Mellieha is one of the Northern-most villages of main island Malta and overlooks Malta’s largest sandy beach called Mellieha Bay, also referred to as Ghadira (pron. A-deera). The village has a lovely character and picturesque scenes that provide you with a view of life in Malta as well as offering you all amenities for a comfortable holiday. Mellieha is situated on top of a hill, surrounded by fertile valleys providing beautiful panoramas and village scenes not seen frequently, such as the downhill winding central street.
Mellieha has a beautiful church, located at the top of the hill coming from Mellieha Bay (also known as Mellieha Ridge) and was built in the 19th century in a typical baroque style. The church is seen as one of the few real landmarks Mellieha is known for and is considered a must see, even if only for the view its location offers.
History of Mellieha
The location of Mellieha is known to have been inhabited since Neolithic times (3000 B.C.) since several Megalithic remains, tombs, pottery fragments and primitive tools were found in the area, dating to this era. The many caves which formed naturally around the base of the village (located on top of a hillside) are said to have been inhabited by troglodytes during Roman and Byzantine occupations (around 213 B.C. and 870 A.D.). The caves were used as dwellings but also as a place for burial in Punic-style burial chambers.
Around the late 15th/early 16th century the area proved to be vulnerable to the continuous attacks from the sea during the Arab conquest and was left abandoned. With the erection of fortifications all around the island of Malta in the 17th century by the Knights of Malta, Mellieha was repopulated again. Its inhabitants settled in the area mainly for agriculture, taking benefit of the fertile valleys around Mellieha as well as tunny net fishing.
In 1844, Mellieha was established again as a parish and developed into a more modern town and most of the buildings and streets in the centre of current-day Mellieha date from that period.
Beaches near Mellieha
One of the major benefits of holidaying in Mellieha is Mellieha Bay (or Ghadira), which is a popular beach for several reasons. It’s Malta’s largest sandy beach, has shallow waters which makes it ideal for families with children and offers crystal clear water. Public toilets and several snack bars can be found on the beach and for a couple of Euro you can rent an umbrella and sunbeds for the day.
Over the hill beyond Mellieha Bay there are a few more beaches worth checking out, easier to reach if you’re renting a car. Paradise Bay is located on the road towards the Gozo ferry which departs at Cirkewwa. Taking a turn uphill on a bumpy road you’ll get to Paradise Bay within a few minutes, where you’ll be greeted with the views of a small bay surrounded by high cliffs and a view of Gozo in the distance. There’s a small sandy beach with limited space though with public toilets as well as a large snack bar.
Armier Bay is located on the North side of Malta’s figurative tail fin. The minute you get up on the hill past Mellieha Bay, take a turn to your right onto a bumpy road and take a turn to your left when you see the sign pointing towards Armier. This small sandy beach is mostly popular among the locals and has less of a touristy feel to it. The beach and the bay itself are generally clean and a large snack bar is located at the edge of the beach for refreshments.
- Around 1 hour drive from the airport
- Located on a hill, with impressive views out over Mellieha Bay
Annual Festa’s in Mellieha
Mellieha celebrates two village festa’s for different parishes, in the beginning and towards the end of September. The first, The Nativity Of Our Lady, around the first week of September and the second, Our Lady Of Mellieha, around the last week of September.
Read more: Maltese village feasts or festa
Popular Bus Routes
Routes 43, 44 and 45, to:
- St. Paul’s Bay (20 min)
- Mosta (35 min)
- Valletta (55-60 min)
Route 45 (opposite direction), to:
- Cirkewwa (10 min)
Route 48, to:
- Bugibba (40-45 min)
Route 167 (summer only), to:
- Paceville – nightlife (40 min)
Route 645, to:
- Sliema (40 min)
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