Holidays in Malta
A treasure trove of history blessed with abundant sunshine. Resting in the heart of the Mediterranean, Malta promises clear blue skies and sparkling bays. Soak up a sleepy pace of life and discover a rich history dating back 7,000 years with our selection of Malta holidays. With a strong British influence, the small island nations of Malta and Gozo are a home from home.
Expect glorious sunshine in the summer, and comfortable temperatures during the winter season.
Malta has one international airport, which is about 8km south of the capital Valletta.
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Malta for long lazy days at the beach, a fascinating mix of cultures and a captivating underwater world.
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The northern coast of Malta has the island’s longest beach at Mellieha Bay. Just a bit further to the south-east, the large buzzing resorts of Qawra and Bugibba are tucked side by side into St Paul’s Bay. You’ll find some of Malta’s best sandy beaches hugging the north-western coast at Golden Bay. Malta’s small but elegant capital, Valletta, is filled with narrow historic streets and surrounded by dramatic fortifications. The rocky shores north of the capital are home to the classy resorts of Sliema and St Julian’s. Head to Malta’s little sister island Gozo for a taste of rural peace.
Small but perfectly formed, Malta packs a lot into its tiny islands. Beautiful beaches line the coast at Golden Bay, the perfect spot for a boat ride past the grottoes and cliffs that mark this north-western coast. Explore the atmospheric alleys of the capital Valletta and the winding medieval lanes of the former capital, Mdina. Take the ferry – or even a seaplane – to tranquil Gozo and go diving underneath the giant stone coastal arch known as the Azure Window. Spend a day on the miniature island of Comino, where the white sands of the Blue Lagoon lead to shimmering waters.
Malta’s chequered history provides a wealth of historic attractions to visit including Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, a subterranean UNESCO World Heritage Site, and medieval Mdina with a history dating back 4,000 years. Walk along the ramparts of Valletta and overlook the harbour where famous battles were fought, then visit the National Museum of Fine Arts. Take a boat trip to the tiny island of Comino and marvel at the Blue Lagoon, a truly picturesque spot. Parts of Malta were chosen as film locations for Troy, Gladiator, Alexander and The Da Vinci Code.
More peaceful and rural than its sister island, Gozo is home to unspoilt villages with ornate features. Victoria, the lively capital, has a striking citadel and the central square – It-Tokk or ‘the meeting place’ – is lined with pavement cafés. Explore its medieval alleyways with interesting architecture and tiny shops. Marsalforn’s waterfront bars are ideal for a relaxing drink. Dwejra’s coastline is a spectacular sight and here you can see the oldest salt pans on Gozo. Relax on the deep red sands of Ramla Bay, one of the island’s most striking beaches. Marvel at the mysterious Ggantija Temples that are even older than Egypt’s pyramids.
With warm, crystal-clear waters, the Maltese islands provide fantastic opportunities for diving. Discover exciting underwater scenery at a number of wreck sites including the wreck of the HMS Maori in Valletta. Gozo and Comino have some of the best dive sites such as the famous Azure Window or the Santa Maria Caves which teem with marine life. Take a boat through the cave tunnel at the Azure Window's Inland Sea, where the turquoise waters and vivid orange coral entice divers and snorkellers. Plunge 16m through the Blue Hole just in front of the Azure Window to the cave lurking by the seabed.
Scenery lovers: Visit Gozo and explore the church of Ta' Pinu and view the Azure Window at Dwejra.
Couples: Visit the capital Valletta and the town of Mosta with its impressive domed church, and take a stroll through the walled town of Mdina.
Swimmers: Take a boat to Comino’s Blue Lagoon.
Language: Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English.
Currency: The currency used in Malta is Euro (€).
Local time: Malta is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Malta has one international airport, which is about 8km south of the capital Valletta.
Flight time from UK: Approx. 3 hours.
Tourist Information: Further Malta tourist information can be found at www.visitmalta.com
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/malta for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Malta.
If you want to hit the beach, visit in July or August, when you can enjoy temperatures in the mid-30s (°C) and long hours of glorious sunshine. For a more laidback experience, book your holiday during the spring or autumn, when the resorts are quieter and the weather is warm enough to roam. Temperatures hover around 16 (°C) in the winter, so it’s a great time to get out and explore the ancient sites and villages.
By bus: An extensive network of buses runs on the mainland and Gozo, making getting around in Malta straightforward.
By ferry: Regular ferries run between Malta, Gozo and Comino.
By car: British drivers will find that hiring a car is a practical way to see the best places in Malta, as everyone drives on the left.
By water taxi: Take one of the water taxis that shuttle across Valletta’s Grand Harbour for a ride in a traditional Maltese boat called a dghajsa (pronounced dye-sa).
Carnival: February is carnival time in Malta, with five days of colourful parades, fantastic costumes and dancing in the streets.
Holy Week: Easter brings lively processions and plenty of feasting during Holy Week.
Saint’s Day: Every town and village has its own saint’s day celebration called a festa – another excuse for music, dancing and fireworks. These festi run all year round, but they really kick off from the last week in April with the feast of St Publius in Floriana.
Jazz festivals: July in Malta doesn’t mean just lying on the beaches: it’s also the time of the huge arts and jazz festivals in Valletta.