Entrance (access to a sunbed and regular umbrella): €6.50 on weekdays; €7.50 at the weekend
Average spend (for umbrella, sunbed, two drinks and one course): €30
Free access: Yes
Table (sunbed) service: No
Access to the sea: Yes
Best for: Breakfast on the water; safe for kids
Stay away if: You hate sand or crowds
Ghadira Bay was once one of Malta’s prettiest bays and with parking so close to the beach, this quickly became one of its most popular. Though the beach is still as naturally beautiful as it has ever been today it is so crowded it’s hard to find a spot where you could put your towel down without having to pay for sun bed rentals.
Having said that sunbeds are not expensive. At €6.50 during the week and €7.50 at the weekend, the issue lies more in how closely the beds (and umbrellas) are packed in so that there is no space to move around, adjust the shade or sun you’re getting or even get to the water.
Perhaps the biggest attraction to Mellieha Bay is the crystal-clear waters and shallow seas for metres and metres that make it a safe haven for people with young children. The fact that the bay is sheltered also means that, more often than not, the sea is calm, particularly important for toddlers getting their first taste of sandy beaches.
If you can get there before the crowds in the morning, Ghadira is the perfect spot from swimming, however, leave it till the afternoon and you’re going to be rubbing sweaty shoulders with the person next to you, who will almost invariably have a tribe of children with them.
When access to the beach is free, the refreshment options are not normally very sophisticated. Pizza, burgers and anything else that’s deep fried are normally the order of the day and fruit or vegetables don’t often feature on any menus. I was pleasantly surprised with Munchies. After a 10km SwimRun around Mellieha and Armier we settled on breakfast at Munchies, expecting no more than a ham and cheese toastie and, if we were lucky a fresh orange juice. When you’re sitting so close to the water’s edge so early in the morning, you could be happy with almost anything, so when we started to peruse the menu we were more than happy to find breakfast that consisted of a variety of eggs Benedict, omelettes, full English breakfast, pancakes, croissants and even home-made granola. I had truffle poached eggs, with soft Fontina cheese and Serrano ham served on French toast. And what do you know? There was salad on the side and a tuft of bean sprouts on the top. Malta is certainly getting an upgrade when it comes to expectations of food, even if it is on the beach.
The rest of the menu was just as enticing. Sandwiches, burgers, salads and pizzas are available at the lido whilst the restaurant upstairs serves fresh fish, meats, pastas and risottos.
And why not enjoy a fresh fruit platter and a bottle of prosecco on the beach in the afternoon?
Ghadira is one of Malta’s prettiest bays. If you can get there before the crowds it is definitely worth a visit and eating lunch so close to the waters’ edge is a treat not to be missed.
Address: Ghadira Bay, Mellieha
Facebook: Munchies Mellieha Bay
Written by Rachel Zammit Cutajar who was too busy doing handstands and having ‘F’ it Fridays to load herself.