Malta is one of these underrated and breathtaking countries in the world. Located between Southern Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean island has tons of amazing beaches, bays and swimming spots with clean water.
In this article, you will discover all the things you need to know when swimming in Malta.
- 14 best beaches and bays to go swimming
- 4 cool beach bars
- Is it allowed to swim anywhere in Malta?
- Is it allowed to swim in the Blue Grotto?
- Can I go snorkeling in Malta?
- Are there sharks in Malta?
- When is the best time to swim in Malta?
So let’s get started! Here are the best swimming spots in Malta.
The best beaches to swim in Malta
Spending your vacation in Malta could be the best holiday you have ever had. If you’re planning to go to Malta anytime soon for a Mediterranean holiday, here are some of the best lagoons, bays, and swimming spots you can visit.
1. Għajn Tuffieħa
For the most memorable Mediterranean experience, then you should try Għajn Tuffieħa, located in the north-west of Malta. It has the best scenic beach coupled with the most hospitable resorts and hotels.
Just on top of the hill, you will find a parking spot. They even have a car sharing parking spot (for electrical verhicles). Tourists and locals love Għajn Tuffieħa, so this spot can sometimes be too crowded, especially during its peak seasons and weekends.
When you arrive a little late, you can view a beautiful sunset!
2. Ramla Bay (Gozo)
Ramla Bay prides itself on the beauty of its ‘red sandy beach’. Found on the island of Gozo, Ramla Bay is a favorite among tourists and locals alike.
It isn’t enough that the beach boasts of its fine colored sand. Ramla Bay was also awarded a Blue Flag Beach, a certification granted to clean and environmentally-friendly beaches, harbors, marinas by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Tip! Combine your beach trip with a walk to the Tal-Mixta Cave. You will be rewarded with an amazing view over the bay. From the cave you can walk down (25mins) to the beach.
3. Blue Lagoon
On the small island of Comino is a little turquoise gem tucked–the Blue Lagoon is just a boat ride away from Malta. Thanks to its transparent and shiny waters and natural caves, water activities such as snorkeling is also a must-try when you visit Blue Lagoon.
To preserve its serenity and calm relaxing ambiance, Blue Lagoon prohibits boats in its area. Live like an islander as you bask in the crystal clear beauty of the Blue Lagoon paired with pearly white sand.
Tourist tip! Time by time you can find a good deal at DealToday for a full Day Cruise to Gozo, Comino & the Blue Lagoon together on a big sailing boat (snacks, buffet, unlimited beer, wine, water & soft drinks).
4. Golden Bay
The Golden Bay, which is located on the northwest coast of Malta, is among the most famous swimming spots frequented by tourists. With its lush sandy beach and a breathtaking sunset view, you can experience the Mediterranean holiday you’ve always dreamed of.
Whether you’re down for fun and exhausting watersports and boat trips or just to lay down on the beach under the sun, the Golden Bat can provide the best beach experience. For a more fulfilling experience, there are also great restaurants you can try out while at Golden Bay. There are also great hotels which have amenities that you and your company can enjoy.
Aside from its mesmerizing beauty, the Golden Bay also boasts a Blue Flag for its cleanliness.
5. Mellieħa Bay or Għadira Bay
If you prefer the pearly white sands, Mellieħa Bay is the perfect place for you. Also referred to as Għadira Bay to the locals, it is the largest sandy beach in the Mediterranean.
Aside from swimming, there are many activities you can do on Mellieħa Bay. With its favorable tides, you can also try out surfing in this spot. May tourists also set up camps, especially during the weekends. This bay is also a great swimming spot if you’re accompanied by your families or with kids.
Located in the north of Malta, Mellieħa Bay is an accessible destination for tourists. You can go to this pristine white sand beach by bus en route Cirkewwa.
6. St. Peter’s Pool
Dive into St. Peter’s Pool and experience one of the world’s most immaculate natural pools. This spot is not as famous as other destination spots. Locals love visiting St. Peter’s Pool for a quick mid-day dip.
Ideally, a trip to St. Peter’s Pool is best enjoyed during the day to mid-noon. To get there, you have to go through the small and traditional fisherman’s village, Marsaxlokk, near the east of Malta. And while you’re at it, make sure you feast on their delicious seafood for lunch.
7. San Blas Bay – Gozo
Tucked in a secluded countryside of lush green, the San Blas Bay is a A quiet and peaceful beach with a breathtaking view. The rocky earth red sand is in perfect contrast to the azure waves of the sea.
How to get there?
To reach San Blas Bay, you’ll need a car or you can walk a long distance from Nadur. The San Blas Beach is accessible from the village Nadur via a steep narrow road. At the end, the road is closed: you will need to walk a little.
8. Coral Lagoon – Mellieha
This seafoam turqoise blue and green spot is one of the island’s hidden gems. Located in the north of Malta, the Coral Lagoon presents itself as a mystifying hole which you can directly jump to.
Tip! Organise a fun day with a canoe and bring a snorkel! You’ll be amazed by these underwater caves…
How to get there?
- Rent a kayak or a canoe to explore the corners of the Coral Lagoon.
- Rent a car and drive to the Chapel of Immaculate Conception and then turn left (at the campsite sign)
- From Mellieħa, you can ride the bus until you get to Armier, and walk towards Arhax
9. Gnejna Bay
If you’re more of a daring adventurer who has an insatiable wanderlust for hidden gems, then the right destination can be found on the west coast of Malta. Gnejna Bay is a rare destination spot; tourists do not frequent it as much as other bays and beaches. But don’t worry because the locals of Mgarr are very much in love with Gnejna Bay.
If you’re bringing your kids or the whole family along, Gnejna is the perfect choice for you, especially with its shallow shoreline. There are also small establishments and convenient kiosks in the area, making it a great choice and a practical one.
10. Paradise Bay
True to its name, Paradise Bay is like heaven on earth with its small beach surrounded by majestic rocky formations that make part of a natural cove. Located near the harbor of Cirkewwa in the northern part of Malta, Paradise Bay is also a family-friendly swimming spot as its shorelines are also pretty shallow.
Paradise Bay is also popular among the youth and the locals. Beach parties are often held during the weekends within its vicinity.
11. Armier Bay and Little Armier
In the northern part of Malta are two great beaches, the Armier Bay and the Little Armier, both of which are perfect for your getaway or your honeymoon.
There aren’t many tourists and foreigners who flock Armier Bay and Little Armier during peak seasons and the summer. So if you are looking for a holiday that has spectacular sunsets and views, pristine waters, and a peaceful ambiance, then head off north and enjoy the calmness of Armier Bay and Little Armier.
What makes it more relaxing and less busy than other popular beaches in Malta is located in a remote area. Tourists are highly advised to ride a car or a bus from Cirkewwa to get to Armier Bay and Little Armier. You can also try walking, but it’s a long walk ahead, not to mention, the weather gets quite unbearable during hot summer days.
12. Ta’ Fra Ben Bay (Qawra Point)
It’s not among the most popular among foreigners and tourists, but Ta’ Fra Ben has its underrated claims to fame to a picturesque holiday destination: the rocky formation, the seascape, and the sparkling blue waters.
- Good spot for snorkeling
- If you love to organise a barbecue with friends and families, Ta’ Fra Ben is your swimming spot in Malta.
- Great spot to chill and unwind.
- Just behind a coastal Watch tower
Tip: Just close to this beach, there is a nice beach bar (Cafe del Mar), scroll a little down in this article. It’s listed in the beach bar section!
13. Sliema Coastline – Exciles
If you love sunbathing but don’t want to go to far out of the city, the rocky coastline of Sliema is a great spot to visit. Exiles Bay is one of the most visited beaches in Sliema and you will find a lot of facilities close to it. Stretching up to St. Julian’s coastline, Sliema is very spacious for tourists and locals who wish to sunbathe. There’s also a vast selection of restaurants, hotels, and cafeterias in the area.
From the capital, Valletta, you can take a 15-minute ride through ferry boat. If you’re opting for the bus, take Line 13.
Tip: When you are there, try to go ‘Paradise Exciles’. Known by locals. Great food and nice musical vibes!
If you’re not just looking for a place to relax, but considering a more daring trip paired with a trek, make sure to put Fomm ir-Riħ at the top of your Malta vacation list. To get to the majestic virgin bay, you have to trek a 20-minute rough path. But with its breathtaking view, and its pristine waters, it will surely be worth it.
Set in the limits of Mġarr, near the small town of Baħrija, Fomm ir-Riħ will leave you in awe with its natural beauty.
Beach bars & Clubs
1. Cafe del mar – Qawra – Beach club
If you have not yet booked a place to stay, Café del Mar at San Pawl il-Baħar has a relaxing vibe that matches the whole Mediterranean ambiance. As the largest beach bar in Malta, you can enjoy partying after sundown with a bit of cocktail. You can also unwind and relax in the island’s largest lido.
As it is connected to the Malta National Aquarium Complex, Café del Mar is a magical place for you to relax or take a dip for a swim. You can also enjoy the best hotel service and delicious Mediterranean meals.
To get to Cafe del Mar, you can take the bus. There are a lot of bus stops and terminals around the area. Simply indicate you will drop off at Cafe del Mar and they will immediately take you there. In the cafe’s area, there are three bus stations where you can find a ride, namely Ben, Arznell, and Bugibba Bay.
2. MedAsia Playa – Sliema – Beach Club
The Medasia Playa, which is located in Sana, Sliema, is also a comfortable hotel place perfect for your summer vacation. With two luxurious swimming pools, a bar lounge, and other facilities for your entertainment, you can trust MedAsia is to provide quality service to complete your Malta holiday.
If you plan to visit the wonderful MedAsia Playa, you will need to set a budget between €10 – €30 to enjoy the whole vicinity. The entrance fee for walk-ins is €10 for whole day during weekdays, and €6 for half day. When you visit it on a weekend, the entrance fee is €15.
However, getting an advanced booking before visiting the place is highly recommended. Although the resort is open for walk-ins, it is best to book ahead of time and see their booking packages. The resort is open 7 days a week and they have packages to choose from when you plan to visit the place.
3. 1926 Beach Club – Sliema
Just next door to Medasia Playa, you can find another nice bar and pool bar. A nice pool with a seaside view is perfect for everyone who is fed up with the jellyfish in the sea 😉 The club is part of a luxury hotel.
4. Baia Beach Club – Mellieha
Discover this trendy beach club in Little armier bay. From the beach club you have panoramic view over comino and Gozo. Just enjoy, relax and have a great time!
Malta Swimming FAQs
Can I go snorkeling in Malta?
Yes. With its majestic ocean fauna and coral reefs, Malta is the ideal place for snorkeling. Fomm ir-Riħ can give you a breathtaking view of its virgin waters, while the secluded emerald Imġiebaħ Bay is a favorite among locals. The Coral Lagoon is also a divine turquoise spot for snorkeling and diving. It’s tucked away in the northern part of Malta.
Aside from snorkeling, there are other many watersports you should try while you are at the island. Diving and kayaking are also among tourists and locals’ favorite activities.
Is it allowed to swim anywhere in Malta?
All coastal areas in Malta have safe and clean waters. It is safe for anyone to swim in any bay or beach whenever they like. Whether you are a tourist or a local Maltese, you are welcome to swim anywhere on the island. You will never regret going on a vacation in Malta.
Am I allowed to swim in the Blue Grotto?
Composed of a natural arch and a complex of seven caves, the Blue Grotto is something you should see. It also brags of crystal azure waters and beautiful flora. Due to the constant crashing of the waves upon the cliff, the formation eventually formed into an arch.
However, the Blue Grotto is not a place to swim or do snorkeling. Visitors and tourists are not allowed to swim or dive in the waters of the cavern.
The reason why swimming is not allowed in the area is because the waters tend to produce big waves, and it could get swimmers killed in the cave’s stony edges. Therefore, doing water activities in the Blue Grotto is prohibited and considered illegal.
Coming from the island of Comino, the North West part of the archipelago, you can take a boat ride to Blue Grotto. The trip is approximately 20 minutes.
Pristine and crystal clear, Malta’s waters seem like taken out of a postcard.
Are there sharks in Malta?
According to the country’s records, there are about 36 species of sharks that can be found in Maltese waters. Among these are white sharks, hammerhead sharks, and blue sharks. However, shark attacks and discoveries rarely happen in bays and beachlines where most people swim.
The first ever shark attack recorded in Malta happened in 1890, while the latest one was recorded in 2010. In the past decade, there have been no recent shark attacks in the island.
When is the best time to swim in Malta?
If you plan to visit Malta for your next vacation, the best time to go swimming is between the months of June and August. This is the best and high-peak season to go for a swim in Malta. You can do all sorts of water activities and visit all the bays and beaches in the island.
However, if you plan to visit at an earlier time during the year, it is also ideal to visit Malta during March up to May. The sun is all up during these months and it has breezy weather, making it a great day to spend a day at the beach.