Skip to Content

Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa & Ġnejna Bay: One Epic Coastal Walk

Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa & Ġnejna Bay: One Epic Coastal Walk

The hike from Golden Bay to Ġnejna Bay (Gnejna Bay) via Għajn Tuffieħa (Ghajn Tuffieha) and Qarraba Bay is Malta’s best coastal walk. Starting at Golden Beach on the west coast of Malta, this trail is a must-do for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about this coastal walk. After a trail description, we’ll talk about how to get there, what to do after the walk and where to stay in the area.

Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa, Qarraba Bay & Ġnejna Bay in Mellieha, Malta: Overview

The Golden Bay to Ġnejna Bay route via Għajn Tuffieħa and Qarraba Bay isn’t an overly popular hiking trail. Don’t get me wrong, each of these respective bays are hotspots for tourists and locals alike. Indeed, you’ll see plenty of people at all four of these destinations in Mellieha. But, you won’t find many people doing a hike from Golden Bay to Ġnejna Bay. Sure, you’ll find some people exploring between Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa Bay. But, there won’t be many people walking further to Qarraba Bay and Ġnejna Bay.

Honestly speaking, the trail from Golden Beach to Ġnejna Bay via Għajn Tuffieħa and Qarraba Bay is the best coastal walk in Malta.

Read about the Comino Walk, Marsaskala to Marsaxlokk (Tas-Silg Walk) and Dingli Cliffs to Blue Grotto

This pseudo-loop route is quite a short hike at only 6km. Indeed, you’ll only need a short amount of time to do the walk. But, it’s packed with some of the most beautiful beaches in Malta, including Golden Beach. Along the way, you’ll enjoy epic coastal views. Expect mind-blowing crystal clear blue waters filling all of the bays.

Before describing the coastal walk, we’ll provide the nitty-gritty trail details below.

Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa, Qarraba Bay & Ġnejna Bay Trek Details and Map

  • Type: Loop
  • Distance: 6km
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Accumulated elevation gain: 155m
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Golden Bay
  • Map: Wikiloc

Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa, Qarraba Bay & Ġnejna Bay Hike Description

In this trail description, we’ll break down the route into sections to show you the highlights of this coastal walk. This legendary trek in Malta starts at Golden Beach.

Travel Insurance

Heymondo Travel Insurance

Don’t leave for your trip without booking travel insurance. We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. Click the button below to receive a 5% discount!

Golden Beach: Malta’s Best Beach?

Golden Beach, AKA Golden Bay Beach, is easily one of Malta’s most stunning and popular beaches. As soon as you arrive, you’ll be tempered to plonk your towel down and go for a swim. But, we recommend doing that after you’ve finished the walk! So, head to the southern end of Golden Beach and continue along the coastline heading towards Għajn Tuffieħa.

Golden Bay: Malta’s Spectacular Bay

Once you leave this beloved beach in Malta, you’ll follow a trail alongside the cliff walls at the southern end of Golden Beach. As you gain a small amount of elevation, you’ll enjoy mesmerising views of Golden Bay. Certainly, Golden Bay is one of the most scenic places in Malta.

We can understand why people stay in the Golden Bay area all day. But, rest assured, it’ll be worth the effort to explore a short distance south. What awaits you is possibly an even more beautiful bay in Malta, even better than the one occupying Golden Beach.

Golden Beach in Malta

Għajn Tuffieħa Tower

After leaving Golden Bay, you’ll soon arrive at Għajn Tuffieħa Tower. It’s a small watchtower that was built in 1637. Admittedly, it’s not the most extraordinary of watch towers. So, it’s likely that you won’t stay there for long. You’ll then follow a trail briefly heading inland. This trail provides extraordinary views of Għajn Tuffieħa Beach. Before you know it, you’ll be turning right onto a descending trail leading towards the beach.

After leaving Golden Beach in Malta, you'll arrive at Għajn Tuffieħa

Għajn Tuffieħa Beach (Riviera Beach): Another Great Malta Beach

Għajn Tuffieħa Beach is another spectacular beach to enjoy in Mellieha, Malta. Also known as Riviera Beach and Riviera Golden Bay, expect this beach to also be full of people. Thankfully, the trail continues parallel to the beach on a dusty trail, that’s away from the crowds. The flat trail provides superb views of Għajn Tuffieħa Beach.

In the distance, you’ll see a red-coloured rock outcrop at the end of the headland separating Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and Qarraba Bay. For the best views on this coastal walk, head to the southern end of Għajn Tuffieħa Beach and towards the rocky outcrop!

Għajn Tuffieħa Beach

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay (Riviera Bay): Malta’s Most Epic Coastline

When it comes to the best coastal views in Malta, Għajn Tuffieħa Bay (AKA Riviera Bay) provides the goods! Well, it’s not just Għajn Tuffieħa providing the goods. When you reach the headland separating Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and Qarraba Bay, you’ll have wonderful views of both bays. Basically, you’ll be located at the southern end of Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and the northern end of Qarraba Bay when you’ll enjoy these stellar views of bays on either side of you.

On the headland separating Għajn Tuffieħa Bay and Qarraba Bay, there’s an epic winding trail leading to a red rocky outcrop. We recommend exploring this area. It’s like being on another planet!

Qarraba Bay

After soaking in the epic views, it’s time to head further south to Ġnejna Bay. Initially, you’ll follow a path atop the clay cliffs. You’ll pass the magnificent red sand of Qarraba Bay. As you gain elevation, the steep, dusty and rocky path provides ever-increasingly sweeping views of Qarraba Bay. Of course, you’ll get a glimpse of Għajn Tuffieħa in the distance.

DJI Air 2S

DJI Air 2S

Capture breathtaking aerial photography and videography with the DJI Air 2S. The DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo comes with all of the necessary accessories such as the remote controller, spare batteries and battery charger.

Ġnejna Bay: Another One of Malta’s Best Beaches

Continuing south, the trail follows alongside the coastline to Ġnejna Bay. Along the way, you’ll pass more incredible moon-like landscapes. Eventually, you’ll arrive at Ġnejna Bay. In its own right, Ġnejna Bay is a lovely area to visit with a small beach. But, admittedly, this area isn’t quite as spectacular as the bays visited previously during this walk. Don’t worry, on the return walk to Golden Beach, you’ll get to experience more mindblowing views of Qarraba and Għajn Tuffieħa Bays in Malta.

From Ġnejna Bay, we recommend taking a steep path that ascends to the top of the coastal cliffs. At this elevated position, you’ll enjoy some of the best views on the walk. Again, you’ll marvel at Qarraba and Għajn Tuffieħa Bay. Then, you’ll continue north towards Golden Bay, passing Gaia Peace Grove.

Dan and Beck enjoy nice coastal views

Gaia Peace Grove

Gaia Peace Grove is a lovely olive garden perched on the coast between Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay. There, you’ll find boards with stories and information. It’s definitely worth the slight detour. But, you might just want to walk to Golden Beach to have some more time to spend at one of Malta’s best beaches.

Trek Recap

The coastal walk from Golden Bay to Ġnejna Bay is absolutely breathtaking. Starting at Golden Beach, you’ll be guaranteed some of the best coastal views in Malta en route to Ġnejna Bay. Certainly, the highlight is the double bay view you’ll get of Għajn Tuffieħa and Qarraba Bay.

How to Get to Golden Bay, Malta

Of course, you can drive there yourself. This would be the most convenient option. Driving in Malta can be a little hectic because of traffic. Thankfully, Mellieha is a quieter area, which makes driving less chaotic. You’ll find plenty of parking options at Golden Bay. This car park is located right next to Golden Beach and is free. But, it does fill up quickly. This car park is just a little further away but is €1/hour or €10/day (in 2022), but can also fill up early in summer. Beck and I found free street parking here – this is a great spot to park if the other car parks are full.

In 2021, we hired a car and picked it up from Malta International Airport for only €17/day ($17USD). It was possible to go even cheaper with a manual car for €13/day ($13USD) but Sicily By Car required an International Driver’s Permit and has a poorer reputation. For an automatic car, you’d be looking at around €22/day ($22USD).

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Public Transport

It’s possible to get to Golden Bay using public transport. From this bus stop in St. Paul’s Bay, you can catch 223 or 225 bus (Għajn Tuffieħa bus) to this bus stop in Golden Bay. The journey time is around 20 minutes. The cost of the journey is €2 ($2USD) in summer and €1.50 ($1.50USD) in winter. For the latest details on prices and timetables, head to Malta Public Transport.

Hop On Hop Off Malta

Hop On Hop Off Bus in Malta

FYI – Golden Beach is also a bus stop along the Hop On Hop Off bus route in Malta – if that’s your preferred way of seeing the main attractions on the island

What Else to Do In the Area

There are plenty of great things to do around Golden Beach, Għajn Tuffieħa and Ġnejna Bay in Malta. Let’s look at the most popular things to do in these areas below.

Golden Bay Sunset: Malta’s Best Sunset?

Golden Beach is one of the best spots for sunset in Malta. Located on the northwest corner of the island, you’ll enjoy a stunning sunset at Golden Bay. So, after you’ve done the coastal walk, hang around for a magical end to the day.

Għajn Tuffieħa Restaurants

There are some decent Għajn Tuffieħa restaurants to eat at after the walk. Singita Miracle Beach and Riviera Martinique are great places to eat near the Għajn Tuffieħa Beach. After doing the coastal walk, you can always walk from Golden Bay to Għajn Tuffieħa for a bite to eat. If you drove, you could drive closer to these restaurants. You’ll find lots of free Għajn Tuffieħa parking here. Otherwise, there are more places to eat at Golden Bay. This may be more convenient as you’ll finish the walk there!

Where to Stay: Golden Bay Hotels, Malta

Golden Bay is a beautiful place to stay, but there aren’t many accommodation options. Essentially, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands has the monopoly on accommodation at Golden Beach in Malta.

This resort is a great mid-range to luxury option for those wanting to stay specifically at Golden Bay. It features a leisure centre, large swimming pools and fantastic views of Golden Beach.

Otherwise, you can find more budget-friendly options in Mellieha in the Għadira area, such as the Luna Holiday Complex.

Għajn Tuffieħa Camping Site

Of course, the most budget-friendly option is to camp! Għajn Tuffieħa Campsite, AKA Għajn Tuffieħa Scout Campsite is sensationally located near Golden Beach in Malta. To book the Għajn Tuffieħa Camping Site, head here.

Gear Essentials

These are our five hiking gear essentials for this coastal walk.

Osprey Skarab 30
Osprey Skarab 30

The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.

Osprey Ultralight Raincover
Osprey Ultralight Raincover

A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.

GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle

The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.

BUFF Original Ecostretch
BUFF Original Ecostretch

The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.

Sony Cybershot RX100 VII
Sony Cybershot RX100 VII

Capture epic photos and videos with the Sony Cybershot RX100 VII. This is hands-down the best compact camera. We love using this simple point-and-shoot camera when we’re hiking as it’s lightweight and durable.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Bonus Tips

  • Visit Gozo: as part of your Malta trip, you’ll definitely want to visit Gozo. For information on the best coastal walks on Gozo, read our Xlendi Walk and Dwerja Walk guides.
  • The trail is a bit sketchy in sections: the sandy trail between Qarraba Bay and Ġnejna Bay isn’t a very solid path. Wear appropriate footwear for the coastal walk and be ready to slip and slide on the sandy trail.
  • Be sun smart: it can obviously get very hot in Malta during the summer. Pack plenty of water, cover your skin and apply plenty of sunscreen for this coastal walk.

Share this hiking guide with your travel partner in crime on Facebook! Otherwise, read our Malta hiking guide, which talks about the nine best hikes on the island.

Daniel Piggott

Dan is a travel blogger, physiotherapist, hiker, natural wonder seeker and world traveller. He loves writing travel guides to help his readers explore the most beautiful destinations in the world.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Philipp says:

    Thank you very much for the detailed info to this fantastic – or maltastic – little hiking trip. We did it in October and I think its fair to say to say this the most beautiful and interesting hike you can do on the island 🙂

    • Daniel Piggott says:

      Hi Philipp,

      It’s our pleasure, thanks for reading.

      I agree, this hike is definitely one of the best in Malta.