Mellieħa is a picturesque village located in the Northwest part of Malta. Mellieħa took its name from the ancient Punic and Roman salt-terms, as Mellieha means salt in Arabic. This village is one of Malta’s most attractive tourist and summer resorts, with beautiful, clean, sandy beaches and clear, blue sea. Mellieha has Malta’s largest sandy beach, Għadira, which is perfect for families with small children, as the water remains shallow for a considerable distance from the shore. Mellieħa also has a lot of splendid seaside hotels, good restaurants and many traditional souvenir shops.
In this village we also find The Sanctuary of our Lady of Mellieha, which was built in the late 19th century, this sanctuary is well known for pilgrimages and for the outstanding views it offers over Mellieha bay, Gozo and Comino.
The older part of the sanctuary still stands today, dating back to the late 16th century. Since then, the chapel's was enlarged several times. The Sanctuary’s sacristy holds a remarkable collection of gifts and pledges showing the devotion of the locals towards Our Lady.
The crypt was one of the natural caves found in the northern part of Malta. According to tradition, the Byzantine style fresco showing the Virgin Mary holding Christ was painted by St. Luke, when he was shipwrecked on the Island together with St. Paul.