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Dog Friendly Beaches in Malta & Gozo

Dog Friendly Beaches in Malta & Gozo

In order to shed some light on the issue of dog-friendly beaches in Malta and Gozo—where there is a serious paucity of such beaches and confusing information regarding the ones that do exist—the Office of The Commissioner for Animal Welfare undertook a thorough investigation. At the time of publication, the data gathered hereunder is as accurate as possible. There are still continuing discussions about expanding the number of dog-friendly beaches in Malta and Gozo with the various organizations and authorities concerned.

The investigation's finding is that, while health should always come first, Malta, and particularly Gozo, unquestionably need more dog-friendly beaches. It cannot continue to be so challenging to take dogs swimming with the rest of the family if we honestly expect people in the Maltese Islands to treat their dogs as family members.

First off, it's crucial to remember that the Environmental Health Directorate and the Superintendence of Public Health decide whether to designate a beach as dog-friendly based on recommendations from the Animal Welfare Directorate. This is due to the fact that SL465.09 Art 19 regulates water quality and bathing water profiles, which are related to the ban on dogs on beaches. This is supported by scientific research and WHO recommendations that demonstrate how germs from dog excrement alter the categorization and quality of bathing water, endangering human health.

The rules that apply to other beaches, besides the nine designated dog-friendly beaches that we have on Malta and Gozo, are listed here. If you violate them once, you risk receiving a fine between €232 and €4658 and/or a minimum of six months in jail. On a further conviction, the fine increases to a minimum of €465, a maximum of €11,646, and/or a term of imprisonment of at least two years.

Blue Flag Beaches (Summer Only)

On beaches with a Blue Flag, dogs are not permitted. According to the International Blue Flag eco-label for Sustainable Development, these beaches are regarded as the top high-quality beaches. They are marked off in the summer with a blue flag. Every year, Malta typically meets the criteria to have 10 to 12 Blue Flagged Beaches.

Sandy Beaches (All Year)

Dogs are not permitted at any time of year on any sandy beach, with the exception of Mgiebah Beach, which is designated as a dog-friendly beach. Anytime, on any sandy beach in Malta and Gozo, dogs are prohibited from being in the water and on the sand. This is because dog feces on sand is easily absorbed by the sand and can easily come into touch with people, especially children playing on the sand.

Rocky Beaches (Summer Only)

All year long, dogs are welcome on all rocky beaches (except from those with the Blue Flag). But dogs aren't allowed in the water if a rocky beach is a designated swimming area. In Malta and Gozo, there are 87 official bathing areas. Beaches are not bathing locations, and swimming areas are not bathing areas. A beach may feature a number of bathing places, like Ghadira, which has five. The WRAU and EHD collect water samples from these locations to certify the purity and safety of the water. All of these swimming areas are off-limits to dogs, but they are permitted to remain on the rocks.

Owners are still required to pick up after their dogs and keep them on a leash. Both bathing areas and non-bathing areas include swimming zones; during the summer, they are marked with buoys to prevent boats from entering the bay and ensure the safety of swimmers.

Dog-Friendly Beaches

There are ten designated dog-friendly beaches in all. 2 in Gozo and 8 in Malta. The Health Regulation Department still monitors the water quality of these beaches even if no formal water quality monitoring is conducted there. Even though a beach is designated as dog-friendly, it is crucial to keep in mind that occasionally only a portion of the beach is genuinely dog-friendly.

All of Malta and Gozo's recognized dog-friendly beaches are included below, along with a brief description and their precise locations. Unless a special Local Council By-Law forbids it, dogs can swim anywhere that is not a bathing area as mentioned in this list in addition to these designated dog-friendly beaches.

Here’s a list of Official Dog Beaches in Malta and Gozo (as of 2023)

Rinella Bay - Kalkara

This dog-friendly beach is not far from a sandy beach, but dogs are only permitted on the rocks there. Which section of the beach is dog friendly and which is not is clearly marked by two large signs. The area where dogs are allowed is arguably the smallest dog-friendly beach on the island, yet it is a beautiful spot with views of Valletta and Bighi. Both driving and walking are simple ways to get to the beach. Additionally, a handrail has been erected, making it simple to enter and exit the water. Given its size, there can't be many dogs swimming in this area.

Google location :

Xatt is-Sajjieda - Marsaxlokk

Usually, it's simple to drive or walk to this location. It takes a few minutes to walk over the sand to the dog-friendly area due to current structural work being done there. This means that it is best to avoid high temperature periods at all costs. Large stones that are scattered over the beach might make it difficult to enter and exit the water. Additionally, this makes it nearly impossible for owners to swim alongside their pets in the ocean. For tiny dogs, this beach is not the best option. An outdated sign identifies the dog-friendly neighborhood.

Google location:

Tigne Point – Sliema (Under the Tigne Pedestrian Bridge)

Both by car and foot can readily be utilized to get to this beach. The parking lot at Tigne Point is also close by. Although it is fairly simple to reach the dog-friendly area, the beach is not marked as a dog-friendly beach. Both little and large dogs can easily access the water and the rocks because of their nature, and there are a few steps to make it easier for people to enter and exit the water as well. Also, the entire beach is covered for the majority of the day. Although it is a sizable beach, its entire length is not connected at sea level and can only be reached from street level.

Google location:

Torri l-Abjad - Mellieha 

There is a car park about 50 meters from the beach, making it simple to drive to this beach. However, there was no canine-welcoming signage to be seen. Due to the uneven terrain and potentially slippery rocks closer to the water, getting to the dog-friendly area is not very simple. There were no visible aids, such as steps, ramps, or handrails.

Google Location :

Behind Splash and Fun - Bahar ic-Caghaq

One of Malta's most popular dog-friendly beaches is undoubtedly this one. The area behind The Splash and Fun Park, not the sandy area close to the kiosk, is dog-friendly. It has numerous access points to the lake and is conveniently accessible by both foot and vehicle. While other portions of the rocks are fine for dogs, some have too many sharp edges. Numerous steps, ramps, and railings are located at various sites to facilitate human access. There were no canine-welcoming signs at this beach.

Google location:

Imgiebah Bay - Selmun

In Malta and Gozo, this is the only sandy beach that welcomes dogs, yet getting to this bay is exceedingly challenging. The route leading to there is too lengthy, too rocky, and too hot for people to walk on in the summer, so they can only get there by car. A rural road in front of Selmun Tower provides access for cars. Due to the road's extreme narrowness, two cars traveling in opposing directions would have a very difficult time navigating it. A short descent of a cliff leads to the sea after arriving at a tiny parking space, although this approach is not suitable for dogs or anyone with mobility issues. There isn't currently a dog-friendly sign anywhere.

Google Location :

Dahlet Ix-Xmajjar - Armier

This beach is occasionally referred to as Dahlet ix-Xmajjel and is relatively secluded but reachable by car and on foot. Actually, this is the name that is mentioned on the sign that is placed next to the beach. Although it is a dog-friendly beach, the sign does not say so. Dogs of all sizes may easily cross the pebbles at this beach, although those with mobility issues may find it challenging. To make it simpler for people to enter and exit the water, a railing is installed.

Google Location :

Zonqor Point – Marsascala

This rocky beach is conveniently reachable by foot or car and may be the largest dog-friendly beach on the island. The majority of the rocks are smooth, making it simple for both people and dogs to enter the water. There was no indication of a dog-friendly area by way of a sign.

Google Location :

St Thomas Bay (Munxar Side) - Marsascala

Google Location :

Ir-Ramla ta Wied Musa' - Cirkewwa

Google Location -

Gozo – Horizon Bay (limits of Xwejni area)

Both by foot and car, it's simple to get to this beach, and it's also simple to get into the water. Dogs do enjoy the beach, despite the seaweed that occasionally covers it. Due to its tiny size and proximity to the parking lot, the beach may be dangerous if a dog escapes the water and enters the parking lot. It's vital to remember that only a portion of Xwejni Bay—under the Horizon Restaurant—is dog-friendly.

Google Location :

Gozo - Trejqet Mgarr ix-Xini – Ghajnsielem (Ras il-Hobz)

The distance to this beach makes it challenging to travel there by car or foot. The road is just too long and rough to walk, especially with a dog, in the sweltering July heat. The open seas can be deadly, and getting to the ocean is often fairly risky. Access to the region is made much more challenging by salt pens, however there is a handrail to assist people getting in and out of the sea. The name (Ras il-Hobz - Ta Fessej - Bay) on a sign indicates that this beach is dog friendly.

Google Location :


Gozo - Il-Bajja Ta' Gorgun - Mgarr

Google Location :


Gozo - Il-Bajja tad-Dwejra - San Lawrenz

Google Location :

Gozo - Il-Bajja tal-Qbajjar

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Source of information above -

Official Bathing spots -

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