We decided to explore the coastline with a day trip to two sandy beaches in Malta: Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha. For some reason, there’s a myth that Malta only has rocky beaches. It does, but it has a fair few sandy ones too. I’m really not fussy about what terrain beaches are – I don’t sunbathe and can’t swim. But it’s always good to see a bit of variation. This area has a lovely walk/hike you can do and we were frustrated with how busy Valletta was, so it was ideal to get off the beaten track.
And after a chilly few days in Malta, we got lucky with the weather this day: an added bonus that made for some pretty photographs… if I do say so myself.
To get to Golden Bay, we got bus number 225 from Sliema (Chalet stop). Buses are so cheap in Malta – you can get really far on just 1.50 euro. It took about an hour to get to Golden Bay and we got to see quite a lot of Malta’s scenery. The closer we got, the more rural and agricultural the landscape. Fields of crops and flowers then gave way to a rocky, lunar coastline. You wouldn’t have known that there was a little honey-coloured beach just over the edge (to be fair, it also had its fair share of pebbles).
Unfortunately, like everywhere I saw in Malta, tourism had made its big fat commercial mark – this time, in the form of a few imposing hotel/resorts right on the coast. But if you looked the other way, it was much nicer. And it gets better the further you walk.
Lunch overlooking Golden Bay
As ever, the first thing we did was find something to eat. We’d got there about 1pm. If you have read any of our other blogs, you’ll know that we don’t do early mornings so almost every day trip out usually starts with lunch.
Golden Bay was only tiny, so not many cafés or restaurants around, but that was fine. We went to Apple’s Eye Restaurant, which looked like somewhere very touristy that we’d normally avoid with a bargepole. But at this point in the holiday, we’d learnt that Malta’s food is solidly good. We didn’t eat anything disappointing or overpriced the whole week.
We shared a veggie pizza and a cheese salad while watching some couple complain that a ‘spicy chilli burger’ they’d ordered was spicy. Is there anything worse than humans?
Fields of crops and poppies
After lunch, we headed back onto the road, passing behind the restaurant and turning right into some fields that would eventually lead along the cliffs towards Ghajn Tuffieha. The walk to get there took about 30 minutes, plus a bit extra when we stopped to have a look round.
As soon as we set off by the fields, it started to get much better. Quieter. Nicer views. Couldn’t see the tourists on the beach as much.
Turquoise sea views
Heading up onto the cliffs, we had a good view of the sparkly sea. There was a little tower thing and some rocks that could serve as a bench.
There were quite a few flowers about, despite the dry landscape. Nothing much to say about that, but here they are.
Ghajn Tuffieha beach
This beach was much nicer. It had some incredible views, including its own ‘table’ mountain.
You can get onto the beach by trotting down some stairs. There was a decent café on the shore, where we sat and had a beer before continuing our walk.
Karma karma karma karma karma chameleon
We helped this cute little chap cross the path, making sure no one trod on him. He was absolutely adorable. Look at those sassy legs strutting along. Apparently he was a Mediterranean chameleon.
It doesn’t get any better than this, so that’s the end of the post.
Day trip to these two sandy beaches in Malta: useful information
How to get there (and away)
To get to Golden Bay, Malta, we got a number x bus from Valletta that took about an hour and cost 1.50€.Watch out for the ridiculous behaviour at the bus stop on your way back. Tourists from all over Europe seem to lose any ability to queue and just shove their way to the front. We were warned about this before we went, so we were prepared. But it was still annoying.
Where to stay
There’s a hotel in Golden Bay, but it’s not somewhere we’d stay for a holiday in Malta. We actually stayed in Sliema, but wouldn’t go back there. If you could stay in Valletta, you’re near the bus station for all sorts of day trips.
How to get around
Golden Bay is only little and it’s all about walking along the coastal path. There’s nothing you need transport to get to once you’re there.
When to go
We went to Malta in April, when it was unseasonably cold all week, but we were incredibly lucky on the day we went to Golden Bay. The sun came out properly for the first time and we thawed out. Avoid in high season, though – it can get heaving apparently.
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