Gnejna Bay and Ta Lippija Tower

Ġnejna Bay is a beautiful and quiet bay on the north western coast of Malta.  It is less famous than other beaches in Malta.  But it is a special place worth visiting.  Surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery.  It lies between clay slopes and limestone cliffs.  It still enjoys most of its natural features.  To a great extent it remains untouched by man.  Adding to its scenic charm.   

The bay is only accessible through a street crossing Ġnejna valley.  Here you will find one of Malta’s few remaining perennial freshwater springs.  Look into the spring to see the native Maltese freshwater crab known as ‘qabru’.  

Ġnejna Bay offers stunning views, clear blue waters and a peaceful atmosphere.  Making it a perfect spot for relaxation and fun.

Visiting Ġnejna Bay Beach Malta

Ġnejna Bay is located near the small village of Mġarr.  Close to another two popular bays.  Riviera Bay known in Maltese as ‘Għajn Tuffieħa’ and Golden Bay.  

Ġnejna Bay is a sandy beach.  Its shore is a mix of sand and pebbles.  The sand is golden orange and soft.  Great for sunbathing.  Visitors can rent out sunbeds and umbrellas.  The pebbles are smooth and easy to walk on.  The beach is not very large.  But it rarely gets crowded, even during Summer, as it’s not popular with travellers.  This makes it an ideal spot for those who prefer a quieter beach experience. 

The water at Ġnejna Bay is crystal clear and clean.  Its sandy shore allows for a gradual entry into the sea.  It is shallow near the shore, which makes it safe for swimming.  Especially for families with young children.  As you go further out, the water becomes deeper.  Providing a good area for snorkelling and diving.  Though this is a sandy beach, watch out for hidden rocks beneath the sea’s surface.  Before taking a dip ensure that the sea is jellyfish-free.  Swimmers should also keep to the designated swimming zones.  On windy days it is advisable not to swim due to strong sea undercurrents.     

Though Ġnejna Bay is less crowded, it still gets its fair share of beachgoers.  Most of them during the weekends in Summer.  Ġnejna is very popular with local families.  The shallow water is great for kids to splash around.  At times there are plenty of children playing and running around.  Choosing a weekday or off-peak hours is great to enjoy a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere.  

For those who do not like the sand, on the right hand side, the beach has a stretch of smooth flat rock.  

Hidden along a secluded strip on the coast.  On the north side of the bay there is a nudist beach.  Though this is illegal in Malta, authorities turn a blind eye. 

Lifeguards are on duty during the peak Summer months. 

Visitors can make use of public toilets situated in the parking area right next to the beach.

Gnejna Bay Malta

Activities at Ġnejna Bay

There are many activities to enjoy at Ġnejna Bay.  Swimming is the most popular due to the calm and clear water.  This is also a great place for snorkelling with its crystal clear water.  The underwater world here is vibrant.  The interesting snorkelling areas are along the rocky reefs.  The rocky coast is great for marine life.  With many fish and marine plants to see.   

For those who love adventure, Ġnejna Bay offers many opportunities.  Such as kayaking and paddle boarding.  These activities allow you to explore the bay and its surroundings from the water.  There is a local watersports shop near the beach.  Rent a paddle boat or kayak to visit ‘Ta’ Babu Cove’ and ‘Ta’ Marija Cave’.  This vendor also provides various water rides.  From here you can  also rent self-drive boats to explore the surrounding areas.  These are rented out by the hour.  This watersports outlet gives you the option to rent a speed boat together with a skipper.  So that you can sit back and enjoy your ride. 

Ġnejna Bay is also a good spot for cliff diving.  There are several cliffs around the bay where you can jump into the deep blue sea.  But, it is important to be careful and make sure it is safe before you jump.

Facilities at Ġnejna Bay Beach

There are a few small kiosks parked by Ġnejna Bay where you can buy snacks and drinks.  These kiosks offer simple but tasty food.  Such as sandwiches, burgers and ice cream.  For a hearty meal, you need to drive to Mġarr village.  In the village, there are several restaurants and cafes.  These places offer Mediterranean cuisine and a variety of Maltese dishes.  Including fresh seafood, rabbit stew and ‘pastizzi’.   ‘Pastizzi’ are traditional Maltese savoury pastries filled with ricotta or peas.

There are no hotels or guesthouses at Ġnejna Bay.  Though there are many options in the nearby areas.  Mġarr has some charming bed and breakfasts.  This rural village is known for its scenic countryside and traditional Maltese life.  There are several hotels in the nearby town of Mellieħa.  These accommodations range from budget-friendly to more luxurious options.  Catering to different preferences and budgets.

Gnejna Bay

Things to do at Ġnejna Bay

Walking and Hiking

The area around Gnejna beach is perfect for walking and hiking.  During the cooler months this area provides a great exploring opportunity.  Here you can appreciate the Maltese countryside.  There are several trails over the hills.  Offering stunning views of the coastline and the Mediterranean Sea.  One popular hike is the walk from Ġnejna Bay to the nearby Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and Golden Bay.  This hike takes you along the cliffs and offers breathtaking views.  It is a moderate hike and takes about two hours.  Consider that some parts of the hike can be steep.  Pay attention also to loose rocks as these are slippery.

Another great hike is the one that leads to Ta Lippija Tower, overlooking the beach.  From the tower, you get amazing views of Ġnejna beach and the surrounding areas.  This tower is an old watch tower built in 1637 by the Knights of St. John.  Grand Master Juan de Lascaris Castellar commissioned the construction.  This tower formed part of the intricate coastal defence system.  When pirates were sighted at sea.  Watch guards used flags by day and bonfires by night.  To warn the Knights in the walled city of Mdina.  

History and Culture

Ġnejna Bay is not only about natural beauty.  It also has a rich history.  The area has been inhabited since ancient times.  

The Lippija Tower, mentioned earlier, is an important historical site.  It was part of a network of watchtowers built to protect Malta from invaders.  Today, it stands as a reminder of Malta’s rich history.  As well its strategic importance in the Mediterranean.

Close to Ġnejna Bay is ‘Castello Zamittello’.  Tied to this place is a legend narrated by locals.  About Lucia, the daughter of Baron Bernardo Zammit.  Around 300 years ago, Lucia disappeared on her wedding day.  A year later the spirit of Lucia appeared in front of the altar at a local church.  Dressed in a nun’s habit, she explained her disappearance.  She had been tending to the injured far away from the island’s shores.  Until she was killed by a stray arrow.  

Environmental Care

Ġnejna Bay is a pristine natural area.  It is important to keep it that way.  Visitors are encouraged to take care of the environment.  By not littering and by respecting the local wildlife.  There are bins available for trash.  It is important to use them.  By taking care of the environment, we can ensure that Ġnejna Bay remains beautiful.  Making it an enjoyable place for everyone.

How to get at Ġnejna Bay

The drive to the Gnejna Bay beach is scenic.  With winding roads that offer great views of the countryside.  There is a parking area right next to the beach, which is convenient for visitors.  Making it accessible to persons with mobility issues.  There are ramps leading to the bay.  

To get to Gnejna Bay, you can drive or make use of public transport.  But this bay is not easy to reach by public transport.  Making it is less popular among tourists.  

Getting to the bay by private car is easy.  Drive to Mġarr church then follow the signs.  Most of the time there is a parking attendant at the parking area.  It is customary to tip the attendant.

There is only one bus that goes to Ġnejna Bay, being route 101.  This bus departs from Ċirkewwa.  It passes only through the northern villages before reaching Mġarr.  Besides, this route operates throughout the day only during the peak Summer months.  With one bus every hour.  So, unless you are staying close to Mellieħa you will need to change buses at Mġarr.   

Other buses drop you off at Mġarr.  You either wait for route 101 or walk around 25 minutes to reach the beach.  

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ġnejna Bay is during the Spring and Summer months, from April to September.  During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for beach activities.  The sea is also warm enough for swimming.  Remember to drink water to stay hydrated.  Apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses. 

Yet, even in the winter months, Ġnejna Bay is worth a visit.  The cooler weather is ideal for hiking and exploring the area without the Summer crowds.  Make sure to wear appropriate hiking gear.  Ensure that the hiking shoes have a good grip.

Ġnejna Bay is a hidden gem in Malta that offers something for everyone.  Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax.  An exciting spot for water sports or a scenic area for hiking.  Ġnejna Bay has it all.  So, if you are planning a trip to Malta, make sure to include Ġnejna Bay in your itinerary.  You will not be disappointed by the beauty and tranquillity of this wonderful bay.


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