A Kayaking Trip to Ta’ Marija Cave in Gnejna Bay

A kayaker paddles towards the entrance of Ta' Marija Cave, a popular kayaking destination near Gnejna Beach in Malta.

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Have you heard of Ta’ Marija Cave? It’s a stunning sea cave near Gnejna Bay in Malta. It’s easiest to reach it by water, which makes it ideal for kayaking.

I’ve lived in Malta since 2011. Kayaking is an activity I really enjoy, and I often rent a kayak to have a great day out with my friends.

I recently visited Ta’ Marija Cave and loved it. Now, I want to share some tips so you can have a great kayaking adventure to Ta’ Marija Cave in Gnejna.

The cave is on the west side of Malta, between Gnejna Beach and Fomm ir-Rih Bay. The best way to reach Ta’ Marija Cave is by water. You’ve got a few options: boat, kayak, or paddle board.

You can walk to the cave too. But, it’s hard to find it and it can be slippery and dangerous if the sea is wavy.

In this guide, I will give you all the information you need to plan your kayaking trip to the Ta’ Marija cave.

Getting to Ta’ Marija Cave, Gnejna

To get to the cave from Gnejna Bay, it takes around 30 to 40 minutes, depending on how fast you paddle. Don’t worry if you’re not a pro kayaker – the journey is suitable for beginners too.

It’s best to rent a kayak at Gnejna Bay. There’s a rental place on the beach, open from 9 am to 7 pm. They offer single or double kayaks. Additionally, they provide life vests and tips for finding the cave.

Two kayakers enjoying the crystal clear waters near next to the rocky coast of Gnejna Beach.

Getting to Gnejna Bay

Gnejna Bay is part of a trio of beaches – Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, and Gnejna Bay. They’re all separated by clay cliffs and rocky hills.

The easiest way to reach Gnejna Bay is by car. There is a large parking lot, making it easy to find a spot.

Taking the bus is a bit of a hassle. It will take you to Mgarr, and then you have to walk for 25 minutes to reach Gnejna Bay.

If you’re up for it and the weather’s not too hot, consider hiking from Ghajn Tuffieha to Gnejna Bay.

You can get to Ghajn Tuffieha by bus and take a 30-40 minute walk along the coast with stunning views. Interested? I have a detailed guide for that.

  • Location: link to Google Maps
  • Nearest bus stop: Mgarr, 25 minutes away. If you want to hike from Ghajn Tuffieha, start at the bus stop Riviera
  • Frequency of the buses: every hour or less
  • Parking available: car park next to the beach

Best Time to Visit

Summer days can get very hot. To avoid this, it’s best to kayak in the morning. Start at 9 a.m. This way, you’ll avoid the worst heat and still have time to explore.

Another option is to go in the late afternoon, around 5 o’clock. The rental shop closes at 7, so you’ll have two hours to paddle. You will also see the stunning colours of the golden hour.

If you’re planning to visit Ta’ Marija Cave in spring or autumn, you can go kayaking pretty much any time during the day. Just keep an eye on the waves – if it’s too choppy, it can be dangerous to go inside the cave.

But don’t worry. You don’t have to figure it out alone if the weather is good. The rental shop is there to help. You can give them a call in the morning or even the day before, and they’ll let you know if the weather is good for visiting the cave.

The entrance of the majestic Ta' Marija Cave near Gnejna Beach, with its unique rock formations and crystal clear waters.
Exploring the Stunning Ta’ Marija Cave by Kayak

Kayaking to Ta’ Marija Cave, Gnejna

It takes around 30-40 minutes to paddle to the cave, but that’s not super exhausting or anything. I’d suggest renting the kayak for an hour and a half or two hours.

The great thing about the rental shop is that you can grab a kayak, go out, and pay when you return, based on how long you were out there.

Let the rental shop know that you are going to the cave so they can advise if it’s safe, warn you about the waves or currents.

And don’t forget to wear a life jacket. If you happen to fall out of the kayak, the water is deep, so it’s better to be protected.

A person kayaking towards the stunning Ta' Marija Cave near Gnejna Beach, with its unique rock formations visible in the background.
Kayaking Ta’ Marija Cave, Gnejna

Speaking of waves, when I visited the cave, it was quite wavy. We didn’t actually go inside because of that – it can be dangerous if the water is coming into the cave. But even though we couldn’t enter, it was still nice to kayak out there and see the cave from a distance.

Exploring Ta’ Marija Cave

When the sea is calm, you can easily paddle into the cave. Then, you can lift your kayak onto the rocks. After that, you’re free to swim and snorkel. The water is crystal clear, allowing you to see many fish.

You might spot some sea bass swimming around, and if you’re really lucky, you could even see an octopus.

If the sea is wavy, it’s better not to enter the cave. It can get a bit dangerous with the waves crashing in.

Bring your phone with a dry bag to take photos. Capture the sun rays in the cave or the water reflections.

Returning Back to Gnejna Bay

When returning from the cave, stay to the right. You’ll spot rocky bays. You can easily paddle through. The water is very calm, ideal for relaxing or swimming.

You can also cross the bay and visit the clay cliffs. There’s a small, often empty beach. It’s hard to reach by foot, as you need to descend slippery cliffs. Last time I went, we had the place to ourselves.

After exploring the secret beach, head back along the coast to Gnejna Bay. You’ll pass another rocky area, Ta’ Babu Cove. People often swim and sunbathe there.

From there, it’s a short 10-minute paddle back to Gnejna beach.

A colorful kayak rests on the sandy shore, with the stunning clay cliffs in the background.
Kayaking Adventure at Gnejna Bay

I hope you enjoyed this guide and you will plan a kayaking trip to the Ta’ Marija Cave. Wear a life jacket and take guidance from the rental shop. As you paddle into the cave, you’ll have the chance to swim and explore the beautiful nearby bays.

If you enjoy water activities, feel free to explore my guides to the best snorkelling spots, paddle boarding locations, and scuba diving adventures.

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