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Located in the north western corner of Malta, Mellieha is a rural village ideal for anyone looking for a relaxed and authentic Maltese holiday.
The village centre features a wealth of fine restaurants, independent craft stores and friendly hotels. The Mellieha Ridge falls steeply to the bay, ending at one of the finest beaches in Malta. The dramatic surrounding landscape has helped to create the unique character of this pretty village, which remains unspoilt despite its increasing popularity as a tourist destination.
Mellieha is a fantastic base from which to explore Malta and a great choice for anyone hoping to learn about local culture and customs during their stay. The locals will welcome you with open arms so don't be surprised if you are already planning your next visit before you leave.
Spending some time exploring the village is the perfect way to start your holiday and a great introduction to Maltese life.
Start by taking in the picturesque main street as it winds its way down towards the bay. Sweeping panoramas of the countryside can be enjoyed from almost anywhere in the village, adding to the feeling that you are million miles away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Notable buildings to look out for include the Parish Church Complex, a gorgeous collection of medieval chapels cut partly into the hillside. Also well worth a visit is the Sanctuary of Our Lady beneath the Parish Church. Originally a natural cave in the cliff, it has been extended over the years to form a much larger space. The chapel inside contains an interesting fresco, said to have been painted by St Luke who was shipwrecked on Malta.
Just in front of the entrance to the sanctuary is a lovely, calming square complete with trickling fountain and a handful of pretty trees. Stopping for a few moments here offers the chance to enjoy incredible views of the bay as well as a few moments tranquillity in an oasis of calm.
Unlike many of Malta's other tourist towns and villages, Mellieha boasts a fantastic stretch of beach that is considered one of the best on the island. The beach can get crowded during the summer but it is an attractive spot all the same. All the popular water sports are on offer at Mellieha, including banana boat rides, canoeing and water skiing. There are also plenty of stalls and kiosks scattered along the beach selling a tempting range of cold drinks, ice creams, fruit salads and hot snacks.
Within walking distance of the village visitors can also access Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffieha Bay.
As Mellieha has grown in popularity with Maltese and international visitors alike, a number of new hotels and apartments have been developed. A number of new accomodation options now line the cliffs on the outskirts of the village.
With so many hotels and apartments to choose from, it is often possible to snap up a great deal even during high season. A good choice for those that want to spend lots of time at the beach is the Riu Seabank hotel, just a few metres from the beach at Ghadira Bay. There is a spa and wellness centre onsite offering a range of treatments and services for a truly relaxing experience.
For families, a popular hotel option is the Mellieha Bay Hotel. This hotel has its own sandy beach and two large outdoor pools, as well as a kids club with a program of entertainment to keep the little ones amused throughout your stay. Almost all guest rooms in the hotel enjoy a sweeping sea view that the grown-ups will enjoy.
For the ultimate in tranquillity, the secluded Selmun Palace is a unique hotel with plenty of charm. Around two miles from the main tourist beach (which guests can access with the courtesy bus), the hotel is located on a hill in the heart of the countryside. This is an ideal choice for those looking to enjoy a really tranquil and relaxing break.
Mellieha will not suit all visitors to Malta and those looking for a party hot spot would be advised to look elsewhere. If you want to experience the real Malta however and spend your holiday in stunningly beautiful surroundings, Mellieha could just be the perfect place for you.
Getting out to explore the rest of the island is easy thanks to efficient and regular bus links, making Mellieha the perfect base for anyone wanting to combine relaxation with culture.