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When it comes to camping, Malta might not automatically spring to mind. With tourism on the increase year after year, hotels are rapidly building extra floors, more properties are appearing on Airbnb and locals are opening up their homes to earn a little extra income. But what about camping? If the outdoors is for you, here are some of the best spots.
Set over 16 acres of Maltese countryside, this is an official campsite looked after by Malta’s Scout Association. Għajn Tuffieha Campsite is open to the general public and has 24 camping plots – each booking is allocated a plot, which is in turn supplied with both water and electricity, as well as a toilet and shower. If you’re travelling by car, there are ample parking facilities. Although located in the countryside, if you don’t feel like lighting that barbecue or camping stove, there are several restaurants and other places to eat in the area. For those without a car, there is a bus route to hand, and being in the north of the island means that some of the best sandy beaches Malta has to offer are also within easy reach.
Triq in-Nahhalija, Mellieha, Malta, +356 9983 9983
At the very northern tip of Malta is the area of L’Ahrax, which offers three camping grounds, minus facilities, all within close proximity. Ahrax tal-Madonna, Ahrax tat-Tunnara and Ahrax tar-Ramel are all part of the bigger area of Mellieha – to put up tent, pitch a caravan and to barbecue, visitors are requested to apply for a permit from Mellieha local council. Albeit controversial, Malta has a hunting season, so there are restrictions as to when you can camp in the area. L’Ahrax is easy to get to by car, and the location offers great views and shaded wooded areas. Set up on the cliffs, you’ll have spectacular views across the Mediterranean while being able to catch the sunrise with uninterrupted views. A scenic walk or even shorter drive takes you to the nearby bays of Armier for a dip in shallow waters and a spot of sunbathing.
Although Gozo has no officially allocated camping sites, the whole place offers unlimited places to set up and soak in the idyllic surroundings. A 20-minute ferry ride (on which you can also take cars) will transport you from mainland Malta to the sister island of Gozo. The island is a lot quieter and more traditional than Malta, and full of beauty spots at every turn. Take a good look around the island and pick your spot, and make sure you contact the local council to obtain a permit. With lots of secluded areas with breathtaking surroundings, you can rest assured wherever you select, you won’t be disappointed with your choice.
If you fancy being at one with nature and completely away from it all, pitch up tent on the island of Comino. Again, with no official campsites, it is important to contact the local council or the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) before setting off. Comino is another sister island of Malta and is virtually inhabited, so to find a suitable spot here is easy as the choice is yours for the taking. The small island offers tranquillity and uninterrupted views across the clear waters of the Mediterranean, which are ideal for swimming and snorkelling. There are no facilities, so it’s wise to be well prepared – however, if you choose to stay in the vicinity of Santa Marija bay you’ll find very basic washing facilities that are free to use.
Located near to the White Tower in Mellieha, in the area know as Armier, is one of Malta’s main campsites. The camping complex is fully equipped – as well as spaces for tents, visitors can also book in to furnished tents, chalets and dormitories. Off the beaten track, yet close to the beach, the Malta Campsite boasts barbecue facilities, a mini market, hot and cold showers, a football area, a children’s play area and even a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. A place that also has regulars staying in mobile homes, it’s a safe environment for children to play while you have the opportunity to socialise with the other guests in this unique community.
Triq Dahlet Ix-Xmajjar, Mellieħa, Malta, +356 9949 6707
Located between the areas of Xemxija and Selmun, in the north of Malta, is the enclosed bay of Mistra. Mistra Bay’s surroundings means it is relatively protected from the elements, and it has a pebble beach with sandy banks and spectacularly clear waters. Making a idyllic camping spot, the bay unfortunately has no facilities, though the views if you swim out and look back at the bay itself more than make up for this – as long as you’re well prepared, it’s a great spot to spend time away from it all. High season makes the bay a popular spot for caravans and visitors to take advantage of the secluded bathing areas, but as the bay covers quite a large area, it’s still possible to set up camp with little or no interruption.
Head to the west coast of Malta, one kilometre outside of Mgarr, and you’ll find beautiful Gnejna Bay. A sandy beach surrounded by limestone cliffs with unspoiled surroundings, this spot lets you experience Malta’s nature and true beauty at its best. The bay has a parking area – just a short walk from here, past the boat houses, is a cleared, secluded area ideal for camping. The area offers both access to the beach and to the cliffs which make for some fantastic hiking opportunities. The beach also offers a water sports operator in its most populated area for day trippers, giving campers the opportunity to partake in water adventures before returning to their own secluded spot to relax and enjoy the sunset views while others make their way home.