Whilst Malta is pretty much all yellow and grey rock, with yellow sun bleached vegetation in summer, you would be mistaken in expecting only rocky beaches on our island. Here are some of the highly recommended sandy beaches, which you can find in the Maltese archipelago.
Golden Bay (Sandy)
Golden Bay is likely the second most popular beach in Malta, due to it’s location, it’s light coloured sand and it’s facilities (you can rent sun beds and umbrellas, but there are also food, drink and toilet options and a life guard on duty). Together with Gnejna Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha, it forms a chain of beaches in the North West of Malta. This beach is a popular spot for parties, bbq’s and snorkelling and sports one of the most beautiful sunsets in Malta.
Ramla Bay (Sandy)
Ramla l-Hamra is Gozo’s largest sandy beach and derives it’s name from the red sand (Ramla l-Hamra is Red Beach in Maltese). This curved beach is located on the bottom of a fertile valley and is very popular with tourists, locals, families and snorkelers in summer. There are a few cantinas and bars set near the entrance for drinks and facilities. Ramla also has a secret hidden beneath it’s sands, historians have discovered the remains of a Roman villa buried, which is being conserved by leaving it buried. When you look over the beach from Calypso Cave (where legend has it that the nimf Calypso entertained Homerus for years..), you can see a submerged rocky wall; this was built by the Knights of Malta, to deter roaming pirates from landing on the beach. In winter, Ramla is still popular as a place for a nice (sometimes quit windy) afternoon walk. A statue dedicated to Our Lady of Hope guards over the families and visitors of the beach.
Blue Lagoon (Sandy)
The Blue Lagoon in Comino is arguably one of the most photographed spots in Malta. This slice of a beach resembles a small part of paradise, with it’s crystal clear blue waters and white sand. As such it is located between the island of Comino and Cominotto, a rock shaped island, and is ideal for snorkelling and swimming in summer. Please do note that it is one of the most popular places on the islands and can get very very crowded. If you like more quiet areas, I would suggest Santa Maria Bay or Crystal Lagoon, located on different parts of Comino. Santa Maria Bay is located on the other side of Comino, whilst Crystal Lagoon can be reached most easily by boat, or after a good 25 minute walk and descent down into the bay, next to Blue Lagoon. If you like snorkelling, Crystal Lagoon may be one of the best spots to do so on Comino. Across the Lagoon, you can enjoy beautiful views of rocks, sand, fish and animal life underwater, or even access the shallow cave that you can find here too.
Ghajn Tuffieha (Sandy)
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, also known as Riviera, is a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by clay slopes and cliffs located in the North West of Malta. This beach is only accessible via a flight of 200 stairs starting at the car park, which can be a quite interesting climb, especially during the (hot hot) summer months. However, the trek is definitely worth it! Ghajn Tuffieha is smaller than Golden Bay, which makes the beach extra popular with locals and tourist visiting Malta, who want to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing environment.
The beach has the basic facilities that you would need for a long day on the beach, such as sun chairs, umbrellas and a small snack bar. Ghajn Tuffieha is safe for swimming but experiences strong currents when the wind blows from the northwest, so I advise caution when the red flag of the life guards is up. Ghajn Tuffieha has one of the most spectacular sunset views in Malta which are worth staying late for.
Mellieha Bay or also called Ghadira, is located in the north of the main island Malta, and stretches over a good 800m coastline. As it gently slopes down into deeper waters, this beach is often visited by families, until late in the night, first for swimming and sunbathing, and later on for BBQ’s on the beach. Plenty of facilities (ice creams, drinks) are available as well as water sports activities can be enjoyed; examples of this are banana rides, windsurfing, sea kayaking and parasailing. In high summer, it may be better to visit this beach during the week, as it can be very crowded on Saturdays and Sundays, and thus parking becomes harder to find.
Paradise Bay (Sandy)
A small but unique bay, Paradise Bay offers a clear, not obstructed view over Gozo and Comino. With it’s shallow depts and crystal clear turquoise waters, this sandy beach is visited by locals and tourists, singles or families, alike. With plenty of facilities, there is no need to bring along a whole picnic, should you don’t feel the need to. Quite secluded this bay also offers lots of hiking and cycling options, should you be fed up of the sun or just want a more active way of spending your day.
Pretty Bay (Sandy)
Pretty Bay is a man made beach, located in the south of Malta, in Birzebuggia. This originally rocky beach is built up out of sand collected from the seabed, and gently slopes into deeper, cooler waters, which makes it ideal for families and children to play in. This beach is very well cared for, and can get quite busy in summer, with mostly locals and some tourists visiting either the beach, or the surrounding cafes and restaurants for late, lazy lunches and night time dinners. During the day, water sports are also available to be enjoyed.
Gnejna Bay (Sandy & Rocky)
Gnejna Bay not only has a beautiful sandy part but the main beach combines the sandy side with the flat rock on the right side, which is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. It forms part of series of beaches in the North West of Malta, together with Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha. In spring, this location is very popular for hiking as well (you do need decent hiking shoes here), but that comes to no surprise when you see the amazing view once you’re up the cliffs!
St. Peter’s Pool (rocky)
Although technically not a beach in the traditional sense, I really couldn’t leave this one out. St. Peter’s Pool is one of the most beautiful and stunning natural swimming pools in Malta and is located at the top of Delimara Point (southwest of Malta).
The sea here is crystal clear with bright azure and light green colors and offers great snorkelling. The flat rocks around provide sunbathing areas and the high rocks offer some shade from the sun.
Often the more adventurous bathers dive/jump into the waters from a few meters up, but don’t worry, there are ladders too to reach the sea (or get out again). One of the locals nearby is quite known for diving together with his pet Jack Russel called Titti. St. Peter’s Pool is popular with the locals and also with those looking for a quieter place to spend their day. Due to its remote location and not so great roads it’s rarely ever crowded and you can always find a spot just for yourself.
Tip: Make sure that you bring whatever you need for a day out as there are no facilities.