The islands of Malta and Gozo, situated in the Mediterranean Sea between the island of Sicily and North Africa, are renowned for being peaceful and idyllic. They perfectly embody the images that come to mind when we hear about sandy beaches, crisp blue ocean, and perfect uninterrupted skies.
It is no surprise then that so many tourists flock to the Maltese islands every year for their holidays. Not only do the islands look absolutely gorgeous once you are there but they also host one of the most unique and undervalued cultures in Europe.
Owing to its position and its history, the Maltese islands incorporate both European and African elements into their culture and architecture. The naturally beautiful, pristine beaches are just a short walk from some of the most wonderful and unique buildings to be found in the vicinity of Europe.
It is on the beaches of Malta and Gozo where their true beauty and potential is to be found, however. Whether you are looking for some nice scenery to take in as you explore or you plan on exploring the deep blue ocean that surrounds the islands, you will not be disappointed.
There are numerous scuba diving spots located just off the coast of the Maltese Islands, but there is plenty to see and do on land as well. In this article, we take a look at just some of what Malta’s beaches have to offer the average traveller.
Anchor Bay is one of the more famous Maltese beaches, owing to the presence of Popeye Village, the movie set built for the 1979 film adaptation starring Robin Williams. The set still remains there to this day and is now open as a tourist attraction.
The bay itself is a relatively isolated area and with most of the tourism directed at Popeye Village, there is plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area and find a nice quiet spot for a picnic. There is an activity centre near the film set where children can play.
Anchor Bay is still active as a bay used by fisherman. Not only is the bay itself beautiful and picturesque, the whole scene captures the beating heart of the traditional fishing industry, which is still going strong in Malta today. Not only do visitors regularly witness fishing boats coming in and out, there are also often fisherman perched on the quayside, fishing in the cool aquamarine waters.
Located at the Northern edge of the island of Malta, Armier Bay is a great place to experience Maltese culture. The beach itself consists of a sandy bay which looks out towards the other nearby Maltese islands of Gozo and Comino.
In addition to the bay itself, there are a number of bars and restaurants along the promenade, which offer a range of dining options. The advantage of Armier Bay over some of Malta’s other beaches is that its relatively remote and rural location means that it is generally quite peaceful and quiet.
The waters of the bay are safe for swimming. It is vital, however, that whenever swimming in new waters you exercise the utmost caution, and remember; if the locals don’t do it then neither should you! In fact, owing to the North winds that the bay is exposed to it can experience sudden swells in water levels.
The area surrounding the beach is perfect for picnics and barbecues, just be sure to take all your rubbish with you so as not to spoil the beauty of the place and use freestanding barbecue equipment to mitigate the fire hazard and damage to the scenery.
Dwerja is home to what is arguably Gozo’s most famous natural landmark. This striking rock formation features a naturally formed archway visible above the water. Beneath the surface are some of the island’s renowned underwater cave networks, which have proved highly popular with divers from around the world for many years now.
If you are interested in geology then Dwerja bay is an essential port of call during your stay. Similarly, if you are a keen diver then the bay is one of the best spots around for divers of all skill levels. Check out things to do in Gozo for more ideas of things to do on the island.
There are two beaches, both of them sandy, located at Paradise Bay. One is simply known as Paradise Bay; the other is part of the nearby Paradise Bay Hotel. The bay itself is located on the Northernmost tip of Malta, where the ferry service which runs between Malta and Gozo can regularly be observed from the beach.
Paradise Bay is a fantastic spot for those who want to get away from the more crowded tourist areas and experience some of what the island has to offer in relative peace and tranquillity.
From the shores of Paradise Bay, another of the Maltese Islands, Comino, is visible. In fact, you can see one of Comino’s most famous landmarks, which is a large tower. It looks imposing, even from the shores of Malta! The crystal-clear waters of Paradise Bay are perfectly safe to swim in and the gentle tides make it suitable for children.
Pretty Bay will not be to everyone’s tastes. It has developed in recent times into one of the more prominent tourist resorts, but this transformation is recent enough that there is still quite a lot of space and it is not too overcrowded.
Pretty Bay has long been popular with the locals, and with Maltese people looking for a getaway within the boundaries of the island. It is now flourishing as a tourist destination and it’s easy to see why because its beaches are picture perfect and a big draw for local businesses.
The beach is not naturally sandy. Maltese holidaymakers used to enter the water straight from the rocks on shore, but the bay was artificially filled with sand some years ago and since then the beach has proven to be very popular. In fact, it is now one of the largest sandy beaches in the whole of Malta. It is situated right next to the town centre, making it an excellent place to visit and get some shopping done.
Slug’s bay is one of the smaller beaches on Malta. It is nice and secluded, however, and is a really wonderful place to explore. If you have children with you then you should consider investing in some basic crabbing equipment because the numerous rock pools along the shore offer up a whole world of curious creatures.
In order to experience the most of this beach, you will have to navigate some large rocks. While this is easily doable you should be extra careful if you have children; slow and steady wins the race! Because the bay is not immediately accessible by either land or water, most of it is in pristine condition, completely undisturbed by either locals or tourists. This makes it an excellent site to do some photography, and also to experience the beauty of a truly untouched piece of nature.
The White Tower, as this beach is known, is another of Malta’s Northern beaches, which faces the Isle of Gozo. There is a couple of miles of sandy beach, followed by a rocky beach. The bay takes its name from the presence of a small tower. The original fortifications around the area were built by the Knights of St. John, an important part of Maltese history and culture.
Both Malta and Gozo have plenty to offer on their coastlines, from pristine, picturesque beaches, to cafes and restaurants serving authentic Maltese cuisine. If you visit the Islands be sure to check out these beaches.
Elena is a keen traveller and self-professed adventurer. She has ample experience of the various things to do in Gozo and regularly writes about her travelling exploits on travel blogs. She works as a resident writer for atlantisgozo.com.