One of the most disappointing things about Malta is the beaches. Surprising, but true, because basically there are hardly any! Okay, there are a few sandy bays mainly in the North but everywhere else it’s just rock. Which is fine if you want to swim because you can jump straight into deep water but if you’re looking for a stroll along an endless sandy beach then forget it. The closest you’ll get is Mellieha Bay but you’ll be walking along side a road, dodging 10,000 umbrellas and it won’t take long before you reach the end of the beach anyway.
That’s not to say that the beaches that there are in Malta are not beautiful, because they are very pretty. The small sandy beaches in the North like Armia bay and Paradise Bay are very picturesque and the rock beaches all around the island are fantastic with great swimming spots. Golden Bay is lovely and, as it suggests – golden. However it’s overlooked by a big hotel and super busy in season. Gnejna is a great beach, good for swimming and a relaxed atmosphere but spoilt a bit by cars being allowed so close to the beach.
So, now that I’ve explored most of Malta’s beaches, I now just find myself going again and again to the same one, because basically, it ticks all the boxes. Every time I want a day on the beach with the kids, every time I have friends visiting, every time I want a beach walk with Taco, I head to the same beach – Ghajn Tuffieha, also known as Riviera Bay.
This is why Ghajn Tuffieha really is the best beach in Matlta
1 The dramatic entrance. You arrive at Ghajn Tuffieha from the top of a cliff. When you first look down at it it really takes your breath away. The colour of the sea, the peninsula with the huge rock face at the end of the bay, the orange coloured sand and the green rolling hill and winding pathway leading down to the bottom. It’s an amazing view.
2 The beach is sandy. And as I’ve said, sandy beaches are hard to find in Malta. It’s quite an orange kind of sand but it makes it even more unique.
3 The walks. It’s not just a case of a walk along a small beach. There are so many amazing walks you can do around Ghajn Tuffieha. You can walk along the cliff top in both directions, you can walk down to the beach and follow one of the many paths round to the next bay which is totally uninhabited. Or you can walk along the beach and then travel along the peninsula. There’s a smaller sandy bay on the way which is always quiet, but beware – it’s also frequented by naturalists so don’t get too startled if you see a naked man.
4 It’s great for kids. The sea is shallow so it’s easy swimming and safe for kids. You can wade out for ages before you’re out of your depth. And of course they can play in the sand. Did I mention it’s a sandy beach?
5 It’s great for dogs. In summer dogs aren’t allowed on the beach but from 1 October it’s doggy heaven. With all the paths up the side and over the top you and your four legged friend won’t get bored. There’s always another trail to follow. And the water is pretty warm for most of winter so doggie dips are also an option.
6 It’s good for a coffee. The restaurant has recently been refurbished. Now, I have to say that the food isn’t great and it is expensive BUT it’s forgivable just because it’s such a fantastic setting. Don’t go for lunch, go for a coffee or an ice-cream and you can chill and enjoy the setting when you want a break from the sun.
7 It’s never too busy. Because of the long drop down to the beach and the many stairs it’s difficult to access which puts people off and consequently it never gets as busy as neighbouring Golden Bay or nearby Mellieha. So if you can handle a few stairs then it is well worth the effort.
8 It’s a cool beach! Yep, the cool kids hang here. A bit like this hip chick.