Sandy beaches vs rocky beaches in Malta. Pros and cons.

  • 25.July 2018
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The most fraught and conflicted argument of summer have divided Malta’s islanders for generations. This is the sort of argument you grow up with and might lean to and fro with it as you grow up.

When going for a swim there are two kinds of people. Sandy beach people and rocky beach people. We don’t care about the people in between, because they’ll go wherever.

So what’s the difference between sandy beaches and rocky beaches?

For Sandy beaches…

Golden Bay (Mellieħa)

Sand, duh!

Quite the revelation, but yes, sand is a determining factor between the two beaches. Why do you ask? Well, sand gets in everything, it really does. Shoes, underwear, hair, bags, car, your house. It’s like nature’s glitter, but admittedly less difficult to get rid of.


For some sandy beaches are more relaxing for various reasons. For starters, you’re likely to find food, ice-creams and alcohol. Then there is the matter of the sunbath. It’s easier to sunbathe on sandy beaches because you can get a sunbed and umbrella combo, and even if not, sand is softer and more comfortable to lay back on.

Għadira (Mellieħa)

Family time

Sandy beaches fit a feather in their hat because kids do have more fun with sun. Sand is like a toy, relatively clean and soft to fall on. Moreover, all sandy beaches have a span of shallow water that is perfect for children.

Top 5 picks

Armier and Għadira (Mellieħa), Riviera and Ġnejna (Mgarr) in Malta; and Ramla l-Ħamra and San Blas in Nadur, Gozo.

For Rocky Beaches…

Għar Lapsi (Siggiewi)

Snorkel opportunities

Rocky beaches are great for some underwater fun. Diving and snorkeling are very popular on the island and especially so with rocky beaches, as one usually finds plenty of underwater flora and fauna. There are also amazing underwater landscapes not to miss—there is something truly unique about experiencing that deep, deep blue!


There are more rocky beaches than sandy ones, which means you get to have more selection. Whether you’re the chillout type or the adventurous type, you can really mix things up—relax with a book and a cool dip, or hike and kayak to find the nooks and crannies along the shore line. Either way, there are great spots that offer some really special Mediterranean experiences!


Munxar (Marsascala)

Relaxing Scenery

The long and short of it is that rocky beaches tend to be in scenic parts of the shore. If you are the kind of person to enjoy a quiet getaway surrounded by nature, this is the type of beach you should seek out. There are plenty of opportunities of finding quiet spots where you can relax away from the hubbub and noise of the cities.

Top 5 picks

Fomm ir-Riħ (Mgarr), St. Thomas Bay Munxar (Marsascala), St. Peter’s Pool (Marsaxlokk), Slugs Bay (Mellieha), Għar Lapsi (Siggiewi) in Malta, and Wied il-Għasri (Zebbug) and Xlendi Bay (Xlendi) in Gozo.

 Special places you should go to anyway: Selmun Coastline in Mellieħa, Malta and Għajn Barrani, Xagħra, Gozo.

Isaac Azzopardi
Post by Isaac Azzopardi

Isaac Azzopardi is a young artist living and working from the Mediterranean island of Malta. His practice uses notions of alchemy, materiality and colour through painting, installation and sculpture to explore the transformative elements of contemporary urban life.