Bajja is the Maltese word for beach, and if you plan to be in Malta between April and October, you will surely be planning to spend much of your visit on one of the many beautiful bajjiet (the plural of beaches). Everyone’s favorite archipelago in the Mediterranean probably has more beaches than you can visit, so where to begin? I have the answer – 10 of them, to be more specific:
1. Ramla Bay
This is one of my personal favorites. It’s on the island of Gozo and has some of the most beautiful and softest sand your toes will ever wiggle in. In Maltese, the beach is called Ramla l-Hamra, which means Red Beach and makes total sense once you see itsunique orange-red-colored sand. If you want to take a break from frolicking along the beach, check out the famous Calypso Cave, located on the cliff overlooking Ramla Bay. It’s a short hike to get up there, but the view is truly magnificent – spoiler alert here.
2. The Blue Lagoon
The island of Comino is only about 3.5 square kilometers but offers these insanely blue-colored waters that will fill your Instagram feed in no time. I highly recommend getting there early in the morning so you can avoid the crowds. Later on, explore the island and its more secluded areas – there are some places that are perfect for snorkeling – clear blue water and all kinds of underwater wildlife (possibly even Nemo) included.
3. Honodoq ir-Rummien
This means pomegranate moat in English and is located in the South of Gozo, so you better have your camera ready for more scenic views of Comino. Because of its amazingly clear water and the many natural caves around, Honodoq ir-Rummien is a popular spot for swimming, diving, and snorkeling. Along the coastline, you’ll find ancient Roman salt pans – perfect to get your history lesson on while soaking up the sun. #winning
4. Anchor Bay
This is in the island’s northwest, and it’s more known for the Popeye Village than the beach itself: Anchor Bay was the film set of the 1980 musical production of Popeye, starring Robin Williams, and has since turned into a huge tourist attraction. The bay itself is usually not as crowded as other beaches, but the area’s cliffs, boulders, and caves make for amazing swimming and diving trips.
5. Golden Bay
Usually, when you put the word golden before something, it’s meant to make it sound more fancy or luxurious; like a golden crayon or a golden dog leash. Well, adding the word golden alone doesn’t do this beach justice. Were I to name it, I would’ve gone for something more like: The Most Awesome Beach in Malta Ever. (But I didn’t name it, unfortunately.)
6. Dwejra Bay
Going back to Gozo, one of the most famous landmarks there is the Azure Window: A large rock formation in the sea that looks a lot like a window. What a lot of people don’t know, however, is that there is a small swimming area right by the window. It’s a bit hidden, but just follow the scuba divers who take advantage of this deep diving pool.
7. Mgarr ix-Xini Beach
It’s a small yet picturesque bay, alongside a small creek and a steep-sided natural valley. Mgarr ix-Xini Beach is in Gozo and one of the most secluded beaches – perfect for some peace and tranquility. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but you’ll also find more of that clear water, more snorkeling opportunities, and more underwater wildlife here. (If that doesn’t strike your fancy: May we interest you in some rock climbing with a view?)
8. Paradise Bay
If you’ve been on a quest to find paradise, then look no further: Paradise Beach got its name for a reason, and the beach comes with stunning views, natural caves, and more beauty than your Instagram can handle. The Maltese have also set up jellyfish nets so you can swim without constant paranoia, which makes the experience just so much more fun. If your skin is wrinkly enough from being in the water all day, explore the paradisiacal area on a hike or two.
9. Ghajn Tuffieha
If unspoiled beaches with fine sand are your thing, then you’ve hit the jackpot here: Sometimes called Riviera, Ghajn Tuffieha is located next to Golden Bay, and is only accessible via a steep flight of stairs (almost 200 steps!), but it’s so worth it! It’s yet another scenic beach, perfect for all kinds of water-and-photography-related activities: A lot of visitors come for the surfing and stay for the breathtaking sunsets.
10. Mellieha Bay
Do you need more sand? Then, direct your attention to the largest and possibly most popular sandy beach in Malta: Mellieha Bay, also known as Ghadira Bay, comes with shallow water that makes it ideal for all your strolling-and-splashing-in-the-ankle-deep-water needs. If you want to do some land-based activities, check out nearby Ghadira Nature Reserve, which hosts all kinds of small mammals, reptiles, and birds.