Do you crave the feeling of enjoying wide open spaces with no people about, or just a sparse few? That is not something anyone could expect of most beaches in Malta during the summer, when they tend to be very crowded. But there are some beautiful beaches in Malta, which are hard to get to but very well worth the effort.
If you’re feeling that summer has already started coming to an end and the weather is already getting cooler, remember that the swimming season in Malta can easily stretch well into October and beyond. Even so, who ever said that beaches are only to be enjoyed during the summer? I certainly feel that there is a certain charm to visiting a desolate beach when the sky is overcast and the waves are crashing.
So grab your snorkelling gear and hiking shoes and get out there to enjoy some of the most scenic and idyllic beaches on these islands. Remember to take your fuel with you as there are no facilities for food or drink on these beaches. And please always remember to pick up your rubbish as you leave – take a bag with you and dispose of it carefully.
1. Fomm ir-Riħ, Baħrija
This beautiful cove of crystal clear azure water surrounded by towering cliffs is certainly one of the most difficult to access beaches on the island but truly worth the effort. One must follow the signs along the country roads leading to Baħrija to a small parking area, and then proceed along a steep foot path cut into the cliffs down to the pebble beach and then the sandy beach. Due to the effort required to reach this beach, it tends to be quiet even in the height of the season. Snorkelling here is a delight and tranquility is guaranteed. Avoid visiting during north-westerly strong winds as it can be dangerous.
2. L-Imġiebaħ, Selmun
This northerly facing beach is nestled beneath the hills of blue clay that stretch below Selmun. A makeshift road heads down from the chapel near the palace and then further through a valley of reeds and then down the clay hills – it sounds worse than it is but it is a long way down. However it is totally worth the effort, with its golden sand, green waters and natural spa – feel free to mix some of the clay with sea water and spread it on your skin to bake in the sun before washing it off with a swim for a free skin detox while enjoying pristine nature. Since the beach faces north and is surrounded by hills, shade approaches the beach a couple of hours before sunset.
3. Slugs Bay, Mellieħa
I meet several Maltese people who do not even know about the existence of this tiny little bay. It is nestled among the rubble below the cliffs of L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa. To get to this beach, one must get almost to the end of the long road in Aħrax and then head right into a clearing where a few cars are usually to be found. A path from there leads down the cliffs when suddenly you glimpse a natural swimming pool protected from the large expanse of sea just beyond it. The sandy beach is literally big enough to lay down a couple of towels, but there are plenty of rocks around where one can settle.
4. San Blas, Nadur, Gozo
San Blas is Ramla’s little sister – smaller but with the characteristic burnt orange sand. However, this north facing beach is far more difficult to access and therefore provides a much more peaceful haven. From Nadur, signs lead down a very steep hill … but don’t worry, jeeps are available to bring you up if you can’t handle the huffing and puffing on the way up, especially in the heat. This beach also has a mini cafe providing a few basic essentials.
Written by Melanie Drury.