Crystal clear waters hug the shore, lapping at Malta’s beautiful beaches. Tantalising indeed is the featureful coastline of the Maltese Islands. Malta beaches may not stretch endlessly for miles, but every cove and every bay possesses a unique, charming and rather irresistible character. What’s more, there are a surprising number of beaches for such a small island. Malta holidays are certainly not complete without spending some time relishing the best beaches of Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Malta Beaches: What To Expect
Throughout Malta’s long hot summer, its most popular beaches are frequented by locals and tourists enjoying the crystal clear waters amid a surprising variety of landscapes. Secluded beaches, coves and pretty bays sport golden sand, red sand, white sand or a pebbly beach. The sea ranges from azure to green and everything in between. Rocky beaches, each with their unique features of rocks and caves, offer fantastic snorkelling as well as swimming. That’s not to mention the variety of water sports and diving options available; several beaches include a beach club or lido, dive shop, snack bars and restaurants.
Malta beaches are not just for the summer months – in the cooler months, many take to the Maltese coast to enjoy a trek, relax by the sea, grab a hot cocoa and take in the panoramic views. Any time you visit the Maltese Islands, we recommend you take some time to explore the best beaches in Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Best Beaches In The Maltese Islands
Most of the sandy beaches in Malta are concentrated around the north of the island, but we’ve featured a few locations worth visiting around the island of Malta too, as well as Gozo and Comino. Distances from the Azure Golden Sands resort are those given by Google Maps for the shortest driving route.
1. Feel divine in Paradise Bay, Mellieha – Malta
With its white sand and sparkling pale blue waters, it is easy to understand how Paradise Bay got its name. This Blue Flag beach* offers sunbeds, parasols, shower facilities, a shop and a reasonably priced restaurant with a good menu.
Tip: The tiny beach is considered one of Malta’s best beaches and can get rather crowded; then, take to the shade of the trees overlooking the beach.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 9.6 km
2. Armier Bay, Mellieha – Malta
Favoured by locals, Armier Bay and Little Armier are sandy beaches located on the northern tip of the island, facing Comino and Gozo. The lidos and beachside restaurants offer all facilities at reasonable prices.
Tip: Try Armier for a less crowded family day at the beach; the shallow waters are suitable for children and facilities are inexpensive.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 11.2 km
3. Mellieha Bay (Ghadira Bay), Mellieha – Malta
Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest sandy beach. This Blue Flag beach* offers all facilities, such as sunbeds, toilets and food. You can also try a variety of water sports. Be warned that this beach is very popular with the Maltese and it can get very busy.
Tip: Try Mellieha Bay for an exciting family day at the beach; the shallow waters stretching for miles make perfect swimming for children plus several water activities are available and the Popeye Village theme park is within walking distance.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 10.1 km
4. Mgiebah Bay, Mellieha – Malta
Looking for golden sand away from the crowds? The secluded Imgiebah Bay may be hard to get to but worth the trip if you enjoy having a beach almost entirely to yourself. Getting there by car is recommended. There are no facilities at all at this remote beach so go prepared with shade and refreshments.
Tip: Try a clay mask using the natural clay available here: make a clay paste, cover every inch of skin, bake in the sun to dry, wash off with a swim. Go early as the north-facing beach becomes shaded in the late afternoon.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 8.5 km
5. Golden Bay (Tal-Mixquqa), Mellieha – Malta
Adjacent to Azure Golden Sands Resort and Spa, this popular Blue Flag beach* benefits from the facilities of a modern hotel. Thereby also known as Golden Sands beach, Golden Bay‘s picturesque setting is complemented with several opportunities of relaxation or activity, from sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling to a variety of water sports.
Tip: Why not attempt a try dive with the dive shop on location? Scuba diving in Malta is an unforgettable experience with several professional diving instructors and courses available.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 240 m
6. Riviera Bay (Ghajn Tuffieha Bay), Mgarr – Malta
Another beach with golden sand, Riviera Bay is Golden Bay’s more rugged little sister. This is probably the most unspoilt Blue Flag beach*, probably due to the 100 steps that provide access to the beach. It is nonetheless well served with beach facilities.
Tip: Stay for the sunset and take home some of the most picturesque sunset photos imaginable.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 750 m
7. Gnejna Bay, Mgarr – Malta
Another beautiful sandy beach much loved by locals, Gnejna Bay lies adjacent to Riviera Bay but is only accessible by car from Mgarr. Alternatively, you can adventure a trek across the clay hills from Riviera Bay. This bay offers both sandy beach and rocky beach alternatives and some superb swimming and snorkelling.
Tip: Take a boat to ‘il-blata’ or il-Qarraba beach to get away from the crowds and spend time at truly secluded locations. Although illegal, here you may find some in the nude; be warned if you’re a prude.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 6.1 km
8. Fomm ir-Rih, Bahrija – Malta
A secluded beach that is also bare of any facilities, Fomm ir-Rih is a spectacular location. Majestic cliffs give way to a pebbly beach, rocks and some of the best snorkelling on the island. That’s not counting the glorious sunsets. A car and a trek are required to get here.
Tip: Shoot a magnificent photo of the golden hour glow on the cliffs as the sun sets into the horizon.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 7.7 km
9. St George’s Bay, St Julians – Malta
Located in St Julians, St George’s Bay is in the heart of where everything is happening in this cosmopolitan hub brimming with hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Mostly frequented by youths and the young at heart, on this trendy Blue Flag beach* you can enjoy anything from a fun paddle boat ride to a chic Aperol Spritz .
Tip: Try also the several beautiful swimming spots dotting the St Julians to Sliema Promenade, such as Exiles, Surfside, Font Ghadir and Qui Si Sana.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 17 km
10. Pretty Bay, Birzebbuga – Malta
Located at the southernmost tip of Malta, this is the only sandy beach in the area. It overlooks the Malta Freeport, which may seem strange although it’s spectacular lit up at night. In any case, with its fringe palms, beach volley and vast beach-side park lined with cafes and ice-cream parlours, this beach is the closest you’ll come to California dreaming.
Tip: Sit on the far left side of the beach to eliminate the Freeport from view if you find it unsightly.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 25.9 km
11. Ramla Bay (ir-Ramla l-Hamra) – Gozo
Named after its striking red sand, Ramla Bay is the largest and most popular beach in Gozo. Facilities include restaurants, showers and sunbed hire and the beach can be easily reached with public transport.
Tip: Trek up to Il-Mixta cave overlooking the Blue Flag beach* on the right side – the cave itself and the panoramic views are spectacular.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 22.6 km
12. San Blas Bay – Gozo
Again a smaller, more rugged version than her bigger sister Ramla Bay, San Blas is a little harder to reach but also more tranquil as a result. Accessible via a narrow road from the village of Nadur, this location at the end of a fertile valley offers an exceptional view.
Tip: The beach is worthy of the steep walk, but take one of the jeeps that operate up and down the hill in summer if you prefer to save your sweat.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 21.3 km
13. Hondoq ir-Rummien – Gozo
Here’s a pristine, picturesque sandy beach with crystal clear water that’s wonderful for swimming, snorkelling and try-dives. A small cafe offers refreshments and basic facilities that have nonetheless recently earned it Blue Flag* status.
Tip: Go weekdays to avoid the crowds of Gozitans flocking to enjoy this popular tiny beach in the weekend. Lie lazily with a book and enjoy the view of Comino and Malta.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 21 km
14. The Blue Lagoon – Comino
A holiday in Malta demands a compulsory trip to the Comino Blue Lagoon. Situated between Malta and Gozo, nestled between Comino Island and Cominotto, the Blue Lagoon is among the finest the Mediterranean can offer, with its white sand and sheltered lagoon of sparkling azure waters, it’s no wonder it has a Blue Flag* status.
Tip: High demand has somewhat spoiled this attraction during high season, but visiting remains a must and a quick trek south (direction Malta) brings you away from the crowds to the equally enchanting Crystal Lagoon and its cliffs and caves.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 15 km
15. Santa Marija Bay – Comino
Perhaps the only beach in Malta that is lined with shade-providing trees, the beauty of Santa Marija Bay is undeniable. It is located adjacent to the free camping ground and includes facilities such as showers, sunbeds and refreshments.
Tip: Trek to the nearby Santa Marija Caves, which are spectacular – they run through the cliff to the other side and include a natural indoor swimming pool! This is also one of the most popular boat dive sites.
Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 15 km
While personal preference would play a big part in a selection of the best beaches in Malta, that’s a nice mix of some of the most popular beaches and some beauties that are more secluded. However, despite a total shoreline of only 196.8 km, we could not include all the great swimming spots; some that yet deserve a mention are St Peter’s Pool, Ghar Lapsi and Qawra Point in Malta, for example. Or Xlendi, Dwejra Bay (by the Inland Sea and Blue Hole, previously the Azure Window), Mgarr ix-Xini and Wied il-Ghasri on the island of Gozo. Reach beaches in Gozo or Comino easily with ferries running from the Cirkewwa ferry terminal.
*Blue Flag Beaches
The Maltese Islands have no less than twelve blue flag beaches as at 2018. Blue flag status means that the beach fulfils thirty-two international criteria regarding sustainable beach management, safety, amenities and services.
A blue flag beach guarantees sustainable beach management related to the state of the cleanliness, commercial activities, maintenance and upkeep of the beach as well as awareness and education campaigns and activities. These include the Butts Off campaign and waste separation on beaches. In addition, the beach offers accessibility options including sand buggies and hoist chairs. A safety flag system conforming to the International Lifesaving Federation, in use worldwide, indicates bathing conditions and a lifeguard is present. Amenities such as toilets, showers, refreshments and free Wi-Fi are provided. During winter, the beach is left free of all infrastructure, allowing the elements to act naturally on the beach environment. Find out more about Blue Flag beaches on the official website of the Malta Tourism Authority.
Malta’s twelve blue flag beaches as at 2018 are St. George’s Bay, Fond Ghadir Bay, Westin Dragonara Resort, Qawra Point, Bugibba Perched Beach, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, Golden Bay, Mellieha Bay and Islands Edge Lido Beach on the island of Malta and Ramla Bay, Hondoq Bay and Marsalforn Bay on the island of Gozo.
With all this talk about beaches, we can understand if you want to see them all! But don’t overlook the other awesome things to do in Malta.