Paradise Bay: My tips and recommendations
Located on the north-west of Malta, close to the Gozo Ferry Terminal in Ċirkewwa, is one of Malta’s most beloved beaches, Paradise Bay, one of my top 10 best beaches in Malta. Possibly one of the most attractive beaches on the island, Paradise Bay is a gorgeous sandy beach, set within a natural cove and surrounded by rugged cliff-side scenery.
What’s Paradise Bay like to visit?
Paradise Bay offers scenic views of the most northern tip of Malta, as well as neighbouring sister islands, Gozo and Comino. Although it is mainly a sandy beach, it is surrounded by caves and rocky inlets, making for some great snorkelling opportunities if your care to venture outside the safety/jellyfish nets surrounding the little bay. It’s pretty safe to swim here, the sandy bank offers a gentle slope into the water and the sea is rarely very rough due to bay’s geography. Saying this, it’s always important to take note of any yellow or red flags on the beach; these would mean moderate to severe water conditions.
The water here is crystal clear and azure, and the beach itself is cleaned regularly and very well taken care of. A large lido is found right next to the beach, offering any form of facilities one might need including beverages and food, umbrella and sun-bed use, toilet and shower facilities as well as some water sports/activities rental options. If you’re feeling adventurous rent a kayak from here and explore the surrounding coastline, it really is a beautiful area with lots of little nooks and crannies to discover.
- Sandy beach; easy swimming with a gentle descent and generally calm waters.
- Blue Flag certified (high level of safety, amenities, etc.)
- Easy parking if getting there by car.
- Unspoilt and natural surroundings with scenic views of Gozo and Comino. Also facing the north west, making for great sunset views.
- Great snorkelling site, especially when exploring the rocky coastline just outside the bay. Also: Diving school within the direct vicinity for a your authentic Mediterranean scuba diving experience!
- You can rent umbrellas and deck chairs here for the day.
Things to consider
- Paradise Bay gets very busy during summer (especially during the weekends) so space on the beach runs out quickly if visiting in June-September.
- A bit of a walk if you are getting there by bus, unless specifically using route 101. A long, steep fllight of steps takes you down to the beach; making for a fairly easy arrival, but a more challenging departure.
- Not accessible to people with mobility issues and disabilities (due to a large number of stairs you need to descend to get to the beach).
- Presence of a large lido on the beach. Even though this provides lots of amenities and has its benefits, it might make the place seem less authentic and natural.
How to Get to Paradise Bay
Driving there yourself?
Getting to Paradise Bay is easy if you have a car. It’s basically at the north-western tip of Malta, just past Mellieħa and close to the Gozo Ferry terminal at Ċirkewwa. There’s a sign on the left of the road, just before the Paradise Bay Hotel building which you can follow until you reach the parking area. Parking is free of charge, but a parking attendant is usually present on site, who will be expecting a tip (even though you are not obliged to do so!).
You can also catch the number 101 bus from Mellieħa centre, which takes you directly to the parking area above the bay. Alternatively, you can catch the 41, 42 or X1 bus from Valletta which will drop you off near the Paradise Bay Hotel in Ċirkewwa, then just follow the signs to the beach! It’s about a 1 km walk to the bay, so wear protective clothing and sun screen if you’re planning to walk in the sun, and keep hydrated!
Do keep in mind that there’s a long flight of stairs you have to descend to get to the bay, which may not be ideal for everyone.
Paradise Bay Hotel
If you are looking into staying within the vicinity of Paradise Bay, the Paradise Bay Hotel is the most convenient option. Not only is it just a stone’s throw away from the beach, but it also shares the amazing scenery and views of the area. It boasts a number of facilities, including a tennis court, four pools, a sauna whirlpool and gym and a separate private Blue Flag certified beach. The hotel also houses the award winning Paradise Diving School, which has been established for more than 20 years. Dive boats leave directly from the hotel beach and return to the beach after each dive providing a convenient set up for visitors.
If you like the quiet, natural setting of the northern part of the island, you will definitely enjoy staying here. Even so, there is not much to do in the area, other than enjoy the beach and the surrounding habitat. It’s pretty cut off from the rest of the island, the closest village being Mellieħa, around 5 km away (approx 10 minutes away by car), and there is absolutely no nightlife activity. As usual I recommend to anyone looking to stay in the wider Mellieħa area to rent a car. It’s a relatively quiet part of Malta and it gives you so much more flexibility to get around.
Tips for visiting Paradise Bay
- This beach gets very busy during the summer months, due to the lack of space. To stand a good chance of finding a spot on the beach, either visit on weekdays or go early (before 10am latest!).
- Facilities such as rest rooms and showers are available against a small fee, so carry some loose change with you if you don’t plan on carrying a wallet.
- Pay attention to the flag system when visiting the beach. It’s intended to indicate whether or not it’s safe to swim (which in summer it usually is, this applies mostly in spring/autumn)
- Remember to keep all your items safe. Try not to leave valuables unattended as pick pocketing is not unheard of in busy beach locations.