If, like me, you are drawn to the water, Malta is a great destination to visit. You're never far from the coast on this small island and the water is always stunning. One of the things I love most about Malta is that, if there is access to the ocean, people will swim. Unlike a lot of places where people only get in the water at designed beaches, people in Malta will jump in for a dip anywhere there is physical access. Parts of the coast runs up against cliffs so it's not also possible.
Although you can—and should—jump in the water wherever you feel the urge to do so, they are some particularly spectacular beaches in Malta that are worth an intentional visit. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is arguably the most popular place to swim in Malta because of its bright blue color. This stunning beach sits on the uninhabited island of Comino and is boat-access only so you'll need to book a ride. However, just because it's secluded, doesn't mean you'll be alone. It tends to be very busy. As nice it would have been to have the place to ourselves, I actually think the crowds add to the fun of the experience. It's a bit like going to a day bar where the energy of all the other people enjoying themselves is part of the fun. You can ever buy drinks from vendors along the beach.
There are lots of different boat trips you can book to visit Blue Lagoon. Most will drop you off and come back and pick you up a few hours later. Others stay nearby with you while you spend time in the lagoon. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure you bring everything you need for the day or at least enough cash to buy what you need from a vendor on the beach. You may be stuck there for a while and there is no shade so you'll be completely exposed. I highly recommend bringing a hat and sunscreen.
2. Golden Bay
Golden Bay is a picturesque beach known for its red sand and naturally forming dunes. It's accessible by public transit and next to a big hotel so it tends but busy. This isn't much of a problem, though, since there's plenty of sand to go around.
There are a couple places nearby to grab a bite or a drink. There's also a stunning view from the surrounding cliffs to the north. If you're looking for some activity, it's worth making a trek up for the incredible view. We didn't have much trouble finding the trail using the Malta Coastal Walk guidebook.
3. Blue Hole
The Blue Hole on Gozo is another famous place to swim. You used to be able to see a massive natural arch from the Blue Hole called Azure Window but it crumbled in March 2017. This arch was known for being used as a filming location for the Dothraki wedding scene in Game of Thrones.
Even without the arch, the Blue Hole is still a very fun place to swim. It's surrounded by rock which protects the swimming area from the strong currents of the open ocean. The hole itself is about 15m deep but there is an underwater tunnel that connects it to the open ocean at about 9m deep. As a result, you'll see lots of people making use of the Blue Hole as an access point to go scuba diving in the area. It's neat to watch them disappear down the hole.
4. Għadira Bay
Ghadira Bay is a lovely beach wedge between Ramla Bay and the city Mellieha. I spent an afternoon there after doing a hike around the coast from where I was staying in Ramla Bay. It's sitting on a sandbar the ground is soft and the water is light blue. It's quite nice.
It's also great because it's busy with locals who live nearby as well as tourists. As a result, there are plenty of beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. We definitely appreciated the coverage they provide! Lastly, there are a couple of spots to buy a snack or a bottle of beer to enjoy on the beach. If you're looking to see and be seen, this beach is a great spot.
5. St. Peter's Pool
St Peter's Pool is a must-visit if you're in the south end of Malta. The water is a bit more difficult to access than your average beach but the deep, crystal clear water is worth the trek down. Ladders are available to help you get down but since it's deep enough, you also have the option of diving in!
There's not much else in the area so make sure you bring every you need for the day. Since it's a bit remote, the road there is a bit rough. It's also a good idea to avoid leaving valuables in your car.
6. Ramla Bay
If you're looking accommodations on a beach in Malta, chances are you'll end up staying somewhere on Ramla Bay. There are a string of beaches along the coast in Ramla Bay. Some secluded, some in small locals, and some hidden behind big hotels and resorts. The whole bay is known for easy access to calm water.
If you're feeling adventurous, spend the day beach hopping along Ramla Bay to check out all the different options. You can finish the day at The Mojitos Beach Terrace, part of Ramla Bay Hotel, where you can watch the sunset and enjoy a drink on a cushion on the beach.
7. Anchor Bay
Anchor Bay is most easily accessed through Popeye's Village, a very kitschy but still fun tourist attraction. It's a theme-park built from the set of the Popeye movie that starred Robin Williams. This beach isn't the most beautiful but it's worth visiting for the novelty alone.
The beach itself is in a calm, enclosed bay. There are also lots of inflatables to jump around on in the water making this beach a great choice if you have kids. When you need a break from the sun, you can grab lunch or a drink on one of the patios overlooking the beach.
Image credits: jafsegal, zoetnet, sky_hlv, davebowman