden Bay. You’ll get on the 101 bus route which will take you through Manikata – a small northern village. Once you pass through, the bus will eventually get you to the Ghajn Tuffieħa Bus Terminal – located right at Golden Bay, an extremely popular tourist bay. Also located at this beach is The Radisson Blu Resort where behind, you will find ‘Rdum Majjiesa’ – a hiking track that can take you all the way to the other side where you will eventually see the famous Popeye Village. It is a lovely hike as you get beautiful views of The Mediterranean Sea.
Should you want to hike from Golden Bay to Popeyes Village, on average, it takes just under an hour and 50 minutes which is perfect for those who want to move and be active, but also get the chance to see the sunset out in the distance. Of course, if it’s too much, you can always go halfway where purely seeing Popeye’s Village from afar is enough. Along the way, you’ll witness a number of small forts that once upon a time were used for both protection and to keep an eye out on the waters.
If you either chose to not go for a hike or have returned, you can then take a relaxing swim in Golden Bay.
In the warmer months, Golden Bay has swimmers swimming until dark so if you’re in the mood for a quick dip (and if you have a bathing suit), now would be the perfect time to go as the sun has cooled down and the beach has quietened – giving you more space for yourself to enjoy.
Once you have relaxed and feel a bit peckish, luckily for you, Golden Bay boasts a fair number of eateries for you to enjoy. Constantly buzzing, The Apple’s Eye, is a four-generation restaurant serving 90 dishes, meaning that there is something for everyone. They serve everything from breakfasts to platters, entrees, salads, pasta, vegan options and many more. After a hike and/or swimming, their food will hit the spot and provide you with all the energy you need.
If you do decide to eat here, we recommend their Caesar salad. Get this for €9.50.
Check out their website here to view their menu.
After dinner, you can continue to relax on the bay or choose to go back home/to your hotel. After a day of exploring the northern region of Malta and sightseeing, the total of the day’s spending comes to €27.30.
For more information on bus fares and routes, visit here.