Top beaches (hidden gems) to visit in Malta

Malta is a great place to explore and travel to, the coasts around the island is rugged and has lots of caves and cliffs. There are not many sandy beaches but swimming from the rocks can be just as fun. The island basks In about 299 days of sunshine a year, with the summer months reaching up to 35c, its an ideal country to catch some rays any time of the year.

Malta along with its sister islands, Gozo and Comino has many popular sandy beaches but these can become very busy during peak times.

I suggest going off of the beaten track and explore the island and it’s many hidden gems.

Here are a few that we have visited

Imgiebah Bay / Selmun Beach

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Found on the North of the Island, this bay is a sandy and secluded beach. The road down to it is very small and uneven (pretty much a dirt track) there is just about enough space for one car to drive along. Once you’ve parked the car you need to walk down a hill, which can be slippy under the foot on very dry days, to the bay. Because it is untouched, there are no amenities –  just a few bins. Make sure you take plenty to drink and food to eat. The beach is small, so no space to kick a ball a round and you can get plagued with wasps, as they fly around the bins. That said, it is quiet and doesn’t attract many tourists.

St Peters Pool

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One of our favourite places to visit when in Malta, the boys love to dive into the cool, crystal clear water at this natural swimming pool. St Peters Pool is close to Marsaxlokk on the south of the Island. There are flat rocks that surround the pool, which offer shade and a place to sunbathe. Although, it is advertised as a place to relax and sunbathe, everyone that visits here to dive off of the high rocks. It can get very busy here with the younger visitors and groups of adults. So i would advice to visit earlier on in the day to get a spot, especially if you have children.
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Not only is St Peters Pool a pretty natural swimming pool, with it’s crystal clear blue-green waters and beautiful to look at, it also has something rather cool going on the rocks surrounding it. People have carved names of singers, bands, groups and famous people into the rock.

Slugs Bay

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This place really is an amazing little find. It is one of the most secluded little bays that we visited, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, apart from the odd couple. It is situated on the south of the Island, over looking Mellieha bay. The path down to it is winding and uneven, but definitely worth the climb down. 20170825_142138

There was a tiny amount of fine sand but enough for the children to play in. Lots of rocks to search for crabs in and the shallow water was ideal to look at the fish. 20170825_124240

Again, there are no amenities around so go prepared. We found a little cave at the bottom which we took shelter in, it was big enough to fit our bags in and a chair to sit on and take shelter from the glaring sun

Fomm Ir-rih

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Is a small bay on the west side of the Island of Malta. It is surrounded by vertical cliffs and has a pebble beach. It is not easily accessible, making it quite secluded. It’s a popular bay to reach by boat. The only way down is via a tricky, steep and slippery pathway which takes about 15-20 minutes. The climb down is worth the views over the bay. I would advice not to do the journey wearing sandals or any type of footwear that can aid your feet in slipping, as there are many rocks and boulders to climb over. Once down, the beach is full of pebbles and the water is calm and clear. My boys found a huge flat rock in the water by the shoreline, which made a great slide. They spent their time sliding down it into the water, there were lots of squeals of laughter and fun. Again, like many of the bays that i have mentioned, there are no amenities. As the climb down is steep and tiring, carrying lots of extra baggage can be exhausting.

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Kalanka Bay

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This bay is next to St Peters Pool and is very similar, but is more family friendly. The water is crystal blue and is not as deep. There is still a height to the surrounding rocks, so jumping in can still be fun however, there is more of a variety for those not as confident in jumping in. The water is calm and there is an overhang which is fun to swim under.

Mistra Bay

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Is based on the North side, close to Mellieha bay. It is of shallow waters, that makes it ideal for young children to paddle in. We like to visit here and spend time to relax, it is a quiet bay, with not many visitors. Take a walk up to the battery and walk down to rocks towards the waters edge for a more of a secluded swim. Ideal for jumping in and sunbathing.

Gozo

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Xlendi bay

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Is a popular swimming and diving spot, with a small beach that is surrounded by lots of fish restaurants. As the beach was small we took a walk further along and found an ideal place to jump into the water from a diving board.

Wied il-Ghasri

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Based North Gozo, this inlet is very small which means it can become quite busy. This beautiful, secluded inlet is wedged between two cliffs. The view down from the top of the valley is stunning.  Take the steep staircase down to the beach, which is tiny and full of pebbles. Rock shoes are advised. When the water is calm, it is a lovely place for a swim but when the sea is rough it can become quite dangerous. The waves start crashing against the valley.

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Although the sea looks calm in the photo, the waves were thrashing against the cliff rocks and making a large banging noise. The boys managed a little swim down the inlet, before heading back.

Inland Sea at Dwejra

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This small salt water lake is next door to where the Azure Window once stood proudly, before the structure fell down.  It is connected to the Mediterranean sea by a tunnel that goes through the cliffs. You can get a boat trip through the cave or just sit and chill by the water. The water is calm and many people swim over to the caves and climb up the cliff surface to jump into the sea.

Like anywhere around Malta and Gozo, the sea is made easily accessible by ladders, they have been placed around the rocks so that swimmers can get in and out with ease. Malta is an ideal holiday destination for divers and snorkelers, there are dive sites situated all around the islands.

If the weather is rough I wouldn’t advise a trip to any of these beaches as they can become dangerous. We visited Malta during August and we only had a few rough days where we wasn’t sure about the sea currents, so we visited the sandy bays instead. What this island lacks in sand makes up for it in cliffs, rocks and shorelines.

Although the island is small, every time we go (We have been 5 times) we always find somewhere new to explore.

Do you know of anymore secret hidden gems that the island has to offer?

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Top places to visit in Malta

We have visited the beautiful Island of Malta many times, and over the years visited many places. The following places in this list are places that we have visited with our young children and would recommend a visit.

Popeye Village

Popeye Village is a film set that is over 30 years old, it’s the set of the 1980 Musical Production of ‘Popeye’ and it is now one of Malta’s major tourist attraction. Popeye the sailor and his friends are around the village to greet the guests and entertain throughout the day.

Take a walk around Popeyes cabin, explore Olives house, play games in the sawmill, become a part of the film in the main square or relax by the splash pool whilst the children have some fun.

Anchor bay comes alive in the summer with an inflatable adventure course, so whilst you top up your tan the children can have fun in the sea.

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Popeye Village is open all year round.

 

St Peters Pool

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St Peters Pool is the most beautiful natural swimming pools in Malta, situated South of the Island near the Fishing Village Marsaxlokk (which is where you will find the market where they sell fresh fish, local delicacies and an abundance of souvenirs to take home)

The drive and parking to St Peters Pool isn’t smooth but it is definitely worth it. I would advise anyone who has young children who are not strong swimmers not to leave them alone swimming. There are ladders to help visitors to get down into the water but for those who are feeling a little more adventurous, you can always dive down into the deep pool below.

There are no shop nearby, so take along everything you will need to spend the day there.

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The sea water is crystal clear, the flat rocks surrounding the pool are ideal for sunbathing on and perfect for place to get away from the business of the sandy beaches.

The walk down from the parking area is about 5 minutes away

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My boys loved it here and spent ages diving into the deep blue water, they even plucked up the courage to jump down from the highest point (not when Mummy was watching though!)

Mellieha beach

Malta doesn’t have many beaches to boast about the ones that it does have are beautiful. Mellieha beach being one of them. The beach is long and there are plenty of beds to relax on and kiosks to dine from along it. During the summer months it hosts an inflatable playground, costing £6 euros for the hour. The boys enjoyed an hour of fun whilst I managed to grab an hour of peace reading a book. We managed to barter the hire of the sunbeds down from £12 euros down to £8.

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Lots of free parking is available and is easily assessable via bus.

Mdina and Rabat

 Located in centre of the Island, Mdina is the old capital of Malta.

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Mdina is a fascinating place to visit, one of Europe’s finest examples of and ancient walled city, it traces back more than 4000 years. Tradition says that The Apostle St Paul lived here after being shipwrecked on the Island. Just outside the city walls, in Rabat, you can visit St Paul’s Grotto.

Mdina was built high up on top of a plateau. Standing on the edge of Mdinas walls you have some spectacular views of the surrounding fields and villages.

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Mdina and Rabat is full to the brim of cultural heritage and history. Lamp lit by night,the Mdina is also referred to as ‘The Silent City’.

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Take a walk around the cobbled, narrow shady streets and take in all of the historical beauty within.  It is home now to some of Malta’s noble families living in the impressive palaces that line the streets.

 

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes within the walls for refreshments and Souvenir shops to visit.

It is free the enter the Mdina but it costs to enter into some of the attractions, like the Malta experience and the Dungeons.

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Mdina is a favourite place of my boys, they adore the Norman and baroque architecture in the buildings.

Just outside of the Mdina walls there are beautiful gardens to walk around and also a little play area for the children to enjoy.

Church in Rabat
Church in Rabat

 

The Splash and Fun park

Malta’s only water park, that’s not in the sea, ideal for all the family.  The Splash & Fun Park has several swimming pools, water slides, Children’s Dinosaur Park & Splash Land, a large wave pool, diving pools, lazy river and deck chairs to relax on. Throughout the day there is entertainment put on in and around the wave pool area. We sat and watched a spanish dance routine, took part in the aqua aerobics and the boys entered a football competition.

PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage water park

My middle boys favourite thing to do was Dive from the high board into the diving pool.

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On the way out of the water park we noticed that there was a trampoline enclosure, everyone had a good jump around before leaving

juming around

 

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Pretty bay Birzebbuga

If you are visiting St Peters Pool then just a little further around the coast you will find Pretty Bay in Birzebbuga. It’s in the southern region of Malta.

The sight looking out from Pretty Bay isn’t spectacular, unless you like looking boats and dock yards, but the beach is pretty and there is a lovely play area and football pitches that runs along the beach. Also its the only beach that we visited where you can sit on the grass, and sit under a tree shielded from the sun.

Blue lagoon Comino

The only way to get over to see the beautiful blue water at blue lagoon, Comino is by boat or ferry. Situated in between Malta and Gozo, the island of Comino is only 3.5  square kilometers, it is car free and only has one hotel. The Blue lagoon is the popular attraction here, with the white sand and clear water, the sea becomes a gorgeous aquamarine. The water is clean and transparent, ideal for snorkelling and swimming, the water is shallow so it is perfect for young children to enjoy.

I would advice to attempt to get there early as in the peak times it can get very busy, and the beach is only small. Many people lay down there towels up on the rocks and walk down the steps to get down to the water.

There are refreshment vans parked up where the boats are, selling fruit, drinks and hot food.

Rinella Bay

This little bay situated just passed Kalkara is not normally a busy attraction to holiday makers, it used more by the locals. It is the beach that I myself attended regularly as a child when we holidayed in Malta as we had family living in Kalkara. Looking out from the beach you can see the Capital of Malta, Valetta. There are refreshment vans parked up and portable toilets to use.

Not only is this beach a little quieter than others it has a slide that goes down into the sea from the walkway.  Beware that the sea is deep here, there are some steps coming out of the water very close to the slide.

Smart City is just around the corner, a new build to Malta, where you can watch the water fountain and have a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants and bars.

Kalkara marina is a pretty little place to stop after a swim, it’s quiet and peaceful. There is also a little park for the children to play in whilst the adults can sit on a bench and look out to the boats

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Kalkara
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Luzzu (maltese boat) and fishing boats

I hope you like reading our top places to visit in Malta. There are many more places to visit like the peaceful island of Gozo, the stunning infrastructure of Mosta, the hustle and bustle of the capital city Valetta, the aqua marine park in Bugibba ( which also has a pretty impressive play area for the children to play in outside) and Marsaxlokk fishing village. I could on, but I think that I may have shared enough already 🙂

Thank you for reading

Looking for flights to Malta check out www.airmalta.com

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First flight abroard: family time

Are you experienced Family fliers?

Do you dread flying for the first time with your children?

Well we are the latter! Last week was our first time flying to another country as a family.

I had flown before with my eldest boy when he was 4 and last summer he flew out to Amsterdam with his agency to do some acting on stage but my two youngest have never flown before. I booked the holiday during the half term to Malta, a country that I have many contacts with and have visited a few times myself prior to having children. We were going to be travelling with Nanny and staying at my brothers apartment over there, we had an early morning flight all booked and the boys were very excited in travelling to another country via an Aeroplane.

The week prior to our departure I couldn’t sleep, I kept having nightmares and thinking if the worst outcomes that could happen to us whilst travelling

  • Being turned away because our passports had the wrong information on
  • Our names weren’t down on the roster for flying
  • Losing one of the children at the airport
  • The plane coming into bother whilst in transit
  • Not having a smooth flight and experiencing some turbulence

With hardly any sleep and over tired the day arrived for us to travel to Luton airport to depart for our first holiday abroad. I was so worried that an accident that may happen, I just had to keep telling myself that people fly all over the world every second of the day and the possibility of our plane come into some difficulties were very slim.

I had packed all the luggage with our clothes but I also had to think about what would keep the children entertained on the flight there

  • All phones and tablets fully charged with chargers in the suit case
  • Magazines and books to read
  • Colouring and drawing pencils
  • Favourite teddy bear or toy
  • Bottle of water
  • Any school homework that was given out
  • A pack of playing cards
Reading his magazine
Reading his magazine

I had also ensured that they was dressed in comfortable clothing like track suits, trainers and t-shirts. I didn’t want the children to be uncomfortable for the three hours that we was travelling, sitting down in a small tight space in clothing that would make them fidget and make them irritable.

We had all discussed prior to our flight about what to expect during flying and how they thought an aeroplane works. Joseph said that they he was a bit scared the aeroplane would drop from the sky as he doesn’t understand how it could fly with all the people in it. Oliver wanted the plane to do a loop de loop and Jak said he didn’t like it when his went pop.

As our flight was at 7:00 Am, we left our house at 4 aiming to arrive at the Airport for 5:00. I ridiculously thought that the boys would sleep in the car on the way to the airport but how wrong was I? They were overly excited and hyped up with adrenaline, looking forward to their little adventure they were about to embark on. By the time we had checked in and in the queue ready to board the plane the boys were going mental with excitement, I could just about control them from flying up in the air by themselves. They were winding other passengers up by being slightly too loud and running around their legs, I was really not looking forward to the flight. We found our seats and made our selves comfortable, as the seatbelt light went on and the plane began to move into position, the picture on my boys faces were priceless, they were ecstatic! Their eyes were lit up and alive with excitement, their facial expression with a constant smiled etched on and their little bodies shaking with anticipation.

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about to move
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At the window seat
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Getting bumpy
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about to board the plane

They took plenty of photos of their first experience, not of each other but of the view from the window seat

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Their excitement didn’t wear off until probably on the flight home, where none of the boys were too interested in sitting by the window and all they wanted to do was sleep.

 

Their first flight will always be a very special memory for all of us.

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Our first pose in Malta, still very excited!

Here’s to our next flight abroad, It wasn’t too bad after all! 🙂

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