“Unless you’re heading to Gozo or Comino, have children, aged over 50 there’s nothing to see in Mellieha”
I was after a cheap last minute deal and was speaking to a travel agent trying to sell me a trip to St Julians’. Sure, it was cheaper than the one I had seen in Mellieha and none of the above applied to me.. but my curiosity had been picqued.
Mellieha is a charming town and the place I ended up staying on my first (last minute) trip to Malta in 2012. I fell hard and fast, falling in love instantly and trust me… you will too! Located in the most northern tip of the island, this large coastal town is home to Malta’s largest sandy beach.
Mellieha sits 150m above sea level and enjoys gorgeous panoramic views of turquoise waters and amazing nature. Floral scents and sea salt permeates the air, alerting your senses that: you’re never far away from the sea.
Okay, so I’m going to get this in early… if you’re solely looking for a great party, then Mellieha nightlife isn’t the one. Now we have got that way, add Mellieha to your itinerary because many of the best things to do in Malta are actually right here. Without further ado, I will tell you the Top 10 Things to See and Do in Mellieha
1. Popeye Village (Buses: 101)
Kicking off my list with what is undeniably one of the most instagrammable places on the island is Popeye Village. In 1979 Anchor Bay (which is the name of the bay Popeye Village is located) was transformed into a filmset for Popeye, a HollyWood Movie starring the late Robin Williams.
2. The Red Tower (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222)
Second on my list of things to see in Mellieha is: The big Red Tower or more accurately, St Agatha’s Tower. During the lockdown, she underwent a major transformation and is redder then ever! (or at least as red as I’ve ever seen it).
St Agatha’s Tower was built in 1649 during the time of Knights of St John (Mellieha history). From the tower, views of Gozo, Comino and Ghadira can be seen from here making an excellent defensive position and the reason it was ordered to be built. Game of Thrones has nothing on this, I always think of the White Walkers when I’m here!
3. Ghadira Bay (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 101, 250, 221, 222, X1)
Ghadira Bay (aka as Mellieha Bay or Mellieha Beach) is 800m long and is Malta’s largest sandy beach. No matter the shade of blue (or green) Ghadira Bay is a very beautiful Mellieha beach and is popular with families, swimmers, and beach bums like me!
Although a very popular beach, getting busy during peak times (June to September) and Sundays, it is large enough to maintain social distance. Still…best to get there early and get your spot! Ghadira Bay has blue flag status – beach speak for a great beach (quality of waters, services and safety have been given the thumbs up)
4. Mellieha Parish Church (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222, 250, X1)
Number four on my list is Mellieha Parish Church and signals time for a Mellieha history lesson. The church was built between 1881 and 1898 by poor locals who cut and transported all the stone themselves from a nearby quarry. Sharing a dream to have their own church, they worked tirelessly and didn’t stop until they eventually did.
I always refer to this church as the heart and soul of the village and her large bellfrys and dome can be seen from different points of the Mellieha. After hearing the story of how the church came to be…I wonder if what I can feel is the true spirit of community in Mellieha. Check it out and let me know what. you think.
5. Cafe With a View (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222, 250, X1)
Cafe With a View does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a cafe and it has a view. But for me, the name doesn’t quite seem to match the breath-taking panoramic views of Mellieha, Gozo and Comino.
Aside from offering a large variety of food here, Cafe with a View has an impressive variety of gins and cocktails and takes it place as a very worthy fifth spot. This is a great place to take five (get it?), have a light bite whilst taking in the very best of Malta.
6. Coral Lagoon (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222)
Not to be confused with the Blue Lagoon on Maltas’ smaller sister Island, the Coral Lagoon is another great natural wonder. What’s more it can be found right here in Mellieha and is an absolute must-see. If you’re all about the ‘Gram.. this charming almost hidden gem is up there with the best of them.
Located within a natural cave near Armier Bay the waters inside the Crystal Lagoon are a sparkling green, rich with marine life. Upon your descent to the cave (yes another hill) all you’ll see is a rocky terrain kinda resembling the texture on the moon and then BANG a hole in the ground leading to a spectacular find. (You can also get there by hiring a canoe from Armier beach.)
7. Selmun Palace (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222, 250, X1)
An old abandoned 18th Century building in the midst of a beautiful countryside is the reason Selmum Palace is in 7th place of things to see and do in Mellieha. Oh and did I mention the ga-zillion cats, which have now taken up residence here? (Another plus if you’re a cat lover) Mellieha history time! Selmum Palace was the old stomping ground for the Knights of the Order of St John.
The Knights met and stayed here during the summer months. Despite nothing being around here except one or two passers by (and the cats) it has all the feels of Games of Thrones. There’s also an old abandoned hotel just behind and standing here allows your imagination to run and run. There has been talk of Selmum Palace being haunted but it’s just a story… although I often wonder who feeds the cats?
8. Selmun (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222, 250, X1)
Selmun Palace lures you into Selmun naturally, what with its elegant bastions which can been seen for miles and only adds to the mystery. On arrival you’ll see you’re surrounded by Maltas’ beautiful countryside and wonderful Mediterranean waters.
Selmun is truly off the beaten track and in my opinion is the best of Malta. From here you can enjoy views of the Islands of St Pauls, The White Tower, gorgeous cliffs and more. Rustic and unspoilt, you’ll remain undisturbed and free to explore. Other than the odd farmer, you may not encounter another soul while you are here. Don’t worry though, you won’t get lost…The Palace is your landmark!
9. Paradise Bay (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 101, 221, 222, X1)
If you’re ever at a lost for things to do in Malta, just head North and chill on yet another Mellieha Beach! I discovered Paradise Bay in 2012 almost by accident. I had just boarded the ferry bound for Maltas’ sister island, Gozo. After finding a seat, I looked out across the waters, where the calm azure waters of Paradise Bay caught my eyes. Now… all I needed to do was find it!
And I did. Truly living up to it’s name, Paradise Bay is located at the bottom of a cliff and you need to climb a 100 steps to reach it! 100 steps feels like nothing when you have the promise of a beautiful hidden gem waiting for you at the bottom. Climbing back up may be another story, but worry about that then 😀
10. Imgiebah Bay/Selmun Bay (Buses: 41, 42, 49, 221, 222, 250, X1)
Early one Saturday morning I woke up in need of a new adventure and decided to explore more of Mellieha. “I wonder where I’ll end up if I take a left down the side road opposite Selmun Chapel” I thought to myself 😛 Getting to Imgiebah Bay is an adventure in itself, you will come across winding roads, old trees and abandoned buildings.
Love and light,