Sitting just south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, the small island of Malta is literally brimming with culture, beauty and beaches that make for the perfect Mediterranean getaway.
Holidays to Malta
Although small in size, Malta is literally crammed full of fascinating history – 7,000 years of it to be precise. In fact it officially has a greater density of historic sites that any other country, so it goes without saying that a spot of sightseeing is generally order of the day when in Malta.
Its fabulous climate, stunning beaches, and natural landscape make it the perfect destination for those looking to soak up some sun, sea and relaxation however, and the abundance of activities, both water and land-based, to keep you occupied if you’re feeling more energetic mean it really is the perfect holiday spot for all.
Malta enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate of hot dry summers and mild wet winters, with an enviable 300 days of sunshine a year.
Summers are all but guaranteed to be long, hot and dry. June to September sees average highs of 28-32°C although it can reach blistering 40°s at times. Summer usually benefits from a cooling sea breeze to relieve the somewhat oppressive heat though. Evenings also remain very hot, with temperatures rarely dropping below 27-28° during July and August.
Winters are mild, rarely dropping into the single figures which make it a great winter getaway, particularly if you’re hoping to get in as much sightseeing as possible.
Spring sees some of the nicest weather of the year, with low rainfall and average daily highs of between 18-24°C. Evenings can still be cooler in March, but by May they are beautifully warm. Bear in mind the sea can still be a little cooler than you may prefer at this time of year though.
Things to do on holiday in Malta
Here’s just a selection of the many wonders that will keep you occupied on this beautiful island.
Malta’s cultural heritage is so rich it’s impossible to cover it all but from the extraordinary architectural legacy of the Knights of St John, to medieval towns, roman catacombs and the incredible megalithic temples which are older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids, it’s truly a historians dream.
The capital Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the vast number of historical buildings it houses, although it does also has a modern edge and is great for a spot of shopping. There are an abundance of cultural sites and museums, but St John’s Co-Cathedral and the Fort of St Elmo in particular should not be missed.
The ancient capital of Mdina, also known as the Silent City, is another must-visit. Sitting atop a hill with spectacular views across the island, this medieval town is surrounded by fortified walls and strolling through its narrow alleys is truly like stepping back in time. Evenings here are particularly special, and you will not regret opting to spend a peaceful night sipping wine under the stars in this magnificent town.
Malta is known for its beaches, and deservedly so. Whether looking for tourist friendly sandy beaches, secluded and stunning rocky coves, or somewhere to enjoy some form of wind-fuelled watersports, there is plenty to choose from.
The main resorts and larger beaches are in the north of the island, with Mellieħa Bay, Għajn Tuffieħa and Golden Bay being the most popular by far. Paradise Bay and Armier, overlooking nearby Gozo are well worth a visit for somewhere a little quieter, and a boat trip out to the Blue Lagoon with its picture perfect turquoise waters should be on everyone’s to-do-list, especially if you’re a fan of snorkelling. If you fancy getting off the beaten track, St Peter’s pool in the southeast is a stunning natural swimming pool set to the backdrop of impressive limestone cliffs, although be aware there are no facilities here so bring supplies if planning on making a day of it.
Boredom is definitely never an issue for a visitor to this fabulous island. For those wanting to enjoy the beautifully clear waters as much as possible, there are endless options. Diving is possible year round, and there are many fabulous options from reefs to wrecks and even cage diving. It’s also an island with some amazing surf spots, particularly in the north, and Malta’s impressive array of caves and stunning vistas from offshore mean a day’s sailing will be one to remember. The usual array of watersports are also widely available, and snorkelling and kayaking are both highly recommended as ways to while away a few hours.
If you fancy staying on dry land, there are some spectacular hiking trails, cycling is a wonderful way to make the most of the stunning views at every turn, and it is a top destination for climbing and para-gliding.
Festivals and Celebrations
Malta is an island of celebrations and it’s almost impossible not to stumble across some form of festival, concert or celebration whilst visiting.
There are Carnivals, Jazz Festivals, Art Festivals, Folk Dance Festivals and Beer Festivals to name just a few. April boasts a spectacular fireworks contest in the Valletta/Floriana area which will thrill adults and children alike, and for those partial to a glass of wine, there are some wonderful wine festivals during summer where you can sample many Maltese wines at bargain prices.
Notte Bianca in September/October is a spectacular night-long celebration of culture and arts in Valletta, where the palaces, museums and restaurants all open their doors, extend their hours and play host to an extraordinary medley of art exhibitions, music, dance and theatre performances, or if visiting in June you can enjoy the Isle of MTV Malta Special – Europe’s largest free open-air concert where world famous artists perform in front of a buzzing crowd of over 50,000 people.
Eating, Drinking and Nightlife
Malta’s cuisine is mainly Mediterranean, although the odd Chinese, Indian or Greek restaurant can be found if you’re in the mood for something different. The real speciality however, is the seafood - and for the absolute best you should head to the quaint fishing village of Marsaxlokk.
Evenings are easily enjoyed regardless of your preferences. There are plenty of bars, cafes and lounges with great food, atmospheres and stunning views, and whether you’re in the mood for somewhere quaint and traditional or lively and modern, you won't have to go too far to find what you’re after.
For those wanting to party into the night there is a thriving clubbing scene year-round. From bigger clubs with internationally renowned DJs to smaller bars with excellent house DJs, there’s an abundance of venues to choose from, particularly in the Paceville area.