If you’re planning on holidaying to Malta then you have arrived at the right page. We have put together a Malta travel guide with a few helpful tips and suggestions to make the most of your holiday and really maximise your time and minimise your budget!
Malta is often described as an open air museum, its location has meant over the years it has inherited concepts and culture from around the world. If history is your thing then Valletta is a must, the concentration of historical places here is just phenomenal with the entire city of Valletta itself listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. St Johns Co Cathedral is almost beyond words to describe its magnificence. You can visit a church every day of the year and you would still have some left to see! Around 25 of the 360 plus churches on Malta can be found in Valletta.
Valletta only scratches the surface, throw in the ancient walled city of Mdina, the old capital of Malta before the knights of St John and recognisable from the popular TV series Game of Thrones (there are a number of locations across Malta and Gozo you may recognise from this show as well as many high profile films including Assassin’s Creed, Captain Phillips, World War Z, The Da Vinci Code, Gladiator, Popeye and many more).
In Gozo you can find one of the oldest free standing structures dating back earlier than Stonehenge or the Pyramids in Egypt. The Ggantija Temples are in Gozo and are just a short 20 minute ferry ride from main land Malta. If you are staying in Malta you can hire a car and drive on the ferry or for a more informative trip, book a Gozo guided tour and they take you to the main points of interest.
Our top tip is no matter where you stay you must spend at the least one day exploring Valletta, it is an amazing city and there are plenty of super cafes for a spot of lunch and coffee where one can sit and admire the surrounding grandeur.
Click here for more info on Things to See and Do in Malta
Activities in Malta
Bookable sightseeing tours in Malta and Gozo can be a very good way to see the Islands. It’s ideal for those looking for informative tours, learning about the history and culture along the way visiting the main attractions.
There are many ways to see Malta. By air, by sea, by land. Helicopter trips are available to book, did you know Malta has been previously voted the most scenic airport approaches in Europe so keep a good look on your journey.
You can view Malta & Gozo in a different perspective by sea and there are plenty of boat trips available for all. Harbour cruises and coastal cruises with live commentary provide an informative tour and you get see some of the area’s you cannot view by land. Try a more party like atmosphere and relaxing day with one of the inclusive tours with food, snacks and alcohol all included while you tour Gozo & Comino and snorkel in the crystal clear blue lagoon and Gozo coastline.
You can charter your own boat for the day if you want to sail at your own leisure. Fishing trips can also be organised, there are plenty of exciting fish to find.
If it is more adventure for you then there is no shortage of water sports on offer. Jet skiing, parasailing, kayaking and much more. All along the coastline water sports are easily accessible. If you prefer more in than on the water then for all the divers out there, Malta and Gozo are home to a number of great dives from caves to wrecks, the crystal clear water provides some of the best diving conditions in the world.
Our top tip is if you want to do some king of activity, plan ahead and look at some of the tours and excursions on offer.
Weather in Malta, when is the best time to travel to Malta?
Malta weather is at its peak from June to September, temperatures reaching and exceeding 31°C. Beaches and coastal resorts are bustling with people creating a fun, with a lively and friendly atmosphere especially if you visit a local festa which are held across Malta most weeks through the summer period.
Malta enjoys a Mediterranean climate and boasts over 300 days of sunshine over the year and temperatures rarely see single digits even at its coldest. In fact over the winter period it is extremely popular for long stay holidays with people looking to get away from the bleak winter weather at home.
Spring is a great time to visit Malta & Gozo, the Island bursts into colour with flowers and forna spread across the landscape. Cooler temperatures in spring allow for comfortable exploration and ideal for all the ramblers or casual walkers. There are some great routes for walking, click here to view walking routes in Malta.
June – September: +30 degrees, bustling and lively coastal resorts – heat seekers and sunbathers paradise.
May, October: slightly cooler 24/25 degrees, not as busy as June to September, some good summer sunshine bargains to be gained – ideal for those who like it hot but not too hot.
November – February: quieter, temperature mainly in the teens, cheapest period to travel, great deals, popular long stays, winter sun holidays – good for great deals and winter getaways, top Christmas break destination.
March – April: Great for outdoor activities, walking and cycling, colourful countryside, spring breaks, Easter breaks – just a lovely all round time to visit.
Our top tip is to contact us and check a few dates if you are flexible – one day either side could save money with flight prices varying from week to week and day to day.
Best places to stay in Malta and Gozo?
What are you looking for? Each Malta holiday resort has its own identity and we think it is key to get the right resort for you to make the most out of your stay.
City breaks in Malta…there is only one place to recommend here and that is Valletta. The magnificent city of Valletta is truly one of a kind with so much to see and do packed into its walled grid lined streets, it rivals any of Europe’s cities for a great city holiday.
Sliema offers a close by trendy option for those looking to be near to the capital Valletta. A gorgeous sea front that stretches all the way into St Julians makes for a beautiful walk, lots of hotels and lido’s along the way, a great place for a relaxing evening with seafront bars, restaurants and sunsets.
Beach holidays in Malta are best in the north of the Island. Mellieha is home to the largest and most popular bay on the island and not far further up the coastline you will find Paradise Bay and Golden Bay. Mellieha has a number of family hotels, the ideal family beach holiday to Malta location in the school holidays and general beach goer’s paradise.
Gozo has some great coastal beach resorts also with Marsalforn and Xlendi being the more popular beach resorts. Ramla Bay Gozo is a popular beach located near the village of Xaghra, clean beach glistening with red sand and hidden away you will find remains of a roman villa. Overlooking the beach you will also find Calypso’s cave, referenced by Homer in The Odyssey.
Party holidays…a group of friends, hen or stag party or you just enjoy a good night out then you definitely need to head to St Julians. Paceville in St Julians is the nightlife hub with the streets lined with bars and clubs and you can party to your hearts content into the early hours of the morning. There is a lot of shopping and entertainment options in the immediate area to keep everyone entertained during the day.
Qawra, Bugibba and St Pauls are recommended as general all round good lively resorts with a mix of entertainment and activities, bars, cafes, shops, beach area and scenic sea front. There are lots of hotels to choose from with great value for money to be found. The bus station is located in Bugibba, buses are one of the easiest ways to navigate the island and you can get one bus to pretty much any major town or resort from here. Great place as a base if you are planning multiple days out to various places, great hotel options for singles, couples and families ranging from self-catering to all-inclusive holiday packages to Malta.
Relaxing laid back holidays where you can just sit back and forget about the world, we have found the answer. Gozo is the relatively unknown sister island of Malta and here time almost seems to move backwards. The slow pace of life in Gozo just oozes out those calm, tranquil and relaxed vibes. It still has its own attractions well worth getting up and out to see with megalithic temples, historic windmills, the fortified city of Victoria all surrounded by a stunning countryside backdrop and superb coastal and sea views.
Our top tip is to ask yourself what you are looking for from your holiday and pick the best resort to suit your wants and desires.
Accommodation Options and Food
Working to a budget. If you are looking to keep the cost of your holiday down to a minimum then we recommend looking at the self-catering options available. Supermarket shops can be done in resort, we recommend getting as much as you can from the local vendors and street stalls as you will find some amazing produce and at a great price. If you want to eat out than you can without breaking the bank, food prices are very reasonable and there are loads of restaurants to choose from in all the major resorts catering for a wide range of cuisines and budgets. try the local favourites such as pastizzi and hobz biz-zejt.
Don’t be afraid to look at the 3 star options. There are a lot of great 3 star hotels at great prices, the main difference between 3 star and 4 star hotels are the facilities. If you are going to be spending most of your holiday time at the beach or exploring then check out the 3 star hotels in Malta & Gozo. Bed & Breakfast and half board are traditionally offered at most 3 star accommodations.
All Inclusive holidays to Malta and Gozo provide everything you need all paid for in the holiday price. Ideal for those who like to spend time in the hotel and relaxing, enjoying food and drink while basking in the Malta sun. All-inclusive holidays can be found in a range of styles from value deals to full family resorts.
Bed & Breakfast and Half board options provide great flexibility for your holiday. Guaranteed breakfast in the morning with the option of an evening meal if you book half board, this provides you with the ability to get out and explore but still know you don’t have to find a restaurant for every meal of the holiday.
Our top tip is to pick the best board basis on what suits your schedule or plans, if buying food buy from local vendors – superb local produce at great prices!
Click here to view a list of some of the hotels available to book.
Transport – getting around the islands
Getting around Malta is really quite simple and easy.
The bus service is one of the most popular ways to get around, the services are very comprehensive and you can get to pretty much any part of the island from all the major resorts and travel on the bus is cheap. Pre-purchased tickets can be booked prior to travel, the weekly travel cards offer great value for money. Click here for more info on bus tickets.
Taxis are a little more expensive to get around but great for evenings out or quick journeys. If you hail or call a cab service be sure to agree the price before travel. Alternatively try the app Bolt – Malta’s equivalent to Uber. It’s cheap and easy to track where your driver is, you can see who your driver is and there rating.
Hiring a car is also a great option if you prefer to come and go as you please. Car hire rates are reasonable and parking is available in most resorts and a large number of hotels. They also drive on the left!
Our top tip – if you are staying near Sliema try out the water taxi from Sliema ferries which takes you to Valletta.
For those staying on Gozo we would mostly recommend hiring a car. Public transport is available but car hire will open the island up for you to explore.
Safety in Malta and Gozo
Malta is known as one of the safest destinations in Europe. Crime rates are very low and the Maltese are extremely pleasant and friendly so if you are travelling as a family or alone, you can feel confident and comfortable while staying in Malta.
4 Basic Money Saving Tips for your Malta Holidays
• Plan ahead – pre book your transport and activities or at least make some form of schedule of what you would like to see and do.
• Buy local – cooking for yourself on holiday does not appeal to everyone but it can help your budget, if buying food buy local produce from street stalls and vendors.
• Right accommodation and location – book the right location for you so you don’t spend more money than you have to on travel or take your valuable time moving around the island. Check out a few different hotels before you book to get the best deal for you.
• Travel dates – be as flexible as possible, you could save a lot if you are able to travel in a period rather than specific dates. Contact us and we can find the cheapest dates available for you. Travel off peak avoiding school holidays, winter stays still provide good weather if exploring is your thing rather than all out hot summer weather.
If you would like any advice or tips to help prepare or book your stay in Malta or Gozo, contact one of our experienced advisors who will be able to guide you and assist you in creating your ideal Malta Holiday.