Name of Beach: Paradise Bay
Location: Northern-most tip of Malta at Cirkewwa, just before the ferry port for Gozo crossings.
Characteristics: Paradise Bay is a small, charming sandy bay that looks out beyond the ferry port towards Gozo. The waters are beautifully clear, deepening on a gentle gradient and snorkelling is good around the rocky edges of the bay. An oasis of palm trees and terraced farmland surrounds the bay’s sugary butter-coloured beach, which, as you look down from the car park does indeed look like a slice of Paradise Island.
Popularity: The beach is small and highly popular with tourists so can be unbelievably packed in the key summer months. As well as servicing the large hotel there, the many English Language Schools on Malta run bus trips up to Paradise Bay through the summer which, if you happen to go on the same day, can mean it is even difficult to find enough space to lay your towel without touching someone else. Slightly out of season however, the beach is fairly empty and a really lovely place to be.
Facilities: The facilities are very good on Paradise Bay. There’s a full service restaurant complex that provides plenty of hot and cold food options, toilets, sunbeds, canoe hire and even a small shop selling inflatables. A large car park means there is always a parking space no matter how busy the beach gets.
Accessibility: The beach is nestled at the bottom of a rocky inlet so there is a bit of a walk down from the car park. A wide path with shallow steps has been created to make this as painless as possible but it is still around a 100m walk carrying all your things and going back up feels a little draining after a day in the sun! Other than the fact that it is right at the very top of Malta so takes a while to reach if you are staying centrally, Paradise Bay is easy to find and has fairly good access roads albeit rather bumpy! Buses go regularly to Cirkewwa, the ferry port and Paradise Bay Hotel though not necessarily up to Paradise Bay beach so check with the driver first!
Wedding Notes: Paradise Bay would make a great location for a wedding reception as it is pretty small which can generate a more exclusive feeling. The summer months will prove difficult however as it is neigh on impossible to clear the beach in time for your set-up, even if you do secure beach permits. There is an area next to the beach cafe that can be hired out exclusively for events and, with a bit of extra dressing, could make a perfect scene for your celebration. There is a small jetty that can be used to welcome your guests in by sea should you wish and there are no worries about general beach goers interrupting your event as the area is slightly elevated, looking down on the beach. The area comprises of two sandy terraces with a beach hut styled bar and the beach cafe team have experience of handling wedding set-ups in Bedouin styles and more. There is a lift down the cliff to import furniture etc so potential accessibility issues are avoided. They even have a traditional Maltese ‘luzzu’ (coloured fishing boat) that can be filled with ice to creatively house your beers or food displays! The only point for consideration is that the restaurant management team insist on doing the catering so you’ll need to check out the menu and quality of food before committing to make sure it’s of the standard you’re expecting for your wedding.