Mellieha is located on a hilltop in the north of Malta and is known for having the longest beach on the island. Beautiful Mellieha Bay is covered in white, sparkling sand and offers visitors plenty of spots to sunbathe as they look out onto the blue, rippling water. But that’s not all Mellieha has to offer! Throw in bomb shelters from World War II, caves that transformed into churches, and tons of nature preserves, and you’ve got a jam-packed itinerary on your hands.
Read on to find out more about this small town with big potential for giving you your best summer holiday yet.
What Is the Best Time to Visit Mellieha, Malta?
The best time to visit Mellieha, Malta is in the spring and early summer. Between mid-March and the first part of June, temperatures are ideal and the humidity in the air is at a comfortable level, making for a nice, relaxed vacation.
Our Favorite Things to Do in Mellieha, Malta
Dig into Mellieha’s History
Mellieha is best known for its natural attractions, but there is also a lot of history here to explore. We recommend starting with the Mellieha Air-Raid Shelter, where you will find over 500 meters of hand-dug tunnels left behind after World War II, when the locals created one of the largest bomb shelters in all of Malta. If that trip underground leaves you wanting to explore even deeper beneath the city’s surface, you can also take a trip to the Ghar u Casa, a cave that was made into a house that links Mellieha’s long and storied cave-dwelling past to the present.
Explore the Local Agriculture
Remember how I said that Mellieha is known for its natural beauty? No trip here is complete without a stroll through the beautiful countryside, where one can admire the stunning sea view and the local flowers and fauna. There are also several nature reserves you can visit, such as Ghadira Nature Reserve, the Majjistral Nature and History Park, and Koperattiva Rurali Manikata, where you can view some archeological remains as well.
Visit Popeye’s Village
Mellieha’s most popular tourist spot is Popeye Village — and yes, we’re talking about Popeye the Sailor Man, of cartoon and movie fame. This theme park contains the original movie set from the 1980 musical comedy film starring Robin Williams as Popeye and Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl and is full of fun, colorful things for children and adults alike to enjoy. The movie itself was a bit of a flop, but this bright, sunny park sure isn’t!
Some of the Best Attractions in Mellieha, Malta
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha
This Roman Catholic church began its life as a cave, making it an even more fascinating find in the village. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha contains art and altarpieces that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries, and officially became a church by the 15th century. During its long life, it has served as a pilgrimage site as well as a meeting place for the local parish, and has seen some very important visitors, ranging from Sicilian kings to famous Popes.
Also known as Ghadira Bay, Mellieha Bay is an incredible 800 meters long, making it the longest beach on the island of Malta. It is a great family vacation destination, as the water is crystal clear and shallow enough for children to play in. Umbrellas and sunbeds are available for renting and there are plenty of places nearby to get drinks and snacks, so one could easily spend an entire day here lounging in the sun. More adventurous travelers can also go water skiing, kit-surfing, or rent out a banana boat.
St. Agatha’s Tower
Built in 1649, St. Agatha’s Tower was built as a lookout spot to watch for incoming invaders coming from the direction of nearby Gozo island. It is also sometimes referred to as the Red Tower, because it is painted a dark, brick red. Inside, you can find a chapel and a treasure trove of information about the tower’s history, and outside you can get a truly spectacular view of the surrounding area that will give you some really amazing photo ops.
Other Sights Worth a Visit in Mellieha, Malta
Mellieha Bay is the most famous and popular beach in Mellieha, but if you are looking for something a bit more off the beaten path, you can also visit Arnier Beach. This spot also offers shallow, tranquil waters, but its rural location typically makes it less crowded than Mellieha Bay. You can still rent sunbeds and umbrellas, though, but here you’ll also get a view of a quaint little fishing village in addition to the nice, calm sea.
Mellieha, Malta has a lot to offer in terms of both natural wonder and historical intrigue, so there is no shortage of interesting things to do here. If you do look for more though, we would recommend to check out our full guide on Malta holidays.