Island with ‘Europe’s best beach’ less than a £50 flight from Manchester Airport

With warmer weather and sunny days upon us, it finally feels like we’re on the brink of summer. After soaking up the rays and vitamin D for the past few days, the mind may be turning to a summer getaway for guaranteed sun.

While we can hope for a decent summer here at home, you can’t beat a trip to a sunny destination, and lounging in the sun on a glorious beach abroad is pretty close to vacation perfection. Lucky for us, you can fly direct to the European island home to ‘Europe’s best beach’ from Manchester Airport.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay beach in Malta has been named the best beach in Europe for 2024 by the website European Best Destinations. It beat the beaches of Portugal’s Algarve, the Greek island of Corfu and Spain’s Tenerife to take the number one spot.

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Located on the west coast of Malta, the gorgeous beach is nestled between towering cliffs, ensuring it remains unspoiled and full of natural beauty. Top European Destinations said: “With its glorious cliffs, red sand beach, it’s the perfect blue flag beach for your holidays in Malta.”

The beach has red sand and is surrounded by rocks(Image: Getty Images)

On the beach there is a kiosk where you can buy drinks, snacks and meals, as well as rent sunbeds and umbrellas. It’s a bit difficult to get to the beach as you have to go down a step but it’s totally worth it.

The best European destinations added: “Awarded with the title of the best beach in Europe, this beach offers high standards of cleanliness and service with restaurants and snack bars. Sunbeds and water activities are also available, you won’t want for anything more during your day at the beach.”

Due to its location on the west coast, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay (which means Eye of the Apple) beach – also known as Riviera beach – is an excellent place to watch the sunset. In fact, one Tripadvisor visitor described it as a “beautiful place for a wonderful sunset”.

The beach is about half an hour’s drive from Valletta, the capital of Malta (Image: Getty Images)

Another visitor, Jon W from Manchester, called it a “gorgeous unspoiled beach”. One Tripadvisor user, Simon B, said it was “the best beach in Malta”. He said: “This beach is fantastic, I’m very fussy when it comes to beach selections… A leisurely walk down some steps to this beautiful quiet blue beach accompanied by a brilliant restaurant with great food selections and drinks. Amazing cocktails in recyclable glasses that you take back to the bar on your way home.”

Around the corner from the beach is the more developed Golden Bay, where there are a few hotels. Ghajn Tuffieha Bay Beach is about half an hour’s drive from Malta’s capital, Valletta. You can also easily get there by public transport, as a bus stops at the beach.

Skyscanner shows flights from Manchester Airport to Malta available from £42 in June, with returns available for a similar price. EasyJet is offering fares from £82.99 at the end of June one-way, with returns around double the price. Ryanair has return tickets in June from £71.98. It is important to note that these prices may not include seat allocation or baggage allowance.

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