Snap a mental image of a picture-postcard holiday in the Mediterranean, and no doubt the sight of clear blue waves lapping gently onto a beautiful sandy beach will be one of the first that springs to mind.
For this, Malta does not disappoint, with a considerable number of sandy beaches available across the coastline that are ideal for family fun, days out with friends or a romantic mini-break.
Here’s some of the best sandy beaches to experience in Malta and Gozo:
1) RAMLA BAY
Referred to locally as ‘Ramla il-Ħamra’, this is widely acknowledged to be Gozo’s – and possibly Malta’s – best sandy beach. The name translates to ‘red sand’, and alludes to its wide stretch of rosy sand that contrasts spectacularly with the bright turquoise water making waves next to it. With the surrounding areas largely undeveloped and protected, this makes the beach the perfect secluded paradise for swimming snorkelling or simply soaking up the sun.
2) GOLDEN BAY
Situated in front of the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands near Mellieha, the expansive sands of Golden Bay are very popular – not just with hotel guests but with locals throughout Malta, who visit with their families and friends during summer for swimming, water games in the shallows and barbeques. It is also the first in a chain of beaches in this beautiful area, together with Ghajn Tuffieha and Gnejna Bay (read on).
3) GHAJN TUFFIEHA BAY
The view of Ghajn Tuffieha will take your breath away, even before you are on the beach itself. To get down to the sand below, you’ll have to climb down over 100 steps on a hillside path, and with each step down you are able to see more of the panoramic view of the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea. Renowned as one of the best sandy and protected bays on the island, there’s few better places in Malta to watch the spectacular sunset than from here.
4) GNEJNA BAY
A popular sandy beach located within the limits of Mgarr on the North West of Malta, Gnejna Bay is the smaller, less crowded but no less beautiful last chain in the row of beaches alongside Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha. Its famously unspoiled and totally clear waters offer very good snorkeling opportunities, whilst the orange sand is ideal for a spot of secluded sunbathing.
5) MELLIEHA BAY
Also known as Ghadira Bay, the vast sandy beach at Mellieha Bay is one of the most beautiful and most popular in Malta. It boosts a unique combination of glorious sands, shallow clear water which extends out for around 50 metres, and then deeper waters that accommodate a variety of water sports. Couple all this with the fact that it does not have any underwater currents and very rarely has rough seas, and Mellieha Bay becomes the obvious location of choice for a family-friendly day on the beach.
6) THE BLUE LAGOON
Remember that mental image of a perfect Mediterranean holiday destination, complete with white sandy beach and crystal blue water? That place really exists, at the Blue Lagoon in Comino (the tiny almost-uninhabited island between Malta and Gozo). As the mythical name suggests, this uniquely beautiful spot features two small sandy beaches on each side of the bay, that stretch into the bluest, clearest water imaginable. Bathing-friendly shallows lead out into open water, and exhibit an array of colourful marine life and underwater caves ideal for snorkelling.
If you’re looking for somewhere that’s a little less crowded, check out our list of Malta’s Hidden Beaches. Our Guide To Public Transport in Malta will help you get around!
Oh, and if you’re looking for a great, central place to stay during your trip to Malta, you can’t go wrong with the Radisson Blu Resort, St. Julian’s!