The Maltese spend lots of time on the beach, so it becomes like a home away from home. Here's some beach etiquette that locals take seriously and some that's not serious at all!
Personal space? What personal space?
Malta's most popular public beaches get so crowded in the summer months that you simply can't worry about having a ring of personal space. This will mean that even if you get to the beach early, people will likely occupy the closest sun beds to you and ignore the hundreds of empty ones available across the beach. It also means that if you're descending into the water by means of a ladder, it's not unlikely that you'll get someone else's butt cheeks in your face.
Don't worry about sand reaching every nook and cranny of your body
People will flip their sand-filled towels regardless of where the breeze is sending it. Expect to receive a sand bath more than once in a day. It's also inevitable that children will run past you flipping up sand with their little feet. Trying to stop them is futile.
You don't need headphones!
People very often play the music they like on their phones or portable speakers for all to hear the poor quality and choice of music. So don't worry about bringing your own headphones. All you have to do is crank it up louder than the person next to you.
Girls will change their bikinis a few times
Just when you're starting to wonder if triplets are common in Malta, you will realise that very often, girls change their bikinis throughout the day. This is more often than not at upmarket beach clubs, and there's a very valid explanation: pre-lunch bikini, lunch bikini, and sundown cocktail bikini.
You can get almost naked, but not completely naked
While it's perfectly fine to sport a skimpy bikini or a small speedo, topless and nude bathing is illegal in Malta. Having said that, you're still going to see it occasionally. If you're a nudist, there's a small inlet in Ġnejna Bay that's renowned for being a nudist beach. It's also generally frowned upon by the locals to walk around in your swimming suit if you're not on the beach.
You can't barbecue everywhere
Different beaches have different rules, so while it's okay to light up the barbie at some, it's forbidden or requires a permit at others. The best way to find out is to contact the local council for the specific beach. Don't just wing it - you could end up with a hefty fine!