The Ultimate Guide to Surfing in Malta

by Asia Kaczmarczyk

Surfing in Malta isn’t surf mag stuff just yet, but there’s a growing scene that started in the 60s, on wind swell waves that can actually be pretty consistent.

An introduction to surfing in Malta

Gnejna Malta

Like Italy’s Sicily before it, Malta gets some good exposure to the western swell channels of the Mediterranean. There’s no question that they aren’t as good as the Atlantic but there’s still something to be said for the midwinter winds that can roll in here. They can push up half-decent sets of chest-to-head high waves which hit this rocky island to create all sorts of shapes. The main center of surfing in Malta is at Ghanj Thuffiha on Malta Island. That’s the home of the only surf school in the country and a place that gets some surprisingly good consistency in the off season. Adventurous types shouldn’t be shy about heading away from the mainstay locations. Even the locals aren’t shy to admit that Malta is still very undiscovered surf territory, with points, coves, and shorebreaks that definitely work but have yet to be ridden.

We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This guide is a part of our larger ultimate guide to surfing in Europe

Surfing in Malta at a glance

The good:

  • Undiscovered surf breaks
  • Works well in the winter
  • Beautiful scenery

The bad:

  • Relies on wind swell
  • Lack of quality spots
  • Never big

What will I find in this guide to surfing in Malta?

The top surf spots in Malta

Ghadira Bay

There’s sometimes some winter surf in Ghadira Bay but it’s really rare. The reason we mention it is because the dominant SW winds are offshore here and that can help add some nice shape to waves on an island that otherwise lacks.

Golden Bay

Sucking up any westerly winds and wind swells almost head on, Golden Bay is the closest thing to a wave magnet on the island. If anything’s on, it will be on here. The problem in the midwinter with storm swells is that they can be heavy and closey, almost to the point where it’s not even worth going for the paddle (which itself is exhausting). The best times at Golden Bay are probably towards the start and end of the fall and spring, which can bring some smaller leg burners that peel both left and right, along with some beginner mush.

Ghanj Thuffiha

This right hand gets some good size in the middle of the cold-season swell on a low-pressure storm rolling up the Med. It’s perhaps the only spot on Malta that can hold a decent size. But it’s not a whistling barrel a la the Ments. It’s a frothy, sloppy wall of water that can sometimes lurch into a double ledge to add extra challenges. Smaller days convert the whole bay into mushy chest high waves that are perfect for learners, which is no doubt why the only surf school on the island (Malta Surf School) set up shop in these parts.

Gnejna

Well-protected Gnejna doesn’t get the same strong westerlies as Ghanj Thuffiha. Sometimes there’s a very small wave here and it will be totally empty when it is. That might make it worth the drive in the biggest storm months of winter, but we say leave it for the good weather and a SUP kit.

Top places to stay if you’re going surfing in Malta

Malta has plenty of places to stay – it’s one of the sea, sun, and sand escapes of the southern Med. Here are a few that are conveniently close to the surfing beaches…

Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands

Surf-hotel-top-pick

Go in style by booking yourself into this five-star palace on the cliffs overlooking Golden Bay. There’s basically nowhere that can get you that close to the waves of both the beach right below and nearby Ghanj Thuffiha (Malta’s surf capital). What’s more, you’ll have a sprawling suite, hot tubs on the balcony, and a super-stylish hotel bar-bistro to get stuck into once you’re done.

Sunset Oasis

Perfect for a group of up to eight travelers looking for a mix of surf and R&R on Malta, the Sunset Oasis is a private villa with its own gardens and pool. It’s located only a short drive up the road from the breaks of Ghanj Thuffiha, where you can organize group lessons with the local surf school on the island.

North Side Apartment 1

If you don’t mind the bright pink and blue color scheme of the bedrooms here, there’s a good bargain to be had for groups of up to six. Again, it’s a fantastic family pick given the proximity to two of Malta Island’s best surf beaches. You also get a big lounge area and a fully fitted kitchen-diner for cooking and eating together.

When to surf in Malta?

Malta coast

Don’t bother planning a trip to go surfing in Malta if it’s the summer. That’s the time for lazing on the beaches and drinking wines in the shadow of Valletta’s castles, not waves. Late autumn brings the first swells of real note. They come with low-pressure systems that get dragged into the central Mediterranean. Things get progressively bigger throughout the colder season and hit a peak in the months of March and April, when the transition winds kick in, blowing south and west. The good news is that the top surf season here is opposite to the main tourist season, so you should find pretty empty beaches and cheaper hotels.


We might use affiliate links in this post. Basically, you click em’ and we get a little something from your booking or purchase. They help us keep offering more and more in-depth surf guides to awesome places all around the globe. So, thanks for that!

This guide to surfing in Malta is just one part of our guide to surfing in Europe!