Sandy beaches are found in the north and northwest parts of the islands, namely Armier, Ghadira, Golden Bay, Gnejna and Ghajn Tuffieha.  White Rocks, Bahar ic-Caghaq and Exiles are popular rocky beaches are popular rocky beaches.  In Gozo, the sandy beaches are Ramla l-Hamra (Red Sands), Marsalforn and Xlendi while Qbajjar and Hondoq are popular rocky beaches.  All these beaches can be easily reached by bus.

The Maltese coastal waters are generally clean and safe for swimming as there are no tides.  Some bays are exposed to north and north-easterly winds which do produce some strong undercurrents at times.  Ghajn Tuffieha Bay and Golden Bay areas can be dangerous – a red flag flies to indicate when bathing should be restricted to only the innermost, shallow waters.  Beaches are usually unguarded.  The sea temperature averages around 22.8 in summer.

It is advisable to avoid the strongest sunlight between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm in peak summer months.