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6 Swimming Spots In Malta & Gozo You've Got To Visit Before Peak Season

by Karl Azzopardi

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There's no denying that summer is the best time to go for a swim in Malta and Gozo as the sea is just at the right temperature. However, this comes at the expense of the whole seaside experience as swimming spots all over the islands are packed with throngs of locals and tourists alike, especially the more well-known ones. Don't be fooled by articles and posts about 'The Best Beaches in Malta and Gozo' with tantalising shots of unoccupied beaches — it will not be as peaceful once you get there. 

The best way to avoid the chaos is to visit during this time of year; the last few weeks of spring, just before our islands' peak season. Sure the sea might still be a bit too cold for some but there's honestly nothing like experiencing the best beaches in Malta and Gozo without having to wrestle strangers for a comfortable spot on the beach. Think of all the incredible shots you can fill your feed with! 

It just requires a bit of planning and a whole lot of courage but we promise it's all worth it. Here are six of the best swimming spots in Malta and Gozo to visit before peak season.

Blue Lagoon (Comino)

Probably the most famous beach in the Maltese Islands, Blue Lagoon in Comino is on every tourist's must-see list, so you can only imagine how packed it gets during the summer. And it's with good reason.

This beach lives up to its name having the clearest and brightest waters in the archipelago, adorned with a seabed of white sand glistening like a carpet of fragmented diamonds below. The Blue Lagoon is surrounded by magnificent rock formations full of shrubs and indigenous herbs such as cumin which is where Comino gets its name from. It's no surprise that come summer this natural wonder is flooded with people, boats and cruises from all angles which unfortunately takes away from the peaceful oasis that it is during this time of year.

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Typical setting at Blue Lagoon during the summer

Catching an early ferry from Cirkewwa to the island on an early summer morning (preferably on a weekday) is your best bet for experiencing the island in its purest form. Just imagine all the amazing pictures you can snap on the empty aquamarine beach with Comino's little sister Cominotto posing in the background! And if you're a camper, then this would be the best time to plan a camping trip to Tal-Ful Campsite and have Blue Lagoon as your personal pool for the weekend.

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Blue Lagoon before peak season

The Inland Sea, The Blue Hole & Dwejra Bay (Dwejra, Gozo)

Up until recently, Dwejra was most famously known for being home to The Azure Window which attracted thousands of tourists until its collapse in March of 2017. However, despite this historical misfortune, the number of visitors has not wavered due to the myriad of attractions and lush swimming spots Dwejra offers.

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The Inland Sea on a clear day and the cave that connects it with the open sea

One such spot is The Inland Sea — a shallow, pebbled lagoon that was once the inside of a cave that collapsed millions of years ago. The only thing that still stands is the gigantic 50-meter entrance which you can marvel at as you bathe in the lagoon. Come summer, The Inland Sea is suffocated by tour boats packed with people wishing to explore the inside of the cave's entrance. But before peak season, this spot is coloured with azure waters which you can freely splash around in without risking a boat to the face.

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Snorkelers exploring the marine life at the Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is another magical natural wonder situated just in front of where the Azure Window once stood. Considered one of the best diving spots in Europe, this site is characterised by its 15-meter deep sinkhole that houses a diverse habitation of fish and other underwater fauna. So if you're a snorkeler or diver, get here before this marine wonderland turners into a display of kicking legs and colourful swimsuits.

And we cannot forget to mention Dwejra Bay, which is actually made up of two bays with the Fungus Rock standing tall in between. This bay is a common pitstop for private boats and yachts come summer but is quite a tranquil sanctuary this time of year.

Golden Bay (Mellieha, Malta)

Golden Bay is quite possibly the busiest sandy beach in Malta. It attracts thousands of locals, expats and tourists all year round who seek to experience the breathtaking views and stunning sunsets it's renowned for. The bay itself is also a sight to behold starting from its verdant surroundings and the blanket of golden red sand that leads to the infinite pool of the Mediterranean Sea.

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Typical summer day at Golden Bay, via K B

In summer, Golden Bay's beauty is obstructed by masses of people, jam-packed car parks and noise pollution from early morning to late evening. This tends to happen even before summer hits, so, to be quite frank, we cannot guarantee that you'll find an empty beach if you go there now, especially if it's on the weekend. However, it sure beats the peak season chaos.

golden bay malta ghajn tuffieha

An example of Golden Bay before peak season, via William Keller

Golden Bay is perfect for bathers who love a lazy day at the beach. The soft sand is ideal for sunbathing and the shallow waters are perfect for water games with friends or just wading under the sun. You'll also find a variety of watersports and canoe rentals which you can make use of without having to wait for hours for your turn. We recommend that you start your day early, preferably on a weekday, if you wish to experience Golden Bay at its finest.

Ramla l-Hamra (Xaghra, Gozo)

One could say that Ramla l-Hamra in Xaghra is the Gozitan counterpart to Golden Bay when it comes to popular sandy beaches in Malta and Gozo. It is surrounded by incredible greenery sustained by the nearby Ramla Valley and offers a shallow swimming area just like Golden Bay. 

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What a busy day at Ramla l-Hamra typically looks like

Additionally, it is covered in red sand hence its name, although the sand is much richer in colour than the one in Mellieha (just in case any Gozitans are reading). During the peak of summer in Malta and Gozo, Ramla l-Hamra gets quite an overwhelming number of visitors who come to see just how red the sand is. Thankfully, as the largest sandy beach in the archipelago, there is ample space for everyone even at its busiest. But there is nothing like walking down the length of its red carpet and living your best rom-com movie moment.

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A clear day at Ramla l-Hamra 

Another perk to visiting before summer starts is going to the famous Tal-Mixta Cave without having to wait in a queue to check out the breathtaking view of Ramla l-Hamra. It is the perfect time to have a small picnic and snap a couple of Instagrammable pictures without fear of being disturbed by uninvited guests. 

St Peter's Pool (Marsaxlokk, Malta)

Come summer, this spectacular inlet in the far south of Malta becomes a hotspot for people to show off their athletic diving skills. It is hard to believe that St Peter's Pool was considered a secluded swimming spot in Malta up until a few years ago, as it isn't the easiest to reach. But as pictures of people diving in its luminescent blue waters spread on social media, St Peter's Pool started exploding with visitors.

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A typical afternoon at St Peter's Pool in summer

Its U-shape offers countless spots for diving, whether you are a beginner who just wants to practise or a professional looking for a spot high enough to complete a triple reverse somersault. However, it can get quite annoying to get a turn to dive when it's crowded, not to mention dangerous too! Trust us and avoid a trip to the hospital — go test your diving skills at St Peter's Pool in Marsaxlokk before the start of summer in Malta.

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St Peter's Pool before peak season

The sun is also not so forgiving in this spot as there isn't ever really any shade during the day, so visiting St Peter's Pool before the unbearable summer heat kicks in is ideal. And let's not forget about the stunning pictures you'll be able to get here!

Ghar Lapsi (Siggiewi, Malta)

Last but certainly not least, we have got to mention Ghar Lapsi in Siggiewi — a nice little lido snuggled between large majestic caves with plenty of spots for diving. Unlike the spots mentioned earlier, this place gets crowded with locals more so than tourists during the summer months.

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Ghar Lapsi on a busy afternoon, via FamilyHolidays.info

Many families from the southern and western areas of Malta frequent Ghar Lapsi during the summer to meet their friends or extended family members for a refreshing swim. From the early hours of the morning up until the early evening, Ghar Lapsi is typically packed with children, parents and grandparents alike. However, during this time of year when the water is still cold, the majority of people you'll find here are fishermen and maybe some pensioners who are always eager to share tales of their childhood at Ghar Lapsi. 

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A quiet morning at Ghar Lapsi

The sea here is incredibly clear you can see right through to the bottom of the seabed without goggles. But if you are into snorkelling or diving, then going towards the end of spring is your best bet to see Ghar Lapsi's rich marine life.

For more informative articles on beaches in Malta and Gozo visit our Activity Tips section!

About Karl Azzopardi

Karl is a content writer who loves getting lost in the natural beauties of this world as much as he does in the fictitious lands he finds while poring through his unending book pile.

If he's not stuffing his face with a new recipe, he's probably hanging out with his friends' cats or dancing alone on the roof to nothing in particular.