Situated on a hill in the northwest of Malta, Mellieha is a small town with great views across the Mediterranean and a lot to offer a visitor to the Maltese Islands. In spite of its small size, Mellieha packs a mighty punch attracting visitors who are interested in exploring Maltese religious traditions and culture, nature enthusiasts as well as those who are after successive days of relaxation in the Maltese sea and sun.
The town has all the facilities a local or visitor could wish for, including a variety of hotels, self-catering accommodation, bars, restaurants serving local and international cuisine, supermarkets and other shops. In fact, the self-contained nature of Mellieha means that venturing out of the village is rarely done out of necessity. That said, the town is very well connected to other parts of Malta by public transport in addition to being just ten minutes away by bus from the Cirkewwa ferry terminal, from where ferries depart to Malta’s sister islands of Gozo and Comino.
There is some evidence of sporadic life and community development in the region over the centuries, but Mellieha really came into its own during the period of British occupation in Malta. The British encouraged the expansion of Mellieha into a residential area, setting the pace of the town’s development into the popular tourist destination it is today.
Village life centres on the Parish Church of Mellieha, a large limestone edifice that stands at the end of a square and at the top of a hill commanding views over Mellieha Bay below and across to Comino and Gozo. The square sleeps in the afternoons, but comes to life on Sunday mornings for mass-goers and on summer evenings for those who frequent the local bars and eateries on and around the square. The Parish Church is the larger and yet younger sibling of the Sanctuary of Our Lady. This cave chapel is located at the bottom of the same hill and dates back centuries, with one proposed date of establishment being 409AD. As the hub of religious life in the village, a visit to the neighbouring church and chapel should not go amiss.
The highlight of the year for the entire town is the village feast. The feast of the Nativity of Our Lady is commemorated on the 8th September every year, but the entire first week of September is a week of festivities: musical performances, religious ceremonies and processions, fireworks, and enough food and drink to last until the following year.
The village, however, is but a gateway to one of the island’s main summertime attractions. Mellieha Bay (also called Ghadira Bay) is a 20-minute walk down the steep hill from the village. While it is very quiet in winter, the bay attracts a multitude of beach worshippers in summer who are attracted because of the amenities nearby – including hotels, bars and restaurants – in addition to the fact that it is the largest sandy beach on the island. The Ghadira Nature Reserve, Popeye Village, and the Red Tower are also just a short walk away from the bay.
Find out more about the resort and the Hotels in Mellieha, Malta:
Luna Holiday Complex, Panorama Hotel, Riviera Resort & Spa, Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa, db Seabank Resort & Spa