While Valletta and The Three Cities in the southeast of Malta are the island’s historical havens, much of its natural beauty can be found in the north. Venture away from the crowds with a day trip to northern Malta and discover an array of intriguing and captivating spaces, many of which remain untouched. From St Paul’s Bay and the beaches of Mellieħa to the remote village of Mġarr, add these beautiful northern sites to your itinerary.
Mellieħa, on the tip of northern Malta, is one of the most picturesque areas on the island. With fine sandy beaches, warm Mediterranean waters, fascinating archaeological sites and rolling countryside landscapes where rare and protected wildlife roam, there’s something for every type of traveller. Spend the day relaxing on the coast, cooling off with water sports or getting active with scenic nature hikes and cultural tours of attractions such as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieħa.
From Ċirkewwa harbour, take a quick 20-minute boat trip over to the neighbouring island of Comino. At 3.5 square kilometres in size, it may be the smallest island on the Maltese archipelago, but it’s also one of the most beautiful. Comino is best known for its Blue Lagoon, which makes for scenic swimming and fruitful snorkelling. Pack a bag for a sun-soaked picnic on the beach.
A spectacular landscape awaits discovery at the Majjistral Nature and History Park. The intriguing national park encompasses a stunning stretch of coast, which has been conserved due to its visual, geological and ecological merit. Along the water’s edge are beautiful sandy bays (the most famous is Golden Bay), surrounded by natural clay slopes and limestone cliffs, where a special flora habitat has developed. On the mainland, the protected area is also home to a range of historical architecture and ruins.
A trip to northern Malta wouldn’t be complete without passing by the tiny, remote town of Mġarr. The rural village is surrounded by miles of scenic valleys, vineyards and farmland, which make for memorable countryside walks, while the town itself is home to a number of significant prehistoric sites. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Skorba and Ta’ Ħaġrat temples for a window into the lives’ of the first settlers on the Maltese islands.
St Paul’s Bay is the ideal place to bring a day in northern Malta to a close. The large seaside resort is renowned for its fantastic restaurants and bars offering beautiful views over the bay. Explore beautiful architecture in the old town before heading to up-and-coming areas like Buġibba and Qawra, which are known for their rocky coves, coastal promenades and lively nightlife. Sample fresh lobster at Tarragon, a Mediterranean seafood restaurant set above the harbour, or head to restaurant Venus for modern fusion flavours, before hitting the beachfront strip for cocktails at sunset.
Are you an art lover or culture vulture holidaying in Malta? Well, you’ll be pleased to find that this Mediterranean island may be small, but it packs a punch when it comes to art and culture. Here are six recommended destinations to add to your itinerary to experience the best of Malta’s art scene.