Proving once and for all that size isn’t everything; the small country of Malta offers many, many reasons to visit. With beaches, trendy harbour towns and enough archaeological sites to keep you interested for weeks.
Much more than just a trip for history buffs, Malta also serves up some amazing nightlife, beaches and a jam-packed calendar of interesting cultural events. Having been primarily known for its sights before, the nightlife in Malta is a brand new reason to visit this country. But despite not being around for too long, its burgeoning nightlife scene is already gaining a reputation. Another huge draw for those visiting is the country’s huge coastline and beaches. Resorts like Qawra and Bugibba are perfect for experiencing beaches and topping up your tan.
The climate in Malta is typical of the Mediterranean. Which means it’s ideal for winter escapes and summer vacations. The Maltese Islands have a pleasantly sunny climate with around 12 hour’s sunshine in the summer. During winter you can expect around 5-6 coupled with very little rain.
With some of the finest historical sites in Europe, the Maltese islands have around 7000 years of history. And although the country is steeped in cultural heritage, it still has many modern amenities and attractions to keep everybody interested.
As perhaps the most in-demand resort in the country, Bugibba has many unique selling points. Feel the heat with amazing weather year-round. Get lost along the scintillating strip of bars and restaurants. Fall head over heels for the heartwarming locals and the sights they inhabit. The 150-metre-long Bugibba Perched is a Blue Flag beach which rises above sea-level and this amazing feat allows astonishing views of St. Paul’s Island. Still not convinced?
When you’re done sunbathing, use the wooden bridges to lower down into the majestic Mediterranean water for a magnificent Maltese experience. Bugibba is also ideally placed to reach the capital city of Valletta, which is the European Capital of Culture for 2018. The trip only takes 20 minutes and it is well worth the effort – of which there’s basically none.
The ultimate sun, sand and sea combo, Qawra is a resort which richly deserves the tag of picturesque. Qawra was purposefully built with high-rise luxury hotels hugging the seafront. The whole resort stretches over two levels and surrounds the scenic St Paul’s Bay. Its rocky Blue Flag beach is a draw for watersports like scuba diving, jet-skiing and waterskiing. The resort's promenade is steeped in rustic charm and nowhere is that better represented than the 16th century Qawra Tower. Although the nightlife here isn’t exactly known internationally, its alternative feel with hushed piazzas has a number of amazing restaurants which serves both British and Mediterranean plates.
The quaint Mellieha Bay was once an isolated 15th-century hamlet perched on the ridge overlooking Għadira Bay. But now it has been developed as one of the more relaxed resorts that Malta has to offer. Are relaxation and beautiful sights top of your list? Look no further than Mellieha Bay. Head to the terrace of the aged Parish Church for a breath-taking panoramic view over the bay and the surrounding countryside. Let jaw-dropping ensue.
An experience not to be missed with an amazing seascape and magnificent views of the Three Cities, the Valletta Waterfront is the attraction that keeps on giving. Whether you’re visiting in the summer and enjoying a harbour cruise to view the iconic and historic buildings, or seeking a cosy winter night in one of the many character-filled cafes and restaurants, Valletta Waterfront is equally unmissable across all seasons. Away from the beautiful ride on the water there also some amazing scenic gardens to uncover. And that’s without even mentioning the amazing shopping area there is to be done beside the harbour too.
Mdina Old City
This compact walled city is full of narrow passages. Surrounded by buildings either side, you can wander through these quaint streets with ease and enjoyment. While walking around you may spot a few places that look familiar, especially if you’re a Game of Thrones fan… This amazing city has given the hit show many locations to film and it’s easy to see why they picked Mdina as their otherworldly destination. Mdina is 4000 years of history combined together and makes a truly beautiful city to walk around, explore, and experience.
A sight not to be missed when visiting the island of Gozo. With plenty of amazing walks, Dwejra Bay is a wonder for getting some wonderful hikes under your belt. It’s the most photographed attraction in Malta and it is not difficult to see why. The bay can be photographed from below as well as above, with both providing spellbinding snaps. After a short walk along the cliffs away from Dwejra Bay, you can appreciate Fungus Island and the rock formations along the path. And you can wrap up your visit here with a boat trip on the beautiful waters.
Blessed with long Mediterranean, sunny summers and short, cool winters, Malta is a year-round holiday destination. If you want your fill of balmy temperatures, and the chance to dip in warm waters on your holiday, then the best time to visit Malta is during the summer months.
Even though the island isn’t affected by extreme changes in weather, in July and August you’ll get to experience highs of 31°C and almost 12 hours of uninterrupted sun. With the soothing sea breeze and plenty of shade, the heat is always bearable and means that you’ll have lots of opportunity to stay cool.
When the weather peaks in Malta, so does tourism, so expect an influx of holidaymakers if you visit during June and August. Along with the growing crowds, the summer months also see an increase in prices from local businesses so it’s a good idea to look at visiting during spring, when the island is much quieter.
Although Malta is a generally dry and warm destination, during January the temperatures tend to drop to their coolest of 15°C, with a few showers here and there. That said, winter is the ideal time for an active holiday here, especially for walkers and hikers who want to explore the diverse countryside on foot in cooler conditions.
A major date for your Maltese diary is 9th February, when the carnival arrives. This week-long colourful celebration combines traditional music and costumes with huge processions of extravagantly decorated floats. You can find the biggest parties in Paceville and in the centre of Valletta.
If you want your holiday to go off with a bang then visit Malta from 21st – 29th April for the Firework Festival down at the impressive Grand Harbour of Valletta. Or if you’re planning to a summer getaway, then you can expect a feast of events between June and August. Each village welcomes a Festas, or small festivals which kick off with streets full of local food stalls, fireworks and traditional music.
Cuisine in Malta
Coming as a result of a long relationship between the Islanders and the many civilisations who have occupied the Maltese Islands over the centuries, the cuisine in Malta is certainly unique. This marriage of tastes has given Malta an eclectic mix of Mediterranean cooking. This small island is a foodie’s paradise, allowing visitors the chance to send their tastebuds on a journey around the Med.
Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the four seasons. Some of the island’s main dishes are Rabbit Stew, Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and widow's soup, which includes a small round of Gbejniet (sheep or goat's cheese). And when you’re feeling puckish for a snack away from the many restaurants, you'll see Maltese favourite Bigilla, a thick pate of broad beans with garlic, at most food-shop counters. So why not grab some fresh bread and give it a try.
For an amazing holiday which has equal doses of amazing sunshine and rich culture, Malta should be very high up your list. So pack your camera, shades and suncream for an easyJet holiday to Malta.