Also known as L-Ghadira, Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest sandy bay and one of the most popular. It forms part of the village of Mellieha, and there are a few hotels close by.
It’s a great beach for swimmers of all abilities, since it slopes gradually towards deeper seas. The sand and the various snack bars and ice cream trucks also attract many families with young children.
Golden Bay, with its white sand, is one of the most popular beaches in Malta. It is easily accessible by private or public transport and it is accessible by wheelchair too.
There are various kiosks and restaurants surrounding it, and barbeques late in the evening are popular. There is a large hotel complex as well as a sizeable camping site in the area, making it popular with tourists and local campers alike.
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Also known as Riviera, this beach is less frequented than neighbouring Golden Bay, but still very popular with locals. It has golden sands and is accessible by a flight of 200 steps.
Being more secluded than Golden Bay gives it the advantage of being relatively untouched by development, and therefore quieter and cleaner. There is a kiosk serving food, and sunbeds and umbrellas are available to rent.
Situated within a cove, Paradise Bay is sheltered by the cliffs that surround it. It is a sandy beach, but the surrounding area is ideal for snorkelling due to its many caves.
This rocky coastline also makes an ideal place to explore on kayak or canoe. Paradise Bay is cleaned regularly and anyone wishing to spend the day there can avail themselves of the facilities offered in the lido next to it.
Armier Bay is divided into two beaches, Armier and the smaller Little Armier and is situated in the north of Malta, with a view of the neighbouring Comino and Gozo.
These beaches are not as easily accessible as others might be, so using one’s own transport is recommended, unless you don’t mind walking about 20 minutes from the nearest bus stop in the heat of summer. These two beaches are popular with the locals, especially those with children, and the sea here is crystal clear. There are a few places selling snacks, but not any restaurants or hotels.
Gozo’s most popular bay and the largest sandy beach on the island, Ramla l-Hamra is also known for its reddish-coloured sand. The beach is loved by the locals and a must-visit place for tourists.
The area surrounding the beach is undeveloped and has some protected sand dunes, as well as a couple of caves that are popular backdrops in social media photos. There are two restaurants, a couple of ice cream trucks, showers and toilets, and benches for those wishing to eat their picnic without getting sand on their food.
This bay is small, but offers a respite from the busy surrounding area of St Julians.
It’s a sandy beach right next to Balluta’s neo-gothic parish church and the contrasting Art Nouveau Balluta Buildings, an apartment block built close to a century ago for the Marquis Scicluna. The beach itself is popular with divers and swimmers and is home to Neptune’s Waterpolo and Swimming Club.
This small rocky beach is close to the Malta National Aquarium and an easy walk from the centre of Bugibba.
There is a cavern and a reef which make it popular with divers, but the shallow bay is also used as a training area for novice divers. Although not sandy, Qawra Point is a great place for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. There are public restrooms and a parking area, as well as cafes and restaurants close by.
St George’s Bay
This is a small sandy beach in the heart of the St Julians area known as Paceville. Paceville is the nightlife centre of Malta and is also home to some of the best hotels on the islands, which makes this beach a popular spot with tourists and foreign students attending English schools in the area.
Unlike some other beaches, St George’s Bay is rarely completely empty of swimmers in summer, even in the middle of the night. The beach is accessible for wheelchair users, there are public restrooms and there is a wide choice of restaurants and cafes in the area.
Another beach in the north that everyone should visit, if only for the fact that it is part of Popeye Village, the set used for the Robin Williams musical Popeye.
The bay is exposed, which makes it unsuitable for inexperienced swimmers, but it is quite popular with novice divers due to the shallow depths and the marine life in the area.
The main attraction on the island of Comino, the Blue Lagoon is named after its clear blue sea which gets its colour from its sandy seabed.
It is very busy in the height of summer, but it is still an unmissable spot for day-trippers. There are public restrooms, sunbeds and umbrellas to rent, and a couple of food trucks.