Malta has beaches for everyone, from windsurfers to sunbathers. Choose from golden sand, red sand, rocks, blue lagoons and even inland seas.
Anchor Bay is perhaps most known for Popeye Village, the set of the 1979 film starring Robin Williams as Popeye. After more than three decades, Popeye's Sweethaven village still occupies the craggy slopes of Anchor Bay, a relatively isolated cove just one kilometre west of Mellieħa. The village film set is a tourist attraction and often used as an activity centre. This tiny picturesque inlet is also used by fishermen who perch on the little quay left by the film set. A steep slope lead down to the bay. Although the waters here are generally calm, the bay is suitable only for good swimmers.
The beach at Armier stretches round the shore of an open bay at the extreme northern fringe of Malta. The sandy bay faces the nearby islands of Comino and Gozo. Bars and small restaurants provide the necessary beach facilities but since the area is rural, there are no hotels or tourist establishments nearby. Although it is generally safe for swimming, Armier Beach can be subject to rough swells because it is exposed to north winds. Armier is also popular for picnics and barbecues. If you barbecue, please ensure you leave the spot clean for bathers the next day and that you have free-standing barbecue equipment.
Pretty Bay is the sandy beach in the town of Birżebbuġa - a small but flourishing seaside resort not far from Marsaxlokk in southeast Malta. It has been a popular bathing spot for Maltese holiday-makers for decades. Up to some years ago, sand was virtually non-existent and bathers took to the water from the flat rocks or from specially built platforms on the shoreline. In more recent years, the bay was artificially filled with sand recovered from the sea during dredging works for a nearby project. Pretty Bay is now one of the largest sandy beaches on the island. It lies right in the town centre so there are plenty of shops and restaurants along the coastline. The bay is a good venue for water sports such as windsurfing.
Bugibba and Qawra
Qawra and neighbouring Buġibba are Malta's largest, seaside resort towns. The coastline promenade stretches from Salina Bay to St. Paul's Bay taking in some of the Islands' best open sea views and a vista over to St. Paul's Island. The shore is rocky, but that has not prevented the resorts' appeal. The flat rocks provide places for sun bathing and there are access points every so often for swimmers. The water is deep and generally clean, clear and safe for bathing. The Qawra promontory to the northwest has been developed into a distinct resort with hotels along the coastline
Mellieħa Bay is the largest beach of thirteen pocket beaches around Mellieħa. It is a sheltered beach between two headlands and is situated on the Northern part of the Island. Its sand has a low gradient slope and together with its clear, shallow water makes it the most popular family beach on the island. Mellieħa Bay has most facilities and services including restaurants and two hotels. Some parts of the bay are designated for water sports and wind surfing. Beach management is operated between June and September by the Malta Tourism Authority with the cooperation of Mellieħa Local Council. It includes the services of lifeguards, a small First Aid clinic, two beach supervisors and a number of persons in charge of beach maintenance. It is an accessible beach furnished with a mobile toilet, wheelchair access and special sand wheelchair buggies for physically impaired bathers. In 2011 the beach was awarded a Beach of Quality Award. Mellieħa Bay has an old castle perched on one side while the old village of Mellieħa is situated high on the opposite side. The hinterland of Mellieħa Bay was once an important salt flat and wetland, known as L-Għadira. It is now a Nature Reserve that boasts of indigenous flora and fauna, and is popular with bird watchers who study local and migratory birds. Mellieħa Bay is also referred to as L-Għadira.
Ġnejna Bay is located close to the rural village of Mġarr. Possibly not quite as popular as neighbouring Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa, and as a result less crowded, this bay provides you with the option of choosing a quieter spot on beach. A long and somewhat rough walk along the right hand side of the beach takes you to an area that is popular with the more adventurous bathers. By the right hand side of the main sandy beach, there is also a stretch of flat rock ideal for sunbathing, if you prefer to avoid the sand. Some facilities are available, including watersports rentals.
Għajn Tuffieħa is a popular sandy beach nestling below hills and an unusually-shaped promontory. It is unspoilt and undeveloped, yet has the facilities you need to enjoy a day on the beach sun lounger and umbrella hire, pedallos and a small snack bar. The beach can only be reached down a steep flight of steps or by a gravel track. The hillside behind is a designated natural park. The foundation managing the hillside has planted tamarisk and samphire to prevent further erosion at this beautiful natural bay. Għajn Tuffieħa's location means it is not usually as crowded as its neighbour, Golden Bay. However its fine sand and rural surroundings make it the more alluring. The beach is generally safe for swimming but it is prone to strong currents when the wind is to the north-west. A red flag indicates when bathing should be limited to the shallow waters only. A headland to the west side of the bay separates this beach from Ġnejna Bay. All the area is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) due to unique geological features. Għajn Tuffieħa Bay is managed by the NGO, GAIA Foundation. Beach management includes the services of a lifeguard and safety ropes affixed along the bay. In 2011 the beach was awarded a Beach of Quality award and for 2012. Tip: Linger on after most bathers leave for home and enjoy the best time on the beach - the spectacular sunsets.
Golden Bay is one of Malta's most popular sandy beaches. Despite this accolade, it is set among countryside and is relatively undeveloped. It has easy access making it Golden Bay suitable for the less mobile or those with small children.Golden Bay has the facilities you need for the day - a cafe-restaurant, sun lounger and umbrella hire, and plenty of fun water sports from jet skiing and paragliding to banana boat rides. The atmosphere here is both chic and family fun. As the second largest sandy beach in Malta, there is usually room for games. The spectacular sunsets here have made the beach a popular spot for evening barbecues. Beach management is operated by the Malta Tourism Authority from 15th June to 15th September. Lifeguards and other beach staff are present daily during this period. The beach is generally safe for swimming but it is prone to strong currents when the wind is to the north-west. A red flag indicates when bathing should be limited to shallow waters only.The bay forms part of Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park and a Natura 2000 site.
Paradise Bay and Paradise Bay Hotel Beach are two sandy beaches at the northernmost tip of the island, close to the quay where the Gozo ferry operates a shuttle service daily for Gozo. This hotel beach is a quiet spot that offers tranquillity - a getaway with a view of a busy environment in the distance. The beach also offers a good view of the island of Comino with its imposing tower. It is open to the public as well as for hotel residents. The water is crystal clear and ideal for family relaxation.Paradise Bay Hotel Beach was awarded a Beach of Quality award in 2012.
St. George's Bay
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, bars and shops of St. Julian's.
Sliema is one of Malta's main coastal resort towns and a heartland for shopping, entertainment and cafe life. The long stretch of rocky coastline that goes from from Qui-si-Sana all the way to St. Julian's is thronged with sunbathers during the peak summer months. Steps and handrails placed every so often allow easy access to the water. There are plenty of flat rocks to spread a towel on. The sea here is deep, and generally clean, clear and safe to swim. It is also excellent for snorkelling. Some hotels along the front, especially at the St. Julian's end, provide beach concessions equipped with pools, water sports and lido areas for nightlife. The favourite beach areas are: the Tigne area, Qui si-Sana, Għar id-Dud, the Exiles and Fond Għadir. Some are well-known lidos or beach clubs with public access.
In peak summer the Sliema beaches become a very sociable, lively place to be by mid-afternoon. The promenade is excellent for long, striding walks in winter, slow strolls on summer evenings and for watching the spectacular waves during freak autumn storms. You will find plenty of snack bars and restaurants on the coast road and kiosks near the shoreline.
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