Where is the best place to stay in Malta?
This is quite a hard question to answer when everyone has their own idea of their perfect holiday and location.
Is it shopping, beaches, history, food, diving… with so much on offer, where is the best place to stay in Malta?
Luckily Malta & Gozo offer a fantastic range of holidays and resorts that cover whatever you are looking for.
Here some pointers below to help choose the resort that will deliver exactly what you're after.
Malta and Gozo are often referred to as a one big open air museum!
The islands are littered with historical gems from the oldest free standing structures in the world and fortified cities to more recent events such as World War 1 and 2.
Valletta has to be the place to visit, with-in the already famous grand harbour walls, this fortified city boasts a host of museums, St John's Co Cathedral, an array of art and architecture and much more - Valletta is a must on your history check list.
Although Valletta is the place to visit, Sliema is a great place to stay close to Valletta offering convenient transport including buses and ferries to Valletta.
Sliema also has a great promenade, perfect for those morning or evening strolls with plenty of chic evening bars and shops to browse in along the way.
For stays in Gozo, accommodation set in the shadow of the Cittadella in Victoria would be a great choice, however, being such a small island and car hire being recommended, any accommodation leaves you close to an historical discovery.
Malta - Valletta, Sliema also offers a nearby option with easy transport links via bus or ferry
Gozo - Victoria, although any resort in Gozo is just a bus ride away from Victoria.
When looking for a beach holiday in Malta it is hard to overlook Mellieha. Most of the Malta coastline is rock, however, Mellieha is home to the largest sandy beach in Malta; it has a number of popular hotels in its vicinity with a variety of board basis on offer.
Mellieha is the number one choice for a beach holiday, however, the popular resorts of Qawra & Bugibba have nearby beaches and are set in a central location offering an ideal base if you want to also explore the rest of the island.
The most popular beach in Gozo is Ramla Bay. Known for its golden red sand, it stretches up to half a kilometre in length and is situated in the North East of the Island. If you are looking for sand on your hotel doorstep then Marsalforn would be the resort for you with a small sandy beach inlet.
Malta - Mellieha, Qawra, Bugibba
Gozo - Marsalforn
How do you narrow down the category of food in Malta! It doesn't matter where you stay on Malta or Gozo, the food options are amazing.
A mix of local and seasonal produce and hundreds of years of foreign influence provides an array of stunning delicacies. Mediterranean cuisine including sundried tomatoes and olive oil to fresh fish, pasta and local dishes that never disappoint.
Malta - Anywhere on Malta - recommend trying a fresh fish dish in one of the many coastal fish restaurants
Gozo - Anywhere in Gozo you will find some amazing local cuisine.
Malta and Gozo is a hugely popular destination for Diving. The Islands boast clear warm waters, scenic seascapes, varied marine wildlife, wrecks and plenty of dive schools, the Islands are regularly voted as one of the top places for diving in the world!
In Malta many of the most popular dive sites are to the north of the island clustered around the ferry terminal at Cirkewwa. Paradise Bay Resort is on the doorstep of the Ferry Terminal and is an ideal base to explore these dive sites. Alternatively you have Mellieha nearby which offers a great alternative. There are dive sites all along the coast offering courses for beginners to advanced dives and there are many situated in the Bugibba & St Pauls Bay area.
Gozo has a number of dive sites, the famed 'blue hole' at Dwejra is generally considered to be the top dive site although there are a number of dive sites all around the Gozo coastline including a number of wrecks that have been scuttled creating some interesting dives. Gozo being a small island means that you can stay pretty much anywhere on the islands coastline and have access to some great diving.
Malta - Paradise Bay, Mellieha, Bugibba, St Pauls Bay
Gozo - Any coastal resort
Valletta has to be the most popular shopping destination in Malta. A stunning fortress city with shops aplenty lining the narrow streets and no better place to take a break and enjoy a bite to eat and coffee in between.
Sliema is just a short hop from Valetta and is a great base for access to Valletta as well as being a modern shopping district. The backstreets of Sliema are largely residential but the waterfront has been developed and is home to many international brands, designer labels as well as small local stores and cafes. If its arts & crafts then a visit to the Ta'Qali Crafts Village should be on your shopping list. Be shore to look out for the weekly markets that pop up all across Malta during your stay.
In Gozo, the islands main town Victoria is the place to shop with two main shopping centres, the local market and a number of hole in wall stores found in the maze of back alleys.
Gozo also has its fair share of local markets selling local produce and delicacies along with souvenirs, clothes, fabrics and lots of other bits and pieces. Ta'Diegi Crafts Village is a great place to visit and you will find little stores selling ceramics, pottery, goldsmiths filigree and jewellery as well as watching craftspeople at work blowing and forming glass and demonstrations of how Gozitan lace is created.
Malta - Valletta, Sliema
Gozo - Victoria
Watersports dominate the Maltese Islands with its fine weather and warm waters all year round. Diving, jet skiing, paragliding, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, wakeboarding and kayaking. The list could go on and on, any sport on water can be found along the Gozo & Malta coastline.
Cycling has increased in popularity in both Malta and Gozo, although we recommend a winter break for this activity. The terrain can be quite hilly and in the hot summer months can prove a challenge for even the most avid cyclist. Cycling is certainly a great way to view some of Malta's spectacular scenery and winding down some beautiful country lanes and through the sleepy villages. Bike hire shops can be found in all the main resorts and many hotels offer a local service.
The Royal Malta Golf Club is home to Malta's largest sports centre and offers an 18 hole course with clubs and buggy's available to hire. The facility is packed with a number of options including squash courts, tennis courts, swimming pool and miniature golf. Another popular activity offered here is horse riding, with some stables offering special days out for families.
Malta - Mellieha or Paradise Bay (Cycling), any coastal resort for watersports; Paradise Bay, Mellieha, Bugibba, Qawra, St Pauls Bay. The closest resort to the Royal Malta Golf Club would be Balzan/San Anton followed by Valletta & Sliema.
Gozo - Anywhere on Gozo for Cycling, any coastal resort for watersports.
Click here to explore Malta Map and find your preferred resort.
There are a number of drinking holes throughout Malta, however, Paceville in St Julians has a high concentration of clubs and bars and is the place to go for nightlife on Malta. Almost all bars and clubs have free entry allowing you to wander from place to place to find one that suits you and all are 'open till late'.
There are a number of bars in most of the coastal resorts in Gozo. All towns and villages have their own little establishments to retreat for a tipple at the end of the day. The resorts of Marsalforn and Xlendi are popular spots with a few bars and clubs that will keep you going well into the night. In general, Gozo is the quieter sister island to Malta and those looking to party would be best looking at mainland Malta, however, if you are looking for a relaxing holiday with the option of dancing and fun then Gozo can tick this box.
Malta - St Julians
Gozo - Marsalforn, Xlendi
Rambling / Walking
Malta is a great place to walk and ramble, the coastlines provide some amazing scenery and there are numerous walking routes to follow. Whether you are looking for a route for some easy walking or for some serious hiking, there are a number of routes suitable for all. The North of the island tends to be more popular so Mellieha or Paradise Bay provide a great starting point, however, many of the routes start and finish near popular bus routes so can be accessed from any resort. For something different, why not start in Valletta and try a city walk through the 'three cities' and take in the history, culture, architecture and splendour of the harbours and waterfronts.
Gozo is a walkers and ramblers paradise. Gozo is much quieter and slower pace and offers a much less developed coastline compared to Malta with many amazing views from the high and scenic cliffs.
You are sure to find a number of hidden gems along the way.
There are a host of walks from Victoria (all roads in Gozo lead to Victoria) so is a great base from which to explore, however, there are some amazing walks setting off from coastal area's such as Marsalforn and Xlendi.
Check out our Walking & Rambling in Malta page for hints, tips and routes.
Malta - Mellieha, Paradise Bay, Valletta for a city walk, although Bugubba, Qawra & St Pauls Bay offer access via public transport
Gozo - Victoria, Marsalform & Xlendi
We all know that a family holiday must include activities to keep the children happy and occupied. Most children love a beach, the biggest and most popular beach is located in Mellieha and a trip to Popeye's Village located nearby makes for a fun family day out.
Qawra and Bugibba offer small beaches just a short stroll away and has a lively promenade where you will find a number of shops, cafes and restaurants as well as varied entertainment such as a bowling alley, cinema, Playmobil Fun Park and nearby waterparks. Don't miss out on a trip to the Malta National Aquarium also located in Qawra. Bugibba also has a large bus station meaning access to any activity is easy.
Popular family hotels include db Seabank in Mellieha, Seashells Resort in Qawra, db San Antonio in Bugibba.
Gozo offers various activities ranging from museums to watersports.
Victoria is home to the Cittadella where you can walk around the fortress, visit the museums and put your head in the blocks!
The coastal resorts of Marsalforn and Xlendi offer inlets where the waters are calm, perfect for swimming, snorkelling and a beach.
Malta - Mellieha, Qawra, Bugibba
Gozo - Victoria, Marsalforn, Xlendi
You can find out more about any of the above resorts on our Explore Malta page and map with all the information you need on each individual resort.
If you are still unsure where to stay in Malta and Gozo, check out more of our handy guides;
Top twenty things to do in Malta & Gozo
Top twenty places to visit in Malta & Gozo