Beaches and Bathing
Malta and Gozo offer a number of places ideal for bathing. Sandy beaches
are the most obvious choice, especially for families, but bathing off the
rocks is also extremely popular. Rocky beaches are not beaches with rocks
instead of sand, but bathing spots where the coast is natural rock, often
in the form of flat platforms ideal for sunbathing (without the sand) and
sometimes improved by means of diving platforms and steps/ladders. Beach
clubs/lidos are also great for those who appreciate the convenience and
added facilities. To allow a bit more space to yourself by avoiding
excessive crowds, we recommend that sandy beaches preferably be visited
weekdays. Below is a list of the main bathing spots and notes.
|Beach Rating - *
Some facilities available
Suitable for children
Good for snorkelling
May be on the wild side in places!
Beaches in Malta
Mellieha (Ghadira) Bay, Mellieha.*****
Malta’s largest sandy beach, facilities for bathers and watersports
options. Can get very busy, especially weekends, June – September. Good for
Mgiebah Bay, Limits of Selmun, Mellieha.***
A small secluded bay set in stunning natural scenery. No facilities
at all, good for snorkelling.
Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay.*****
Limits of Mgarr. Two
very attractive, adjacent beaches set within the cliff face. Some more
facilities at Golden Bay but both beaches are very popular. Great for
snorkelling, exploring the little inlets and coves at the sides. Although
illegal, a small inlet at the far left of Ghajn Tuffieha Bay seems to be
frequented by nude bathers, but you are unlikely to notice as this is out
of the way and quite a walk or swim. There is quite a descent (and
obviously ascent) to Ghajn Tuffieha Bay via stairs, which may be worth
noting. Again can get very busy on weekends, you may have to park your car
quite some distance away. Good for children.
Gnejna Bay, Limits of Mgarr.****
Possibly not quite as nice as Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha, though
you do get the option to choose a quieter spot at this beach. Again, a long
and rough possibly dangerous walk along the right hand side of the beach
takes you to an area popular with nude bathers. Good for children.
Paradise Bay, Cirkewwa.*****
Limits of Mellieha. Possibly the
most attractively set beach in Malta, set within a natural cove, which more
than justifies the name. Some facilities for bathers available. The actual
beach is quite small however. Good for snorkelling.
Armier Bay and neighbouring bays.***
Limits of Mellieha. Quite small beaches, but with
some well known lidos and facilities. Weekends can be noisy, and a hot tip
is to avoid Mondays in summer – Typically Monday is the post-village-feast
outing day, and Armier Bay is a hotspot for the revellers, of whichever
village in Malta whence they carcade with much noise and fanfare to Armier.
Good for children.
Fomm Ir-Rih Bay, limits of Rabat.***
If you really want half the beach to yourself, even though the beach
may not be that large, then Fomm Ir-Rih is a good choice. Be warned that
the reason for this is that the walk down to the beach is a good 15-20
minutes via a tricky and sometimes steep and slippery pathway, so you have
to be determined – especially bearing in mind the return climb in
30-degree-plus heat and sun. Absolutely no facilities for miles, as might
be expected. Very good for snorkelling.
Along the coast road from Qawra to St Julians, are a couple of
very small sandy beaches. Never so busy and parking is usually available
close by, thus convenient to escape to from St. Julians. Good for
snorkelling. Good for children.
St George’s Bay, St Julians.****
A recent major improvement on the previous tiny patch of sand that used to
be St George’s Bay, this beach is now larger and properly managed.
Facilities are available, and one is less than a minute’s walk from the
restaurants, etc of St. Julians. Good for children.
Rinella Bay, Kalkara.***
A very small sandy beach, pretty but not always recommended due to possible
pollution from ships.
St Thomas Bay, Marsascala.***
This beach is listed under “Sandy Beaches” but the actual sandy area out of
the water is extremely small, about 20 metres – however flat rock, concrete
platforms and seating by both sides of the beach explain its popularity.
Facilities available. Good for children.
St George’s Bay, Birzebbugia.**
A small, pretty sandy beach. No facilities on the actual
beach, but in Birzebbugia proper. Good for children.
Pretty Bay, Birzebbugia.****
Considering the actual expanse of sand, if not the length,
this could be classified as a “medium” sized beach by Maltese standards.
Lots of facilites, it being situated at the busiest part of Birzebbugia.
Attractively landscaped too. Good for children.
~Malta - Rocky Beaches~
Cirkewwa to Ahrax Point, Limits of Mellieha.***
Apart from some small sandy beaches, there are plenty of
places where one may enter the water from the rocks or, in places, concrete
Selmun, St Paul’s Islands.****
Accessible either strictly by Jeep or a 10 minute walk, thus
no crowds guaranteed, and great view of St Paul’s Islands which are a few
meters offshore. Excellent for snorkelling. No facilities, OK for families
if you have vehicular access.
St Paul’s Bay, Bugibba, Qawra.***
The entire coastline boasts numerous places ideal for bathing, and is
almost entirely open to the public. The inner harbour areas are less
attractive however. Qawra Point (referred to as Ta’ Fra Ben) is
particularly popular. Good for snorkelling.
Coast from limits of Salina Bay to St George’s Bay, St Julians.***
Again, the entire coast offers many entry points, which vary
in suitability for families and ease of access. The sea water quality here
also makes this a good area for snorkelling.
Paceville, St Julians.****
By the right hand side of the Casino, is a popular small rocky beach.
Approximately 200 m offshore is a well known reef popular with divers, and
thus the area is excellent for snorkelling. Facilities on the beach itself
limited to the occasional ice-cream vendor, but you are never more than
300m from town.
Sliema’s entire coastline with the exception of Valletta Harbour
side is suitable for bathing. Sliema’s rocky beaches are very popular
during the summer months, due to proximity to town and facilities
available, easy access, plus plenty of flat space to lay down a towel.
Sliema’s beaches have a wide appeal to all, you will find families with
children, individuals having a dip during their afternoon work break,
youths chilling out at a beach cafe’, and tourists from the nearby hotels.
Suitable for snorkelling, too.
Not that well known or popular, for this very reason, except with
locals, Valletta Point beneath the bastions of Fort St Elmo is also a good
place for bathing and snorkelling. Not very suitable for children, as there
do not seem to be any shallow areas.
Marsascala – Zonqor Point to St Thomas Bay.****
Apart from the inner harbour area, all the area is suitable for bathing and
snorkelling. Zonqor Point and the St Thomas Tower area are particularly
good for snorkelling. There are some watersports facilites at the Jerma
Palace Hotel, by St Thomas Tower.
Xrobb L-Ghagin Bay,****
a not very well signposted left turn from the road leading to
Delimara Point, limits of Marsaxlokk, is a highly scenic area offering
clear water of varying depth, a little island just 20 - 30 metres offshore,
and the possibility for the more adventurous to go seriously off the beaten
track. Access to the main beach is relatively easy, and families do
frequent the place. Great snorkelling. No facilities at all.
St Peter’s Pool, Delimara,*****
limits of Marsaxlokk, and nearby coves. Another area of natural
beauty offering crystal clear waters. Popular, but never crowded and you
can have as much space for yourself as you need. Also very good
snorkelling, OK for families. No facilities.
Qajjenza – Limits of Birzebbugia, to Marsaxlokk,***
St Lucian Tower area. Some limited bathing areas available.
Zurrieq – Wied iz-Zurrieq (Zurrieq Valley).****
Just by the Blue Grotto (although the Blue Grotto is only accessible
by boat), the area is quite popular with locals and visitors. Water is
somewhat deep, therefore not so suitable for young children. Very popular
with divers, thus also some excellent snorkelling. The bathing area is just
a short distance away from the restaurants and snack bars and other
facilities such as public toilets.
Ghar Lapsi (Lapsi Cave) – Limits of Siggiewi.****
A unique bay within a cave, OK for children, and clear water
for excellent visibility while snorkelling. Facilites available, but not
too much space in the main bathing spot so best to avoid weekends. Or walk
a short distance and find your own secluded spot, but this option is not
By the right side of the main sandy beach, there is also a stretch
of flat rock ideal for bathing and sunbathing, if you prefer to avoid the
sand. Some facilities available, and also watersports rentals.
Beaches in Gozo and Comino
Gozo - Ramla Bay,*****
Limits of Xaghra. Gozo’s largest sandy
beach. Very attractively set within a valley, and still unspoilt. Called
Ramla il-Hamra in Maltese, which means Red Beach, referring to the hue of
the sand. Some facilities available, good for snorkelling and children.
Gozo - Marsalforn Bay.***
A small sandy beach in the heart of Marsalforn which is quite
popular. Facilites to hand, good for children.
Gozo - Qbajjar Bay,***
limits of Marsalforn. A couple of small sandy beaches, pretty and
never crowded. Facilities available, also good for
snorkelling and children.
Gozo - Xlendi Bay.***
A small but attractive sandy beach, facilities available, good for
children. Not much space though.
Gozo – Mgarr ix-Xini,****
Limits of Xewkija. A small bay within a creek and a steep sided
valley. Very picturesque bay, a walk along the valley sides is also
recommended. No facilities, but good for children and also snorkelling.
Gozo – Hondoq ir-Rummien Bay,***
Limits of Qala. A small sandy beach directly opposite excellent
views of Comino Island. Some limited facilites, good for children and
Gozo - Dahlet Qorrot Bay.***
A very small sandy beach (a few metres) but very tranquil and you
can bathe off the concrete platform if there is no space on the sand. Good
for snorkelling. No facilities however.
Gozo – San Blas Bay.****
A small secluded sandy beach situated in a beautiful natural
location. A short but steep walk to the bay, so not ideal for taking any
umbrellas or other heavy items. No facilities, OK for children unless they
need to be carried and good snorkelling.
Gozo – Inland Sea.****
A beach which is more pebbly than sandy, but a very unique bay being
more like a little lake connected to the open sea via a natural tunnel.
Facilities available, good for children. Popular diving entry point, but
visibility inside the actual bay unlikely to be good enough for
Comino – Santa Maria Bay.****
A small sandy beach, not far from the Comino Hotel. Facilities
limited to the Comino Hotel. Good for families.
Comino – St Nicholas Bay.***
Two small sandy coves, may be reserved for hotel guests during the
Comino – Blue Lagoon.*****
Strictly speaking this might not be a sandy beach, in that the sea bottom
is sand but there is very little sand outside the water. However the water
is very shallow in places and Blue Lagoon is uniquely beautiful bay. In a
way you get the sand where you want it, under your feet in the water, but
none on land where your belongings are. OK for children, facilities limited
to what the cruise boat you probably arrived on, provides. Snorkelling a
~Gozo and Comino - Rocky Beaches~
Gozo – Dwejra Bay and Azure Window area.****
Apart from the dramatic scenery, good for bathing off the rugged rocks, and
excellent for snorkelling. Unsafe in rough seas. Facilities available,
unsuitable for children or unfit persons.
Gozo – Marsalforn Bay to Qbajjar Bay and nearby.****
This stretch of coastline offers the possibility of bathing from a number
of locations, access tends to get more difficult the further west one
travels. Apart from the Qbajjar sandy bay area,
not suitable for young children as the water is deep. Very good
snorkelling, and facilities at Qbajjar and Marsalforn.
Gozo – Hondoq ir-Rummien Bay.***
Limits of Qala. Apart from the small sandy beach,
bathing off the rocks is possible. Some limited facilities, good for
Gozo – Xatt l-Ahmar Bay.***
Limits of Ghajnsielem. A popular bay with Gozitans, access is via a
bumpy road. Good for children, snorkelling, etc, but no facilities.
Comino, Blue Lagoon.*****
Access to Comino’s Blue Lagoon is off the rocks, even though the seabed is
sandy. A very beautiful bay featuring a number of islets just offshore
within easy reach of swimmers. OK for children, facilities limited to what
the cruise boat you probably arrived on, provides. Snorkelling a must!
Comino, General Coastline.*****
There are plenty of places where you may bathe off Comino’s rocky coast,
varying in difficulty of access. Where you choose will also be dependent on
how you got to Comino – Cruise boats normally set anchor at Blue Lagoon,
while the small ferry boats servicing Comino usually tie up by the Comino
Beach Lidos and Fun Parks
Beach Lidos will be defined as those beaches having restricted access but
open to the general public (against payment, or where usage of facilities
such as umbrellas and deckchairs is against payment) where a minimum of
facilities available would comprise the aforementioned umbrellas and
deckchairs, showers, and a basic food/drink outlet. Excluded are those
lidos exclusively for use of a particular hotel’s guests, and
deckchair/umbrella rental sites on fully open public beaches, i.e. where
you can freely set up your own.
Sliema – Pebbles Lido, Qui-Si-Sana.
Sliema – Surfside Lido, Fond Ghadir
Sliema – Preluna Hotel Lido
Sliema – Fortina Hotel Lido, Tigne’
Sliema – Torri Lido, Exiles
St Julian’s – Dragonara Beach Club Lido
St Julian’s – Cornithia Marina Hotel Lido
Qawra – Sunny Coast Lido
Qawra – Suncrest Hotel Lido
Qawra – Qawra Palace Hotel Lido
Qawra – Luzzu Lido
Mellieha (Limits of) - Ray’s Lido, Armier
Bahar Ic-Caghaq, Limits of St Julians
- Mediterraneo Marine Park