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Malta Holidays

Sun-splashed Mediterranean islands

Malta holidays offer something for all travelers. This small, rocky archipelago (the largest island, Malta, is 17 miles by 9 miles) is ringed by dizzying sea cliffs and gentle bays. Remarkably, the islands also play host to some of Europe’s finest prehistoric sites, which predate Egypt’s pyramids.

Despite its miniature size, this place has gorgeous beaches, over 300 days of sunshine per year, an electric nightlife scene, and culture by the bucketload. Speaking of culture, Malta is home to not one but three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the pre-historic Megalithic Temples, the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum (an impressive underground burial site), and the beautiful city of Valletta – we’ll get to that later.

Visit Valletta holidays >>

History-packed holidays

The islands’ location at the heart of the Mediterranean has given them an enormous historic importance, and their towns are dominated by ornate Baroque architecture built by Christian warrior-medics, the Knights of Malta. Malta’s Grand Harbour is a wonder in itself – an enormous sheltered loop of sea, surrounding the handsome capital of Valletta. Local culture is full of life and colour, with village feasts year-round – the Maltese never miss an opportunity to set off fireworks. Open-air festivals fill the calendar with music from opera to trance, so expect a great atmosphere.

There is more to Malta holidays

Malta’s small sister island, Gozo, is the perfect place to slow the pace down to a wander – stay in a farmhouse and cycle or walk the extraordinarily scenic hills. With shipwrecks on all sides, the islands are often ranked among the world’s best diving locations, but there’s lots for adrenaline-seeking non-divers as well, with activities ranging from horse riding to paragliding, and from rock climbing to sailing. With awe-inspiring scenery, a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere, and a fascinating history, the melting pot of Malta is a perfect place for a holiday, with something to suit every taste.

All regions in Malta

Three tips for a top trip

Graze, Maltese-style

The Maltese love to snack, and their favourite morsels are pea- or ricotta-filled filo pastry parcels, called pastizzi. You’ll find stalls selling them in every town – follow the queue.

Get a Malta Pass

The Malta Tourist Board sells cards that allow entry to many of Malta’s sights, as well as free bus travel. Buy at attractions or online.

Jump into St Peter’s Pool

This inlet on Malta’s southeastern coast is off the beaten track and perfect for basking on flat sandstone rocks and leaping into the deep blue water.

Don’t-miss dates in Malta

Isle of MTV

A huge music lovers’ event in June/July, this is Europe’s largest free pop festival, with open-air concerts featuring plenty of the industry’s biggest names.

Summer

The hot summer months see some of Malta’s major arts events take place, with outdoor arts and jazz festivals and performances in the streets.

Parish feasts

There are village feasts every month, with food stalls, music and fireworks. The largest cluster of events is on 15 August for Assumption Day, a major Catholic holiday.

Best things to do in Malta

Go to the Hypogeum

Malta and Gozo have many impressive prehistoric sites, but most extraordinary is this underground chamber, with carvings and paintwork preserved for more than 5000 years.

See Valletta’s Cathedral

Valletta Cathedral is a Baroque masterpiece, with a lavish gold and mosaic interior lined by ornate chapels, as well as the world’s largest Caravaggio painting.

Zip around in a speedboat

The Maltese love to hang out in boats, and with good reason – it’s the only way to island hop and visit hidden caves and coves.

YOUR MALTA QUESTIONS, ANSWERED

Malta is packed with history and it’s an extraordinary destination for any history buff. With so many influences from conquerors over the centuries, the architecture is a unique blend inspired by Italy, France, North Africa and Great Britain. Gozo is home to the Ggantija Temples, older even than the Egyptian pyramids, and Malta itself is packed with castles, palaces and churches. The Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta allows you to walk through the political history of the island, a good starting point for anyone trying to get a hold on Maltese history.
Some people escape to Malta for months in the winter, taking advantage of the warmer temperatures and easy, slow pace of life. But if you’re looking for a quick getaway, the capital Valletta makes a good base for a weekend packed with history, beautiful views and fine restaurants. A week or more means you’ll have time to really explore the little island, with days to hop over to Gozo to hunt out the wrecks and reefs beneath the waves.
Malta is a Catholic country but there are no specific dress codes on the island. In churches and cathedrals, it is respectful to cover your shoulders and legs down to your knees but, otherwise, you must dress for the climate. In the winter, you’ll need warm clothes for the evenings and early mornings but you can still expect to spend many of your days not needing much more than shorts, skirts and T-shirts. Bring an umbrella, though, as there’s a fair chance of rain showers in the winter.
Being such a small, manageable island makes it ideal for family holidays. There are no lengthy car trips to endure and life on Malta centres around being outside. Resorts such as Mellieha Bay, Sliema and St Julian’s are most popular with families, with access to vast beaches with great facilities. Many of the museums have interactive exhibitions for kids and, in the summer, there’s a water park with a huge range of water features and fun activities. Hire bikes, go horse riding or take a ferry ride to explore the island and its beautiful sea.
 
Plenty. Swish casinos and packed-out nightclubs are easy to find, and Malta’s festival schedule has truly cemented its party status in recent years.
Beautiful Malta is worth visiting all year round, though the best time to go is during the spring to early summer months. The weather at this time is typically warm and only sees a couple of rainy days each month. Average temperatures in spring reach highs of 20℃ in the day with average lows of 12℃ in the evening. This time of year also sees several events like the International Fireworks Festival, Malta International Arts Festival and The Harvest Festival of L-Imnarja.
The hottest, and indeed the busiest, month in Malta is August, when you can expect temperatures to sit around 30°C with sunshine for 11 hours a day. July is almost as hot. Malta is warmed by the sirocco winds from the Sahara, and it’s humid all year round.
Malta boasts a wealth of great beaches offering crystal-clear waters and soft sands. Mellieha Bay in the north is one of Malta’s largest beaches and is popular with families due to its many nearby bars and restaurants. Offering beautiful unspoilt views, Golden Bay is an ideal spot for visitors searching for a more relaxed environment to soak up some sun. For those looking for a bit of snorkelling, a visit to the secluded Paradise Bay is a must.
Malta’s food is famous for being a rich blend of seasonal Mediterranean cuisines. The country is perhaps best-known for caponata, a dish similar to ratatouille but with a rustic Maltese influence. Fish caught from the surrounding waters are also popular, especially when eaten as lampuki, otherwise known as fish pie. Malta is also famous for its savoury snacks. Pastizzi, a pastry filled with peas or ricotta cheese, and qassatat, a pastry baked with cheese, peas and spinach, can both be found in many a Maltese bakery.
Offering a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere and plenty of great dining options, Malta makes an ideal destination for holidaying couples. The charming village of Mellieha has a wealth of traditional Maltese character and is just a short journey on foot from Mellieha Bay. Offering unspoilt views and plenty of walks taking in the distinctive white cliffs, the small fishing village of Marsaxlokk makes an ideal option for those who want some alone time. However, couples looking for a more lively holiday should visit the capital of Valletta. The city is home to several stylish hotels, while the many bars down its baroque-styled streets make a great way to spend an evening.
Malta offers several holiday resorts for those looking to stay on the island. The coastal resort of Sliema is one of the island’s most popular and offers plenty of shops, restaurants and family-friendly activities. Nearby St. Julian’s has several luxury hotels, as well as bustling bars and casinos. The resorts of St. Paul's Bay, Bugibba and Qawra are also a favourite with tourists and, due to growth, these once separate villages have now evolved into one. Here visitors can enjoy a popular waterpark, welcoming restaurants and lively nightlife.
While Malta in October might not have the temperatures and the amount of sunlight as the spring and summer months, it’s still a popular time to go. Average temperatures during this period are around 22℃ with highs of up to 25℃. Visitors can expect some cloudy weather and light breezes, while there is an average of 11 days of rain during the month. However, because of this, Malta is typically quieter than during its peak season, making it the ideal time to visit for those planning to avoid the crowds.