At barely more than 300 square kilometers, the Southern European archipelago of Malta is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated nations. Throughout history, this tiny country has served great strategic importance and to date boasts nine UNESCO world heritage sites, including the oldest free-standing structure in the world – the Megalithic Temples.
Fast forward to present day where tourists the world over know Malta for its ideal, subtropical Mediterranean climate and breathtaking beaches. The latter dot the chain of islands across a multitude of idyllic coves and bays with beautifully rugged and natural surroundings. The list is vast and varied, but here we capture our top five favorite Malta beaches.
#1: Ghajn Tuffieha, Golden Bay
Literally (and appropriately) translated to mean “the Apple’s Eye”, Ghajn Tuffieha is directly adjacent to Golden Bay – one of Malta’s most popular and crowded beaches. Unlike its neighbor, visitors must earn the views of this relatively unspoiled, undeveloped beach via a series of 180 steps down to the sand. Due to its somewhat restricted access and stronger ocean currents, families with children tend to shy away. Visitors are almost exclusively singles, couples and hardcore watersports enthusiasts (surfers, jetskiers, paragliders, etc.).
#2: Dwejra, Dwejra Bay
Located on the island of Gozo, Dwejra is the perfect base for just about any beach-goer activity. Snorkel, dive, or just soak up the rays far away from the stifling tourist crowds. Perfectly centered on the Inland Sea (an idyllic lagoon perfect for snorkeling and exploring) and the Azure Window (a massive, natural rock formation) this protected heritage park is one of the most breathtaking in all of Malta. Divers travel the world over to explore its many destination-worthy sites, including the famous Blue Hole and the Chimney.
#3: Imgiebah, Mgiebah Bay
To truly get off the beaten path – way off the beaten path – take a drive to Imgiebah, Mgiebah Bay. Located near Selmun, this is a remote gem far removed from the Malta’s tourist crowds. Bring a recent map, be prepared to leave your car and scale a small cliff to reach this little bit of paradise. Surrounded by stunning, unspoiled natural accents, it provides an excellent spot for snorkeling, relaxing and other solo activities.
#4: Ramla Bay, Gozo
Literally translated from the Maltese for “Red Sands”, Ramla il-Hamra is the largest and most popular sand beach on the island of Gozo. Its popularity is a true testament to its natural beauty as it is surrounded on all sides by large, rocky outcrops and vast, bamboo-laden sand dunes. The plush sand and shallow, crystal clear waters provide an ideal spot for watersports enthusiasts, families and every manner of beach-goer in between.
#5: Paradise Bay
Located in the most Northern part of Malta just a few short minutes from smaller Ghadira Bay is one of the nation’s most picturesque beaches, Paradise Bay. Flanked on both sides by beautiful, natural rock formations, visitors are afforded magnificent ocean views. It’s a secluded stretch of sand most popular with younger crowds and weekend beach party-goers. It’s an ideal place to take a relaxing dip, a long, romantic walk across its lovely sands, or take in an hour of snorkeling.
What are your favorite Malta beaches? Let us know in the comments section below!