Ghajn Tuffieha - WhichBeach

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, commonly referred to as Riviera Bay, has been named the most beautiful beach in Europe for 2024, beating the likes of Corfu’s Porto Timoni (Greece) and Alicante’s Calpe Beach (Spain), according to rankings from the European Best Destinations (EBD) organisation.

The rankings, based on the votes of 103,224 worldwide travellers hailing from 116 countries, classed the 15 most stunning swim spots in Europe. The beaches range from romantic and secluded escapes to family-friendly spots.

EBD is a travel and culture platform that seeks to promote “the very best of Europe to millions of travellers.”

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay, situated in the limits of Mellieħa, ranked top of EBD’s list, with particular attention being given to the beach’s cleanliness.

The beach has the Blue Flag, the international quality award given to beaches that are managed through sustainable beach operations, have excellent water quality, safety, and services.

“Awarded the title of best beach in Europe, this beach offers high standards of cleanliness and services with restaurants, snack bars, sunbeds and water activities also available,” the EBD report said.

While getting to the beach on a hot summer day can be quite tiring, especially given the long flight of stairs leading to the coast, once visitors arrive at the bay, they can enjoy picturesque views of the cliffs and clay slops that surround the beach.

The beach is the only local one to make it into EBD’s list, but the fact that it claimed top spot means it beat popular destinations such as Canal d’Amour in Corfu (Greece) and the Canary Islands’ Las Teresitas Beach (Spain).

There are a number of other beautiful beaches in Malta, yet they haven’t been maintained in as good a manner as Għajn Tuffieħa Bay. This has led to calls from environment NGOs and hospitality lobby groups to step up cleaning, upkeep, and enforcement across different tourism zones and beaches, not just designated areas. This is needed in order to attract tourists who seek quality experiences, changing the perception of Malta from that of a “party island” to one valued for its history and nature.

In addition to the beach rankings, the EBD also portrayed Malta in a positive light, recommending it as a key destination in the Mediterranean, pointing towards its “stretches of countryside and stunning coastlines,” architecture, and cuisine, among other elements. In a separate list from the organisation, Malta was classed as the third best destination in Europe.

Malta has registered a remarkable post-pandemic recovery, with a record number of tourists being reported in 2023, the first full year without any COVID-19-related restrictions. A recent report from BusinessNow.mt found that when compared to other popular Mediterranean destinations, Malta was the cheapest for flights and accommodation.

Featured Image:

Għajn Tuffieħa Bay / WhichBeach

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