Discover Mellieha: A Local’s Advice on This Seaside Town

Mellieha Town Square

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Mellieha is a town where nature’s beauty shines. Think stunning beaches, rolling hills, and views that take your breath away. If you’re searching for the true essence of Malta, with fewer tourist crowds, you’re in the right place. 

I have lived in Malta since 2011, and my love of hiking and nature has led me to explore every corner of this island. I understand travellers’ pain points. You want more than crowded sites; you seek authentic experiences. That’s where I come in.

Quick Facts About Mellieha

  • Located in Northern Malta.
  • Approximately 24 kilometres or 40-minute drive from Malta’s airport.
  • About 25 kilometres from Valletta, about 45 minutes by car.
  • Home to around 10,000 people, it offers a small-town vibe.
  • Renowned for its stunning beaches, including Ghadira Bay.
  • There are historical sites like the Mellieha Air Raid Shelter and the Red Tower.
  • Known for its scenic landscapes and nature attractions.

Brief History of Mellieha

The area’s significance dates back to prehistoric times, showed by ancient cave dwellings. Romans and Byzantines inhabited the caves. 

Around 60 AD, St. Paul was travelling to Rome and his ship crashed in a storm near Mellieha, Malta. This event is important because it brought Christianity to Malta.

Under the Knights of St. John, Mellieha saw fortifications like Saint Agatha’s Tower.

During World War II, Mellieha gained strategic importance. Its location made it a key site for defence and observation. 

Later Mellieha evolved from a small village to a popular tourist destination.

What is Mellieha Famous For?

What awaits you in Mellieha? Hidden gems, picturesque hiking trails, nature spots where locals unwind and gorgeous beaches. So, let’s dive in.

The town of Mellieha is on a hill, so every street and corner offers beautiful views of the sea and sky.

Views from Mellieha
Views from Mellieha

Though Mellieha’s town centre might be small, don’t let that fool you. The area stretches far and wide, offering more than you might expect. Here, you will find a blend of local charm and pretty landscapes. 

Mellieha is famous for its beaches, the finest in Malta. Here are a few worth checking – Ghajn Tuffieha, Ghadira, Golden Bay, Paradise Bay, and Imgiebah Beach. They’re great for sunbathing, swimming, or daydreaming in the sun.

Mellieha - Ghadira Beach
Ghadira Beach

This town is a popular tourist spot. Yet, it is quieter than other tourist towns such as Buggiba, Sliema, or St Julians. You can wander through town or lounge on the beach without feeling crowded.

Accommodation in Mellieha caters for all. Whether you fancy a luxurious resort or a cosy holiday apartment, you’ll find it here. 

For adventure lovers, Mellieha is your playground. The sea here is ideal for water sports. Try kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving or windsurfing if you’re feeling adventurous. I’ve spent countless hours on the water here, and it’s a new adventure each time.

Is Mellieha the Right Choice for Your Malta Holiday?

A gem for beach lovers: this northern town is close to some of Malta’s best beaches. Imagine your holiday a few steps away from beautiful beaches and clear waters.

A range of accommodation options: Choose a luxurious resort or a cosy holiday apartment. Each option offers a different taste of Mellieha’s life, always comfortable and welcoming.

Nature and water sports: Mellieha’s natural beauty is stunning. It offers a variety of coastal walks with green landscapes. It’s also a haven for water sports like paddle boarding, kayaking, and windsurfing. Mellieha is a paradise for lovers of outdoor activities.

A wide range of dining options: There is everything from Maltese and Italian to Asian cuisine.

A gateway to Comino and Gozo: Comino and Gozo are close by boat. I often go to Comino’s Blue Lagoon or visit Gozo’s lovely villages. It feels like different vacations in one trip.

Considerations Before Choosing Mellieha

But Mellieha might not suit everyone. 

No nightlife scene: Its quiet evenings won’t match your pace if you are looking for a nightlife. The town winds down early, offering peaceful nights rather than party scenes.

Traffic and travel time: Mellieha’s northern location means traffic, especially during peak seasons. Getting in and out of Mellieha can be time-consuming, especially on weekends. 

Public transport challenges: For those relying on public transport, Mellieha might feel remote. Getting to Valletta or other key locations takes about an hour. I’ve experienced delays and long travel times. If you’re staying in this town but plan to tour Malta, consider renting a car. Check out my guide to renting a car in Malta for helpful tips.

Comparing Mellieha with Other Towns in Malta

Are you trying to decide if Mellieha is the right choice for your holidays? Here’s a comparison with other towns.

If you’re in for a beach holiday, this town has the best beaches with Ghadira, Golden Bay, and Ghajn Tuffieha. It’s great for families, water sports, and nature walks. Yet, Mellieha is more isolated, so a car is necessary for sightseeing. Traffic can be challenging at times.

Parish Church of Mellieha
Parish Church of Mellieha

Marsaskala, a quiet village, is ideal for families. It has playgrounds and small beaches. Also, it’s far from central areas, but traffic is better there than in Mellieha.

Sliema is a busy town. It’s a hub for shopping and dining. It is also known for its rocky beaches and international vibe.

Naxxar presents traditional Malta, peaceful and centrally located but without beach access.

Bugibba draws tourists with its beaches and nightlife, though it can be crowded. Beaches aren’t as nice and it gets crowded.

St. Julian’s is lively, especially at night, with many 5-star hotels. It’s a top spot for nightlife but it can be busy and noisy.

Rabat, close to Mdina, is a historical town. You can stay at authentic boutique hotels or even historic palazzos.

Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is lively and historic. It features many restaurants and luxury boutique hotels.

How to Get to and Around Mellieha

From the Airport: Mellieha is easy to reach. By taxi or rental car, it takes about 40 minutes. By bus, it takes more than an hour.

The journey is a mini-tour of the island, with scenic views of the countryside, villages, and coastline. I remember my first drive. It was beautiful.

Getting around by public transport: Buses frequently run to Valletta, Sliema, and other towns from Mellieha. To reach some places, you might need to change buses in Bugibba or Valletta. I always check Google Maps for bus times before going.

On weekends traffic in the north slows down. Plan for extra travel time.

Renting a car: For more freedom, renting a car is the way to go. I recommend renting one from the airport. With a car, you can explore Malta’s attractions and hidden gems at your leisure. Check out my guide to car rentals in Malta.

Taking a cab: For those who don’t want to drive, taxis are an excellent option. They’re pricier than buses but quicker and more convenient. I often compare prices between services like Bolt, Uber, or eCabs, a local firm, as they can vary. 

Ferries to Gozo and Comino: It’s the gateway to Comino and Gozo. For Comino, you can catch a shuttle from Marfa or Cirkewwa, both accessible by bus. For Gozo, board a ferry in Cirkewwa, and it will take 30 minutes to get there.

Things to Do in Mellieha

There are a lot of things to do in Mellieha, from beach fun to adventure.

Beach Time

Mellieha offers some of the finest beaches in Malta. Places like Ghajn Tuffieha, Ghadira, Golden Bay, Paradise Bay, and Imgiebah Beach are amazing. Some are lively and suitable for families, while others are quiet, hidden gems.

They all offer golden sands for sunbathing and clear waters for swimming. Click the links to discover more. I’ve included guides to these beaches, complete with directions, amenities and photos.

Go Hiking

For hiking enthusiasts, Mellieha doesn’t disappoint. The Paradise Bay loop hike and the Selmun hike are among my favourites. These trails take you through some of the most scenic parts of the island.

Mellieha - Views on a Paradise Bay Loop Hike
Views on a Paradise Bay Loop Hike

Water Sports

Kayaking and paddle boarding are popular activities in Mellieha. You can kayak from Ghadira to Imgiebah Beach or Slugs Bay. Both are quiet and wild.

The journey to Imgiebah Bay or Slugs Bay is an adventure in itself, taking about 40-50 minutes of kayaking. Check my guides for paddle boarding and kayaking tips and rental spots.

Mellieha - Kayaking to Imgiebah Bay
Kayaking to Imgiebah Bay


For a dose of adrenaline, try windsurfing at Ghadira Beach You can get lessons from Surfing Malta, located next to the Sundancer kiosk on the beach.

Scuba Diving

Mellieha is also an ideal place for scuba diving. It is suitable both for beginners and advanced divers. Clear waters, rich marine life and a variety of wrecks offer an unforgettable diving experience.

Coral Lagoon

Coral Lagoon is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts. Hidden away, it is a natural sea pool encircled by cliffs. It connects to the sea through a tunnel.

The views are breathtaking, with the sea around you and Comino Island in the distance. It’s usually not crowded. For more information, check out my guide to Coral Lagoon.

Coral Lagoon in Mellieha
Coral Lagoon

Boat Trips to Comino

Comino is a small island known for its stunning Blue Lagoon. The lagoon’s turquoise waters are like paradise. Hop on a day trip to Comino in St. Paul’s Bay, a 15-minute drive from Mellieha. Or, for a more personal experience, hire a private boat.

Popeye Village

Close to Ghadira Beach is Popeye Village, the film set for the Popeye movie, now a fun park. It’s an exciting place for families, with its rustic wooden buildings and cartoon-like setting. The views there are so nice, you’ll take some great holiday photos.

Historical Attractions

Don’t miss the Air Raid Shelter and the Red Tower. The Red Tower is a 17th-century fortification offering incredible views.

Mellieha - Red Tower
Red Tower

Sunset at the Radar Station

For a stunning sunset view, visit the old radar station near the Red Tower (click here for location). The panoramic views here are unbeatable, making it an ideal spot to end your day.

Majjistral Nature Park

Majjistral Park is Malta’s first natural national park. It is a beautiful and serene place perfect for hiking and enjoying nature. This park is known for its coastal views, rich cultural heritage, and diverse natural beauty. It’s home to various habitats, making it a significant ecological area.

Accommodation in Mellieha

Mellieha offers many places to stay for all budgets. The best hotels have luxury, and comfort, and are near the beach. For a more homey feel and to cook your own meals, try self-catering apartments. They’re good for longer stays and groups.

Tried & Tested Places for Food and Drinks

You can find a variety of restaurants in Mellieha both in the city centre and near Ghadira Beach. Here are some I tried and enjoyed:

Amami Restaurant: This place is a gem for Asian cuisine lovers, especially Japanese flavours. I had their sushi and noodles, and they were both exceptional. The restaurant also offers stunning views of Mellieha’s Ghadira Bay.

Mellieha Food and Drink - Amami Restaurant
Sushi at Amami Restaurant

Seaview Cafe: Located on a hill, Seaview Cafe is a casual spot known for its breathtaking views. They offer a range of items including coffee, juices, cakes, sandwiches, and breakfast foods. While the food is good, it’s the panoramic views that make this cafe stand out.

Mellieha - Seaview Cafe
Seaview Cafe

Munchies: Situated right on the beach, Munchies is perfect for seafood lovers. I tried their seafood pasta and fresh fish, and both dishes were fresh and tasty. It’s an excellent place for lunch during a day on the beach.

Mellieha: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Mellieha Malta worth visiting?

Absolutely! Mellieha is known for its beautiful beaches and stunning views. It’s an ideal place for beach holidays, hiking, and exploring Maltese culture.

Does Mellieha have a beach?

Yes, Mellieha is home to Ghadira Beach (also called Mellieha Beach). This large and popular sandy beach is well-equipped with amenities and offers water sports.

How long is the bus journey from Mellieha to Valletta?

Mellieha to Valletta bus journey takes around an hour, depending on traffic conditions.

How do I get from Mellieha to Blue Lagoon Malta?

For a trip to Comino, including the Blue Lagoon, you can catch a shuttle boat from Marfa or Cirkewwa. Both locations are reachable by bus from Mellieha. Alternatively, take a day trip to Comino from St. Paul’s Bay.

How much is a taxi from Malta Airport to Mellieha?

Malta Airport to Mellieha taxis cost between €25 and €35. However, prices can vary depending on the traffic and the time of day. For the best deals and convenience, use apps like Bolt, Uber, or eCabs. Usually, I compare all these apps and book the cheapest one.

Which part of Malta has the best beaches?

Mellieha has some of the best beaches including Ghadira Beach (Mellieha Bay), Golden Bay, and Ghajn Tuffieha and Paradise Beach.

Which beach is Mellieha Bay on?

Mellieha Bay (also called Ghadira) is located on Malta’s northern coast, within Mellieha. It’s known for its long sandy beach stretch.

What is the biggest beach in Malta?

Mellieha Bay (also called Ghadira) is often considered the largest beach in Malta, offering a wide sandy shore ideal for families and beach activities.

Mellieha is a great place to stay in Malta. It has quiet beaches, interesting history, and tasty food. You can relax by the sea and enjoy meals with beautiful views. It’s also near Comino and Gozo, making it good for visiting different islands.

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