A walled, ancient city on the ever popular island of Malta, Mdina is an historic haven in the sun. Although it’s no longer Malta’s capital, it’s got no chance of being forgotten. The city’s history can be traced back over 4,000 years and is still very much a part of Mdina’s life today. Still home to Malta’s noblemen, the opulent palaces and grand churches are well preserved, but walking past them on the cobbled streets takes you back in time to a simpler way of life. Away from the ancient city walls, beach-lovers will adore Malta’s Mediterranean location where highs hit 30 degrees in summer. If you prefer to wait for sunset to kick off your holiday, Mdina has some excellent bars and restaurants. Nearby Valletta and Sliema offer legendary nightlife, where the party carries on late into the night.
Sun-blessed summers and mild winters mean a Mdina holiday is ideal for sunbathing by the pool or exploring the cultural history within the city walls. Mdina is also a great place to start a long hike. Routes take you outside the city to nearby towns, villages or the coast. Whether it’s hiking, late night dancing or enjoying a cocktail in the city we think Mdina’s ancient walls are a delightful destination at any time of year.
Rabat is Mdina’s more rural neighbour. Life runs at a slower, quieter pace – but there’s still plenty to explore. Home to one of the rare forested areas on the island, Rabat offers the chance of a refreshing stroll through the trees on a hot, summer’s day. For an even cooler break from the heat of the sun, venture underground into St. Paul’s and St. Agatha’s Catacombs. A series of connected Roman cemeteries under Rabat – they are the earliest evidence of Christianity on the island of Malta.
Sophisticated and laid-back, Sliema is Malta’s playground retreat of the island’s wealthiest residents. Designer boutiques cater for all your shopping needs and chic bars and restaurants serve up first class food and drink late into the evening. Soak up the atmosphere on the rocky beach – which still has sun-beds for hire, despite the lack of sand – or waterski across the waves for an active adventure. Swimmers can bask in the calmer waters of the lidos on the beach.
Malta’s capital and a World Heritage Site, what Valletta lacks in sandy beaches, it makes up for with stacks of history. Stunning architecture, beautiful palaces, intriguing museums and, of course, plenty of shopping. All of it can be found in the one square kilometre of Valletta’s streets. With two harbours to explore, plus world-class dining and even a few places on the rocks to sunbathe, Valletta is a popular destination to discover during your stay on the island.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Built in the 13th century, this amazing Baroque building will wow you with its opulent decor. From the marble floors to the pink marble columns which rise up to reveal the breathtaking ceiling. But the art isn’t restricted to the ceiling. Home to several famous religious works of art, more paintings are on display throughout the cathedral and surrounding buildings.
A stay in this land-locked town means taking a short drive to the beach. Luckily, as the island is so small, all of Malta’s beaches are within easy reach. The nearest, Ghajn Tuffieha, is on the north-west of the island. You’ll need to descend 100 steps in the cliff face to access this beauty. If the climb out leaves you in a cold sweat, head to Golden Bay instead. Just next door, this beach offers sand, plenty of restaurants and watersports.
Mdina’s Howard Gardens
Named after Malta’s first prime minister, these gardens are a wonderful place to relax after a day’s sightseeing. Just outside Mdina, you can stroll through the fragrant orchard of orange trees, wander the paths lined with trees and shrubs or watch the local teams battle it out on the football field.
Museum of Natural History
Uncover Mdina’s past and a wealth of exhibits at the Museum of Natural History. Alongside a well-stocked collection of exotic mammals, insects, shells and birds, the museum is home to over 850 rocks and minerals. Set within a Baroque palace, the museum building is almost as fascinating as the items on display.
The island’s cuisine has evolved over time. A fusion of traditional Maltese recipes and familiar Mediterranean flavours. Menus tend to use fresh and local ingredients and change with the seasons to reflect what’s being grown and harvested at the time. A classic on many menus, Lampuki pie combines English, Arabic and Italian cooking to create a delicious fish dish. Mahi-Mahi fish is baked in puff pastry with vegetables and herbs. Definitely one to try on your Maltese getaway.
Mdina serves up some stellar flavours within the city walls. It’s home to Italian, Indian, Mediterranean and European restaurants ranging from cheap eats to fine dining. Famed for its amazing cakes, a trip to Mdina wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Fontanella Tea Garden. With fantastic views over the island and their amazing sweet and savoury bakes, make sure you sit outside for the best views.
Mdina holidays are ideal for all kinds of holidaymakers. Whether you’re looking for buzzing nightlife, poolside relaxation or a cultural escape in the sun. With day trips to Valletta and everywhere on the island being within easy driving distance, a holiday to Malta means everything on the island is accessible. With world-class dining, historic monuments, sun-kissed road trips, and plenty of nearby beaches, this is a historic and beautiful place to visit at any time of year.
Booking your holiday to Mdina with easyJet holidays is the best way to get to this beautiful, walled Maltese town hassle-free. Best of all, you can save on your holiday when you book your flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays.
Mdina not quite sealing the deal? Have a read of our other Malta destination guides for further inspiration and temptation!