Concrete proof that the best things in life come in small packages, Malta is the latest hotspot for fans of the Mediterranean lifestyle looking for something a bit different. The real advantage of a stay in Malta is that it’s chock full of glorious variety, yet it’s laid-back and easy. Even a two day trip would allow you try a new sport, laze on an island cruise across a periwinkle sea and explore 7,000 years of history, and still have time to party at night – all in the space of a couple of kilometres.
Often unfairly dismissed as an island catering for the older generation, Malta has found popularity with the younger set in recent years, for its guaranteed sunshine and low cost of living. A glass of wine averages at around two euros – no wonder the Greeks called it the Land of Honey. Have a look at our offers and discover this amazing archipelago in 2017.
Top destinations in Malta
Top hotels in Malta
The St. George’s Park Hotel
St Paul's Bay,
The San Anton Hotel
The Santa Maria Hotel
LABRANDA Riviera Premium Resort & Spa
St Paul's Bay,
Ramla Bay Resort
Seashells Resort at Suncrest
St Paul's Bay,
We round up what makes this beautiful Mediterranean island the perfect holiday destination with our essential list of top 10 reasons to love Malta!…
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At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: English
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 3h 40m
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When to go
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If it’s your own personal slice of paradise you’re after, then Malta will provide it in spades, with dozens of secluded coves and sun kissed beaches that don’t get nearly as busy as other sun destinations. You’ll never be far from the glistening Mediterranean Sea, no matter where you are on this small but mighty island retreat. And its modest size means you can take in all the main attractions in no time at all. You’ll most likely base yourself in the capital city of Valetta, which is awash with well preserved ancient walls and historic sites like St John’s Co-Cathedral, a gem of Baroque art and architecture. The city is compact enough to be explored on foot, so you won’t miss a thing. Culture vultures will want to dive into Malta’s connection with prehistory – the ancient temple of Hypogeum will captivate you with its mysticism, while those after a fast paced holiday should head for resort areas like Sliema and St. Julian’s, with incredible nightlife and a charming café culture.
Wine and Dine
The cuisine in Malta is truly an explosion on the senses. Taking cues from its blend of Mediterranean, Italian, Sicilian and Indian cultures, you’ll find a smorgasbord of delicious things to tuck into. Traditional Maltese dishes are full of unique character that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe, and chock full of diverse flavours and the freshest local ingredients. Stewed rabbit, pastizzi pastries and rich vegetable soups are all common delicacies. Be sure to check out Valetta’s famous bakeries, dotted around the cities cobbled backstreets of the old market, or head down to the waterfront’s contemporary restaurants for an experience in fine dining. If it’s rustic romance you seek, treat your other half to a meal in Mdina. Its ancient courtyards and surrounding walls making the ideal setting for a loved up meal for two. If you’d prefer not to stray too far from a taste of home, bustling resorts like Sliema and St. Julian’s have plenty of Northern European-style restaurants serving up all your old favourites.
Malta is the ideal spot for your family holiday in 2017, with the sun-blessed beaches of the mainland, Gozo and Comino all perfect for fun and frolics in the sunshine. You can top up on your tan while the little ones build sandcastles or get their pulses racing with some water sports. With its warm, shallow beaches, the gorgeous golden stretch at Mellieha Bay should be your first port of call if you have kids in tow. While they may be a bit too young to remember the cult eighties movie, we’re sure they’ll find hours of entertainment in Popeye’s Village, the film set which served as its location.
Elsewhere, they can horse around in the maze of slides and swimming pools in the Splash ‘n’ Fun water park, or engage their creative side in the Ta Quali Crafts Village. You never know what your budding geniuses will create. They could also become one with nature amongst free-roaming goats, rabbits and other furry friends in LWS Animal Park – perfect for your little animal lovers.
Action and Adventure
The dramatic coastline of Malta holds ample scenic views for the more adventurous types that aren’t afraid to get stuck into a bit of cliff walking, although Gozu Island is no pushover either when it comes to natural delights. For its size, the tiny island holds an incredible number of naturally formed marvels including the Dingli Cliffs, the Blue Grotto and Calypso’s Cave, all just waiting to be explored. But for our money, no trip to Gozo island would be complete without heading for the Dwejra area and ticking off the Azure Window, Fungus Rock and Inland Sea – a triple threat of natural wonders. Now that’s what you call getting your money’s worth. If thrills on dry land just aren’t enough, you could also try a spot of diving while you’re at the Inland Sea. With sessions for all experience levels, the Mediterranean Sea holds a wealth of treasures including seahorses, ancient caves and shipwrecks.
Life's a Beach
If you only have sun, sea and sand on the brain, then you’ve chosen well with this island retreat. Surrounded by the jaw-dropping Mediterranean coastline on all sides, you’ll have plenty of beach options to choose from, and all within easy reach. For the ultimate package, set off for the super trendy St Paul’s Bay. This beachside resort is the epitome of cool sophistication, with staff on hand to cater for your every beck and call.
With some of the softest sand in Europe, Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay are increasingly popular with those that want nothing more than a good sizzle. While slightly off the beaten track, the secluded island of Gozo boasts a plethora of gorgeous golden crescents. Time it well, and you could end up with one of these private paradises to yourself. The beach resort culture is something that has really taken off here, as Malta has become an increasingly popular holiday destination. This is reflected in the vibrant Bugibba area, with a stunning beachside harbour, and bars and clubs never out of reach.
Though often unfairly dismissed by the younger set as a destination better suited to the older crowd, Malta’s nightlife has become a veritable force in recent years. Like a lot of Europeans, the Maltese often combine their night out on the town with a hearty restaurant meal, and why not live like the locals on your trip? In Valetta, you can combine smooth Latin grooves with a delicious meal in hip spots like Fuego Salsa Bar. Or how about some succulent steaks with a soundtrack of live blues in the Black Gold Saloon?
For clubbers, many of Malta’s rowdiest venues are handily arranged within walking distance of each other, with top spots like Havana, Plush and Escape all pumping out the tunes until the small hours. If you’re looking to sip on some delicious cocktails before partaking in the clubbing madness – or pre-drinks as we call it – stop by the Chalice Bar & Lounge or the Hard Rock Cafe to get you in the mood. Don’t worry – if you start to miss home, there are also plenty of British and Irish pubs around.
For an unforgettable trip with your other half, Malta is an inspired choice. Small enough so that you’ll feel as if you have the island all to yourselves, but with plenty to keep you occupied, this Mediterranean hideaway truly has the best of both worlds. If you want to explore a land that’s steeped in history, look no further, with remnants of Roman, French and British colonialism all readily accessible. As you stroll hand-in-hand with your beloved, you can take in forts, temples and ancient burial sites, before chowing down on some artisanal treats and delicious freshly baked bread. Or, making a beeline for the beaches of St Pauls Bay. Treat your special one to some of the finest shopping in Europe in Sliema, or take in the jaw-dropping coastline in the quaint town of Mellieha – the choice is yours. Whatever you have in mind for your romantic retreat, Malta has plenty of opportunity for you to reconnect as the sun sets in the distance.
While Malta is a sure-fire winner no matter what kind of holiday you’re after, if culture is your vice then this interesting island really excels, from historic ruins and architectural wonders, to religious heritage sites and museums. And the best part? Most of them are within walking distance of each other. A UNESCO World Heritage site in its own right, Valleta is packed with things to keep you stimulated, but must-sees include St John’s Cathedral and the pristine Manoel Theatre. If you’re a fine art enthusiast, then it’s easy to lose an afternoon in the National Museum of Fine Arts, gazing in wonder at the hundreds of portraits and religious paintings within. The Maltese culture is well known for its fondness for festivals of all sorts – time your trip well and you may just enhance your holiday tenfold. For our money, the best is surely Carnival, which boasts live music, parades and grotesquely masked performers and lasts several days.