Mellieha is a town located in a large protected bay on the northwestern coast of Malta Island, and only about two miles south of Comino Island. Its name comes from the Arabic word meaning salt, which probably comes from the salterns (salt ponds) that were important in early Punic and Roman trade. Part of this important ecosystem today is the Ghadira Natural Reserve, a protected bird sanctuary with both wetlands and saltmarsh. This rare protected natural area is a birdwatcher’s paradise, and is open to visitors enjoying Mellieha holidays on weekends from November to May.
The history of this region dates much further back to early Neolithic times, and there are numerous prehistoric ruins in the area. One of the island’s celebrated megalithic temples is located nearby, in Mgarr about five miles to the southwest. Many who visit the Mellieha resort in Malta will also visit these fascinating archeological sites. Many will also visit the beautiful Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha originally built in the sixteenth century. This became one of the island’s most revered sites, and boasts a lovely Byzantine fresco of the Virgin Mary with Christ beside her. One of the classics of Renaissance architecture is it vaulted roofed veranda is considered among the finest.
Today, Mellieha resort in Malta is a prime destination for tourists, especially from England and northern Europe, who are attracted to its beautiful beaches. The reason why Mellieha holidays are so popular with English tourists is connected to Malta’s history as a British colony. During this time, especially in the mid-nineteenth century, the British ex patriots found this to be a wonderful place to spend time during the summer, and there are many villas in town from this period. Many of these are available as vacation rentals. There are also a number of luxury hotels and other lodging possibilities.
This is the largest town in the northern part of the island, and is where Malta’s largest beach—Ghadira Beach— is located. It abuts the bird sanctuary of the same name, and stretches for about a mile along a crescent at the end of the bay. This is where you will find most of the beach resorts in the area. The northern arm of the bay is part of a large peninsula, and you will find more hotels and resorts on its northern coast, just a mile from Comino. This is also the site of the northernmost ferry terminal on the island, where you can get transportation to Comino, Gozo, and other parts of Malta Island. Choosing the best Mellieha resort in Malta is difficult, as there are several in the area. Those that are on either end of Ghadira Beach offer the most convenient access to the area’s attractions. However, the Ramla Bay Resort to the north gives you a sense of seclusion while still being located within a mile of the main resort area.
Many Mellieha holidays will include sailing and scuba diving excursions. You can charter boats in Mellieha as well as from the northern ferry terminal. The best spots for diving are along the western side of the peninsula from Paradise Bay to Anchor Bay. In fact, at Anchor Bay you can put in for a visit to the island’s most quirky attraction. Called Popeye Village, this is the set for the 1980 film Popeye. The ramshackle set was put together with thousands of wooden planks and generous amounts of colorful paint, and it resembles a set from a theme park plunked down against the cliffs in the little bay.