Malta, a small, densely populated country consisting of three small islands, is rightly a popular tourist destination. Visitors can get lost in the narrow stone streets, discover the world's oldest temples or practice their English. Although travelling in search of warmth is a popular summer activity, temperatures in southern Europe's Malta often reach dizzying heights.
Luckily, this is where some of Europe's most beautiful beaches are located, yet there is more to do than just relax on a heated beach all day. You can also cool off on mostly rocky beaches, but Maltese beaches are all the more beautiful with clean and sometimes really hot sand. You can read about five of the best places to swim right here.
The sandy Golden Bay is considered by most tourist guides to be the most beautiful beach in Malta. It's nestled into the rocky cliffs and the water is exceptionally warm thanks to the gradual entry into the sea. The surrounding beach offers the necessary facilities in the form of hotels, restaurants and toilets.
Unfortunately, due to its popularity with tourists, prices here are higher than on other Maltese beaches. The bay is therefore best visited in the evening before dark. Climb up the steep cliff above the beach and watch the sun slowly disappear into the sea. Perhaps this is where the bay's nickname, golden, comes from.
Another Maltese sandy bay located a stone's throw from Golden Bay, making it a cheaper and less crowded alternative. You can also reach it on foot, with only one rocky cliff separating the bays. Here the sea often crashes and the waves rise, so you'll find a surf school and a few surfboard enthusiasts.¨
This round bay with its slightly reddish sand is particularly photogenic from a vantage point above the beach. From here, there are also long steps leading down to the beach, decorated with several wooden plaques with quotes written on them. In short, Riviera Bay is a little more welcoming and friendly to visitors than the better-known Golden Bay.
The eye of the high rocky cliff has withstood the crashes of clear blue water for centuries, making it perhaps Malta's most visited natural landmark. For eight euros per person, you can hire a motorboat here, including a driver in a Hawaiian shirt, to take you to other caves and cliffs in the south of the island, in addition to the Blue Grotto rock window itself.
But don't go home straight after the boat ride. While the local beach is more of a rocky cliff with less than comfortable towel seating, this is where you can experience perhaps the very best of Maltese swimming. The water is incredibly clear and transparent all the way to the bottom, so the more adventurous don't have to worry about jumping off even a slightly higher cliff, and the whole bay is a beautiful blue feast for the eyes.
The second largest island of the Republic of Malta, Gozo is much quieter than Malta. This is also true of its beaches, such as Ramla Bay with its brick-red sand in the north of the island. The surprisingly red beach is set into a high cliff and overlooks the distant deserted sea.
Red Bay can be a great escape from the midday Maltese heat as well as an opportunity for snorkelling. If you're looking for a quiet afternoon at the beach on your Malta holiday, this is also where you'll find the dream retreat from tourists and high prices during the peak summer season. At the local buffet, be sure to try a Gozo sandwich with the locally renowned goat's cheese.
A sky blue sea with chalky white sand, this is Malta's most visited beach, Blue Lagoon. Located on the small island of Comino, it is easily reached by boat from Malta, with a return ticket for an adult costing thirteen euros. The beach here is rocky and it's worth paying extra for sunbeds. But if you're not a beach bum, you can spend the whole day in water so blue you won't believe it.
You'll have to swim to the other side of the bay, about 200 metres away, but the reward is an escape from the crowds and a sandy beach. There's also snorkelling in a narrow cave that takes you all the way out of the bay to a view of nearby Malta. The Pina Colada cocktail, served in a whole pineapple, is also a great way to get the perfect Blue Lagoon experience.