Xemxija Holidays – 300 days a year of sunshine
Xemxija sits on the north side of the sparkling blue waters of St Paul’s Bay. A statue of the saint keeps a watchful eye on proceedings from an island in the bay where he is said to have been shipwrecked in AD60.
On the opposite side of the bay from Xemxija is Malta’s package holiday capital made up of St Paul’s Bay, Bugibba, Qawra and Salina. Here are loads of pubs, bars, activities and summer holidaymakers. Xemxija is the quieter side of the bay.
The rocky shoreline offers swimming and snorkelling in crystal clear waters and the area is popular with divers. Just one bay north is Malta’s longest sandy beach at Mellieha Bay and it isn’t far to the Gozo Ferry which takes just 25 minutes to reach Malta’s delightful little sister island.
When to go
Xemxija is most popular in summer when the weather is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and diving. Malta is, however, a year-round destination and with 300 days a year of sunshine, it is a very pleasant place to be at any time. Spring is fresh and relatively dry, autumn very warm with occasional winds. Even winter is good for sightseeing.
The weather in Xemxija
Summers are hot and dry with calm seas and daytime temperatures regularly peaking above 30ºC in July and August. Even in June and September daytime highs reach the high twenties and in May and October the low twenties. The sea stays warm enough for swimming throughout October, although you should avoid swimming off the rocks if it is windy. Even in January there is an average of five hours sunshine a day with temperatures regularly hitting the mid-teens.
Getting the best deal
Xemxija holidays are at their cheapest in winter followed by spring and autumn. At these times, costs can be a fraction of those in the peak summer season (July-September). Even in peak time, though, there may be good offers from some accommodation providers especially if you are able to book very early or very late. Our best deals below will help you find a bargain, or check out our late offers here.
Airport and transport need to know
Malta International Airport is just three hours flying time from the UK. Flights leave from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds-Bradford, Edinburgh and East Midlands Airport.
Malta’s airport is modern and functional with taxis, buses and hire cars readily available. Taxi fares from the airport are regulated and the price to Xemxija should be €25 (about £20). Confirm this with your driver before getting in. Other journeys are not regulated and should be negotiated before travelling.
Much cheaper is the express bus which takes about three-quarters of an hour to reach Xemsija and costs just €2.20 (under £2). This is also the price for any two-hour ticket on Malta’s buses.
Cars can be hired at the airport or through your hotel. Malta drives on the left like the UK but driving can be erratic.
The best beaches in Xemxija
The Maltese Islands sit in the middle of Mediterranean surrounded by clear blue waters – perfect for swimming, snorkelling and diving. The main island has a handful of good sandy beaches mainly in the north of the island, not for from Xemxija, and on Gozo. The rest of the coast offers plenty of rocky shore, like that at Xemxija, where locals and visitors alike gather to sunbathe and swim throughout the summer.
Just one bay north of Xemcija, at Mellieha Bay, is Malta’s longest sandy beach, recently been awarded blue flag status. There is plenty of beach life here in the summer and all sorts of water sports from sailing to banana boating. The beach slopes gently into the water making it good for families and this is also a suitable beach for swimming early and late in the year.
Malta’s second largest sandy beach is also not far from Xemxija, though on the opposite side of the island. Golden Bay is a broad swathe of sand with a snack bar, sunbeds and water sports facilities. It is quiet out of season but busy with families and students as well as tourists in summer.
A neighbouring bay to Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha, offers a less crowded experience. This attractive red sandy bay, another recent recipient of a blue flag, is kept relatively quiet by the long flight of stone steps leading down to the beach (and perhaps the proximity to a small – illegal – nudist beach). There is a little snack bar on the beach and a hut hiring out water sports equipment and sun beds.