Malta may only have a small number of beaches, but the resort of St Julian's offers a handful of coastal spots to keep sun-thirsty visitors on package holidays to Malta content. In Malta, the locals tend to call anywhere with direct access to the water a beach. That just means that while some are sandy, others are flat rock faces nestled up against the water – to sunbathe here, you'll sometimes have to get a little creative.
In an effort to bolster its number of sandy beaches and encourage more people to choose Malta holidays, the Maltese shipped in sand from abroad and thus, St George's Bay was born. It's small in size compared to other big beaches in the Mediterranean, but still sees its fair share of crowds in the summertime. That's because it presents such a picturesque scene.
Think of St George's Bay as being the small end of a rectangle that forms the bay, with cliffs stacked high. There are hotels jutting out on either side and the vast Mediterranean straight ahead, lined with boats bobbing out to sea. It also flies a highly-coveted Blue Flag for cleanliness.
The outlying rocks keep the bay sheltered even in windier conditions, and shallow waters mean there's almost no bad time to hit the waves. There are watersport rentals available here too, including speed boats and kayaks that allow you to see the coastline from afar.
St George's Bay cosies up right alongside Paceville, Malta's party district, so you'll most likely see an overflow of party-goers here. If you walk a little further inland, that's where you'll find a selection of bars and restaurants. Its central location also means it's a popular spot for young people to gather come sundown.
We wouldn't call Balluta Bay your classic beach - although you're definitely able to access the water from many points along this stretch of coast. There aren't any sandy or pebbled shores, but rather an amphitheatre-style set of rocks that are accessible when the tide is low enough. The water is especially clear here, tinged with striking hints of green.
The skyline bordering Balluta Bay is flanked by historic architecture characteristic of Malta, as well as the popular Balluta Square. It's a top spot to grab a coffee and soak in the view. Below the surface of Balluta Bay, this area is particularly well known for its snorkelling and scuba diving potential. For those looking to sunbathe, the rocks also provide just enough room to stretch your towel out on.
Another beach that doesn't quite fit the same bill as those you might imagine, Sliema Beach runs along the whole of the resort of Sliema's three kilometre-long promenade.
It's a rocky stretch of coast embedded with metal railings that allow sunbathers to safely lower themselves into the water below. For this reason, it's a good idea to bring water shoes when trekking across these rocks - as well as a towel if your plan is to stretch out and sunbathe.
Sliema Beach is just a 20-minute walk or five-minute drive from St Julian's, and swimmers here should be advised that the drop into the water is straight down without much seabed. It's great for snorkelling and diving but less so for little holidaymakers who aren't confident swimmers. If you do take the plunge, there are a range of cafes, restaurants and bars nearby for mid-afternoon breaks.