Thu 17 Aug 2023 • Freddie Hill
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In need of some downtime during or after the festival? Make the most of Malta’s quieter season and take your pick of the island’s finest aquatic destinations.
The second edition of Defected Malta, taking place 6-8 October, promises to bring together an impressive blend of talent from across the dance music spectrum for a picturesque Island takeover, hosted against a backdrop of sandy beaches and crystalline waters.
For the adventurous, Malta is one of Europe’s most popular diving hotspots, offering a plethora of aquamarine aquatic destinations to go snorkelling and scuba diving in crystal clear waters. Coral reefs, secret coves and historical shipwrecks can all be accessed through the island’s many affordable methods of transportation.
The island’s well-established infrastructure offers a variety of activities for non-diving partners. With shallow waters warm enough to swim in, views of the rugged coastline and towering cliffs, the island has everything required for the perfect chilled holiday.
1) Comino Island and the Blue Lagoon
Time spent on your feet can be tiring, especially when you’re partying! Luckily Malta’s offering of laid-back boat tours are perfect for taking the weight off and refreshing the mind.
Spend hours cruising around the Blue Lagoon for a memorable day surrounded by turquoise waters, white sand and breath-taking ocean views. The iconic Maltese destination offers some of the most colourful waters on the planet, and the rest of the tiny island is easily walkable; the off-peak month of October will ensure you have plenty of room to explore the rest of the rocky terrain.
Other beaches within walking distance include Santa Marija Bay and San Niklaw Bay. Despite being virtually uninhabited, food trucks do make their way to the island to keep you satisfied. To get there, the independent tourism site Malta.com recommends a variety of transportation options on the island. If not booking a day cruise, Defected Malta guests are encouraged to get one bus and then a ferry or water taxi to Comino Island.
2) Mellieħa Bay (Għadira Bay)
Malta’s largest sandy beach is situated next to one of the northernmost villages on the main island – Mellieħa. Located just west of Defected Malta’s site in St Paul’s Bay, the rural hilltop town offers insight into village life in Malta. But it’s the beach holiday vibe that really appeals to the visitors year after year.
Despite the large variety of beaches nearby, it is the fine sands of Mellieħa Bay (referred to locally as Għadira Bay) that draws in crowds. Its size allows many people to set up camp for the day while remaining spacious, and a large range of nearby amenities ensure that you will have everything you need for a day of exploration and/or relaxation.
Restaurants, snack bars, nearby hotels, sunbed and umbrella hire, water sport options… this beach truly has everything. No wonder it is often regarded as one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean.
3) Riviera (Għajn Tuffieħa)
West of the Defected Malta site, this popular beach is a favourite among tourists thanks to its stunning, panoramic views and unrivalled beauty. Lauded for its raw, untapped sights while still having enough facilities and developments to keep visitors sustained for the day, Riviera (or Għajn Tuffieħa to the locals) is often described as Malta’s 'most beautiful beach'.
Be wary of the steps required to access the beach, and the strong under-currents that may appear in the off-season. However, if you do make the journey the natural view of Malta’s coast will make it all worth it.
4) Golden Bay
Just north of Riviera, the Golden Bay on the coast is complete with colourful sand dunes and a resort-like vibe thanks to the revered five-star Radisson Golden Sands hotel overlooking the bay. Locals will tell you about the golden glow that radiates off the slopes at sunset, look out for it after spending a day basking on the smooth sands in comfort.
Only slightly further afield than the other options on this list, Golden Bay is more easily accessible by foot compared to the hills and steps at Riviera. The bay itself is in a quieter part of Malta, and crowds will be avoided due to Defected Malta taking place outside of the busy summer seasons.
5) Paradise Bay
Appearing in many top-ten Maltese destination lists, the secluded cove of Paradise Bay really lives up to its name. Located at the top of the island, north of Melliaħa, the bay is easily accessible by the public transportation aforementioned – or treat yourself to a taxi! As there is no Uber in Malta, we recommend enquiring and agreeing on a fare before getting into a taxi.
The family friendly Paradise Bay offers a gradual water depth gradient that is safe for all. Snorkelling is highly recommended thanks to the transparent waters and variety of underwater life, including interesting terrain and several species of fish. Take a chance on Paradise!
So whether you are the more adventurous type, or simply looking to get away from the chaos, you can enjoy all that Malta has to offer during your time at our weekend festival.
Stay tuned for the next edition of this series next week, where we explore some of the island’s rich history through its stunning heritage landmarks.
Tier 4 tickets are available for Defected Malta 2023, book now to avoid missing out.