Explore Għajn Tuffieħa Bay – Malta’s Most Beautiful Beach

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay

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Ghajn Tuffieha Beach is often called Riviera. It ranks high among the must-visit sand beaches in Malta. It’s my absolute favourite. It has turquoise waters, red sand, and picturesque views. Also, the 187 steps to and from the beach add to its charm.

I’ve been in Malta since 2011. I’ve visited many beaches, but I always return to Ghajn Tuffieha. It has stunning views, clear water and amazing sunsets. Also, you can enjoy water sports there.

In this post, you’ll discover detailed directions to get to Għajn Tuffieħa Beach. Plus, I’ve included some insider tips to make your experience even better.

Where is Għajn Tuffieħa Bay?

The Għajn Tuffieħa Bay is on the northwest coast of Malta. It is one of three beaches separated by rocky hills – Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and Gnejna. Għajn Tuffieħa is in the middle, 345 metres south of Golden Bay. It is possible to hike between these beaches and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Abonded Riviera Hotel on the Top
Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, Malta

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay Names

In Maltese, Għajn Tuffieħa means Apple’s Eye. However, it is rarely called Apple’s Eye Beach in English.

Its English name is Riviera Beach or Riviera Martinique. This name comes from the Riviera Martinique hotel, which closed in the 1980s. It stands abandoned atop the hill, watching the waves and bathers on the beach below (you can see it in the image above).

My Top Reasons to Visit Għajn Tuffieħa Bay

Check out some of the reasons why Malta’s Għajn Tuffieħa Bay is worth a visit:

  1. Għajn Tuffieħa Bay’s beach is beautiful with its red sand and crystal-clear water.

  2. It’s the best beach in Malta to watch the sunsets. An hour before nightfall, the bay takes on a magical atmosphere. The light creates beautiful silhouettes, and the area becomes quiet and peaceful.

    Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Evening silhouettes
    Evening Silhouettes
  3. This beach is wild and natural, with unspoiled rocks and cliffs.

  4. Its shallow water gradually deepens, making it ideal for children and those uncomfortable in deep water.

  5. You have rocky hills around the beach. The views are amazing. There are hiking paths to explore the area. I enjoy hiking early in the morning and having a refreshing dip after.

  6. Għajn Tuffieħa Bay is less busy than Golden Bay. It is partly due to the 187-step descent from the top of the hill. Walking down and up can be a challenge for families or older people, which stops many people from visiting.

  7. There are paddle boards for rent so that you can explore the nearby coastline. Learn more about paddle boarding in Malta here. If the sea is wavy, you can take surf lessons or rent a surfboard. 

  8. Snorkelling is fantastic along the rocky sides. You will see lots of marine life there.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Red Sand
Red Sand of the Għajn Tuffieħa Beach

How to Get There?

It is relatively easy to get to Għajn Tuffieħa Beach. Just note that on Google Maps, this place is called Riviera Beach, not Għajn Tuffieħa.

By car, it is just a 30-minute drive north of Malta’s capital city, Valletta. Alternatively, you can take a bus from Valletta, Sliema or St. Julian’s to Golden Bay. Għajn Tuffieħa Beach is just one bus stop from Golden Bay.

There is a small parking lot near the beach, so you should arrive early to get a spot. The parking is free, but you should tip the attendant a few euros.

During the summer, temporary parking is available nearby in a field. Parking at Golden Bay and walking to Gjan Tuffieha Bay is also possible. In addition, there is a new parking lot where you can pay cashless.

Getting There:

Need advice on renting a car in Malta? Here’s my guide with insider tips on everything you need to know.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Swings at the Entrance to the Stairs
Għajn Tuffieħa Beach Swings Overlooking the Bay

Things to Do at Għajn Tuffieħa Bay

Għajn Tuffieħa Beach offers visitors a wealth of activities.

If you are adventurous, you can snorkel and explore the depths of crystal-clear waters. Many types of marine life are on either side of the bay, including fish, crabs, and octopuses. You can also spot stingrays and flying fish on the sandy bottom. A depth of 2-4 meters makes snorkelling safe.

You can take a hike and explore the surrounding area. For example, if you walk to the left side of the beach, you can explore the clay cliffs, Ta’ Babu Cove, visit il-Qarraba Peninsula, or even hike to Gnejna Bay.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Ta’ Babu Cove
Ta’ Babu Cove and Gnejna Bay

You can also walk towards the Golden Bay and visit the Għajn Tuffieħa Tower. Among its many advantages is the fantastic view. From the tower, you can see the Lippija Tower in Gnejna Bay. It was designed so that you could always see another tower and send signals in case of an attack.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Ghajn Tuffieha Tower
Għajn Tuffieħa Tower

Armed initially with a 12-pounder gun, Għajn Tuffieħa Tower was built by the Knights of St. John in 1637. It was kept under guard by a captain and three men.

However, coastal erosion has threatened its existence. During the storm in early 2023, part of the tower was damaged.

Of course, one of the most popular activities is to sunbathe, swim and watch the sunsets.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Sunset
Sunset at Għajn Tuffieħa Beach

One great beach activity you can try is joining a yoga class with Yoga Malta. They offer a yoga and swimming workshop in the mornings at Riviera Beach, where you can relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. I went once and found it very calming.

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Some Advice for a Great Experience

  • To avoid the crowds, arrive at Għajn Tuffieħa Beach either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Remember to bring sunscreen and a hat, as the sun is incredibly intense.
  • Bring your snorkelling gear.
  • Be sure to respect marine life and vegetation.
  • Bring your camera to capture the stunning views.
  • Take comfortable shoes if you want to explore the area on a hike. Flipflops are not a good idea.
  • Be sure to confirm that the beach is jellyfish-free – learn more in my jellyfish guide.

Għajn Tuffieħa Beach: FAQ

Does Malta have beaches?

Yes, Malta has many beautiful beaches. You’ll find both sandy and rocky beaches perfect for swimming, sunbathing, scuba diving and water sports.

What does Ghajn Tuffieha mean in English?

Ghajn Tuffieha means “Apple’s Eye” in English. This beach is also called Riviera Bay. It’s known for its beautiful beach and stunning sunset views.

What is the best sandy beach in Malta?

Golden Bay is adored for its family-friendly vibe. It’s near Ghajn Tuffieha, a scenic beach. Ghadira Beach is the biggest, and Ramla Bay is beloved in Gozo. These beaches boast sandy shores and clear waters.

Where are the best nudist beaches in Malta?

Nude and topless sunbathing is generally forbidden in Malta. However, an unofficial nudist spot can be found in a secluded part of Għajn Tuffieha. It is at the end of the main beach in a separate area under a large flat rock. Click here for location.

Are Malta beaches swimmable?

All Malta beaches are perfect for swimming. You can swim anywhere except in port areas. The water is clear and clean. Be cautious at unofficial beaches. This is especially true in rough seas because there are no lifeguards.

If you’re coming to Malta, visit Għajn Tuffieħa Beach. The red sand beach, crystal clear water, and stunning views make it an amazing place to visit. You can snorkel, hike, relax, soak up the sun and enjoy sunsets at Għajn Tuffieħa Bay.

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