The Maltese Islands are located in the Mediterranean Sea south of the Italian island of Sicily. It is an archipelago made up of 21 islands, of which only three are inhabited. The inhabited ones are Gozo, Comino and Malta islands. Then there is Manoel Island, Filfla and the Fungus Rock which are historically and ecologically very significant. The other 15 are merely large rocks. Centuries ago these islands helped form a land bridge between Sicily and North Africa, but after the last ice age melted away the sea levels rose and covered the rest.
The beaches in Malta are some of the best in the world and offer so much for everyone to see and do. Malta has some of the best diving in the world, but when you’re on your surface interval, there is a wide variety of beach types, from those with red or golden sand to amazing blue lagoons to still others with some very impressive rocky shores and sheer cliffs to see. You can find underwater caves and wrecks, shelves and rocky sea beds that any scuba diver would love to explore. There are many beaches in Malta that are more secluded and quiet, and still others that are main tourist attractions with a lot going on.
Most of the best beaches in Malta have the cafes and vendors staying open well into October, but others are open just during the busy summer months. Whether you are an expert in a particular water sport or want to learn a new one or just want to relax and sunbathe, you will find what you are looking for on any one of the Malta beaches. There is a lot of things to do in Malta, and visiting the beaches is one of the best. You will most likely want to check out more than one while here. Below is a partial list of some of the best beaches in Malta that you will want to be sure to visit.
1. Golden Bay
Golden Bay is one of the most popular beaches in Malta. It is part of a chain of beaches with Gnejna anad Ghajn Tuffieha. It is situated along and undeveloped stretch of countryside. The sands are a beautiful light cream color and cliffs surround the bay making it an amazing place. It is one of the top Malta attractions even for locals to have barbecues and parties and watching the amazing sunsets that are some of the best in the world!
The beautiful blue waters of the bay are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving, water-skiing or any other water sport you enjoy. The beach has obtained the Beach of Quality status, which means it has facilities of all types for people, and is kept very clean. It also provides sand wheelchairs for disabled users, and safety swimmers pull ropes that help make it one of the safest and user-friendly of all the Malta beaches. With hotels nearby, food vendors and places to rent equipment and gear you will love spending the entire day here.
2. Ramla l-Hamra
Ramla l-Hamra, which means Red Beach in Maltese, is located in Gozo. As the name implies, it is the largest beach in Gozo, comprised of unusual red sand and is surrounded by magnificent countryside. It is at the bottom of a valley with amazing unspoiled wild and fertile nature. The spectacular rocky cliffs that surround this curved bay make the landscape as awesome as you could imagine. The statue of Virgin Mary was erected in the middle of the bay in 1881 and still stands today. The bay is a favorite with both the tourists and locals for snorkeling, diving and many other water sports. Families spend the whole day playing on the beach and in the water, and you will love doing the same. Both Gozo and Comino offer plenty of out-of-the-way rocky inlets with clear waters that you won’t find as much on the Malta island. It is a Blue Flag* beach, so is one of the most beautiful beaches in Malta.
3. Mellieha Bay
Mellieha Bay, also known as Ghadira Bay, is considered by most as one of the best beaches in Malta, and is the most popular beach in Malta for tourists. It is located in the northern part of Malta island, just off from the town of Mellieha. The bay is actually divided into three individual beaches separated by short rocky sections. The middle section has the longest and widest stretch of sand, and is the most popular of the three. The section of beach on one side of this is a more lively stretch with a lot of activity. The section on the other side is a much quieter, calm section that offers a much more relaxing atmosphere. The bay has shallow waters that makes it very safe for all members of the family to swim and play.
The sea does not have any underwater currents and seldom even rough seas. It is however extremely ideal for water-skiing, kite surfing, wind surfing, paddleboarding and any other water sport you could imagine. Having so many options for everyone is what makes this the most popular and family-friendly of all the Malta beaches. It is also one of the Blue Flag* beaches, and also provides sand wheelchairs for disabled beach goers. After spending time here, be sure to walk across the road to the Ghadira Nature Reserve. You will want to save a few hours to visit this Malta attraction, or more likely come back another day to be sure you take full advantage of what each has to offer.
4. Paradise Bay
Paradise Bay is often considered the most attractive beach in Malta. Located at the tip of Malta, overlooking Gozo, its setting within a natural cove and surrounded by rugged landscapes, it certainly lives up to its name as being Paradise. This beach has such a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere that no matter what your favorite beach activity may be, you will find it here. One a year you simply must take part in the annual LoveSexy event! You will not forget it.
Paradise Bay is one of the smaller, quieter beaches in Malta that is bery popular with the tourists and locals alike. It is a Blue Flag* beach so is very amazing and accomodating to everyone. There is a long flight of stairs that lead from the car park down to the actual bay. The amazing natural environment here also makes it an ideal place for hiking or taking that romantic stroll. Snorkelers, divers and anyone that enjoys water sports of any kind will love this bay. With everything it has to offer, including all of the facilities and food vendors, you will probably want to spend more than one day here.
5. St. Thomas Bay
St. Thomas Bay, known as ‘Ir-Ramla’ to the locals, is a large bay in the south section of Malta Island, and is mostly popular with the locals and with windsurfers. It’s sandy beaches are smaller than a lot of Malta beaches, but are very quiet and peaceful. Because of this calm, relaxing nature of the bay, it is considered one of the best beaches in Malta. St. Thomas Bay is located by the village of Marsascala, which is continuously being developed. Many summerhouses for locals have been built here, many of which could be rented by tourists. Regardless of how much time you spend here, you will certainly get the feeling that you could spend a lifetime here.
Related: The Best Beaches in Mauritius
6. St. Georges Bay
St. Georges Bay is another one of the most popular Malta beaches. Located in St. Julian’s, St. Georges Bay is an active and favorite Malta attraction during both the day and night. It is centrally located to the hotels, restaurants and various other entertainment centers and is a very popular place for the locals to socialize. The bay itself is magnificent and a wonderful place to not only spend the day playing in the water, but staying and enjoying the night life it has to offer. The sandy beaches and beautiful blue waters provides hours of entertainment with whatever water sport or sunbathing you want. It has also earned the Blue Flag* designation. It has many other amenities such as sand wheelchairs for disabled users.
7. Ghar Lapsi
Ghar Lapsi is a secluded Malta beach just off Siggiewi and is very popular among the local swimmers and divers as well as the tourists. With the naturally protected shoreline it is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and diving in the deep rocky waters. The view over Filfla from this amazing hidden little bay is simply fantastic. This rocky shoreline forms a natural swimming pool with it’s crystal clear blue green waters. It is only about 1km from the famous Blue Grotto. The rocky shoreline and deep waters make for some of the most fantastic diving and snorkeling on the Malta islands. The Ghar Lapsi Cave leads out into the open sea and provides some of the best cave diving in the world. It has amazing visibility that lends to the terrific diving opportunities and underwater photography that is like none other. While this is a small and less crowded stretch of shoreline, it is still one of the best beaches in Malta.
8. Ghajn Tuffieha
Ghajn Tuffieha, sometimes referred to as Riviera, is the second of the sandy beaches in the string that includes Golden Bay and Gnejna Bay. It is smaller and less developed than Golden Bay, which makes it one of the best beaches in Malta. It is one of the most unspoiled beaches in Malta, with its clay slopes and rugged cliffs as a backdrop. In fact, it is only accessible via a steep flight of 200 stairs, so can be a bit daunting for the faint of heart. But once you are there, you will enjoy the most amazing day. The rugged coastlines and cliffs give that isolating sense as if the rest of the world has slipped away and you can relax like never before and enjoy the most spectacular sunset you could imagine. This beach has also earned the Blue Flag* designation which means it is another one of the best beaches in Malta. It has all of the amenities, such as a safety swimmers pull rope, snack bar, showers, sun chairs and umbrellas – anything you need to make it an amazing day.
9. St. Peter’s Pool
St. Peter’s Pool is a stunning natural pool that is certainly one of the most spectacular Malta attraction you will find. The crystal-clear waters of amazing light blues and green are so ideal to swim in or sunbathe by. It is located at the tip of Delimara Point near Marsaxlokk on the southwest portion of Malta. It is a fairly remote location that is not as easy to access as other Malta beaches, which makes it much less crowded and more enjoyable for those looking for a quiet place to spend the day. The high rocks surrounding the pool offers some shade for those hot summer days, and many flat rocks at water’s edge are perfect for sunbathers. There are also ladders available where you can access the sea – or you can dive into the sea from off the rocks if you have the nerve! The waters around the pool provide an amazing place for snorkeling.
10. Armier Bay
Armier Bay is another one of the best beaches in Malta. It is a smaller sandy beach that stretches along an open bay that faces the nearby islands of Comino and Gozo. It is located on the extreme northern tip of Malta nearest the village of Mellieha. The bay is actually divided into two, with the larger beach known as Armier while the smaller one is called Little Armier. This beautiful area somewhat resembles the Blue Lagoon with its amazing blue waters. It is one of the quieter beaches in Malta, and has wonderful green surroundings known as L-Ahrax that are a dream to take a stroll in. During the summer, this is one of the popular Malta beaches on Mondays for the local post-village feast celebrations. You will love taking part in this local custom.
11. The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is located on the timy island of Comino, and is considered one of the very best beaches in Malta. This amazing, picturesque inlet has appeared on screen many times, most recently for a diving scene featuring Madonna in Swept Away and a spearfishing scene set in ancient times for the mini-series Helen of Troy. It is an amazing sheltered white sand beach with spectacularly blue azure water is perfect for any water sport like windsurfing, jet and water skiing, parakiting and fun rides. Like other beaches in Malta, the bay is divided into two sandy beaches. The rest of the bay is surrounded by rock which is perfect to sunbathe on and jump into the water from. The lagoon has several caves and many colorful fish that make diving and snorkeling an amazing experience. The Blue Lagoon is one of the more famous Malta attractions and a favorite for the locals and tourists alike. Even in the winter it is a wonderful place for beautiful walks and for magnificent photographic opportunities.
12. Dwejra Bay
Dwejra Bay is another of the most spectacular beaches in Malta. It is an amazing natural landmark. The breath-taking Azure Window, the Inland Sea, Fungus Rock, sheer cliffs and a rocky coastline have combined to make this a magnificent geological wonder with the most remarkable scenery you will find anywhere. Situated outside of San Lawrenz, Gozo it is one of the most popular of the Malta beaches even during the winter months. The scenery is so dramatic with the rugged rocks giving way to a beautiful pebbly shore and into shallow, safe waters good for swimming for the whole family. The sea drops off to deeper waters that are great for snorkelers and divers. Whether you choose to sunbathe, play in the shallow water or enjoy the beautiful deep waters, this is a magnificent place to spend the day.
13. Anchor Bay
Anchor Bay located outside of Mellieħa, is perhaps best known for Popeye Village and the set of Sweetheaven Village of the 1979 film starring Robin Williams as Popeye. It certainly one of the most popular beaches in Malta, both for the locals and tourists alike. The Popeye Village set is now a theme park and a very fun Malta attraction that you will love spending the day at. But most important for the water lovers among us, the bay is a magnificent inlet of crystal-clear blue-green water that is quite secluded. It is one of the most popular Malta beach for divers because of the large caves and passageways with extensive marine life. The Scorpion Cave is one of the best known of these caves. There is an amazing amount of marine life, including morays, scorpion fish and groupers. Many local fisherman love to try their luck in this bay as well. No matter what you want to do for the day, this is the place to be.
14. Balluta Bay
Balluta Bay is a small sandy beach located by Tas-Sliema near St. Julian’s in Malta. It stretches along a stretch of rocky coastline that goes from from Qui-si-Sana in Sliema all the way to St. Julian’s. This Malta beach with its clear light green waters has a shallow sandy seabed, which makes it ideal for swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and many other water sports. It is also perfect for beginning scuba divers. This Malta beach is right in front of the magnificent neo-gothic Carmelite Parish Church with it’s many shops and restaurants near by. This along with the amazing shorline and landscapes makes this not only one of the best beaches in Malta but an amazing place for enjoyable strolls even in the winter.
15. Daħlet Qorrot Bay
Daħlet Qorrot Bay just outside of Nadur, Gozo is a tiny picturesque fishing cove and a tranquil, isolated spot on the northeast coast below Nadur and Qala. There are some amazing caves and large rocks around it that can provide some shade during the hot summer months. It is a wonderful Maltese beach for diving and snorkeling. Dahlet Qorrot Bay, a small pebbly beach in Gozo great for diving and snorkelling. With it’s charming pebbly beach, clear blue waters and beautiful surrounds, it is a very tranquil place to relax, sunbathe and soak in the beauty of the Maltese Islands as well as take part in your favorite water sport.
* Blue Flag beaches have met strict qualifications. These include having lifeguards, first aid personnel, supervisors and beach cleaners on site seven days a week. They are also furnished with flag pole and safety flag system, a clinic room, walkways, showers, separate gents/ladies/disabled users WC cabinets, and regular sand sifting among many other things designed to keep the beaches in Malta clean, safe and friendly.