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The essential holiday guide to Malta

There is a gem sitting mostly overlooked in the midst of larger countries, a small archipelago that lies between Sicily and the North African Coast, with the Mediterranean Sea lapping at its beautiful shores, Malta is the undiscovered treasure of the Med.

Although less explored than its neighbours, Malta is definitely a destination on the rise, with an enchanting coastline, picturesque bays, stunning beaches, warm weather and captivating cultural sights. Whether you are looking to lay down on pristine beaches, enjoy water or land sports, savour new food or simply explore monument, you will be spoilt for choice in Malta.

Want to know why you should visit Malta on your next holiday? We have put together a video to inspire you to make Malta your next holiday destination.

 

Embrace Malta’s culture and history

The range of cultural sights in Malta is extraordinary, from the charming capital Valletta, with its harbours and cathedrals, to the timeless atmosphere of Mdina, a medieval city characterised by yellow-stoned architecture, along with the Arabic influenced neighboring island of Gozo.

A journey into the historic streets of the vibrant capital Valletta is guaranteed to draw you in. Valletta is built between two harbours and is rich in history where visitors can travel back in time and explore the city by foot down narrow lanes, and fortified walls, appreciate medieval and baroque architecture and admire the surrounding natural beauty. More recently this city was awarded UNESCO World Heritage City status, as well as being named the 2018 European Capital of Culture, which will be celebrated with festivals and exhibitions throughout the year.

Located in the northern region of Malta, the medieval fortified city of Mdina is also a delight worth exploring. This is a quieter part of the island with narrow streets, ancient buildings, charming restaurants and where cars are not even allowed, except for those of the locals.

Malta has many churches, chapels and cathedrals which decorate the island with stunning baroque architecture. The variety of red or silver painted domes are an integral part of the landscape and are Malta’s most impressive architectural treasures. In particular, the magnificent St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Rotunda of Mosta or the Mosta Dome, a roman catholic parish church are the top architectural sightseeing highlights on the island.

Gozo is just a 20-minute boat trip and it is notably more relaxed than Malta with a quieter atmosphere and scenic hills, some of which are designated Unesco World Heritage Sites.

 

Escape to Malta's most beautiful beaches 

Malta attracts tourists from all over the world looking to get an up-close view of the island’s clear, turquoise waters.

Paradise Bay located in Malta's northern hammerhead peninsula is a popular choice due to its location close to the ferry terminal. Set in a natural environment of secluded rocky surroundings, this beach offers an unobstructed view of both Gozo and Comino Islands. Part of a Special Area of Conservation due to unique geological features, the red sand beach Ghajn Tuffieha is one of the favourite beaches on the island. A pleasant getaway located just next to the popular yellow-sand is Golden Bay, it has a superb selection of restaurants, bars, sunbeams and water sports facilities. However, if you want to avoid disappointment due to potential overcrowding, it may be worth avoiding going to this beach at weekends.

Located in the unspoilt and smallest island of the Maltese archipelago Comino, is Blue Lagoon. A paradise with turquoise waters, the perfect spot for a glorious swimming and snorkelling experience.

Stylish St Julians Bay and neighbouring Sliema is another top choice for an unforgettable holiday in the sun, with rocky shores, glamorous marinas, and fantastic nightlife, these two areas are situated right on the doorstep of Valletta.

Malta's longest sandy beach Mellieha Bay boasts transparent and shallow blue water, making it one of the most fabulous beaches on the island. If you are travelling with your family, a visit to the Popeye Village, right next to Mellieha Bay is always a good choice to take your children. See were the original Popeye film was recorded, you may even be able to take part in the daily filming and you could even become the actors in a live action movie.

 

A different way to explore Malta

The coastal features of Malta make it a popular destination for diving and boat trips. Take one of the many boat trips and tours offered around the island to the beautiful caves and lagoons, or alternatively hop on a boat journey to explore the neighbouring islands in style.

Diving, snorkelling and swimming are also popular activities to enjoy on these islands. Whilst exploring the underwater life at the heart of the Mediterranean, you will be able to see the fascinating scenery and many different species of fish including scorpion fish, octopus, groupers, parrot fish and morays. Why not take a PADI course with one of the diving centres dotted around the island?

Trekking on the north-west of the island is a pleasant way to explore miles of unspoilt coastline. The scenery is breath-taking and this is an enjoyable way to see Malta’s idyllic landscape at your own pace.

Walk to both Upper and Lowe Barrakka gardens for the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views. These two places boast stunning open-sea views and are the best places to watch a sunrise or sunset in Malta.

If you want to be a bit more adventurous while enjoying unique vistas, the main cycle route is approximately 22 miles in length and is suitable for cyclists of any ability. There are many bicycle rental shops where you can rent bicycles and ask for advice on the best cycle routes in Malta.

 

What to eat

You can find a large variety of restaurants and snack bars offering typical Maltese food anywhere on the island. The cooking is an eclectic mix of Mediterranean, Sicilian and English influences, which reflects the country's history. Stuffat tal-fenek, Kapunata and Minestra are popular meals that offer visitors a true taste of Malta, with fish in abundance, octopus and squid are very often used to make beautifully rich stews and pasta sauces. If you visit Malta and want to experience superb food, ask some of the proud locals who will take pleasure in guiding you. Without doubt, one culinary point of call is the Marsaxlokk fish market, with Sunday morning being the best time to see just how varied the fish catch is in Maltese waters.

To accompany all this food, the right wine is essential, luckily Malta is also renowned for its excellent wine production. The main wineries organise guided tours and tastings not to be missed. They also include wine history museums, along with opportunities to taste and buy a full variety of vintages.

 

When to go

As with the rest of Europe, the summer months of June, July and August can be very hot and humid, and busier due to it being the peak tourist season. December to April is the coldest period with average temperatures around 13oC, this is a less busy period and the time when hotels and flights are at their cheapest.

May, September, October and November are still warm months, providing an excellent climate to discover the island.

Malta is an amazing holiday destination for singles, couples and families alike, and remains one of the most popular holiday destinations amongst UK travellers. Book your Malta holiday today, we have a great range of all Inclusive holidays to Malta available, speak to us and we will help you to find the best holiday package for your requirements.

Advantage Travel Partnership

Dec 05 2017 Share Tweet