Most of the Maltese coastline is rocky, with the cool aqua tones of the Mediterranean contrasting beautifully with the honey-coloured natural limestone; the bedrock of Malta.
Many of the popular tourist resorts such as Sliema, St Julians and Qawra don’t have access to a sandy beach, and instead, bathers swim off rocks or at a water’s edge lido. There are four main locations where hotels are found next to beaches, and they are all in the north of the island.
Malta’s largest beach is Ghadira, also known as Mellieha Bay. There are three hotels situated alongside the beach, these are The Riu Seabank Hotel, The Mellieha Bay Hotel and The Danish Village Holiday complex. There first two mentioned are holiday hotels with indoor and outdoor pools, restaurants and bars. Each offers a variety of watersports, particularly the Mellieha bay Hotel, with a Diving school – Aquaventure – based within the grounds and other watersports on offer. If you’re more into relaxing, then the sandy bay is metres away from the hotels, and there you can hire sunbeds and umbrellas. The Danish Village houses guests in bungalows set in luscious gardens, and these have self-catering facilities, although there are three restaurants within the complex itself.
Further north, the Marfa/Cirkewwa area has three beach hotels. The Riviera Resort and The Ramla Bay Hotel are on the north east of the Ahrax peninsula , and are close to sandy beaches both next door to the hotels and a little further away at Armier bay. On the western side of the promontory, The Paradise Bay Hotel is by Paradise Bay, a small idyllic sandy cove, close to the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa.
On the western coast of Malta, close to the village of Manikata, is Golden Bay – another sandy bay with beach facilities. Right on the beach is the Radisson Golden Sands Hotel. There has been a hotel here for many, many years, but in preparation for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November 2005, the existing hotel was demolished and a 5-star, brand new luxury hotel was built in its place.
Finally, although man-made, Bugibba’s beach is popular. This beach is known as a “perched” beach, with sand overlying the rocks on the resort’s coast. Close to this beach is the Dolmen Hotel – one of the largest hotels in Malta. Although the Dolmen has its own beach club, which is a lido by the sea’s edge, some patrons prefer to lie on the sand on the public beach.
For more information on these hotels, call the Malta Tourism Authority on 22915118.