Girl in floral dress looks out over St Paul's Bay in Malta
Malta,  travel

A Guide for Staying in St Paul’s Bay, Malta

We ended our week long trip to Malta by spending three nights in St Paul’s Bay. Located in the Northern region of the main island of Malta, this bay area is a place of relaxation in the sunshine and leisurely walks around the bay. It’s a bit quieter and less touristy than some of the surrounding towns such as Bugibba. But best of all, St. Paul’s Bay quite central to the rest of Malta and in my opinion a good spot to base yourself for exploring the islands.

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Fishing boats in St Paul's Bay Malta

Beaches and swimming spots

A lot of the swimming spots are surrounded by rock coastline, much like the rest of Malta. But the water is an inviting clear turquoise and you’ll find plenty of spots for swimming. Ladders reach into the sea space intermittently along the coast, between the yellow and red buoys that mark off Malta’s swimming areas. There are also a few sandy beaches around St Paul’s Bay such as Golden Sands Beach and Buggiba Perched Beach.

St Paul's Bay Malta

Things to do in St Paul’s Bay

Wignacourt Tower in the background of St. Paul's Bay
Wignacourt Tower visible in the background across St. Paul’s Bay
  • Wignacourt Tower – probably the most recognisable part of the bay, this is one of the fortified several towers that was built around the bay, dating back to 1610.
  • Malta National Aquarium – A large aquarium located in Qawra
  • Watersports – St Paul’s Bay is surrounded by calm, clear waters that are perfect for a lot of watersports. You can rent a kayak or take a kayak tour. The clear Mediterranean is also popular for diving. And you can do my favourite water sport, stand-up paddle boarding.
  • Walk around the bay – St. Paul’s Bay is beautiful to walk around and the main promenade is a great place to walk around. Recently, the benches received a face lift, painted to represent flags of countries around the world. Find your country’s flag and have a seat to watch the sun set.
  • Walks – In addition to taking a walk along St Paul’s Bay promenade, you can explore the Is Simar Natural Reserve or Xemxija Heritage Trail.
Girl sits on American flag painted bench in Malta
I found the American Flag bench!

Using St Paul’s Bay as a Base for Exploring Malta

One of the reasons we spent time in St Paul’s Bay is it provided a good base for exploring Malta. We had the option of spending our days relaxing or taking a day trip via its well connected bus routes. The ferry terminal to Gozo is not far away, just a short direct bus to Cirkewwa. You can find our full itinerary here.

Day trips

As I mentioned, we found St. Paul’s Bay to be a good spot as a base to explore Malta. None of the other of the must-see places are too far away and they are easy to reach by bus.

View from Valletta's Grand Harbour
View across Valletta’s Grand Harbour
  • Sliema – Malta’s more cosmopolitan city, known for its shopping , restaurants and bars. Sliema‘s promenade is worth a wander, stopping off at the many swimming spots and salt pools.
  • Valletta – The capital of Malta, famous for its city walls, charming stepped streets, cathedrals, gardens, bars and restaurants. Read my full guide to spending 24 hours in Valletta, Malta.
  • Mdina – An ancient city that’s been well preserved and full of old world charm that is definitely worth a day trip exploring. Read my guide to Mdina.
  • Comino – Malta’s third island, famous for the Blue Lagoon, a popular swimming spot with clear blue waters and surrounding caves.
  • Gozo – Malta’s second largest island is popular for day trips . Read my full guide to Gozo.
  • Marsaxlokk – a charming fishing village on the south coast of the main island known for its fresh seafood and fish market and colourful traditional fishing boats in the Harbour. Read my guide to Marsaxlokk.

Restaurant recommendations

We only ate a couple of places in St Paul’s as we spent the majority of our time exploring other areas, but we enjoyed the spots we did try:

  • Gormina Bakery – known for its fresh bread and tempting looking cakes. We grabbed some stuff to take back to our Airbnb.
  • Xemxija Café Lounge – We actually went in here a couple of times as it wasn’t too far from where we were staying. The pizza here was really good and we had some incredible apple cinnamon muffins from their little bakery. Also good place to relax with a Cisk (local beer) after a long day.
Xemxija Café Lounge in St Paul's Bay Malta
Pizza, pasta and Cisk at Xemxija Café Lounge

Where to stay in St. Paul’s Bay

We stayed in an Airbnb. Most resorts are concentrated in Bugibba and Qawra while smaller B&Bs and holiday flats tend to be the choice in St. Paul’s Bay. We quite liked staying in this area over the others nearby for that reason, we’re not big on resorts. Find places to stay in and near St. Paul’s Bay here.

Looking for more tips on getting around Malta, what you should budget for Malta, and what to see? Check out my complete guide to Malta.

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