Malta holidays

What’s Malta like for a holiday? Well, this Mediterranean island may be small, but you can expect your holiday to Malta to be jam-packed. From beautiful beaches and historic sights to cosmopolitan harbour towns and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone, making it a real hidden gem.

Things to do
Malta’s rich history means it has a culture all of its own, and you’re going to want to experience as much of it as you can. Do as the locals do and snack on pea or ricotta pastizzi (savoury pastries), tuck into fenkata (rabbit stew), and drink a splash of the prickly pear liqueur, Bajtra. Book your holidays to Malta in summer and you could find yourself at one of the island’s lively festa street parties or letting your hair down at a music festival, such as Annie Mac’s Lost & Found. Don’t miss the chance to see a Maltese marching band, too – just one of this characterful island’s distinctive quirks.

Places to stay
You’ll find the island’s longest beach at Mellieha Bay, on the northern coast, while some of Malta’s best sandy beaches hug the north-western coast at Golden Bay. Over to the south-east, the large, buzzing resorts of Qawra and Bugibba are tucked side-by-side in St. Paul’s Bay. Or, surround yourself with historic culture in Malta’s small but elegant capital, Valletta: it’s filled with narrow streets and bordered by dramatic fortifications. The rocky shores north of the capital are home to the classy resorts of Sliema and St. Julian’s. And for a taste of rural peace, book your holiday to Gozo, Malta’s little sister island.

More travel guides
We also have travel guides available for destinations, including, including: Bugibba | Qawra | Sliema | St. Julian's | St Paul's Bay

 

Map of Malta

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16-30°C

Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, Malta’s a good all-year destination. With glorious sunshine in summer and warm winters, it’s perfect for sightseeing – and relaxing.

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Malta International Airport (MIA) is in easy reach of every resort on the main island. Visit our Extras page to book your transfers or hire car before your holiday, or you could catch one of the regular buses.

Malta is best for...

Beach bums: Malta’s brimming with stunning coastal resorts and picturesque beaches, like those at Golden Bay, which are just perfect for relaxing in the Mediterranean sun. For a change of scene, catch a boat to nearby Comino island for a dip in the picturesque Blue Lagoon.

History buffs: Immerse yourself in Malta’s colourful history in the UNESCO-listed capital city, Valletta. You’ll find the famous St John’s Cathedral here, which dates from the 16th century. Or, explore the ancient walled town of Mdina and an array of quaint fishing villages.

Get-up-and-go types: There’s always plenty to enjoy in Malta! Like deep-sea diving in the crystal-clear waters off the coast of Qawra; scaling cliffs, rock formations or the challenging Mellieha Cave on a climbing adventure; dancing the night away in St Julian’s; and cycling your way around Gozo island.

Fast facts for Malta

Language: Maltese and English are both official languages of Malta. Italian is also widely spoken, and many modern Maltese words have their roots in Italian.

Currency: The currency used in Malta is the Euro (€). Cash machines are generally easy to find, especially in the cities, but be aware that your card issuer may charge you a fee to withdraw cash using your credit or debit card.

Local time: Malta is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Malta International Airport. Sliema and St Julian's are 30 minutes away, the transfer to Qawra takes 45 minutes, while St. Paul's Bay and Bugibba are 50 minutes away.

Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Malta is 3 hours.

Tourist Information: Take a look at Visit Malta for more Malta tourist information.

Local tax: You’ll have to pay a small Environmental Contribution tax of €0.50 per person, per night. It’s capped at €5 per stay, and is payable at your accommodation. Children under 18 don’t have to pay the tax.

Visa / health: Before your Malta holidays, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malta for visa and health recommendations, plus more travel advice about your trip.

Holiday destinations related to Malta:

Getting around Malta

By bus: It’s simple to get around Malta by bus, as there’s an extensive network on both the mainland and Gozo.

By ferry: Regular ferries run between the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, meaning you can visit them all with ease.

By car: Everyone drives on the left-hand side here, so British drivers will feel right at home. You can book a hire car before you go, or arrange it at one of the many car-hire outlets around the island; just make sure you pack your licence.

By water taxi: Get across Valletta’s Grand Harbour by the traditional Maltese boat called a dghajsa (pronounced "dye-sa"). It’s a great way to see some of the sights!

Events in Malta

Carnival: February is carnival time in Malta, with five colourful days of lively parades, fantastic costumes, and dancing in the streets of Valletta. The fun continues after dark at the island’s nightlife hotspots, such as St Julian’s.

Holy Week and Easter: Expect religious processions and plenty of feasting in the days around Easter. The sombre feel of Holy Week (including Maundy Thursday’s tradition of praying in seven churches) is replaced with celebrations on Easter Day.

Festa: Summer’s the time for a big party! Every village and town celebrates its own patron saint’s day with a ‘festa’; another excuse for music, dancing and fireworks. They kick off in the last week of April with the feast of St Publius in Floriana.

Malta safety and security

Do I need a passport?

Yes, you will need a passport to travel to Malta. Your passport must be valid for the entire length of your stay, but it doesn’t need to be valid for any specific period of time beyond this.
For more information on Malta passports and details of the country’s entry requirements, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malta/entry-requirements.

Do I need a visa?

British citizens visiting Malta as tourists do not need a visa. If you’re unsure whether or not you will need a visa it’s best to check with the Maltese High Commission.

For more Malta visa information as well as details of entry requirements to the country, head to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malta/entry-requirements.

Should I get travel health insurance?

It’s always best to have comprehensive health and travel insurance for a holiday abroad. Your insurance should cover the cost of emergency medical treatment if you fall ill or have an accident during your trip, but it’s always best to check your policy before you travel to ensure you know what is and what isn’t covered. We also recommend checking whether or not your insurance will cover you for any activities you’re planning to take part in, especially any ‘extreme’ sports such as diving or caving.

 

Malta weather

When’s the best time to go?

A small country south of Sicily, the island of Malta has a rich history, beautiful architecture and a sunny, Mediterranean climate that’s perfect for summer beach holidays or winter sun breaks. With our Malta travel advice, you’ll be able to pick the perfect time of year for your Maltese holiday.

Visit Malta in the summer and you’re practically guaranteed uninterrupted sunshine, with temperatures averaging around 27°C in July, sometimes even hotter in August. This is also a great time of year for swimming, snorkelling or surfing when the sea is pleasantly warm and averages around 17°C.
Malta is also a popular winter sun destination for sightseeing or activity breaks (it’s a hotspot for climbing enthusiasts) and you’ll find temperatures even in January rarely drop below 13°C, perfect weather for exploring the cities and towns. Just be aware that November and December are also the rainiest months!

What should I pack?

Malta is known for its sunshine, and it can be especially strong in summer, so make sure your packing list includes sun cream, a hat and sunglasses. Don’t forget your swimwear and a cover-up for lazing on the beach or by the pool.

You’ll also want to take some comfortable shoes if you’re planning on sightseeing in Mdina, the ancient capital, and Valletta, the modern capital, as well as your camera – there are some amazing monuments and museums.

If you’re going to be visiting any of Malta’s famous churches or other religious places, make sure you pack some modest clothing such as jeans or light trousers and something to cover your shoulders with, as Malta is a Roman Catholic country.

Malta is still quite warm during the winter, but it’s a good idea to have a light jacket or waterproof for rainy days or cooler evenings. A small travel umbrella may also come in handy.

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