Mellieha is a pleasant old town that perches on a hill on the north coast of Malta. This quaint destination is becoming more and more popular amongst holidaymakers, and truly offers something for everyone. It’s here where a smattering of history and culture meets fine dining and entertainment, all within the reach of golden-sanded beaches and crystal clear waters.
From certain vantage points in Mellieha you can take in awe inspiring views of the whole island of Malta, and other fantastic Maltese adventures are a mere bus ride away. So whether it’s relaxation or exploration you’re after, Mellieha has it all. From beautiful churches and old forts, to exceptional food and drink as well as quality entertainment, read on to discover why we think Mellieha makes an amazing holiday destination.
There’s so much to see & do
For some people, being absorbed in the culture and history of another country is a big part of their holiday, and if that’s the case for you then Mellieha doesn’t disappoint. A good place to start is the magnificent Church of Our Lady of Victory in the centre of town. Situated at the top of the hill, this 19th century church not only makes for a perfect point of reference for anywhere else in town, it also boasts some of the best views. There’s a café on-site where you can enjoy a coffee whilst taking in it all in, and at night the church comes alive with lights and is a beautiful sight to see.
The Mellieha Sanctuary is packed with fascinating historical accounts and various works of art that focus on the life of Saint Paul, an apostle and teacher of Christianity who once made Mellieha his home. Many people flock here to admire the intricate marble statues and oil paintings, and there is also a museum dedicated to Pope John Paul II who visited the sanctuary in 1990.
Mellieha has a special place for St Paul in its heart, and just off of the coast you can catch a glimpse of St Paul’s island, which is the supposed spot where St Paul himself became shipwrecked and first ended up in Malta. There is a statue in his honour, as well as the ruins of an old armhouse that was abandoned during the 1930’s.
Another great piece of Maltese history is the magnificent St Agatha’s Tower - or the Red Tower as it’s more commonly known. Built in 1647, this fort used to serve as a lookout for the Maltese Knights in order to defend the island, but now stands as a majestic reminder of the island’s history, as well as offering some of the best views over northern Malta. Make your way to the top and the view of Mellieha Bay is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.
To experience a more recent aspect of Mellieha’s culture, take a trip to Anchor Bay. From atop this picturesque cove of caves and clear waters the views are wonderful, but there’s something intriguing lurking here as well. Popeye Village is an old Hollywood movie set from the late 1970’s that has since been transformed to a number of bars and restaurants. The buildings and design of this area will make you feel like you’re stepping into another world, and it’s well worth a visit.
Mellieha is well connected to the rest of the island of Malta, and therefore it’s easy to hop on a bus or hire a car and head to other fantastic places. Mdina and Mgarr are less than an hour’s drive away, and the capital city of Valletta is only 25 kilometres away - making Mellieha a great starting point to discover the rest of Malta.
As you’d expect from a seaside town, the restaurants found in Mellieha Bay offer some excellent seafood. For a taste of the local cuisine, look out for Lampuki fish (which is caught by using rafts and nets, a method said to date all the way back to Roman times), or the delicious Aliotta, which is a fish soup comprising of expertly blended fresh fish, fresh garlic and tomato. Fantastic.
For lunchtime light bites and sandwiches, Mokka Lobby Bar & Terrace is an excellent choice. If you’re heading uptown for the evening you’ll find lots of terraced restaurants serving local delicacies including wild boar and feta cheese.
Take time to relax
A holiday in Mellieha can be as busy or as relaxing as you wish for it to be, so when you feel like taking time to simply put your feet up, there’s more than enough to keep you satisfied. Mellieha Bay beach has all you need for a day spent relaxing by the water; there are bars and essential facilities and the water is clear and inviting.
Paradise Bay a little way north of Mellieha has plenty of friendly bars and cafes where you can pick up a tasty frappe and soak up the sun. There are also ferry links from here to other islands of Malta should you want to explore more.
When is best to visit?
Malta is a year-round holiday destination; with peak sunshine and hot weather occurring between July and September and even a cool but comfortable average temperature during the winter months.
It’s worth noting that from May until September, towns, villages and cities across Malta come alive for the Festa season. During this period, hardly a weekend goes by without celebrations and feasts full of music, colour and dance, and Mellieha is no exception. A visit during this time sees homes looking their absolute best with fresh coats of paint, and curious glances indoors may be rewarded with an invitation inside for traditional drinks and food. The evenings see spectacular firework displays and the atmosphere is absolutely incredible. Mellieha’s Festa typically takes place in the first week of September, but there is some difference in the exact dates from one year to another.
We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering something new about Mellieha. It really is one of Malta’s best destinations, offering all of the ingredients for an amazing holiday. Whether it’s the area’s history you love, the vibrancy and excitement of Malta’s culture and festivities, or just the chance to relax by the seaside with some spectacular food, Mellieha really does have it all.