For me, sunset is by far the best time of day in summer. I get off work at 5pm, so that means I’ve three and a half hours till the sun goes down… and I absolutely love it!
Yes, sunrise is great to, and some people did manage the summer solstice early morning wake-up call at 5am – or some unearthly hour – to see sunrise over Mnajdra and Hagar Qim temples last weekend. But, in all honesty, I’m not a fan of early rising!
So, here are some choice spots on the islands I’d recommend if you want to chill out after a long day. Take an impromptu picnic, a chilled beer or bottle of wine, swim or simply just sit and meditate. But don’t forget to grab that camera!
1. Riviera Beach (Ghajn Tuffieha Bay) is my number one spot on weekdays. The walk down and up the flight of steps is manageable in the evening ‘cool’, and the beach bar is a relaxed place to have a beer, burger and chips! More or less the same view, though slightly less intimate an atmosphere, is to be had at neighbouring, larger Golden Bay. If you’ve some cash on you and are not in beach gear, the Essence Bar at the Radisson Golden Sands has a terrace with an ocean-liner feel, an element of luxury and a fantastic view of sunset.
2.Dingli Cliffs with its view of Fifla – Perch anywhere along the cliff top, but just in front of Bobbyland restaurant is a good place. And the restaurant serves tea for under 1 Euro.
3. Fomm Ir-Rih sitting in the grass hills. This lies on the western side of Malta and has sheer cliffs and is a rich geological and archaeological area. It can be a bit tricky to get to, but it’s worth seeking out. Fomm Ir-Rih Bay, also known as Ras-il-Pellegrin on some maps, is between Mgarr and the Bingemma Gap (Victoria Lines). It’s an area of outstanding beauty and has one of Malta’s few pebbly beaches (as opposed to rock or sand).
4. Torri L’Ahmar, the Red Tower (or St Agatha’s Tower), is perched up high and an unmissable landmark in a rugged area just beyond Mellieha Bay. It’s a real sunset vantage point with incredibly wide horizon views all around. It’s actually a large watchtower built in the mid 17th century to hold a garrison.
5. Mgarr ix-Xini, Gozo – you must have fish there first! This natural cove is one of Gozo’s gems and is said to have been a harbour used by the Knights’ galleys. It lies in a gorge accessible from Xewkija and Sannat. The entrance to the cove is guarded by a 17th century watchtower.
Photo: Gege Gatt