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The Maltese archipelago is known for having some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, with turquoise waters and a lot of cool diving spots. Most beaches here are recognized as having the cleanest waters in Europe and this places Malta on the top of the list if you’re planning a vacation in the Europe. In the last few years Malta has also scored a few Blue Flag certifications, which identify the beaches adhering to certain standards for sustainable development, environmental management, safety and services. Almost all of the beaches mentioned in this article have been Blue Flag certified. Let’s discover them together so we can plan a trip to Malta!
MALTA’S BLUE LAGOON
The first one of the top seven beaches in Malta is the Blue Lagoon, probably the most famous of the archipelago, often seen on magazines and documentaries. It lies between the islands of Comino and Cominotto, off the Northern coast of Malta. Because on Comino there’s just one hotel (which isn’t particularly cheap) you should plan on staying for the day, as most people do.
One of the options is to go for a boat ride. There are in fact a lot of private companies at Valletta that offer you the chance to explore the turquoise waters around Comino on a boat. Loud music, tanning without having to push your way through a crowded beach and meeting a lot of new people are huge bonuses. Boating won’t allow you to reach the white stretch of sand, because boats aren’t allowed into the lagoon, but you can easily swim over there if you want to.
A lesser known cove just next to the Blue Lagoon is named Crystal Lagoon. This rocky area can be reached through a boat, or walking on the rocks (be careful!) if you’re spending the day at the Blue Lagoon. There isn’t a real beach here, but the perfectly clear blue water and the secluded spot (much more quiet than the Blue Lagoon) make it the best place to spend some time just swimming and relaxing.
A lot of people come here to jump off the cliffs, but it’s not advisable. Because it’s pretty high, accidents happen often. Swimming here feels like being in Hawaii or in some tropical paradise, right in the middle of the Mediterranean sea! This is also a great spot for snorkellers and divers, because there are a lot of underwater caves. If you want to try, always ask for advice from local divers!
Lesser known than Valletta, Sliema offers a beautiful 3km waterfront promenade with a rocky shore. A few hotels here have infinity pools right on the “beach”, but remember that you won’t find any sand, so it might be wise to carry with you a pair of water shoes. Sunbathers lay down wherever they like, as the beach is free, and there are steps that dive into the water at regular intervals.
Here you can swim straight into deep blue water, so the area is perfect for confident swimmers and snorkellers, as you will also be able to see a lot of fishes. The paradise of the GoPro fanatics! On the other side of the road there are plenty of bars and restaurants, so the whole promenade becomes the centre of Sliema’s Summer life all day long.
Situated on Gozo, known as “The island of Calypso”, this beach is next to a cave that is considered to be the place where the nymph Calypso held Ulysses captive for 7 years. The sand here contrasts with the blue waters because of its tones: golden and orangey. It becomes almost red when it’s wet. This welcoming bay is only 25 minutes away from Malta and it offers bathrooms, showers and tiny bars if you want to spend the day here. In fact, for lunch they offer typical Gozitanian dishes for all pockets.
All around, the green hills that surround Ramla Bay give you the chance to go for a walk in case you get restless on the beach. If you feel like hiking, get up to the top: the view is spectacular!
Although the bay here stretches long, there is a sandy area where you can enjoy some sun. The view is amazing and it’s often used as a background for vlogs or travel videos. In Ghajn Tuffieha, you’ll encounter the perfect balance between being in the wilderness and having facilities that allow a comfortable day at the beach. It’s pretty popular, but it’s also just a bus ride away from the major cities in Malta so you absolutely can’t miss it. Ghajn Tuffieha is a Blue Flag certified beach, but don’t bring heavy stuff with you. There’s a bit of a hike to get back up the hill to the parking lot, and chances are that you will find everything you need there, anyway!
This beautiful bay is located on the rugged western tip of Gozo and offers plenty of things to do and see. It’s perfect if you plan to spend a day experiencing the island of Calypso. The cliffs will remind you a lot Ireland, but the weather here it’s much warmer: in fact there are a lot of slushie and ice cream vendors to help you deal with the heat!
If the area looks familiar, it’s because HBO filmed the wedding between Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo here for the award-winning TV show Game of Thrones. The Azure Window in the background of that wedding fell down in March because of a huge storm, but the area is still very beautiful. Next to what was once the Azure Window, you will find the Blue Hole. This rock formation looks like a natural pool, but the divers know that underwater there are a lot of caves and beautiful parts of the reef. If you like snorkelling this is the perfect place!
SAN BLAS BAY
Similar to the nearby Ramla Bay, San Blas is much smaller but known for its beautiful red sand. While Ramla Bay has been made comfortable for the tourists, San Blas has been left in its natural state. Accessible from Nadur, it spans 100m and can only be reached by foot. From the beach you will see Ta’ Sopu, a 17th century coastal tower built in 1670, that stands 120m above sea level. San Blas is rarely crowded, but you will still find a kiosk where you can rent umbrellas and sun beds. They also have drinks and snacks. If you are tempted to rent a canoe to explore the bay, make sure you have enough experience, as the current can be pretty strong.
A visit to the Maltese archipelago is made of beautiful beaches, delicious food, history and ancient traditions. The best part of it? Malta and its islands are always warm, so to avoid the crowds you can plan a spring trip and still get an enviable tan. Spring is also a cheaper season, you get an even sweeter deal!
Have you been to Malta? We’d love to hear your stories, tips or questions in the comment section below!
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