St Thomas Bay Sandy Shore

St. Thomas Bay is a beautiful and quiet bay.  Located in the southeastern part of Malta.  Known in Maltese as ‘Id-daħla ta San Tumas’.  Though not as famous as some other spots in Malta, it has its unique charm.  If you are looking for a peaceful place to relax and enjoy nature, St. Thomas Bay is a great choice.

St. Thomas Bay Malta: A Hidden Gem

St. Thomas Bay is situated on the outskirts of the town of Marsascala.  A small seaside town in the south of Malta.  Surrounded by rocky cliffs and rugged coast.   This bay is made up of small inlets.  Some are sandy beaches others are rocky shores to please everyone’s likes.  This beach is popular with both locals and tourists.

It is believed that the bay got its name from a chapel located nearby.  This was dedicated to St. Thomas, one of the apostles of Jesus.  This bay was once a part of the town of Żejtun.  Making it and the nearby Munxar point popular with locals.  In fact, many Maltese have a summerhouse in the area.    

In the past, the bay was used by fishermen and traders.  They would dock their boats here and trade goods.  Today, you can still see boats and fishing equipment in the area.  This gives the bay a unique character.  The shore is also dotted with several boathouses.  

Beaches and Water Activities at St. Thomas Bay

St. Thomas Bay is one of the largest bays in the south.  It has two small sandy beaches besides rocky shores.  Visitors can choose their preferred place.  The azure water is clear and calm.  Making it a perfect spot for swimming.  The bay is not crowded, so you can enjoy a peaceful swim without too many people around. 

Though the sandy beaches are small they are great for swimming.  They provide shallow water perfect for families with children.  Allowing gradual entry into the water.  Whilst the flat rocks make the place ideal for sunbathing.  People staying on the rocky part of the beach need to be careful how to walk.  Rocks may be slippery.  It is important for swimmers to stick to the designated swimming zones.  As there is a pier for boats to dock.  Watch out as boats will be going in and out of the bay.  

St. Thomas Bay is also a perfect place for snorkelling and diving.  The underwater world here is full of colourful fish and interesting rock formations.  Marine life here is abundant with different types of fish.  The likes of sea bass and sea bream.  If you are lucky, you might even see some octopuses or sea turtles.

Facilities at the beach include public toilets and showers.  Located close to the beach there is a lido from where you can rent out sunbeds and umbrellas. 

Around the bay visitors will come across water sports outlets.  These hire equipment such as paddle boards, kayaks and much more.  Tour the coast and view the rock formations along the limestone cliffs.  For the adrenaline seekers, you can book a ride offered by one of the vendors.  Enjoy the ride with family and friends.  You can also book a jet ski to explore hidden spots along the southern coast.  Another option is to hire a self-drive boat to tour the south of Malta.  Visitors who prefer a more relaxed experience can rent a boat with a skipper.

St Thomas Bay Rocky Shore

Local Cuisine and Restaurants

Parked close to the beach are a few food trucks and kiosks.  These sell snacks, drinks and ice-cream.

After a day of exploring St. Thomas Bay, you might be hungry.  Luckily, there are several restaurants and cafes located along the promenade.  Where you can enjoy a delicious meal.  They offer a great place to enjoy Summer evenings.  Here, you can enjoy a meal while looking out over the bay.  The local cuisine is a mix of Mediterranean and Maltese flavours.  You can try fresh seafood, pizza, pasta and grills.  Some eateries offer traditional Maltese dishes.  Like rabbit stew, octopus in garlic and savoury snacks such as ‘pastizzi’.

Wildlife and Nature at St. Thomas Bay

St. Thomas Bay is home to a variety of wildlife.  You can see many different types of birds here.  Including seagulls, herons and kingfishers.  The bay is also a great place to see marine life.  The waters around the bay are full of fish, crabs and other sea creatures.

The area around the bay is covered with plants and trees.  You can see many different types of flowers and shrubs.  In the spring, the area is full of colourful wildflowers.  This makes the bay a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year.

If you enjoy walking or hiking, St. Thomas Bay is a great place to explore.  There are several trails that go around the bay and into the surrounding hills.  These trails offer stunning views of the bay and the Mediterranean Sea.

Nearby Attractions

Close by is the ‘Riħama’ artillery Battery.  Built by the Knights of the Order of St. John.  This coastal fortification was part of the defence system.  It guarded St. Thomas Bay.  But, today it lies in ruins.  

To the north of the bay travellers can visit the town of Marsascala.  Along the south visitors can hike to the Munxar headland.  This is a rocky peninsula situated at the southern edge of the bay.  The headland offers stunning views of St. Thomas Bay.  Visitors can explore and walk along its paths on cooler days. 

Close to the derelict Jerma Hotel is the St. Thomas Tower.  This is the largest watch tower on the Maltese islands.  This tower is an old fortification built by the Knights of St. John in the 17th century.  Commissioned by Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt.  Forming part of the coastal defence system of the islands.  This tower was used to protect the bay from pirate attacks.  From the top of the tower, you can see the entire bay and the surrounding countryside.  Restoration on the tower commenced during 2022.  With plans to open a museum about piracy in the Mediterranean.  But, it is still closed to the public and not accessible.   

During the cooler months, people can hike to Delimara cliffs.  Known for the rocky beaches of ‘Xrobb l-Għaġin’ and St. Peter’s pool. 

Another option is to visit the fishing village of Marsaxlokk.  This village is well known for its Sunday fish market.    

Where to Stay

If you want to stay overnight in St. Thomas Bay, there are several options.  There are small hotels and guesthouses in Marsaskala.  Only a short walk from the bay.  You can also find holiday apartments in the area.  These accommodations offer a comfortable and convenient place to stay.  While you explore the bay and the surrounding area.

How to get There

You can reach St. Thomas Bay by private car or public transport.  Public Transport operates from Valletta, the Airport and Mater Dei.  The closest bus stop is ‘Baija’. 

Route 91 leaves Valletta every 12 minutes, the journey takes about 40 minutes.  Route 119 leaves from the Airport every hour.  Route 135 leaves from Mater Dei, Malta’ General Hospital, to St. Thomas Bay every hour.  All routes operate from early in the morning to late in the evening.

Visitors coming by private car can park along the road.  Since parking is close to the beach it is convenient.  

Practical Information

If you are planning a visit to St. Thomas Bay, here are some practical tips:

  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit St. Thomas Bay is during the Spring and Summer.  The weather is warm and sunny.  The sea is perfect for swimming.  The Winter months are perfect for people to explore the area.
  • What to Bring: If you are planning to swim or snorkel, make sure to bring your swimsuit and snorkelling gear.  Apply sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses.  Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated.  If you plan to hike, bring some comfortable shoes for walking or hiking.  
  • Safety: The bay is a safe place to visit, but always be careful when swimming or hiking.  Make sure to follow any safety signs and guidelines.

St. Thomas Bay is a hidden gem in Malta.  With its beautiful beaches, clear waters and great water sports.  It is a perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.  Whether you are swimming, snorkelling, hiking or enjoying a meal by the sea.  St. Thomas Bay has something for everyone.  So, if you are looking for a peaceful and beautiful place to visit in Malta.  Make sure to add St. Thomas Bay to your tour list.


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