Mellieha Bay (Ghadira Bay)
Overlooked by the charming Mellieha church perched up on a promontory, Mellieha Bay (also known locally as Ghadira) is the largest and most popular bay on the Maltese islands. Its accessibility and extensive shallow waters, making it extremely family friendly, is a major reason for its appeal. In fact, it is possible for a person of average height to walk out into the Mediterranean for around 100m over a sandy seabed. This makes it ideal for a number of water games played by children and adults alike across the whole bay.
Mellieha Bay is actually divided into three beaches separated by short rocky sections. The middle beach has the longest and widest stretch of sand and is therefore the most popular with Maltese and tourists alike. This stretch sees the most daily activity ranging from sports activities going on at the back of the beach to rowdy Maltese teenagers trying to impress their most recent conquest. Space here is ample and most bathers here simply throw a towel directly on the sand and relax under a personal umbrella or roost under the scorching sun. On the other hand, the last bay driving towards Cirkewwa offers a quieter and more relaxing ambience. However, this part of Mellieha Bay is mostly swallowed up with sun beds and umbrellas rented out by the local beach operator. It is not a must to rent but it is pretty much the norm to do so here.
There are numerous facilities across all the beaches. Kiosks sell delicious ice-creams, cold drinks, snacks and general beach apparel. Restaurants and bars are available for those who are after more comprehensive dining amenities. Water sports facilities also abound and it is also possible to rent jet skis to explore the greater Mellieha Bay area.
The bay hardly ever experiences rough seas as the extended shallow waters break any significant surf further out at sea. There are no undercurrents either making it very safe for children. Across the road from the bay is the Ghadira Nature Reserve which houses a number of small mammals and reptiles and is also used as a resting place by migratory birds passing over Malta.