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Sandstone rocks form the beach at Sliema

© Hemera / Thinkstock

Sliema beaches

A fashionable residential area, Sliema is also an unlikely holiday resort set on a peninsula with two distinct faces. On the Tower Road waterfront, high-rise hotels face the Mediterranean, bordered by rocky 'beaches' and rock-cut lidos. On the Sliema Ferries waterfront, shops and bars overlook the busy dockside which is the embarkation point for a flotilla of pleasure boats and the ferry to Valletta. The area between these two waterfronts is residential, housing locals and a significant number of expatriates.


Sliema has no sandy beaches, though in Malta any stretch of waterfront that gives access to the sea is termed 'beach'. On Tower Road, there is a stretch of pools (locally known as Fond Għadir Beach) cut from smooth sandstone rock slabs - they were used for salt production in the past but they now give safe access for swimmers taking a dip. Further down the road, Sliema Pitch also has a large sea-water pool with on-site facilities. Other bathing spots are Qui si-Sana, Għar id-fond and the Exiles.

Beyond the beach

Most visitors start the visit by walking a stretch of the 10km (6 mile) Sliema promenade from Qui-si-Sana in Sliema to BallutaBay in St Julian's. Known locally as 'the front', the promenade is lined with charming cafes and bars. Shopping is another 'must-do' considered by many, as Sliema is home to Malta's best shopping malls.

Family fun

From Sliema, it is possible to visit the following places: Splash & Fun Water Park (7km or 4 miles), Bugibba Water Park (15km or 9 miles), Playmobil FunPark (18km or 11 miles) and Popeye Village (21km or 13 miles).

Exploring further

Malta is a very small island and it is possible to visit anywhere quite comfortably within a day from Sliema. Worthy diversions include Valletta, Mdina, and the Blue Grotto.

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