It's a common myth that Malta holidays don't actually involve any beaches, but Mellieha Bay is swift to prove that wrong. This resort and its immediate surroundings are home to a collection of sandy beaches, including the longest one on the entire island. Some feature watersports and sunloungers while others are permeated with a dash of exclusivity. Maybe it's better the masses don't know about Malta's beautiful beaches – as it means more sunbathing space for you.
Ghadira Bay is what locals most commonly refer to as Mellieha Bay. It's the longest and arguably most popular beach on the entire island of Malta, with an 800-metre-long stretch of sandy shore. It proudly flies a Blue Flag award for cleanliness, too. All of this combined means the beach can get a little busy in the summer and during weekends.
The shore slopes gently as it goes out to sea, making it shallow for a decent way out. This, coupled with the rows of sunloungers and umbrellas, plus a healthy selection of restaurants lining the back of the beach, makes it incredibly popular among sunbathers and swimmers. Ghadira Bay has its fair share of watersports, too, with gear for kayaking and windsurfing available.
Another of Malta's sandy, Blue Flag-certified beaches, Golden Bay has gained popularity due to its proximity to a luxury hotel right on its shores. It's around a 20-minute drive from Mellieha Bay and is also accessible by a public bus service.
Beach-goers here enjoy easy access to three restaurants, alongside sunlounger and umbrella hire. It's touted as being the second-largest sandy beach in Malta, though it's much quieter than Ghadira. Golden Bay also boasts incredible sunset viewing, making it popular for sundown parties and barbecues among sunset-admirers.
Located not far from Golden Bay and about a 20-minute drive from Mellieha Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay is its even quieter counterpart. Still sandy in design this beach is surrounded by rocks and untouched scenery that make for incredible hikes. There are still restaurants available to grab a drink or snack in too.
As it's a steep walk down a set of steps to the bay, it isn't easily accessible for people with mobility issues. Also, the undercurrent here can get a little fiery during the winter, so it's a good idea to keep an eye out for flags warning of potentially hazardous conditions.
Located just a 10-minute drive from Mellieha Bay on the other side of Malta's northern peninsula, Paradise Bay is small in size, but that doesn't deter sizeable crowds from seeking out its shores. The beach itself is accessed by a set of stairs leading down from the cliffside. The shores are sandy and surrounded by rocks, making it a top spot for snorkelling. Also within reach are a hotel and snack bar, plus sunloungers for hire.
Armier Bay Beach isn't often frequented by tourists and is widely considered to be a locals' beach. This isn't because holidaymakers aren't welcome, but they need to be in the know to discover it. That's because Armier Bay Beach is a little off the beaten path. Once you arrive however, its pebbled shores will quickly materialise on your radar.
Along Armier Bay Beach you'll find a collection of restaurants where you can grab a cocktail or cup of coffee and enjoy the view. The shore shelves out gently to shallow waters, making it safe for swimming. There are also pedalo boats available for hire.