You might be surprised to know that there are only a handful of sandy beaches on Malta.
Most of the coastline is actually covered by rocks and only in a few bays will you find short stretches of sand.
During the summer then, as you might expect, the few beaches to be found are pretty packed -- even on weekdays.
In the beginning of November though, with the weather still plenty warm enough to enjoy the sun and sand, those beaches are almost all yours for the taking. Especially early in the morning.
And if you're a swimmer the opportunities are everywhere.
Malta's Best Beaches - St George's Bay
Most of the beaches in Malta are in the north of the Island and on the sister islands of Gozo and Comino.
However, if you are staying at the Corinthia or Baystreet Hotels you have a beach within a few hundred meters away at St. George’s Bay.
The beach is only around 100 meters long and can be packed with people. But if you go there before noon, while the party goers of Paceville are still in their beds, you can enjoy the beach without too much hassle.
As with the other major beaches you can rent umbrellas and deck chairs and shopping facilities are nearby.
Malta's Best Beaches - Golden Bay
The most popular beach among locals is Golden Bay on Malta’s West coast, about 30 minutes by taxi from St. Julian's.
It's situated beautifully between two large rock formations and the sand is – as the name suggests – golden. Rent an umbrella and spread out your beach towel and you will enjoy this place for a long time.
There are a few bars and restaurants here where you can fill up your stomach. You can also try water sports like jet skiing, paragliding or a banana boat ride.
Across the island from Golden Bay lies Mellieha Bay, Malta’s largest beach. It is a very popular spot for tourists since there are plenty of hotels and holiday centers in the area so it quickly gets packed here during the summer.
One part of the beach is designated for water sports such as windsurfing and jet skiing and there is a special zone for swimming.
Mellieha Bay might not be the most picturesque beach on Malta but it has plenty of facilities and is easily accessible.
One of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions is the Blue Lagoon of Comino, the small island between Gozo and the main island of Malta.
The crystal clear blue water has made the lagoon world famous and it is a pure delight to swim here.
The small stretch of sand is always filled up with deck chairs and umbrellas so you have to buy yourself a (very small) spot on the beach, but you can also spread out your towel on the surrounding rock faces. From there will you also have a great view of the lagoon.
While the other beaches are accessible by car do you have to take either a ferry from Sliema (close to St. Julians) or the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal to get to the Blue Lagoon. This is a day trip so save this beach for sometime when you have most of the day available.
Malta's Sand-Free Beaches
If you don't require sand between your toes to go the beach there are plenty of opportunities to hit the wate on Malta and right in St. Julian's.
The locals normally resort to the rocky beaches where you can soak up the sun after taking a dip and the water might even be cleaner here.
You can go to the area behind The Hilton Hotel or to the small pier close to Hotel Cavalieri.
Useful tips for beachgoers:
- Jellyfish are a common occurrence near Maltese beaches and give a painful sting. On this site can you see which beaches are free of jellyfish.
- The sea water is very salty so bring some drinking water with you for when you come up; also to flush your eyes.
- Malta is generally a great destination for snorkelling (and diving) so it might be worth getting yourself a kit (about €10-15).
- Be aware of jellyfish when you swim but don't worry about sharks – the last shark attack in Maltese waters was in 1956.