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Holidays in Malta: More to Explore

The archipelago of Malta is halfway between the coasts of North Africa and those of Sicily.

There are so many things to see and do during a holiday in Malta and organizing the perfect trip is simple and cheap thanks to low-cost flights from many UK cities and hotels with decent 4-star hotels averaging £40 - £60 per night and solid 3-star hotels from £30 - £40 per night.

The climate of Malta & the best travel time

Malta has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Even in January, temperatures on Malta reach around 15 degrees, making the island a popular destination for winter guests. In the summer months, it can get very hot (over 30 degrees) but is cooled down by island winds.

If you want to lie on the beach and relax, summer is ideal. For more extensive sightseeing tours, we recommend visiting in the spring or especially autumn. During these months, while it's not that hot any more, you can still swim in the warmed-up Mediterranean Sea.

Transportation in Malta

The villages on the Maltese Islands are well connected by a bus network that offers very affordable rates (a single journey ticket costs €0.75). From 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. you can easily travel back and forth on the islands with around 80 different bus lines and ferries.

Hop-on/Hop-off sightseeing buses in Malta

Of course, you can also use the hop-on/hop-off buses on the islands to admire great attractions at the same time. The double-decker buses take you to the most important sights in Malta! The tours are available for several routes and in many different languages. Prices start from £14 for a 1-day ticket and £38 for a 2-day ticket (which also includes a 90-minute boat tour). You can book tickets for the south tour here and north tour here or the 2-day tour here.

Pirate tip: Take a tour like this at night, too. The city and its buildings are wonderfully illuminated in the dark and exude a romantic flair. Find night tours here.

Highlights & sights in Malta


Under no circumstances should you miss a visit to Europe's smallest capital city, Valletta. Dubbed “the sunniest city in Europe”, Valletta boasts beautiful baroque architecture and is home to winding streets, over 320 stunning historical monuments and picturesque waterfront dining options. Rich in history and culture, it is no wonder that the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a walking tour of Valletta from £13.

The Three Cities

Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua are together known as The Three Cities, which are home to boutique hotels, restaurants and eclectic wine bars. You can easily grab a bus or water taxi from Valletta for a day trip, or stay overnight to experience more of the city culture off the beaten track.

St. Julian’s

Beachgoers will rejoice at St. Julians where you will have your pick of popular swimming beaches like Balluta Bay and St. George’s Bay. Take note of the impressive neo-Gothic architecture of the Basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Party-lovers should make a stop in trendy Paceville. This district of St. Julians is best known for its wild nightlife. Book yourself in at one of the area’s quality hotels, like The Westin Dragonara or Hilton Malta, before you try your luck at the Casino Malta or Portomaso Casino.

St. Paul’s Bay

St Paul’s Bay is home to Bugibba and Qawra, two lively towns full of cafés, restaurants and bars. Here you will find many three and four-star hotels to suit all budgets, with prices averaging around £40 in the off season and £80 in the high season.


Grab the ferry from Valletta for picturesque views as you make your way over to Sliema, well-known for its ample shopping opportunities. While you’re visiting, take a dip in the coastal pools carved from the rock, known locally as the Roman baths.


The beautiful fishing village of Marsaxlokk in the southeast is still an insider tip. Here you will find a clean sandy beach and what is probably the most beautiful harbour on the island, where you can dine wonderfully al fresco in the evening.


Before Valletta, Mdina was the medieval capital of Malta and the city’s origin can be traced back more than 4,000 years. Located in the centre of the island, today it delights with its historical cityscape. The city is known as the ‘Silent City’ as cars are not allowed past the gates. Take a walking tour of Mdina from £13.

Malta and its sister island Gozo

Located in the North of Malta, the island of Gozo is a must-see! Malta's sister island is also full of beautiful beaches, fascinating bays and great historical sights. As an added bonus, Gozo is just a short 25-minute ferry ride from Malta.

Gozo, Malta's sister island

Gozo is the second-largest island of the Maltese archipelago with an area of 67 km² and over 30,000 inhabitants. While Gozo usually sees less tourism than Malta, it is not to be missed!

The island features stunning cultural and historical sites including baroque architecture inherited from the Knights of St John, the UNESCO World Heritage Ggantija Temples dating back to 3,600 B.C., the mosaics of salt pans that dot Gozo’s coastline, as well as breathtaking natural sites including mythical caves, crystal clear bays, red sand beaches and much more.

Book a guided day trip to Gozo with a visit to Ggantija Temples from £63 per person

The most beautiful sights on Gozo:

  • Victoria, the beautiful capital of Gozo

  • Dwejra Bay, a diver’s paradise

  • The two beautiful red sand beaches of Ramla and San Blas

  • The village of Xaghra with the temple of Ġgantija, the oldest free-standing structures in existence

  • The Cave of Calypso (where, according to Homer, Odysseus was imprisoned for seven years)

  • The Xwejni Salt Pans

  • The Kerċem Aqueduct

Best beaches to visit in Malta

Mellieha Bay

As the longest sandy beach in Malta’s popular northern region, it’s no wonder that Mellieha gets plenty of visitors every year. Spend a day or two here for the ultimate beach experience. For those looking for a little more activity than lying on the beach, you can also partake in various adventuring activities, such as quad biking, windsurfing and more!

St. Peters Pool

Travellers who are looking for something a little off the beaten path should head to the Southwest of Malta to St. Peter’s Pool. Known for its crystal-clear waters, this natural swimming pool is great for those who wish to go snorkelling or swimming.

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay

Ghajn Tuffieha Bay is located between Golden Bay and Gnejna Bay. This sandy beach is slightly more remote, which means you can escape the summer beach crowds.

Pirate tip: we recommend walking up the hillside behind the beach for stunning views of the surrounding bay.

Golden Bay

One of the top sandy beaches in Malta, Golden Bay is a must if you need a day of simply lying back and soaking up the sun.

Malta in 3 days

Because Malta makes for a quick break, we’ve put together a sample 3-day itinerary that highlights the best things Malta has to offer.

Day 1 - Explore Europe’s sunniest city

Spend the morning exploring Valletta’s many charms. Wandering through the streets be sure to stop and marvel at the New Parliament building and the ruins of Royal Opera House turned open-air theatre, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and destroyed in an air raid in 1942.

From here, we suggest visiting the Upper Barrakka Gardens, which date back to 1661 and were originally used as a private garden for the Italian Knights. While you’re there, be sure to take in the panoramic view of the Grand Harbour. Snap a selfie or two before heading on your way to St. John’s Square.

If you’re feeling hungry, stop for a bit of lunch. Why not try one of Malta’s traditional foods? We suggest pastizzi, a delicious savoury filo pastry pasty filled with either rich ricotta cheese or mushy peas.

After lunch, continue your tour of Valletta. We highly recommend visiting St. John’s Co-Cathedral. The Cathedral, which is considered to be one of the best examples of Baroque style in Europe, is also home to Caravaggio’s masterpiece: The Beheading of St John the Baptist. The last entry for the church is at 14:00, so make sure to go before then. The suggested time to see the whole church is a minimum of two hours. Ticket prices are €15 (around £13) for adults and €7.50 (around £5.50) for students.

Stop for dinner at one of Valletta's many restaurants and try Malta's national dish Stuffat Tal-Fenek, a rabbit stew. End your day with a drink at Bridge Bar where you can sample some Maltese wine while listening to Jazz with a beautiful harbour view.

Pirate tip: Wine lovers should seize the opportunity to go wine tasting while in Malta. While Malta is not able to produce enough wine for export, the variety of wines made on the small island is large, including white, red and rosé. It is true, you will be able to taste the island and its many flavours in these special wines.

Day 2 - Venture to Malta’s historical sites

Start your morning off visiting Malta’s Three Cities, Birgu, Senglea and Bormla. To get there, you can take a traditional Maltese boat from Valletta across the harbour. Enjoy a lovely walk through these three fortified cities that offer a wealth of history and culture, and insight into authentic Maltese life.

Stop for lunch in one of the three cities before returning to Valletta. From Valletta, head to Malta’s Medieval capital, Mdina, also known as the silent city. Pass through Mdina Gate into the fortified city, where no cars are allowed to go and explore the citadel’s cobblestone streets.

Enjoy dinner al fresco at Trattoria AD 1530, a charming restaurant serving delicious traditional Maltese cuisine. Situated in the old square, between the beautiful Vilhena Palace and the magnificent 17th Century Palazzo of The Xara Palace.

Day 3 - Explore Gozo

Your third day can be spent exploring Malta’s sister island, Gozo. To get there, take the 25-minute ferry over to Gozo and spend the afternoon exploring all this little island has to offer. Visit a beach or two (we recommend stopping and seeing Gozo’s largest sandy beach Ramla Bay, known for its red sands) before stopping for lunch in Gozo’s capital city, Victoria.

Unfortunately, the famous Azure Window collapsed into the sea in 2017, but you can still visit the beautiful sea cliffs and snorkel at the nearby Blue Hole. End your day with dinner and drinks in Mgarr before heading back to Valletta.

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