Quite naturally, the one major attraction which makes the Maltese islands unique is the sea. It’s not only the crystal clear waters and the beautiful beaches, but the easy access to these areas and particular geology that makes every beach in Malta simply unique.
In a previous article, we have explored some of Malta’s top beaches and all the things you need to know, most prominently, on how to get there. In this piece, we will be exploring Golden Bay in detail, as it is one of the local hotspots for tourists and locals alike.
Where is Golden Bay located?
Golden Bay sits between two charming villages with Manikata on one side and Mgarr on the other. It’s located on the northern side of the island. The beach is on the Northwest coast side, to be exact. The area has two equally magnificent beaches separated by a small rocky hillside. On one side there’s Golden Bay, the one which is most easily accessible and has a sizeable hotel sitting right next to it. The other one is Ghajn Tuffieha (Apple’s Eye) which is quieter, slightly smaller in size but perhaps a bit more secluded and in touch with nature.
Where to stay in the Golden Bay area?
Just to be clear the only accommodation you can find for your holiday in Malta and if you wish to stay at exactly this beautiful spot, is the Radisson Hotel. You can’t miss it. It’s a huge hotel looking down at the beach. Although it is very close to the beach, the hotel is neither invasive nor a particular eye sore. This hotel was actually designed to look the shape of a huge ship, more like a modern cruise liner. Best place to stay if you want to be a short 2 minute walk from the beach is here, but it obviously comes with a high price.
The other option, perhaps for those who are more adventurous, is to rent a small space where to set up camp in the camp site which site right behind the hotel. You will be sleeping in nature, at a very cheap price. The camping area is well equipped with bathrooms and kitchen.
Well and truly, and we tend to repeat this in every article, Malta is a very small island. This means that if you decide to stay at a cheaper or nicer accommodation somewhere on the other side of the island or in one of the small villages in the centre, you will still be relatively close to the sea.
Things you should know about the beach of Golden Bay
- Let’s start with the basic. The beach is very popular and things can get crowded in the middle of summer or in the Maltese touristic peak of season which is anytime between June and October.
- Being so popular means that the parking area which is supposed to accommodate those who come to this beach, is often full. However, when things get busy, there is an area which is right in front of the camping site, which is transformed into a makeshift parking area. A good idea is to either go by public transport or rent a mode of transportation which does not create parking problems, a motorcycle or bicycle perhaps.
- Golden Bay is an amazing spot for sunset. Check out our article on the best sunset spots in Malta and get inspired. Golden Bay it’s a true amazing place to see a typical Mediterranean sunset.
- The bay is known to get pretty windy. So be careful if you go on a strong wind day. The water can get rough. Look at the flag put up by the life guards and follow instructions given.
- This is a Blue Flag beach, which means it has reached a European standard for cleanliness, amenities and overall beach experience.
Things to do
Swim – Golden Bay is a…bay. So the one thing you should really consider doing is…you guessed it, swimming! When the weather is nice, the sea here is simply amazing. So take a dip into proper, clear water.
Go kayaking – Kayaking here is popular with tourists and locals alike. And the place is particularly ideal because if you do rent a kayak, you can explore the geology of the rocks on the side of the beach area. You can also cross to Apple’s Eye and take a dip in peace.
BBQ – Supermarkets usually sell small, disposable barbeque sets. Just a small tip, if you’re buying meat, check out the small, local butchers. They offer better produce than what you find in supermarkets. Just make sure to clean after yourself and if you’re more than 25 people, you should get a special permit from the Mellieha Local Council.
Go for a walk – Sitting in between the two beaches, there is a beautiful area made up of rocks and small hills. Walking here in winter is ideal and the views offered are amazing.
Where to eat in Golden Bay
There aren’t a lot of options of where to eat and sit here. But the options you have are pretty good. Aglioaglio is part of the Radisson and offers some amazing food. Pasta is its speciality. The other option is Munchies, a kiosk-like restaurant sitting literally on the beach.
How to get there
The first option to get here is to rent a car or a motorcycle. Otherwise, you can get here by public transport. Unlike other destinations, there aren’t a lot of direct ways to get here:
From the capital city of Valletta you can catch numbers 42 or 250 which go to St Pauls Bay. Then get on number 223 or 225.
From St Julians you can catch number 225 for a direct route there.