BBQ Season Is Here: A Guide To Malta's Top BBQ Spots
by Chiara Micallef
Summer is here, and that only means one thing; barbecues. Our love for barbecues is pretty much ingrained in our nation's DNA – the love for delicious pork tenderloins, marinated beef kebabs, juicy burgers and sausages is pretty much a staple part of the Maltese identity.
Barbecues are a true source of happiness for us – all of those mouth-watering dishes, family gatherings and late-night grilling sessions are all part of the fun.
Whether you are a classic charcoal aficionado or a gas bbq pro, you surely know that you cannot fire up your grill anywhere you like.
From bbq permit rules to total grilling bans, choosing the best spot to sizzle your meat might not always be as straightforward as we want it to be.
But luckily for you, we're here to help.
Get your bbq accessories, grills and secret recipes ready – here's a quick guide to Maltese bbq permits and rules.
What are the rules?
The first rule is don't be a pain in other people's behinds – clean up after yourself. All of the designated bbq areas featured below are equipped with litter or charcoal bins where you can throw away any rubbish accumulated.
Where can you set up your BBQ?
Bbqs can be held at both Little Armier and Armier bay, but not on the piers or platoons. You will be needing a permit from the Mellieha Local Council if you are looking to host an alfresco cookout on any one of these picturesque beaches.
If you would like to have a good old-fashioned charcoal bbq at Torri l-Abjad, you will have to apply for a permit from the Local Council as well.
Bahar ic-Caghaq is a bit more lenient when it comes to bbqs. You will still need permission from the Naxxar Local Council if you are planning to host more than 10 people for your cookout. However, the cost of the permit is only €7 – without music.
If you are planning on playing music at the event, however, you need to apply for an extra permit issued by the local council.
The Ghadira s-Safra area in Bahar ic-Caghaq is protected due to its ecological importance.
Any bbqs, open fires, littering, or other acts of disturbance to nature are strictly prohibited from this special conservation area.
The Marsaxlokk Local Council can help you out if you are planning to organise a bbq at this beautiful spot, as you will need to apply for a permit.
The same counts for other beaches and bays in the area, such as Kalanka, Delimara, il-Hofriet and Marsaxlokk.
When it comes to Xemxija, you need to apply for a permit for groups of 10 people or more. You can head down to St. Paul's Bay Local Council to get your hands on a permit – but keep in mind that certain areas of the bay are off-limits.
You need to set up camp at least 50 metres away from any hotels, bars, restaurants or kiosks.
There is no need to apply for a permit in the Sliema area, however, you definitely need to be on your toes, as wardens regularly patrol the beach to ensure that nobody is littering.
The coastal warden may ask you for ID cards in order to ensure that the place is kept clean by the organisers.
Gnejna is another great place to have your bbq at, but you can only do so on the sandy areas of this bay. You will also need to apply for a special permit from the Mgarr Local Council. Permits are required for both charcoal and fuel BBQs.
If you are looking to blast some tunes during your bbq, you need to keep the volume down after 11 pm, of course.
The same goes for Golden Bay – you need to apply for a permit. The bbq permit for small groups of up to 15 people, will cost you €6.99, you also have to pay a deposit of €20, which will be returned to you after the bbq is done.
Il-Bajja l-Kbira and Il-Bajja z-Zghira are both designated bbq areas where you can settle down to grill your kebabs, however, a permit is required for groups of 15 people or more.
You can apply for the permit at the Mellieha Local Council.
If you are looking to get a sound system or a generator for your barbecue, you will need to apply for an extra permit as well.
When it comes to bbqs at Golden Bay and Ghadira, you will need a permit as well, however bbqs can only be held at these spots after 6pm.
Keep in mind that if you are going to pay for your permit online, you need to do so at least three days before the bbq date – during the week. The fee for a bbq in the Mellieha area ranges from €5 to €50 a day.
Marsascala is pretty much the equivalent of the promised land for every bbq lover in Malta. You still need to apply for a permit, however, it comes at no cost.
The local council can provide you with littering bags and you can set up your bbq pretty much anywhere from Zonqor Point to St Thomas Bay. Not only will you have ample space to spread your stuff around, but the area also presents you with a pretty sweet view. It is important to note that BBQs are not permitted in the sandy areas of the town.