The beaches in Malta tend to be dramatic, rocky and sea-sculpted, with fewer soft and sandy curves of Mediterranean coastline than you might expect. Despite this, the Maltese make the most of every swimming spot, and on these compact islands, water sports abound, and you’re never far from the sea.
With crystalline waters, historic wrecks, and interesting underwater formations, Malta is also Europe’s best diving destination, but even snorkeling from the island nation’s coastline offers a remarkable insight into an underwater world.
Whether you’re keen on splashing around in the waves, spending an afternoon relaxing on the sand, or enjoying a leisurely lunch of local seafood, here are the beaches to head to in Malta, and its smaller sister islands of Gozo and Comino.
View the Lonely Planet top 9 beaches in Malta here.The best beaches in Gozo and their pros & cons
It’s no secret that Gozo offers some of the best beaches to visit. Unlike main island Malta, where beaches can get crowded pretty quickly in summer, beaches in Gozo rarely get too busy at this time of the year.
If you’re considering staying in Gozo or planning a day trip to Malta’s sister island, here are a few personal suggestions for the best beaches around. Quiet, few man-built structures and clean.
Ramla l-Hamra is the largest and most popular (sandy) beach in Gozo, and for good reason. With an almost red-coloured sand, and surrounded by mostly undeveloped countryside it’s an obvious favourite for both locals and tourists alike. It’s clean, there’s plenty of space for sunbathers and its shallow waters and easy access makes for a very family-friendly beach.
If you plan to visit Gozo, this beach should be at the top of your list.
- Sandy beach
- Family-friendly, easy to reach
- Blue Flag certified beach, with lifeguards and several facilities available
- Gozo’s largest bay, largely untouched by man
- Suitable mostly to those who are spending their holidays in Gozo rather than Malta
- Some parts of the shoreline are littered with pebbles, which can make entry to the water a little tricky. It’s a minor inconvenience, however.
San Blas Bay
San Blas Bay is a beautiful little beach on the North coast of Gozo, which isn’t particularly difficult to reach but which discourages people who aren’t in very good shape to head down there. It’s not necessarily getting there that requires being in shape physically, it’s the steep hill climb that forms the biggest challenge.
Pluck up some courage and make your way down, it’s well worth it. Clean, clear waters, secluded and only blemished by the small structure of a kiosk selling some drinks and snacks. Public transport (buses 304 – quickest – or 302) will take you to the top of the hill at San Blas, at the limits of the nearby village of Nadur. You’ll need a 15 min walk down to the beach.
- Beautiful, largely untouched and red sandy beach
- A few amenities are around for your comfort
- Can be tricky to get to, and even trickier to climb back up the hill after your visit.
Dwejra (Inland Sea)
Dwejra Bay is located near the little village of San Lawrenz on the island of Gozo and is one of Malta’s most spectacular natural landmarks. On the rocky coastline, once the famous site of the breathtaking Azure Window (before its collapse in 2017), you can find interesting features like Fungus rock and the Blue Hole, which is a popular diving site as well.
The “Inland Sea” is a shallow inland lagoon with a small pebbled beach and is a peaceful little oasis visited by swimmers and snorkelers alike. The bay is directly linked to the sea via a 60-metre long cave. It’s a good spot for snorkelling and there are excellent diving sites among the underwater caves and around the site where the Azure Window collapsed into the sea.
- Unique location with stunning views
- Clean, clear water and great place for snorkelling
- Rarely gets busy – peaceful and quiet.
- Small pebbly beach, not really suitable for sunbathing.
- Not the easiest place to swim without a snorkel mask, since it’s rocky and rather shallow in most places it’s tough to gauge what’s under the surface.
- All in all, not very family-friendly – great for couples who are looking for something a little bit different, however.
The small bay of Dahlet Qorrot is located in the North West part of Gozo, nearby the villages of Nadur and Qala.
It’s a quaint, quiet place that rarely gets crowded and its pebbly beach is a nice place for a quick morning swim, with beautiful natural surroundings.
Having a shallow entry it’s also a safe place to swim with kids, while the quayside offers an entry point to deeper waters, also easily accessible.
- Crystal clear waters and rarely gets busy
- Great location for a quick dip if you’re looking to do some rambling to admire some of Gozo’s natural beauty in late spring/early autumn.
- Little space on the actual beach, although you can also sunbathe on the rocky area
- A few fishermen operate from this bay so if you’re unlucky you’ll have to put up with a little noise and exhaust.
Hondoq ir-Rummien (Maltese for Pomegranate Moat) is located on the Southern coast of Gozo, nearby the village of Qala and is a popular choice among the local population. For good reason – it’s a beautiful little bay. Quiet, secluded and surrounded by nature, as with most beaches in Gozo.
The bright azure coloured water is super inviting to dive into. There’s a small sandy beach, although not much space for sunbathing. You can also enter the water via ladder, on the rocky part of the bay, which is nevertheless great for swimming and also snorkelling and beginner level divers, with several small caves to explore at water level.
The bay has a great view of Comino and a local kiosk offers the convenience of getting refreshments. During summer nights, this is a popular location among Gozitans to fire up a barbeque and enjoy the fresh sea breeze after a hot summer’s day. Public transport won’t get you down to this beach so unless you’re hiring a car it might not be the easiest location to reach.
- Small sandy beach
- Gorgeous bay, quiet and secluded
- Brilliantly clean water
The Maltese Islands are home to some beautiful beaches such as Golden Bay, Ramla Bay in Gozo, Mellieha and Paradise Bay to mention a few, however it’s also home to some fascinating hidden gems, and what better time to explore them than now? If you’re not lucky enough to own a boat (or be friends with someone who does), be prepared to go for an adventurous trek – but it will be worth it! Just remember to pack food and water because none of these beauties will have a snack bar.
Here’s a list of our favourite secret beaches:
Unless you can access it by boat, getting to this beautiful beach is an adventure in and of itself – featuring a fifteen-minute trek through Malta’s wildlife. Practically untouched by man, this is one of Malta’s few beaches which is covered in pebbles. Featuring steep cliffs on either side – it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Fomm Ir-Riħ is found towards the limits of Mġarr.
We all know the popular beaches of Għadira Bay and Armier Bay – but nestled in between these two iconic beaches lays one of Malta’s hidden gems: Slug’s Bay. This small bay accommodates ten people, at the very most so it can get very crowded – but the views are absolutely stunning, and well worth it!
Did you know that Malta has a vast expanse of open land, known as the Majjistral Nature Park? A short trek down the steep cliffs brings you to an expanse of gorgeous, untouched sea – the perfect site to spend a day sunbathing or snorkeling. For the less adventurous – it is highly advised to visit the beach at Il-Majjistral by boat, as the 45-minute trek can be quite exhausting!
Found in our sister island of Gozo, this small beach is the perfect get away from more populous beaches like Ramla bay.
Another hidden gem in our sister island – you can’t get here by boat, and you’ll have to walk a fair bit AND climb a lot of stairs – but this valley, found just off the Gozitan town of Għasri is most definitely worth the hassle!
Have you ever wanted to jump into open waters and swim out through a cave? You can do just that at Coral Lagoon – found just off Little Armier bay. You may not be able to get here on your boats though – the passageway is very narrow and can only be accessed by kayak. Coral Lagoon is a short, 30-minute kayak ride away from Little Armier – ensuring you get your cardio fix AND get to swim in one of Malta’s most hidden gems.
If you’re looking for a nice sandy beach to hang out with your four-legged friend, Mġiebaħ is definitely one of the beaches you should visit. Drive up to Selmun palace, take a left and follow the winding road and you’re there.
Santa Maria & St. Nicholas – Comino
Comino is synonymous with the Blue Lagoon, but there are other, less crowded beaches on the island too! A short walk along Comino’s main road will take you to either Santa Maria bay or the bay of St. Nicholas – both gorgeous. Both worth visiting.
Qarraba Bay, Mġarr
Have you ever taken a walk through the clay slopes near Għajn Tuffieħa? Once you reach the plateau, you’ll notice another sandy beach paralleling the more accessible Għajn Tuffieħa, that looks impossible to get to – but it isn’t! It’s the lesser visited Qarraba Bay – which can be reached either by hiking down through the wilderness behind the plateau, by climbing down the clay slopes – or by visiting with your boat.
However you choose to visit this idyllic beach, be prepared for an afternoon of peace and quiet since very few people try to get there!