Across the Maltese Islands, 29.22% (92.22km2) of the land area is covered by one designation or another, or even more than one. Included in this is 13.8% (over 43.6km2) of land area, which forms part of the EU Natura 2000 network of protected areas. Furthermore, 35.5% of Maltese waters (4,138km2) have been designated as marine protected areas.

As an EU Member State, Malta is committed to report, on an annual basis, on various core data flows on areas designated under national legislation for the purpose of nature protection. This report, which is also known as the Common Database on Designated Areas (CDDA), is essentially a database of the various designated area in national law.​​

The table below gives an overview of the various designations of protected areas in the Maltese Islands as per national legislation; it is important to note that a number of these are covered by more than one designation.

Designation Legislation
Bird sanctuary S.L. 549.42
National park (Majjistral) ​S.L. 549.48
Nature reserve (Filfla) Cap. 323
Nature reserve (Il-Ponta tal-Qawra) S.L. 549.150
Nature reserve (Islands) S.L. 549.01
S.L. 549.03
Protected beach S.L. 549.42​
Special Area of Conservation (SAC) – International Importance G.N. 1522 of 2019
G.N. 682 of 2018​
G.N. 1379 of 2016
Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) – National Importance G.N. 399 of 2024
Special Area of Geological Importance G.N. 1476 of 2019
Special Protection Areas G.N. 1522 of 2019
G.N. 682 of 2018​
G.N. 1379 of 2016​​
Tree Protection Areas​ S.L. 549.123
G.N. 316 of 2017
G.N. 473 of 2011

​Below is a selection of protected areas, which give a taste of Malta’s beautiful nature: