Meliha, Malta

This is perhaps the most pleasant resort area in Malta for relaxation. Its only drawback (or, conversely, dignity) is its location on the edge of the island, somewhat “out of the way” from the main resorts, Sliema – St. Julian’s and Bugibba – Aura – St. Paul’s Bay. But from here it is a stone’s throw to the neighboring islands of the archipelago – Gozo and Comino.

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Mellieha is located in the northwest of Malta. Its name is associated with the Maltese word “melħ”, “salt”, which was evaporated here. The population of the city is more than 7,500 people.

Mellieha is good, first of all, for its coasts and sparsely built-up surroundings. So if you love nature and hiking, you will love this place. Also here is the largest sandy beach in Malta – Mellieha Bay, which is very convenient to relax with small children: it is a shallow bay. By the way, this is not the only beach in this part of the island.

The surroundings of Mellieha can be divided into several zones:

  • Ахраш (Rough)
  • Selmun and Mistra (Selmun & Mistra)
  • Manikata

History of Mellieha

The surroundings of modern Mellikha have been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by various archaeological finds in this area – cart tracks, ruins of megalithic structures. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans also did not bypass these lands – this is evidenced by the graves, wells, reservoirs they left, etc. they are furnished in a modern way). There were few of them: people were afraid of pirate raids, which were the most terrible misfortune in those days.

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The northernmost part of Malta began to gradually come to life with the arrival of the Knights of St. John, who began to strengthen its coasts (in the vicinity of Mellieha, you can come across preserved or ruined watchtowers, batteries, redoubts, coastal fortifications, etc.). Around the same time, the cult of the Blessed Virgin Mary flourished, in whose sanctuary pilgrims flocked since the Middle Ages. Among the pilgrims were not only ordinary people, but also knights, bishops and other persons endowed with power. By the way, this Marian sanctuary is still one of the most revered in Malta, and it is less commercialized than Ta’ Pinu in Gozo.

The northernmost part of Malta began to gradually come to life with the arrival of the Knights of St. John, who began to strengthen its coasts.

The brief French occupation of the island brought Mellieha nothing but trouble. The invaders robbed and threatened the local peasants with violence. With the arrival of the British, the situation stabilized, and the farmers were able to do their usual thing – working in the fields. The vicinity of Mellieha is one of the most fertile areas of Malta, so cotton, wheat, barley, fodder crops for livestock (mainly sheep and goats) were grown here. Mellieha was famous for its arable land and orchards, as well as apiaries, olive groves and salt pans.

Nowadays, this is a resort area with all the necessary attributes – hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, beaches, etc. However, Mellieha is suitable not only for a passive beach holiday, but also for an active one: in its vicinity there are many natural and cultural attractions, transition paths and paths, nature reserves. And – from here, within easy reach of the neighboring islands, Gozo and Comino.

Mellieha Hotels

Mellieha, one might say, is the third most popular resort area in Malta (after Sliema – St. Julian’s and Bugibba – Aura – St. Paul’s Bay). There are also hotels and apartments for rent. There are many high-quality “fours” in Mellieha and in all respects a worthy “five” of the Radisson chain. Most of the hotels are not located on the coast, you will have to walk 200-300 m to the beach.

  • 5* hotels: Radisson SAS Golden Sands Resort & Spa (Golden Bay)
  • 4* hotels: Hotel RIU Seabank (Marfa Road), Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa (Mellieħa), Mellieħa Bay Hotel (Ghadira Bay), Paradise Bay Hotel (Marfa Road), Ramla Bay Resort (Marfa Road), Selmun Palace Hotel (Selmun), Solana Hotel (Mellieħa), The Pergola Club Hotel (Mellieħa), The Riviera Resort & Spa (Marfa Bay)
  • 3* hotels: Mellieħa Holiday Center (Mellieħa), Panorama Hotel (Mellieħa)

Mellieha Cuisine and Restaurants

Cafes, restaurants, pizzerias, bars are located mainly on George Borg Olivier Street (a kind of “artery of the city”) and at hotels (we should not forget that “Melliha” is a flexible concept and is by no means limited directly to the city itself).

  • Category 1 establishments: Agliolio’s Restaurant, Essence Restaurant, Flavors Restaurant (all at Radisson SAS Golden Sands Resort & Spa, Golden Bay), The Arches Restaurant
  • Заведения 2 категории: Al Ponte Restaurant (, Alang Alang Restaurant (Ramla Bay Resort, Marfa Road), Bistro Sol e Mar (The Riviera Resort & Spa, Marfa Bay), Café Latino Punta Rena (Hotel RIU Seabank, Marfa Road), Café Puccini (Solana Hotel, Mellieħa), Costa Del Sol Restaurant (Marfa Road), De Favray Restaurant (Selmun Palace Hotel, Selmun), Great Dane Restaurant (Mellieħa Holiday Centre, Mellieħa), Horizon Restaurant (Ramla Bay Resort, Marfa Road), Jungle Grill House (Hotel RIU Seabank, Marfa Road), La Valle Pizzeria (Pergola Club Hotel & Spa, Mellieħa), Le Mar Pizzeria (Hotel RIU Seabank, Marfa Road), Les Jardins (Mellieħa), Mirasol Restaurant (The Riviera Resort & Spa, Marfa Bay), Ta’ Peter Restaurant (Mellieħa), The White Horses Restaurant (Hotel RIU Seabank, Marfa Road), Tosca Restaurant (Mellieħa),Trattoria De Buono (Hotel RIU Seabank, Marfa Road), Vistana Restaurant (Pergola Club Hotel & Spa, Mellieħa)
  • Заведения 3 categories: Alantil — Boy Restaurant (Mellieħa), Beachcomber Restaurant (Armier Bay), Giuseppi’s Restaurant (Mellieħa), Ray’s Lido (Little Armier Bay), Selmun Bar & Restaurant (Selmun Road)

Shopping: shops

Small shops in Mellieha are located on the same George Borg Olivier street, however, both the assortment and prices are designed for tourists. There are very few shops in Mellieha that are designed for local residents, although, fortunately, several supermarkets with everything you need have appeared relatively recently. For more solid purchases, you still have to go to the nearest “civilization centers” – the same St. Paul’s Bay.

Bank branches

  • HSBC (bank branch, ATM, automatic currency exchange) are located at 6, Gorg Borg Olivier Street, Mellieha. Opening hours: Mon – Thu from 08:30 to 13:30, Fri from 08:30 to 16:30, Sat from 08:30 to 12:30
  • Bank of Valletta (BOV) (bank branch and ATM) are located at 34, G. Borg Olivier Street, Mellieha. Opening hours: Mon – Thurs 08:30 – 14:00, Fri 08:30 – 15:30, Sat 08:30 – 12:30

Pharmacies

  • Karizia Drugstore 69, Triq George Borg Olivier, Mellieħa
  • Mellieħa Pharmacy 111, Triq George Borg Olivier Mellieħa
  • Village Pharmacy Main Street Mellieħa

Mellieha beaches

Mellieħa Bay, Mjieħa, Mistra Bay, Paradise Bay, Little Armier Bay.

Entertainment and attractions Mellieha

Fortifications

  • Watchtower of St. Agatha, also known as the Red Tower (Agatha or Red tower) (17th century) was built by order of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John Laskaris. It was restored by the non-profit organization Din l-Art Helwa in 2001.

The Red Tower is open to the public from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 to 13:00. On Tuesdays, it is open from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, but donations to Din l-Art Helwa are welcome.

  • The White tower (17th century) was built by order of the Grand Master of the Order of John de Redina
  • Watchtower Ain Hadid (Għajn Ħadid tower) (17th c.) Was built by order of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John de Redina
  • Ain Znuber Tower (Għajn Żnuber tower) – recently restored, located on the territory of the Mistral Park
  • Eskalar redoubt (18th century) – in ruins
  • Tal-Bir redoubt (18th century) – in ruins
  • Barriera redoubt redoubt (18th century)
  • Wied Musa battery (18th century)
  • Battery in Mistra (Mistra battery) (18th century). It now houses a fish farm.
  • Vendome battery (18th century)
  • Westreme battery (17th century). Now it houses a museum of tunnara (a popular way of fishing)
  • Coastal fortifications of Ta’ Assisu (Ta’ Qassisu entrenchments) (18th century)
  • Coastal fortifications of Louvier in Armier (Louvier / Armier entrenchments) (18th century)
  • Fort Campbell (20th century) Built by the British before World War II

Palaces and villas

  • Palazzo Selmun (Selmun Palace). The fortified palace was built by the Maltese architect Duminka Kakiya in the 17th century and belonged to the so-called Slave Ransom Fund, which collected money for the release of all captive Christians – both rich and poor. This organization was created at the beginning of the 17th century thanks to the enthusiasm of an Italian Capuchin monk and with the help of the Knights of St. John and the famous Maltese philanthropist Catharina Vitale, who bequeathed all her lands and property to the Foundation. Palazzo Selmun just stands on the land that once belonged to her. Now it houses a hotel.

Natural attractions

  • Natural Park “Mistral” (Majjistral park)

It is located on the plateau of Shara l-Hamra, between Golben Bay and Anchor Bay. This is a typical coast of northwestern Malta, the main biosystem here is the garriga, there are also farmlands. The park hosts both walks and themed eco-events for children and adults all year round (book by email walks@majjistral.org)

  • Adira Bird Sanctuary (Ghadira Nature Reserve / Bird sanctuary). Located in the vicinity of Mellieha (Adira, opposite the long sandy beach). This is an artificially created swamp. As in Simar, migratory birds arrive here, which either stay for a short rest, or even nest here.

This reserve is open to the general public from November to May on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 to 16:00. Every hour there are free tours (they talk in detail about plants and birds). The property is non-smoking and pets are not allowed. Bring binoculars with you to watch the birds.

Churches and chapels

  • Parish Church of the Nativity of Virgin Mary (built in the 2nd half of the 19th century)
  • Sanctuary of Our Lady. This is the oldest of all the Mother of God shrines in Malta. Sunday masses are held in English (beginning at 10:00 am)
  • Our Lady of the Cave
  • Chapel of Our Lady of Mercy (Selmun)
  • Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of Mary (Immaculate Сonception Chapel), Achrash
  • The parish church of Manikata (20th century) is perhaps the most interesting modern church in Malta. Renowned architect Richard England, who designed it, says he was inspired by the girna, a traditional Maltese cobblestone hut. I wonder what associations you will have when you see this church:-)
  • Chapel of Joseph (St. Joseph Chapel), Manikata (20th century)

Meliha, Malta