Malta may be small in terms of size, but it’s huge in versatility and a haven for travellers.
Small yet stunning, the tiny island of Malta (316 sq km, comprising the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino) attracts visitors from all walks of life the world over. Whether you’re visiting because you’re intrigued by its history or you’re simply after lazing about on the honey-gold beaches all day, Malta is sure to put, and keep, a smile on your face. Delight in the island’s prehistoric temples and baroque architecture, be seduced by Gozo, feast on a fenkata (rabbit stew) and a can of Cisk, be startled by the sudden and noisy fireworks of a nearby festa, or simply sit back and watch the rattling busses and colourful fishing boats go by.
Pick a random shabby bar near the ocean, where Bob Dylan plays on repeat and watch the people gather for barbecues as the sun beings to set.
Live the energy of these beautiful islands! Few places can stimulate and relax your senses at the same time in the same way Malta does.
Still need help planning your trip? Here are our recommendations.
Short Three Day Trip:
If you're only here for a weekend, don't worry! Malta is small and easy to navigate, and you can still get a taste of what the island has to offer.
We strongly suggest that, especially for short trips, you rent a car or scooter, as buses can run late and turn up full.
We suggest you start your trip by walking along the beautiful coast of Sliema until you reach the 'Sliema Ferries', where for the price of a bus, you can catch the ferry to go to the Capital City, and get the best views whilst doing so!
Spend the entire day exploring the bohemian city of Valletta- make sure you visit the Upper Barracka Gardens for spectacular views of the Grand Harbour- and finally, end your night by having an aperitivo in any of the Capital's quirky bars, followed by a lush dinner.
Trust us when we say, the capital is worth the full day.
Let's make this one a beach day! Head for any of the 3 beautiful picture-perfect sandy beaches on the North West Coast- with our personal favourite being Ghajn Tuffieha- and spend the day taking in the views, swimming, and beach hopping, before heading to Dingli Cliffs for a spectacular Sunset, followed by a stroll around the city of Mdina, Malta's old capital city, which is absolutely beautiful and worth a stop for dinner.
Head out for a nice sea-side breakfast in Balluta or Spinola Bay in Central St Julians and simply enjoy the stroll between these 2 bays. After that, get a bus to Valletta, and then take the connecting bus to the Blue Grotto area, South Malta. Blue Grotto is a rocky beach area with 7 Grottos you can visit by boat (€8, doesn't need pre-booking). It's also a nice area to swim, snorkel and trek, thanks to limited development and nice open spaces. After the Blue Grotto, head to the temples of Hagar Qim (9- 5pm, €10), which are one of Malta's most fascinating Megalithic Temples.
Head back to Valletta, and once there, take a boat to Vittoriosa- one of the Three Cities across from the capital. Vittoriosa (known locally as Birgu) is a very beautiful city which features an 'old' interior and a lovely marina, where you can stop for dinner. Make sure you visit Del Borgo wine bar, for nice Maltese nibbles and quality wine, all in vault-like interiors.
You're here for a week! Good choice! Even though small, Malta has heaps to keep you entertained all week long.
Day 1, 2 & 3: Follow the itinerary above.
Gozo Day Trip.
Gozo is an island smaller in size than Malta, but with loads to see and do, including a visit at Ggantija temples- the oldest free standing temples in the world, and sunset watching in Xlendi Bay. Less constructed than its sister-island, Gozo is an absolute gem, and you really will feel that you've stepped back in time. With beautiful beaches, like Ramla & San Blas and fortified ancient cities like Victoria, you'll find one day there probably won't even be enough. But it's a start!
You can reach Gozo by ferry from Malta. The bus to the ferry takes 40 minutes, and the boat takes just 20 and costs under €5, including return.
Let's hit the South!
Like most parts of the world, the south of Malta offers a more authentic taste of the island.
Start your day by getting up early and visiting the famous market at Marsaxlokk. The market is Malta's largest (in full swing on Sundays only), and sells everything from old CDs to fish (and more fish). Typical colourful Maltest luzzuz (fishing boats) dot the bay of Marsaxlokk, along with old fishermen and many cats. Bliss. Stop for lunch and try out some to-die-for fish, in one of the bay's several restaurants.
After lunch, head for St Peter's Pool; a rocky beach found off the beaten track from Marsaxlokk. That's not the say that it's not busy. Once there, you'll see that the 45 minute walk was worth it, as it's literally in the middle of nowhere and with high limestone cliffs suitable for jumping off. If you're lucky, you'll see Titti, the Maltese dog, and his owner, jumping off the cliffs (both made famous thanks to Youtube).
Peter's Pool offers no shade and no bars, so do go equipped, and if you can't bear the 40 minute walk, take a boat from Marsaxlokk for €8
After a good swim, snorkel and sunburn, start making your way to yet another lovely bay: Marsascala. Similar to Marsaxlokk, in that it's a bay by the sea, Marsascala offers some quality eateries and fun bars, including Bongo Nyah & Zion (a reggae bar in St Thomas Bay)
Today, we rest and do nothing other than while the day away at the Blue Lagoon on the small island of Comino.
Believe me when I say, that you will never see anything prettier. Sadly, you'll be sharing it with thousands of other tourists. But in any case, it's definitely one of the highlights of your visit.
You can either book a boat trip there, and just cruise to the island and stop there for a couple of hours, or, if you prefer less cruising and more beach time, just take the ferry from Cirkewwa in the North, and do your own thing.
If you really want to experience it as best you can, camp there overnight, wake up at 6am, and have the Blue Lagoon all to yourself. (Comino offers a camping ground. Take your own tent.)
On your way back, once you're in Malta and still up north, make sure you stop in Mellieha for dinner. Mellieha hosts Malta's longest beach, BUT, it's the small city centre & Church that will steal your heart.