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A haven for families and sun-lovers, Mellieha is somewhat remotely situated (by Maltese standards). Life here began as a small hilltop village which only developed when the Knights came to Malta and built a series of coastal defenses in the 16th century. Mellieha then became a relatively wealthy farming village but is now known mostly for its beach. Mellieha Bay is the largest sandy beach in Malta and with its kilometre of soft golden sand is also predictably the most popular beach in Malta.

Crowded at the weekend and busy by day and by night, Mellieha hums to the sound and scents of the sun in the summer. The water is shallow, so the spot is ideal for young children and beginner swimmers. Lidos and restaurants provide all the entertainment and refreshment you'll need and just about every water sport is available in the bay. You can head to Adira Sailing Club to try your hand at a bit of dinghy sailing or kayaking. Windsurfers, canoes and paddle boats can also be hired from just about all the lidos. If you want to get away from the sea for awhile on the opposite side of the main road, you'll find il-Ghadira or 'the marsh'. Malta's first national nature reserve, Ghadira is home to shallow ponds and provides an important resting ground for migrating birds.

The town of Mellieha is situated above the beach on a hill. One of the most popular sights for visitors here is the Church of Our Lady of Victory which overlooks Mellieha Bay. On the east side of the church you will find some stairs which will take you to the Shrine of the Nativity of Our Lady of Mellieha. The shrine is said to have been a place of pilgrimage since the medieval era and the walls are lined with offerings from pilgrims. Above the altar, you will see a fresco which is said to have been depicted by St Luke. Another shrine is just across the main street. Here a gate and a flight of stairs will take you to the Grotto of Our Lady. Lit by candles left by worshipers, the cave is fed by a spring whose waters are reputed to heal sick children.

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