A popular singer and songwriter once wrote: “if there’s one beautiful view in Malta, it must be the Bay of Mellieha.” This is an oversimplified translation to the poetic words by which Sammy Bartolo, a beloved Mellieha singer, starts his famous song, il-Bajja tal-Mellieha (here you can listen to il-Bajja tal-Mellieha on Youtube). The song is an ode to this incredibly beautiful beach and part of Malta’s coast. The singer died years ago but his legend has never really left the island.
His words in the song might sound a tad too much. He’s talking of a beach, not a woman he’s in love with. But those who hail from Mellieha and the surrounding areas up north, Mellieha Bay is true love.
The locals call it L-Ghadira, keep this in mind if you wish to get there without much confusion.
Where is Mellieha Bay located?
Mellieha Bay sits on the Northern tip of the island, just before entering Cirkewwa (the area where you catch the ferry for Gozo). Driving next to it from the tight roads of Mellieha, the bay is literally impossible to miss. It is the biggest stretch of beach in Malta. Mind you, it’s a normal-sized beach in other bigger country’s standards. But for Malta’s proportions, it’s relatively big.
Where to stay close to Mellieha Bay
Lucky for all of us mortals, staying close to this famous beach does not necessarily cost you an arm and a leg. Being populated by both locals and tourists, staying next to the beach can be reasonably priced. The beautiful town of Mellieha is very close and renting a place there is affordable, even though rent in Malta has reached an excessive peak.
You’re not short of options. There are good, popular hotels but you can also rent out apartments for larger space and more privacy. As we note in almost every article, Malta is very small so should you wish to stay away from the people, you can find even cheaper accommodation further south or towards the centre.
Things to know before you go to Mellieha Bay
- Mellieha Bay is one of the most popular beaches in the Maltese archipelago. The good thing is that it’s big, but still, things can get a little crowded. Going there in the middle of summer, at the very peak of the holiday season can be a shocking experience.
- Because people tend to flock to this bay a lot, try to go early so you’ll get to observe the 800-metre beach in silence. Normally things get crowded at around 10am. Still, it’s a fun place to meet people and mingle.
- The water here is shallow and you need to walk out towards the open waters to get your toes off the base of the sand. This is actually what makes the water here so clear, blue and clean so take this to your advantage.
- This is a Blue Flag beach, which means it has reached a European standard for cleanliness, amenities and overall beach experience.
- A huge number of umbrellas tends to rule more than half of the beach, but with so much competition, it means that you can find an umbrella at a good price.
- If you’re into water sports, Ghadira is a good place to do it.
- Having a BBQ here is not allowed.
How to get to Mellieha Bay
This beach can be easily accessed by public transport which is great. If you’re getting here by bus:
- From Valletta (Main Terminus): At the capital city – Valletta you can catch numbers 32 or 35 to University roundabout and then switch over to route X1
- From Bugibba or Qawra, you can catch the numbers 221, 222. The trip here should take you less time because it’s relatively close.
- From Sliema or St Julians there’s a one-hour direct route with number 222.
If you’re renting a car or a motorbike, then getting to Mellieha Bay is very easy. Just follow the signs which read Mellieha Bay or L-Ghadira. If you are driving from the centre of Malta you probably have to pass through Mosta, then Xemxija before you reach the town of Mellieha.
Parking is not a major problem, that is unless it’s a public holiday or a Sunday. But the whole road which passes through the side of the bay is full of parking spaces.
Where to eat in Mellieha Bay
There’s a whole selection of really good restaurants which you can review on our Mellieha article. But if you want to eat on the actual beach, there are a couple of small lidos and kiosks which serve basic, staple food.
There is also a restaurant recently set up which serves amazing food in a great atmosphere, Munchies.