Swimming in Malta: The Maltese coastal waters are generally clean and safe for swimming and snorkeling - there are no tides.
A recent EU Bathing Waters Quality report Malta has ranked highly. In fact Malta scored a perfect ten – with an impressive 100% of monitored sites having what the report describes as excellent water quality. This perfect score was achieved by only three countries in Europe: Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus.
The result is hardly surprising for Malta, which has invested heavily in sewage treatment plants partly financed by the EU itself. Nowadays all sewage is treated through a couple of plants in Malta and one on Gozo.
There is a choice of both sandy and rocky beaches on the Islands, offering practical areas for the family, scenic spots for the romantics, serene areas for those in want of peace and spots for those who are interested in a bit of summer sports fun. Malta's beaches and seas are safe, however if you are new to the Maltese Islands, swim where the Maltese do. Some bays are exposed to north and north-easterly winds which do produce some strong undercurrents at times. In summer, most popular beaches are patrolled by lifeguards and have a system of flags signalling where it is safe to swim - it is worth taking notice of these (or talking to the lifeguards).
Sun Bathing in Malta: The Maltese Archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean and has a latitude more southerly than that of northern Tunisia. You are therefore advised to take precautions to ensure you avoid over exposure to the sun. Even in winter it is advisable to wear a suitable factor sunscreen for your skin type. This is important if you are out walking, or taking part in water sports. A sun hat is a must. Children and especially babies need extra protection from the sun. If you are sunbathing, it is advisable to avoid the strongest sunlight between the hours of 11am and 3pm in peak summer months.
Malta has beaches for everyone, from windsurfers to sunbathers. Choose from golden sand, red sand, rocks, blue lagoons and even inland seas. Some beaches and rocky shores are off the beaten track, but worth seeking out for their seclusion. On larger beaches, you will find cafes or snack bars open during the summer season. With Malta's climate, beach life lasts well into October. Enjoy water sports and activities like windsurfing, jet and water skiing, parakiting and fun rides. You can hire equipment from beach cafes or shops nearby.
Topless sunbathing is not allowed in Malta & Gozo, athough it is accepted around some hotel pools.
Find out more about beaches in Malta & Gozo.