Wild camping in Malta is no easy feat but we managed to sleep 4 nights under the Mediterranean stars. Unfortunately, there are very few campsites in Malta, so if like us you’re into the outdoors, you may decide to take a walk on the wild side.
We have said it before and we will say it again: we love wild camping. And while we are not adverse to saving a few pennies on our trips, our passion for wild camping actually has little to do with money. I guess this is only something an experienced camper truly understands: there is no feeling quite like waking up in an unknown place.
We were desperate to wild camp during our trip to this little island and this was made a slightly easier as we were doing a cycling trip around Malta.
Why is it so difficult to wild camp in Malta?
Unlike other countries such as Iceland or New Zealand where there are so many restrictions you can hardly find a place to pitch your tent, Malta has plenty of open space. The problem is the surface.
Our biggest trouble was finding a spot that was either even or not covered with pointy rocks. It is especially dry in Malta so trying to insert your tent pegs can also be a problem. We only had good weather, so pitching without pegs was absolutely fine.
Wild camping spots in Malta
When planning our trip we found it very difficult to research wild camping spots in Malta. So here is where we camped and if we would recommend each place.
1. Ghar Lapsi
We stayed at Ghar Lapsi mostly out of desperation. The sun was coming down quickly and it was a question of staying there or cycling in the dark. We decided to stay put for the night.
There are a few restaurants at Ghar Lapsi so people hang around until around midnight. There are also BBQ areas, so a lot of locals use the facilities for family parties. We can’t remember if the BBQs were provided or not – we think not.
There is open land towards the back, behind the restaurants. The ground is very rough so finding a level and smooth spot will not be easy, but it is possible. The best thing about wild camping at Ghar Lapsi is the swimming area. Loads of locals head there in the morning before the scorching sun gets too strong.
2. Ghadira Beach
Camping on a beach is always easy because the sand acts like a lovely soft mattress that moulds around you. The only problem with beaches is their popularity and we found this to be more of a problem in Malta. We didn’t put our tent up on the enormous Ghadira Beach until very late because we didn’t want to attract too much attention. Not much chance of that. Families and groups of friends make most of the beach until very late and then the next influx of swimmers starts arriving at around 5 am.
We had a fairly good nights’ sleep until we were woken by the guys setting up the sunbeds. Unfortunately, we had put our tent in an awful place and woke up surrounded by them. We were also surprised by the number of people that had just slept on the beach on their picnic rugs. It doesn’t offer much privacy, but it sure is cooler than sleeping in a tent!
3. The Salt Pans, Gozo
We only spent one night on Gozo Island and we found a very secluded spot right near the Salt Pans. As you head West on the main road, you will see that there is a rough track that veers off to the right. We went down there and ended up in a place that we have since nicknamed ‘Mars’. There is no chance of you getting any tent pegs in here, so make sure a calm night is ahead!
Just down the road, headed East, there is a small fishing village with a couple of bars and restaurants. We found the local people here to be very friendly, even if they were a bit surprised to see 2 tourists on bikes.
4. Malta National Aquarium
A bit further south of the National Aquarium, there is a very small amount of flat land that we pitched our tent on. We found our spot, then headed back to Bugibba Square for something to drink and a bite to eat. There are also some nice beachside bars along this stretch of road where you can watch the sunset.
When we came back from our evening meal, a campervan had parked right in front of the wild camping spot we had picked out just a few hours earlier. It was almost pitch black and there was no way we could find an alternative, so we just had to camp there anyway. Many apologies to the people in that motorhome – we didn’t want to be intrusive!
What you need to know about wild camping in Malta
- It is very hot in summer, so you get a short nights’ sleep between midnight and around 6 am when the sun really starts to heat up.
- The people are generally friendly. We didn’t have any problems with wild camping.
- Technically, wild camping in Malta is not permitted.
You can learn more about wild camping in Malta with the following links:
Mom Goes Camping explains the legalities of wild camping in every European country.
Living in Malta offers some ideas for alternative wild camping spots in Malta.
Tell us if you’re also a fan of wild camping! Where is your favourite spot?