The best beaches in Malta

The best beaches in Malta

The island of Malta, in the heart of the Mediterranean, is famous for its crystal-clear waters and 300 days of sunshine a year. However, contrary to popular belief, Malta actually has very few sandy beaches. The 137 km of coastline are mainly made up of steep limestone cliffs, rocky coves, and natural pools. However, there are a few sandy beaches that, although rare and discreet, are among the local treasures of the archipelago and will delight travelers in Malta looking for relaxation. The ranking of the 10 best beaches in Malta.

Planning a trip to Malta

#10 Hondoq Ir-Rummien (Qala – Gozo)

Front view of Malta beach: Hondoq Ir Rummien
Aerial view of Malta beach: Hondoq Ir Rummien
Sea view of Malta beach: Hondoq Ir Rummien

Hondoq Ir-Rummien is a small cove featuring a tiny lagoon, crystal-clear waters, and a small beach sheltered by cliffs. The beach, a mix of fine sand and small pebbles, is located on Gozo, the archipelago’s second island.

A lovely, slightly out-of-the-way beach that isn’t very crowded; however, its size does limit the number of towels on the ground, making it a favored spot for those staying in Gozo.

#9 Paradise Bay (Il-Mellieħa)

Paradise Bay Beach in winter
Paradise Bay Beach with restaurant
Paradise Bay Beach in summer

The small “Paradise Bay” and its namesake beach are located just a stone’s throw from Cirkewwa, where it is possible to take the ferry to Gozo. Paradise Bay is ideal for snorkeling beginners. The water is clear, offering the possibility to observe a variety of fish and marine life.

The beach is suitable for everyone, it is easily accessible and is equipped with a restaurant (Paradise Bay Lido) overlooking it.

#8 St George’s Bay (San Ġiljan)

St George's Bay Malta beach from the sky
St George's Bay Malta beach in spring
St George's Bay Beach side Paceville

It’s hard to miss St George’s Bay beach, or more commonly, Paceville beach. The beach is located below the most lively and notorious district of Malta.

St George’s Bay is a charming little bay perfect for swimming, but it is often overcrowded, especially during the high season, with young students from language schools and tourists from the dozens of nearby hotels. A dynamic beach ideal for young people but not recommended for families and children.

#7 Ġnejna Bay (Mġarr)

Ġnejna Bay beach with green spring surroundings
Ġnejna Bay beach empty of tourists
Ġnejna Bay beach during summer

Ġnejna Bay is a pretty bay with a fine sandy beach continuing from Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay. The beach is one of the most favored by the Maltese, who often gather there for picnics and barbecues.

A pretty beach relatively out of the way, the easiest way to get there is by car or possibly by taking one of the few buses that serve it.

#6 Golden Bay (Il-Mellieħa)

Golden Bay Beach Malta almost empty
Golden Bay Beach Malta during summer
Golden Bay Beach Malta view from the sky

Golden Bay, officially known as “Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa“, is without a doubt the most popular beach in Malta. However, it’s also the most touristy and busiest beach on the island. This includes the hundreds of vacationers from the massive Radisson complex overlooking it. Golden Bay deserves its popularity: it’s a very beautiful golden sandy beach, well-served and easy to access. In summer, to fully enjoy the beach, it’s advisable to arrive early to find a spot to lay your towel.

It’s interesting to note that Golden Bay is an exposed beach; the water can sometimes be rough, especially in winter, and the sea is also a bit murky due to the swells. An interesting fact is that the beach occasionally has small waves, between 30 cm and 1 meter, making it one of the only beaches in Malta where it’s possible to surf on rare occasions.

#5 Għadira Bay (Il-Mellieħa)

Overview of Ghadira Bay Beach
Wide view of Ghadira Bay Beach
Ghadira Bay Beach viewed from the land

Għadira Bay, also known as Mellieħa Bay, is the largest and most lively beach in Malta. It is located in the north of the island, below the famous St. Agatha’s Tower (Red Tower).

Mellieħa Beach is a multi-service beach: snacks, bars, restaurants, water sports, floating inflatable structures, sunbed and umbrella rentals, etc. It’s a beach where you can find everything except tranquility. It’s a beautiful beach, monitored during the high season, ideal for families with children.

#4 Ramla Bay (Xagħra – Gozo)

Overview of Ramla Bay Gozo Beach
Ramla Bay Beach with its red-orange sand
Side view of Ramla Bay Beach

Ramla Bay, or Ramla Bay, is the most beautiful beach in Gozo. It has retained a wild character and surprises with the color of its sand, which oscillates between copper and orange throughout the day, earning it the nickname of “the red beach”.

In the middle of the beach, you can discover the statue of the Virgin and Child, erected to protect bathers and sailors. Overlooking it is the Tal-Mixta cave, famous for its breathtaking views of the beach.

#3 Riviera Beach (Mġarr)

Riviera Beach Malta view from the sky
Riviera Beach Malta view from land
Riviera Beach with waves

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, more commonly known as Riviera Beach, is located just behind the popular Golden Bay. Riviera Beach is considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in Malta, with its ochre sand and turquoise water.

Riviera Beach is a very beautiful beach, but one that must be earned, as it is located at the bottom of a staircase of 180 steps. Access is complicated to get down to the beach, which gives it the advantage of being less crowded than neighboring beaches, but to be avoided for people with reduced mobility.

For the more adventurous, between swimming sessions, it is advisable to undertake on foot the climb of the hill overlooking Għajn Tuffieħa, an exceptional viewpoint to admire the surrounding landscape.

#2 Qarraba Bay (Mġarr)

Qarraba Bay view facing the cliff
Qarraba Bay view from above the sky
Qarraba Bay view from above the cliff

Qarraba Bay is a unique and spectacular beach in Malta, but be warned, it is very difficult to access or even inaccessible. The beach is located just behind Għajn Tuffieħa Beach, at the foot of clay slopes; there is no direct connection between the two beaches unless you slide down the hills.

The only way to access the beach is by boat or possibly by following the coast from Gnejna Beach. Do not attempt to descend the cliffs.

For the lucky ones who manage to access it, it offers a secluded setting, which will give you the impression of having your own semi-private beach, in a breathtaking environment.

#1 Blue Lagoon (Comino / Cominotto)

Blue Lagoon of Malta view from the sky
Blue Lagoon Malta with comino and cominotto
Blue Lagoon Malta small beach area with sun loungers

The Blue Lagoon (officially known as the Fliegu strait) is a small stretch of sea that separates the island of Comino from Cominotto. The Blue Lagoon is not a beach in the traditional sense, but it is bordered by two beaches: Comino Beach and Cominotto Beach. They are less than 100 meters apart by swim.

The two beaches of the Blue Lagoon are very small, only a few meters each, with fine white sand. If the Blue Lagoon’s beaches are considered the most beautiful in Malta, it is primarily because of the exceptional setting of the place, an environment that is undeniably part of the must-see visits in Malta.

A unique location with turquoise waters that give it a Caribbean or Bora-Bora vibe. However, space is limited and the site is very busy in the high season. During the summer, the site is overloaded with visitors and yachts; it’s very difficult to get a little bit of sand during the high season, but the setting remains unique and not to be missed.

Comino is easily accessible from the main island of Malta by ferry from the Ċirkewwa terminal or from Gozo Ferries if you are staying on the neighboring island. Many boat cruises are also available throughout the year to discover the beauty of the place.

Frequently Asked Questions about Beaches in Malta (FAQ)

What is the largest beach in Malta?

Mellieħa Bay (Ghadira Bay) is the largest beach in Malta. It stretches nearly 600 meters in length and can accommodate thousands of vacationers.

Which part of Malta has the most beautiful beaches?

The most beautiful beaches in Malta are mainly located in the northern part of the island. The famous beaches of Riviera Beach and Golden Bay are found in the northwest, Mellieħa Bay is located in the northeast, and Paradise Bay at the northernmost tip of the main island a short distance from the ferry terminal to Gozo.

What does the purple swimming flag mean?

The purple flag signals the presence of dangerous marine animals. The purple flag is mainly raised on the beaches of Malta when there are jellyfish in the swimming area. Some jellyfish, such as the “Mauve Stinger”, the “Portuguese man o’ war”, or the “Moon jellyfish”, are very stinging and can leave serious burns. It is advised not to swim when the purple flag is visible, and it’s better to opt for sunbathing on the sand instead.

Which beaches in Malta have lifeguard supervision?

During the summer season, from June to September, the majority of beaches in Malta are supervised. The Red and Yellow flag indicates the presence of a supervised swimming area and the presence of a lifeguard.

Are there sharks in Malta?

There are 36 species of sharks in Maltese waters, including the hammerhead shark, the blue shark, and the famous white shark. There have been no shark attacks for over 50 years, and sharks remain very far from the beaches of Malta.