With its unspoilt beaches, clear waters and sizzling subtropical climate, holidays to Malta are the perfect remedy for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Whether you want to take a stroll along sun-kissed coastlines, marvel at architectural delights or immerse yourself in the captivating culture, you’re bound to find a destination in Malta that boasts plenty of things to do. Home to a total of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the archipelago, the main allure of a Malta getaway is its undeniable beauty. From the spectacular sandy beaches of Mellieha Bay to the rocky shores of Bugibba, these vast landscapes are a photographer’s dream.
With destinations that are brimming with culture and interesting attractions, visitors will find plenty of things to do in Malta. You can find peaceful bliss along its shimmering sandy coastline, or you can soak up some culture in its ancient capital Valletta. Delve into the crystal-clear sea for some underwater sightseeing, or travel across the water to the rural paradise islands of Gozo and Comino. Whether you want sun, sea and sand, or nature, architecture and history, the country is filled with diverse destinations that promise to make your Malta holiday a memorable one.
Wine and Dine
Maltese cuisine is filled with colour and character, and its dishes are influenced by a cosmopolitan array of flavours, using plenty of fresh local produce. Malta’s history leans towards an eclectic way of cooking, with Italian, Sicilian, Indian and Mediterranean features all found in its traditional food.
Head to Valletta for some diverse international menus, from friendly bakeries tucked down the forgotten streets near the old market, to stylish restaurants nestled along the waterfront. For some rustic dining visit Mdina, which boasts some romantic courtyard restaurants within its ancient city walls. Whatever else may be on your list of things to do in Malta, a taste of the island nation’s traditional cuisine should be at the top.
Action and Adventure
Malta’s coastlines sit perched above sharp cliffs and dramatic rocks, so they provide the perfect setting for adventurous visitors. Both Malta and Gozo boast some phenomenal natural sights such as the Dingli Cliffs, the Blue Grotto and Calypso’s Cave. Head to Dwejra on Gozo Island to visit Fungus Rock, the Azure Window and the Inland Sea, a trilogy of natural wonders.
Exciting parks and amusement centres can also be found amid the long list of Malta attractions, whether you want white-knuckle adventures or family entertainment. Little ones will love interacting with the characters of the Playmobil Fun Park, while animal fans will find plenty to keep them happy at the Mediterraneo Marine Park.
Family Fun or a Romantic Retreat
Whether you’re looking for romance or fun for all ages, a holiday in Malta could be just what you have been waiting for. Couples can enjoy a dreamy stay in an ancient fort or a Sicilian mansion in Mdina, waking up to views across the craggy coast, enjoying terrace dining and lazy evening drinks under the stars. If you’d prefer beachside romance you can seek out your own private cove along Gozo’s sleepy coast.
The beaches of Malta, Gozo and Comino all provide great settings for family days in the sun, whether you spend your time topping up the tan, building sand castles or trying the local water sports. Head to Popeye Village for bundles of entertainment, or visit Splash ‘n’ Fun for some watery thrills. Ta’ Qali Crafts Village, one of the most unique of all Malta attractions, will capture the imagination of every member of the household, with ancient crafts such as ceramics, glass blowing and lace making all demonstrated here.
Malta really shines through its cultural sights, which range from ancient ruins and architectural highlights, to religious sites and museums. A UNESCO World Heritage gem, Valletta, is packed with archaic attractions, from St John’s Cathedral and the beautiful Manoel Theatre, to the National Museum of Fine Arts. For a cultural experience with a difference, visit the peaceful Upper Barrakka Gardens with a picnic, and take in the phenomenal views across the Grand Harbour.
Mdina exists amongst a mysterious network of forgotten streets and alleyways, which hide cultural attractions such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Cathedral Museum, as well as some more unusual sites such as Palazzo Falston Historic House Museum. This intriguing museum hides some fascinating antiques and art work. For a mysterious day out, visit the Mdina Dungeons, where secret passageways wind between eerie cells and chambers, home to life-size displays depicting ancient underground stories. With so much on its doorstep, there are so many things to do in Malta.
Festivals and Parties
Malta enjoys a magical calendar filled with events and festivals, which can provide some added entertainment to your holiday. Visit over a religious holiday such as Easter or Christmas and you will find the country’s cities and towns are thriving amid celebrations. The local streets come to life with colourful stalls selling local delicacies, sweets and cuisine, and the churches offer extended services.
The Grand Harbour is the place to be at the end of April, when it hosts the Malta International Fireworks Festival. The night sky comes to life with spectacular displays organised by pyrotechnics experts from across the world. Whether your cultural heart lies in art, theatre, music or dance, the Malta Arts Festival will capture you with its rich events list over the summer months. Further culture can be enjoyed in September, when the Notte Bianca event takes to the starlit streets of Valletta. Here you can enjoy some late-night Malta attractions, with museums, art galleries, state palaces, cafés and restaurants all opening their doors until late.
Of course aside from its sand, sea and endless sunshine, Malta holidays have their own fair share of culture and history. If you don’t fancy holding down your beach towel all day, you’ll enjoy taking a stroll through Valletta, Malta’s cosmopolitan and cultural hub. With its architectural treasures, it’s no surprise that Malta’s capital is a World Heritage Site – meander your way through aged buildings and striking monuments or linger over a coffee at one of the modern restaurants in the midst of the traditional town.
If you’re looking for escapism however, Gozo is the place to visit. The perfect antidote to the bustling beaches and tourist hotspots of Malta, this charming island has managed to retain its rural charm, resulting in a place where you’ll find yourself taking leisurely strolls amid the countryside or munching on a picnic on the red sands of Ramla il-Hamra beach.
Beaches and bars
Holidays in Malta really transform when the sun goes down, and you’ll never be short of places to visit, whatever your tastes. Those seeking a vibe of tranquillity should spend their twilight hours in Bugibba, a destination known for its vibrant beach bars and clubs as well as its picturesque harbour. Not only does it provide an excellent spot to indulge in a sophisticated seafood dinner – the sunset over the water is something not to be missed.
Alternatively, up the ante in St Julian’s. Guaranteed to get you wanting to put on your dancing shoes, this lively resort is the prime destination for those seeking a great night out. Start your night savouring the wonderful food and drink to be found in every corner of the resort, before heading to some of the great pubs and clubs that occupy the area. Whether your passion is for live music, laid-back lounges or adrenaline-pumping techno, you’re sure to find somewhere to keep your toes tapping until sunrise.