The 15 Best Beaches in Malta, Gozo & Comino
Instagram-perfect beaches on the picturesque islands of Malta and Gozo are calling, an audio-visual 'wish you were here' come-hither, featuring the fizz of frothy surf gently rolling onto silken beaches of fine white, gold, and red sand. But be warned, like Odysseus, you might come for the beaches and unique coastline, but end up falling for one of the many other mesmerising and mysterious attractions of the Maltese islands.
Back to beaches. Despite its compact size, Malta hits way above its weight by having more Blue Flag-accredited beaches than other much larger European holiday spots. As your club manager with generations of accumulated knowledge about these isles, VCMS makes it even easier for you to cherry-pick the beach you love with this best 15 blog. From hidden coves to secluded bays, every inch of the shoreline we've selected is a real feast for the senses.
Whether you’re seeking a day of relaxation or an adventure-filled afternoon, there’s a beach in Malta, Gozo, or Comino that has your name on it, especially with direct flights to Malta from London, Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Manchester airports. So, pack your sunscreen and grab your beach towels because, after a quick overview, here’s 15 of the best beaches these isles have to offer.
Beeline for the beach
As the scorching heat of summer envelops Malta, the island's stunning beaches become a hub of activity as locals and visitors alike flock to the shores to cool down in the crystal clear waters amid a mesmerizing array of landscapes. Visiting a Malta beach, at least some of them, is not just a sand and flip-flops job, it's a cultural experience.
Watch the robust elderly folk swim out into circles where they spend hours bobbing in the warm sea, gossiping animatedly. Observe the local kids diving for octopus to sell to the acclaimed fresh seafood restaurants Malta is famous for.
From secluded stretches of sand to pretty bays and charming coves, Malta's beaches offer a diverse range of settings, each with their unique characteristics. The sea, ranging from azure to green, is an absolute delight to swim in, while rocky beaches dotted with caves offer incredible opportunities for snorkeling and exploring.
But the fun doesn't stop at swimming and snorkeling. The variety of water sports and diving options available on these shores is sure to keep any adrenaline junkie satisfied. Some beaches even have beach clubs, lidos, dive shops, snack bars, and restaurants, making them perfect for a day out with the family.
Introducing the 15 Best Beaches in Malta, Gozo & Comino
And now without much further ado, you're in for a treat. From the glittering shores of your VCMS home resort on Golden Bay, to the charming beaches of Mellieha Bay, Paradise Bay, and Ghajn Tuffieha, we've selected the best beaches that are the most unique and exciting.
1. Just another day in Paradise Bay, Mellieha
Mellieha’s Paradise Bay is a true slice of paradise on the island of Malta. This striking Blue Flag beach boasts glistening pale blue waters and powdery white sand, leaving no doubt as to how it got its name.
It's also right near the Cirkewwa ferry terminal, so there's plenty of public transport options. Whether you're looking to lounge on a sunbed, take a refreshing dip in the sea, or grab a delicious meal, Paradise Bay has got you covered with sunbeds, parasols, and a well-priced restaurant.
However, given its reputation as one of Malta's best beaches, Paradise Bay can get a bit crowded at times. So, if you're looking to escape the crowds, we recommend taking a stroll to the shade of the trees overlooking the beach. There, you can sit back, relax, and soak in the postcard-worthy views of the sea. Distance from VCMS home resort: 9.6km
2. Authentic charms of Armier Bay, Mellieha
Armier Bay in Malta is a hidden gem, tucked away on the island's northern tip. With its crystal-clear waters, soft sand, and breathtaking views of Comino and Gozo, it's a popular spot for locals to host family barbeques, offering visitors an authentic slice of Maltese beach life while lying back and watching the waves roll in.
Two sandy beaches, Armier Bay and Little Armier, lie each side of a small headland surrounded by beautiful countryside. For a peaceful family day out, Armier Bay is the perfect choice, as it's less crowded than other beaches in Malta and has a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. Distance from VCMS home resort: 11.2km
3. Sweet as honey Mellieha Bay
Mellieha Bay is Malta’s largest sandy beach, and may be the reason Malta's former Roman rulers called the area Mellieha, meaning honey and salt. This Blue Flag beach* is indeed a sun, sand and surf honeypot for bathers of all shapes and sizes, particularly young children who love the warm, gentle bay with its extremely long shallows.
Perfect for people of all ages learning to swim, dive, or surf in a natural environment, both Mellieha Bay and Ghadira Bay to the left offers all facilities, such as sunbeds, toilets and food. You can also try a variety of water sports, such as through the mobile surf company Surf MC
Tip: Try Mellieha Bay for an exciting family day at the beach; the shallow waters stretching for miles make perfect swimming for children plus several water activities are available and the Popeye Village theme park is within moderate walking distance. Distance from VCMS home resort: 10.1km
4. Castaway's getaway: Mgiebah Bay, Mgarr/Mellieha
Looking for golden sand away from the crowds? Between the towns of Mgarr and Mellieha lies the secluded Mgiebah Bay. Situated in a natural cove and surrounded by rocky cliffs and hills, the beach is secluded and unspoiled with golden sand kissed by crystal-clear seas. The challenge, however, lies in getting to Mgiebah Bay.
The road to the beach is steep, narrow and winding, so it's best to visit in a sensible car and take your time. The reward is a castaway beach that you can have almost entirely to yourself. Getting there by car is recommended. There are no facilities at all at this remote beach so go prepared with shade and refreshments.
Tip: Try a clay mask beauty treatment by using the natural clay available at Mgiebah Bay. Cover every inch of your skin in the clay and bake in the sun to dry. Wash off with a swim and feel the glow. Go early as the north-facing beach becomes shaded in the late afternoon.
Distance from VCMS home resort: 8.5km
5. Giant-sized sunsets & fun at Golden Bay (Tal-Mixquqa)
VCMS members will no doubt have vast collections of holiday snaps of Golden Bay, the always popular Blue Flag beach on your home resort's doorstep. Which comes as no surprise because Golden Bay is known for its striking panoramic sunsets, particularly during the summer months.
While sunrise can light the bay in a soft pink or lilac tone, summer sunsets offer dramatic reds and golds and you can view these from the beach or from one of the nearby restaurants or bars at the resort.
Golden Bay‘s picturesque setting is complemented by the fact its large width and depth make it the perfect watersports beach. When the wind is in, top-class kite-boarders stay out for hours practising tricks against the strong waves. Mostly, however, the bay is calm with gentle, rolling waves, giving you several opportunities to enjoy other watersports.
Tip: Why not attempt a try dive with the dive shop on location? Scuba diving in Malta is an unforgettable experience with several professional diving instructors and courses available.
Distance from VCMS home resort: 240m
6. Best of the Blue Flags: Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Another beach with golden sand, Riviera Bay (Ghajn Tuffieha) is Golden Bay’s more rugged little sister. This is probably the most pristine Blue Flag beach of all the isle's 16, no doubt in part to the 100 steps that provide access to the beach. It is nonetheless well served with beach facilities.
Tip: Stay for the sunset and take home some more of the most picturesque sunset photos imaginable from another angle. Distance from VCMS home resort: 750m
7. Groovy colours at play in Gneja Bay
Another beautiful sandy beach much loved by locals, Gnejna Bay lies adjacent to Riviera Bay but is only accessible by car from Mgarr. Alternatively, you can brave a trek across the clay hills from Riviera Bay. Gneja is worth every effort.
This bay offers both sandy beach and rocky beach alternatives with some truly spectacular sea and sky colours courtesy of the light off the surrounding rocky cliffs. Strikingly vivid rockfish, sea bream, moray eels, and sealife are aplenty around the seaweed forests, making this a beach with great snorkelling opportunities.
Tip: If you're looking for a secluded and quiet beach experience away from the crowds, consider taking a boat to 'il-blata' or il-Qarraba beach. While not officially sanctioned, these beaches are known for being more secluded and private. However, it's worth noting that some visitors may choose to sunbathe or swim in the nude, so if you're easily offended, these beaches may not be for you. Distance from VCMS home resort: 6.1km
8. The Natural Treasures of Fomm ir-Rih
If you're looking for a hidden gem in Malta, look no further than Fomm ir-Rih. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of tourist hotspots, this secluded beach offers a raw and rugged beauty that's hard to find elsewhere on the island. With towering cliffs, pebbly shores, and crystal-clear waters, Fomm ir-Rih is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers alike.
While there are no facilities at this beach, it's worth the trek to experience its natural wonders. Snorkeling enthusiasts will be in heaven here, as the waters are teeming with marine life and vibrant coral formations. And if you're lucky enough to be here during sunset, prepare to be amazed by the golden hour glow that illuminates the cliffs and sets the sky ablaze with colour.
Tip: Shoot a magnificent photo of the golden hour glow on the cliffs as the sun sets into the horizon. Distance from VCMS home resort: 7.7 km
9. Cosmopolitan beach vibes at St George’s Bay
St. George's Bay, situated in the bustling area of St. Julian's, is the ultimate hotspot for those seeking a lively and dynamic atmosphere. This cosmopolitan nightlife hub is bursting with hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs, making it the perfect destination for the young and young at heart.
The trendy Blue Flag beach is a popular spot to soak up the Mediterranean sun and enjoy the refreshing waters while . Whether you fancy a relaxing paddle boat ride or a stylish Aperol Spritz, St. George's Bay has it all.
Tip: Try also the several beautiful swimming spots dotting the St Julians to Sliema Promenade, such as Exiles, Surfside, Font Ghadir and Qui Si Sana. Distance from VCMS home resort: 17km
10. A great day out in Pretty Bay, Birzebugga
Nestled at the southernmost tip of Malta lies Pretty Bay in Birzebugga — the perfect destination for beach-goers who love a little bit of everything. While the beach may be the only sandy one in the area, it certainly makes up for it with its fringe palms, beach volleyball courts, and vast beach-side park lined with trendy cafes and ice-cream parlours.
The view of the Malta Freeport, which is especially spectacular when lit up at night, adds an interesting touch. And for those who prefer a more secluded view, just head to the far left side of the beach and enjoy California dreaming without any distractions.
Tip: Sit on the far left side of the beach to eliminate the Freeport from view if you find it unsightly. Distance from VCMS home resort: 25.9 km
11. Bewitching Ramla Bay, Gozo
Named after its striking red sand, Ramla Bay is the largest and most popular beach in Gozo. It's also one of the most mythical, with Calypso's Cave overlooking the beach where legend has it Odysseus washed up and got bewitched.
The beach is sensational all year round and lifeguards are on duty all summer. For a hike, either head left up the steep hill towards Calypso's Cave or follow the rocky path to the far right of the beach for a unforgettable hike to San Blas Bay. Facilities at Ramla include restaurants, showers and sunbed hire, plus the beach can be easily reached with public transport.
Tip: Trek up to Il-Mixta cave overlooking the Blue Flag beach* on the right side – the cave itself and the panoramic views are spectacular. Distance from VCMS home resort: 22.6km
12. Secluded San Blas Bay
San Blas Beach, located in the village of Nadur on the island of Gozo, is a hidden gem that's worth the trek. Though smaller and more rugged than its sister beach, Ramla Bay, San Blas is a tranquil oasis that offers exceptional views at the end of a fertile valley.
The beach can be accessed via a narrow road, but for those who prefer to save their sweat, mokes operate up and down the hill in summer. While at San Blas, be sure to check out the famous thatched restaurant when in season, known for its delicious seafood and stunning views of the Med.
Tip: The beach is worthy of the steep walk, but take one of the jeeps that operate up and down the hill in summer if you prefer to save your sweat. Distance from VCMS home resort: 21.3km.
13. A whole lot of fun at Hondoq Beach, Gozo
Hondoq ir-Rummien is a pristine, picturesque sandy beach with crystal clear water that’s wonderful for swimming, snorkelling and try-dives. Ultimately, however, through the summer and late into the UK autumn, all the action at Hondoq seems to happen off the five-metre-high gypsum platform where flirting teens and daredevil dads show off their diving skills. . . and fails.
A small cafe offers refreshments, a great deep-fried calamari, and other simple yet staple criteria that has earned this modest Gozitan beach Blue Flag status.
Tip: During weekends and public holidays in the summer, Hondoq is a great place to go high diving in relative safety. Of course there are plenty other platforms much closer to the water for less confident divers. If you want the beach uncrowded, visit on the week days, when the views of Comino and Malta are much lovelier. Distance from VCMS home resort: 21km
14. Beautiful (and busy) Blue Lagoon, Comino
A holiday in Malta demands a compulsory trip to the Comino Blue Lagoon. Situated between Malta and Gozo, nestled between Comino Island and Cominotto, its pristine white sands and crystal-clear, sheltered lagoon are among the finest the Mediterranean can offer.
Despite its undeniable charm, the Comino Blue Lagoon can get quite crowded during peak season, which may detract from the overall experience. The following tip will help.
Tip: a quick trip south towards Malta will take you to the equally enchanting Crystal Lagoon, where you can bask in the sun and explore the stunning cliffs and caves that dot the shoreline. Distance from VCMS home resort: 15km
15. Serene and shady Santa Marija Bay
Santa Marija Bay boasts an undeniable natural beauty that is sure to take your breath away. Unlike other beaches in Malta, this hidden gem is lined with shade-providing trees, offering a tranquil escape from the scorching sun.
The bay is also equipped with convenient facilities such as showers, sunbeds, and refreshments to keep you comfortable throughout your visit. As one of the most popular boat dive sites, Santa Marija Bay is a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience during their Malta vacation.
Tip: For an even more awe-inspiring experience, take a trek to the nearby Santa Marija Caves. These spectacular caves run through the cliff to the other side and include a natural indoor swimming pool that is perfect for a refreshing dip. Distance from Azure Golden Sands Resort & Spa: 15km
And there you have it, despite a last-minute shoutout to all the great swimming spots we haven't mentioned, such as St Peter’s Pool, Ghar Lapsi, the Inland Sea or Qawra Point – 15 truly outstanding beaches, despite a total shoreline of only 196.8 km. All the easier to explore!
*Blue Flag Beaches
According to the latest 2023 information from the international Blue Flag Beach programme, there are 12 such beaches in Malta and Gozo, with Comino getting the chop presumably for the chronic tourist overload and commercialisation.
Gozo's three gems are the Blue Flag beaches of Marsalforn, Ramla, and Hondoq. Over in Malta, the nearest neighbour is Paradise Bay, a stone's throw from the Malta-Gozo ferry port. All Malta's nine Blue Flag beaches can be visited in a day. Driving from Cirkewwa the next Blue Flag beach is Mellieha Bay. Turn right for Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay. Left will take you to the beaches of Qawra Point, Bugibba Perched Beach, St. George’s Beach, Dragonara Resort's Medbar & Reef Club, and Fond Ghadir Bay.
Blue flag status means that the beach fulfils thirty-two international criteria regarding sustainable beach management, safety, amenities and services.