Anchor Bay, limits of Mellieħa, Malta
Anchor Bay is perhaps most known for Popeye Village, the set of the 1979 film starring Robin Williams as Popeye. After more than three decades, Popeye’s Sweethaven village still occupies the craggy slopes of Anchor Bay, a relatively isolated cove just one kilometre west of Mellieħa. The village film set is a tourist attraction and often used as an activity centre. This tiny picturesque inlet is also used by fishermen who perch on the little quay left by the film set. A steep slope lead down to the bay. Although the waters here are generally calm, the bay is suitable only for good swimmers.
Anchor Bay Lido
Anchor Bay, limits of Mellieħa, Malta
Armier, limits of Mellieħa, Malta
The beach at Armier stretches round the shore of an open bay at the extreme northern fringe of Malta. The sandy bay faces the nearby islands of Comino and Gozo. Bars and small restaurants provide the necessary beach facilities but since the area is rural, there are no hotels or tourist establishments nearby. Although it is generally safe for swimming, Armier Beach can be subject to rough swells because it is exposed to north winds. Armier is also popular for picnics and barbecues. If you barbecue, please ensure you leave the spot clean for bathers the next day and that you have free-standing barbecue equipment.
Birżebbuġa is a flourishing, but small, seaside resort not far from Marsaxlokk in south-east Malta. Its shoreline hugs St. George’s although the sandy beach is known as Pretty Bay. It has been a popular bathing spot for Maltese holiday-makers for decades.
Sand was non-existent and bathers took to the water from the flat rocks or from specially built platforms on the shoreline. In more recent years, the bay was artificially filled with sand recovered from the sea during dredging works for the nearby Freeport. Pretty Bay is now considered a sandy beach. It lies right in the town centre so there are plenty of shops and restaurants along the coastline. Outside Pretty Bay, towards St. George’s Bay, you’ll find a rocky shore ideal for sun bathing and snorkeling. St. George’s Bay is a lovely inlet used by local fishermen who moor their boats there. The bay is a good venue for water sports such as windsurfing. Next to the small chapel of St. George’s are some prehistoric cart ruts.
Blue Lagoon, Comino
On the tiny island of Comino you will find the sheltered, dazzlingly blue waters of this small inlet, which has appeared on screen many times, most recently for a diving scene featuring Madonna in Swept Away and a spearfishing scene set in ancient times for the mini-series Helen of Troy.
Boat trips from Gozo and Malta to Comino enable you to take a dip in the lagoon. Also on Comino is St. Mary’s Tower, which is featured in The Count of Monte Cristo.
St. Paul’s Bay, Malta
Buġibba and Qawra are Malta’s largest, seaside resort towns. The coastline promenade stretches from Salina Bay to St. Paul’s Bay, taking in some of the Islands’ best open sea views and a vista over to St. Paul’s Island.
The shore is rocky, but that has not prevented the resorts’ appeal. The flat rocks provide places for sun bathing and there are access points every so often for swimmers. The water is deep, but generally clean, clear and safe for bathing. The Qawra promontory to the northwest has been developed into a distinct resort with hotels along the coastline and numerous holiday apartments just inland. Salina Bay takes its name from the salt pans cut in inner segment of this sea inlet. The water on both verges of the bay is not deep but is quite suitable for swimming off the rocks. The bay is very popular throughout the summer.
Limits of Mġarr, Malta
Għajn Tuffieħa is a popular sandy beach nestling below hills and an unusually-shaped promontory. It is unspoilt and undeveloped, yet has the facilities you need to enjoy a day on the beach sun lounger and umbrella hire, pedallos and a small snack bar.
The beach can only be reached down a steep flight of steps or by a gravel track. The hillside behind is a designated natural park. The foundation managing the hillside has planted tamarisk and samphire to prevent further erosion at this beautiful natural bay. Għajn Tuffieħa’s location means it is not usually as crowded as its neighbour, Golden Bay. However its fine sand and rural surroundings make it the more alluring. The beach is generally safe for swimming but it is prone to strong currents when the wind is to the north-west. A red flag indicates when bathing should be limited to the shallow waters only.
Limits of Mġarr, Malta
Ġnejna Bay is located close to the rural village of Mġarr. Possibly not quite as popular as neighbouring Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa, and as a result less crowded, this bay provides you with the option of choosing a quieter spot on beach.
A long and somewhat rough walk along the right hand side of the beach takes you to an area that is popular with the more adventurous bathers. By the right hand side of the main sandy beach, there is also a stretch of flat rock ideal for sunbathing, if you prefer to avoid the sand. Some facilities are available, including watersports rentals.
Limits of Mellieħa, Malta
Golden Bay is one of Malta’s most popular sandy beaches. Despite this accolade, it is set among countryside and is relatively undeveloped. It has easy access making it Golden Bay suitable for the less mobile or those with small children. Golden Bay has the facilities you need for the day – a cafe-restaurant, sun lounger and umbrella hire, and plenty of fun water sports from jet skiing and paragliding to banana boat rides. The atmosphere here is both chic and family fun.
Mellieħa Bay is the largest beach of thirteen pocket beaches around Mellieħa. It is a sheltered beach between two headlands and is situated on the Northern part of the Island.
Its sand has a low gradient slope and together with its clear, shallow water makes it the most popular family beach on the island. Mellieħa Bay has most facilities and services including restaurants and two hotels. Some parts of the bay are designated for water sports and wind surfing. Beach management is operated between June and September by the Malta Tourism Authority with the cooperation of Mellieħa Local Council. It includes the services of lifeguards, a small First Aid clinic, two beach supervisors and a number of persons in charge of beach maintenance. It is an accessible beach furnished with a mobile toilet, wheelchair access and special sand wheelchair buggies for physically impaired bathers.
Limits of Mellieħa, Malta
Paradise Bay and Paradise Bay Hotel Beach are two sandy beaches at the northernmost tip of the island, close to the quay where the Gozo ferry operates a shuttle service daily for Gozo. This hotel beach is a quiet spot that offers tranquillity – a getaway with a view of a busy environment in the distance. The beach also offers a good view of the island of Comino with its imposing tower. It is open to the public as well as for hotel residents. The water is crystal clear and ideal for family relaxation. Paradise Bay Hotel Beach was awarded a Beach of Quality award in 2012.
Limits of Xagħra, Gozo
Ramla is Gozo’s largest sandy bay and one of the most beautiful on the Maltese Islands. The beach here is of a deep, reddish-gold hue. The bay is surrounded by countryside and nestles below steep terraced hills and the mythical Calypso’s Cave.
The area is excellent walking country. Swimming here is safe and the waters are clear and clean. There are some smooth, underwater boulders a few metres out in the central strip, but these are easily negotiated. On windy days, white surf rolling on the sand is an added attraction and fun for young bathers. The best approach to the bay is from Nadur or Xagħra, down a bamboo-lined valley. The road from Marsalforn, via Calypso’s Cave, is rather steep and rough though it is passable by car.
St. George’s Bay
St. Julian’s, Malta
A recent major improvement on the previous tiny patch of sand that used to be St. George’s Bay, this beach is now larger and properly managed.
Facilities are available, and one is less than a minute’s walk from the restaurants, bars and shops of St. Julian’s.
St. Marija Bay
Santa Marija Bay, Comino
This is one of the most popular bathing spots on Comino, a 3.5 square kilometer island renowned for its crystal clear waters.
The tiny isle of Comino is the perfect hideaway. Named after the cumin herb once grown here, Comino is the perfect retreat – carefree and car-free. Comino has been put to different uses over the centuries by the Islands’ various rulers. It was inhabited in the Roman period, but did not have much significance until the Knights arrived. It then had a dual role as a hunting and recreational ground and as part of the coastal watch tower defence of the Islands. Together with the isle’s other bays – St. Nicholas and the famed Blue Lagoon – this bay makes Comino the ideal choice for many water sports, especially diving and snorkeling. Comino is worth a visit all year round. In winter, it is ideal for walkers and photographers.
The delightful sea inlet, known as Xlendi Bay, lies at the end of a deep, lush ravine, which was once a river bed.
Until the mid-20th century, Xlendi was a small fishing port and a restful summer resort for a few locals and Maltese. The bay is now on the must-visit list of most day-trippers to the Island, but it is worthwhile lingering a night or two to enjoy the sunsets. Bathing in Xlendi is usually off the rocks along the bay with access down ladder into the deep crystal clear water.