Mellieha Bay Beach and Nature Reserve

Exploring Mellieħa Bay (Għadira) in Malta

Mellieħa Bay, also known as Għadira Bay, is the largest sandy beach in Malta.  Situated at the northern part of the island.  Close to the town of Mellieħa.  Għadira bay is a very popular beach.  Both for local people and tourists visiting Malta.  It attracts thousands of beach goers every summer.  This great beach is a wonderful place with many things to do.  A great place to relax and enjoy the sun and sea.

Għadira Bay has been awarded blue flag status.  This is a recognition of quality based on the safety and services offered.  The certification is based on water quality and environmental management. 

Located right opposite the beach is the db Seabank Resort and Spa.  You will find more places to stay and hotels in the village of Mellieħa.  Another hotel is being constructed next to the bay.  It will open its doors in the coming years.    

Travelling further north you will find Armier Bay and Paradise Bay.  At Ċirkewwa you can take the ferry to Gozo.  

Here are some fun activities you can enjoy at Mellieħa Bay.

Things to do at Mellieħa Bay (Għadira), Malta

Swimming and Sunbathing

The main attraction at Mellieħa Bay is the beach.  The sand is golden and soft, perfect for lying down and sunbathing.  The blue water is crystal clear, great for swimming. 

One of the best things to do is to relax.  You can lie on the sand and enjoy the warm sun.  Read a book or take a nap.  You can enjoy the stunning views and the sound of the waves.  This beautiful beach is a great place to unwind and forget about the stresses of everyday life.

This lovely beach is famous for its shallow waters.  Making it a family-friendly beach.  As it is safe for children to swim.  Close to the bay, the sea is ankle deep.  This is so for a long stretch from the bay.  Water gets deeper when you move further out.  It is advisable that swimmers stick to the designated swimmer zones.  As some parts of the bay are allocated to water sports.

Parents feel more comfortable letting their kids play in the water here.  Kids spend hours swimming and playing in the shallow water.  Children love building sandcastles and playing with the soft sand.  

Some tips to enjoy your day to the fullest.  Make sure to apply sunscreen at regular intervals.  Wear sunglasses and a hat.  Before going for a swim check the sea conditions.

Beach Facilities

Mellieħa Bay has many facilities to make your visit enjoyable.  You can rent sunbeds and umbrellas.  To make your stay more comfortable.  Visitors will find several lidos providing this service.  There are showers and changing rooms.  To rinse off the saltwater and change clothes.  There are two public toilets.  As well, each restaurant has its own restrooms.

Being Malta’s largest beach it is divided into 3 separate but adjoining bays.  Separated only by a rocky shore.  The middle beach is the most popular.  This is the longest and widest of the three.  It is the most lively area where all the activity takes place.  The other bays have a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere.

Lido operators of sunbeds and umbrellas are segregated into separate areas.  Given that these operators take the best places along the beach it may be difficult to find a good spot on busy days.  But there is a wide stretch of sand to place your towel and things if you do not want to rent out.

Several cafes and kiosks sell food and drinks along the bay.  You can buy snacks, ice cream and cold beverages.  There are many restaurants where you can have a delicious meal.  In general, kiosks sell burgers, hot dogs, Maltese “ftira” among other snacks.  Restaurants serve anything from light snacks to pizza, pasta and grills.

The beach is managed by the Malta Tourism Authority from the 15th June to the 15th September.  You will find lifeguards, a first aid clinic, beach supervisors and maintenance personnel. 

Barbecues are only permitted on the rocky area.  For groups of 15 people or more you need to get a permit from the Mellieħa local council.

Mellieha Bay Beach


Snorkelling is a popular activity at Għadira Bay.  The clear water makes it easy to see everything underwater.  You can see many colourful fish and plants.  Some people bring their own snorkelling gear.  But you can also rent gear at the beach.  Snorkelling is a fun way to explore the underwater world.

Water Sports

For those who enjoy water sports, the bay has endless activities.  Individuals can take banana rides.  You can rent pedal boats and canoes.  Paddling around the bay is a fun way to enjoy the views.  Further out at sea there is an inflatable water park where you can run, jump and play.  This is sure to keep children entertained for hours. 

For those who want more excitement you can also rent jet skis.  Jet skiing is a fast and thrilling way to experience the water.  For windsurfing and paddle boarding, you can rent equipment or take lessons.  Some companies offer lessons for beginners.  You can learn both sports even if you have never tried them before.

Boat Trips

People can also go on boat trips from Mellieħa Bay.  Boat trips are a great way to see the Maltese islands from the water.  Some companies offer short trips around the bay.  While others offer longer trips to other parts of Malta.  From here you can take a day or evening trip to Gozo and Comino.  Some trips include stops for swimming and snorkelling. 

You can also go on diving trips to explore underwater caves and reefs.  Diving is a popular activity in Malta because of the clear water and rich marine life.  You can see many interesting sea creatures and plants when you dive.

How to get to Mellieħa Bay (Għadira), Malta

Getting to Mellieħa Bay is easy.  There are direct buses to the beach from different parts of Malta.  The buses are regular and affordable.  Making them a convenient option for travellers. 

People making use of public transport can take bus route 250 from Valletta.  This bus leaves every hour.  You can also take route 41 and 42 to Ċirkewwa.  These routes have departures every 20 and 30 minutes.  From Qawra, Bugibba and St. Paul’s Bay take bus numbers 221 or 222.  From Sliema, St. Julians and Swieqi take bus number 222.  From the Airport you can ride bus X1.  All buses make a stop at Għadira Bus Stop.   All routes operate from early morning till late at night.  

If you prefer to drive, there is a large parking area near the beach.  The parking area is close to the end of the beach.  So you do not have to walk far.  The beach is also accessible for people with disabilities.  There are ramps and special facilities to make it easier for everyone to enjoy the beach.  While having a great time.

Bear in mind that this beach is very busy during the Summer months.  Especially on weekends.  Parking might be a problem.  You might consider parking in Mellieha and taking the bus.

Other Activities to do at Mellieħa Bay (Għadira), Malta

Ghadira Bay is not only a beach!  It is also close to many interesting places.  The village of Mellieħa has many shops, restaurants and historical sites.  One of the most beautiful sites is the Mellieħa Parish Church.  Located on a hill and offers stunning views of the bay.  The church is a peaceful place to visit and take some photos.

Another fun attraction near Mellieħa Bay is Popeye Village.  Built as a film set for the 1980 movie “Popeye” starring Robin Williams.  Today, it is a tourist attraction and fun park.  Where families can enjoy different activities.  You can explore the movie set, watch shows and meet characters from the movie.  There are also swimming areas and boat rides.  It is a great place to spend a day with your family.  Situated below Popeye Village is the famous Anchor Bay.

Mellieħa Bay is also close to nature reserves.  One of the most famous reserves is the Għadira Nature Reserve.  It has endemic flora and fauna.  Managed by Birdlife Malta this is a protected bird sanctuary.  This reserve is home to many different birds, insects and plants.  It is a peaceful place to walk and enjoy nature.  You can see many birds that migrate through Malta.  Around 140 different bird species migrate through Malta every year.  There are also guided tours available if you want to learn more about the wildlife in the reserve.  The reserve is open from September to May on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  Opening hours are from 2pm till dusk.  On weekends opening hours are from 10am till 4pm. 

Overlooking Għadira Bay, people can see the Red Tower.  Built at the time of Malta’s occupation by the Knights of the Order of St. John.  This served as a watchtower.  It is open for visitors.  From here individuals can admire amazing views of the bay, Gozo and Comino up to Mdina.  

In conclusion, Mellieħa Bay is a wonderful place to visit in Malta.  It offers beautiful scenery and safe swimming.  Besides endless activities to choose from.  Whether you want to relax on the beach or have an adventure in the water.  Mellieħa Bay has something for everyone.  The facilities at the beach make it easy to spend a whole day there.  The nearby attractions and easy access make it a perfect place to visit.  If you are planning a trip to Malta, be sure to spend some time at Mellieha Bay and enjoy all it has to offer.


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