Naturism in Malta
In mid-November 2010 we spent a week vacationing in Malta. Perfect climate, warm and beautiful sea, culture history and art for all tastes, friendliness of the locals, excellent food and wine.
All this at bargain prices. But this is information that you can find in any tour operator’s brochure. What the tour operators will not tell you, instead, is that both on Malta and on the island of Gozo you can find several nice beaches where you can practice naturism. They won’t tell you because, officially, naturism is illegal and on textile beaches even topless is forbidden. Before leaving for Malta we had got in touch online with a local naturist who gave us some indications.
We eventually met with him, sharing a wonderful day in Gozo. He confirmed that naturism is tolerated in a few Maltese beaches and that elsewhere it’s absolutely not advisable to strip naked. We have enjoyed a memorable week: an experience that we warmly recommend.
Climate: in mid November minimum temperatures were around 15°C and maximum ones 24°C. The seawater temperature was everywhere higher than 21°C: not very warm but enjoyable for a swim.
In most of Europe at that time of the year coats and umbrellas are certainly more useful than sunscreen. Beaches in Malta: the public bus service (www.arriva.com.mt) will take you anywhere in Malta. Old shaky vehicles but very efficient and beautiful with their brilliant red and yellow colours.
The bus service is very cheap (12 Euros for a 7-day ticket).
On the island of Malta there are only two naturist beaches, both in the northwestern part of the island, between Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and Gnejna Bay.","The first is absolutely textile, with big luxury hotels and crowds of snobbish tourists. Just South of Golden Bay is Ghajn Tuffieha, a textile beach with a little restaurant, at whose southernmost end is a little naturist beach. To reach Ghajn Tuffieha you can take the bus that goes to Golden Bay (n° 23 from Valletta, Sliema, Naxxar or Mosta, or n° 102 from Mellieha).
At the one-but-last stop there is a little kiosk that sells food and drinks.
Behind the kiosk a concrete stairway descends to the beach. To reach the nudist area at the end of the bay you can walk along the shore or, preferably, follow one of the many paths that cross the bushes a little bit inland.Much nicer are the beach and reefs of Gnejna Bay that can easily be reached from Ghajn Tuffieha.
Following the same paths in the bushes you will reach a sandy pass that delimits Ghajn Tuffieha towards the South. From here you can descend directly to the beach below but the way is steep and slippery. It’s fast but you need good shoes and reasonable hiking skills.
Much better instead is to climb a little higher than the pass following the path that then leads to the right. You will see below you the bay with the beach and two little sandstone flat reefs (like natural piers).
When you are vertically above the second one you can easily walk down following a thin path. This second reef is the border between the textile and the naturist areas.
It’s better to move right to the first reef or continue to the beach that is right under the sandy pass you have reached earlier. Beaches in Gozo: also Gozo has a public bus service managed by a different company. Your Malta bus ticket cannot be used in Gozo.
The bus network is not as capillary as in Malta and to reach the less serviced places you can rent a scooter (no need for a car). Gozo, the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago offers many more possibilities to the naturist. The best place is certainly Ghajn Barrani (n° 1 on the map): a bluish sandstone flat very few centimeters above sea level. An important plus is a freshwater spring in the vicinity.
A wonderful place that, unfortunately, we have seen only from above because a stormy sea was sweeping it with waves. Ghajn Barrani is located in the North of the island, between two of the most famous beaches of Gozo: Marsalforn and Ramla il-Harma (Red Sand Beach). You can get here with bus n° 322 from Mgarr harbour, Nadur, Ramla Xagra or Marsalforn, and with bus n° 302 from the capital Victoria (Rabat), Dwejra, San Lawrenz, Xewkija or Nadur.
Much easier to reach is the tiny beach of Fort Chambray (n° 3 on the map), a thin strip of sand right below the fort. Not a lot of beach, easy access to the sea (be careful of sea urchins) and after 20-30 metres wading in shallow water you will be swimming in deep, crystal-clear water.
In the vicinity there is a wonderful natural bay but is absolutely textile area. You can reach this place from the East, walking along the coast from the harbour of Mgarr (where the ferry from Malta arrives). You can reach the beach also from the West, from the village of Ghajnsielem. Just follow the indications for the “Ship Wrecks” (an area where some old ships have been purposely sunk for the joy of scuba divers). From the parking lot you walk westwards crossing the textile bay and reaching the beach.
Another wonderful place but not very easy to reach is Gebla tal-Halfa (n° 2 on the map), the peculiarity of which is a rock that the locals consider mushroom-shaped and call Fungus Rock. It’s close to the easternmost tip of Gozo. A little bay with a flat sandstone beach and the Fungus Rock in the middle: a real Paradise! You can reach it from the village of Qala (bus n° 303 from Mgarr, Nadur, Xewkija or Victoria (Rabat). A fourth fantastic place is Ghar il-Qamh, also known as Wied l-Ghasri: a narrow fjord ant the mouth of a creek, with a comfortable pebbly beach.