Holidays in Malta
With its scenic bays, hot climate and buzzing local nightlife, the island of Malta is a hidden gem in the heart of the Mediterranean. Relax on one of the picture-perfect beaches, or take a boat ride to nearby Comino to enjoy a dip in the Blue Lagoon. Plus, the island comes to life in the summertime, playing host to some major festivals and exciting nightlife all around the coastline.
Expect glorious sunshine in the summer, and comfortable temperatures during the winter season.
The northern coast of Malta has the island’s longest beach at Mellieha Bay. Just a bit further to the south-east, the large buzzing resorts of Qawra and Bugibba are tucked side by side into St Paul’s Bay. You’ll find some of Malta’s best sandy beaches hugging the north-western coast at Golden Bay. Malta’s small but elegant capital, Valletta, is filled with narrow historic streets and surrounded by dramatic fortifications. The rocky shores north of the capital are home to the classy resorts of Sliema and St Julian’s. Head to Malta’s little sister island Gozo for a taste of rural peace.
The sheltered waters off Bugibba’s rocky beach are ideal for bathing and watersports, and lidos provide an excellent alternative. From the promenade, lined with restaurants and cafés, walk into the centre to do some shopping. Nightlife is varied with bars, discos and casinos.
This lively resort sits on St Paul’s Bay next to its popular neighbour Bugibba. Stay in a Qawra hotel and take a stroll along the bustling promenade lined with bars, cafés and restaurants. Soak up Malta’s rich history as you wander past imposing 17th-century watchtowers towards Qawra Point.
St Julians & Sliema
Built around the beautiful Spinola Bay, St Julian’s is the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to the action. Relax on the popular sandy beach, go shopping for the day in Sliema, and then in the evening, head to Paceville for a great choice of bars and nightlife.
Slow down the pace at Mellieha Bay. This quiet area is ideal if you’re looking for some relaxing hotels outside of the busy centre. With great views over the bays and beaches, this is one of the most peaceful spots on the island.
With its classic architecture and bustling centre, Valletta is an ideal spot for those who like some history with their holiday. Discover the island’s culture across its capital city, from attractions like St. John’s Co-Cathedral, to the quaint cafes that line the streets.
Small but perfectly formed, Malta packs a lot into its tiny islands. Beautiful beaches line the coast at Golden Bay, the perfect spot for a boat ride past the grottoes and cliffs that mark this north-western coast. Explore the atmospheric alleys of the capital Valletta and the winding medieval lanes of the former capital, Mdina. Take the ferry – or even a seaplane – to tranquil Gozo and go diving underneath the giant stone coastal arch known as the Azure Window. Spend a day on the miniature island of Comino, where the white sands of the Blue Lagoon lead to shimmering waters.
More peaceful and rural than its sister island, Gozo is home to unspoilt villages with ornate features. Victoria, the lively capital, has a striking citadel and the central square – It-Tokk or ‘the meeting place’ – is lined with pavement cafés. Explore its medieval alleyways with interesting architecture and tiny shops. Marsalforn’s waterfront bars are ideal for a relaxing drink. Dwejra’s coastline is a spectacular sight and here you can see the oldest salt pans on Gozo. Relax on the deep red sands of Ramla Bay, one of the island’s most striking beaches. Marvel at the mysterious Ggantija Temples that are even older than Egypt’s pyramids.
Beaches & Bays
With warm, crystal-clear waters, the Maltese islands provide fantastic opportunities for diving. Discover exciting underwater scenery at a number of sites including the wreck of the HMS Maori in Valletta. Gozo and Comino have some of the best dive sites such as the famous Azure Window or the Santa Maria Caves which teem with marine life. Take a boat through the cave tunnel at the Azure Window’s Inland Sea, where the turquoise waters and vivid orange coral entice divers and snorkelers. Plunge 16m through the Blue Hole just in front of the Azure Window to the cave lurking by the seabed.
MALTA IS BEST FOR.
Beach lovers: Relax along Malta’s stunning coastline, with its charming bays and clear blue waters
Culture buffs: Explore Malta’s colourful history with a visit to Valletta and the walled town of Mdina
Fun-seekers: Whether you’re diving around the island or dancing at a festival, Malta has plenty to enjoy
Language. Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English.
Currency. The currency used in Malta is Euro (€).
Local time. Malta is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to. Malta has one international airport, which is about 8km south of the capital Valletta.
Flight time from UK. Approx. 3 hours.
Tourist Information. Further Malta tourist information can be found at www.visitmalta.com
Local Tax: You must now pay Environmental Contribution tax of €0.50 per person, per night, capped at €5.00 per stay which is payable at your accommodation. Children under 18 don’t pay the tax.
Visa & Health. Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malta for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Malta.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
If you want to hit the beach, visit in July or August, when you can enjoy temperatures in the mid-30s (°C) and long hours of glorious sunshine. For a more laidback experience, book your holiday during the spring or autumn. when the resorts are quieter and the weather is warm enough to roam. Temperatures hover around 16 (°C) in the winter, so it’s a great time to get out and explore the ancient sites and villages.
By bus. An extensive network of buses runs on the mainland and Gozo, making getting around in Malta straightforward.
By ferry. Regular ferries run between Malta, Gozo and Comino.
By car. British drivers will find that hiring a car is a practical way to see the best places in Malta, as everyone drives on the left.
By water taxi. Take one of the water taxis that shuttle across Valletta’s Grand Harbour for a ride in a traditional Maltese boat called a dghajsa (pronounced dye-sa).
Carnival. February is carnival time in Malta, with five days of colourful parades, fantastic costumes and dancing in the streets.
Holy Week. Easter brings lively processions and plenty of feasting during Holy Week.
Saint’s Day. Every town and village has its own saint’s day celebration called a festa – another excuse for music, dancing and fireworks. These festi run all year round, but they really kick off from the last week in April with the feast of St Publius in Floriana.
Festivals. You can look forward to some great festivals being held on the island – the Lost and Found festival with Annie Mac takes place in early April, and later in June, Malta will host the massive Isle of MTV festival. Fans of electronic dance will love The Sound You Need Festival in August, and lovers of techno and house won’t want to miss the Glitch Festival in September.
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