This may be a small island, but you can expect holidays in Malta to be jam-packed with adventure. From beautiful beaches and historic sights, to cosmopolitan harbour towns and vibrant nightlife, there’s something for everyone on this hidden gem in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Why not relax in the sunshine on a picture-perfect bay? Or catch a boat out to the nearby Comino island and take a dip in the picturesque Blue Lagoon? If you love history, you’ll love the UNESCO-listed capital city of Valletta. You’ll find the famous St John’s Cathedral here, which dates to the 16th century. Silema and St Julian’s boast a wealth of upmarket bars and restaurants that really come to life when the sun goes down.
Expect glorious sunshine in summer and warm winters, making this a good all-year destination.
Malta International Airport (MIA)
Book a Thomas Cook holiday to Malta for long lazy days at the beach, a fascinating mix of cultures and a captivating underwater world.
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
What is included ?
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.
Of course, Malta is brimming with picturesque beaches, like those at Golden Bay, which are just perfect for relaxing in the Mediterranean sun. But this diverse island has so much more to offer than pristine sands and crystal-clear waters. Book your holidays to Malta in summer and you could find yourself at one of the seasonal music festivals, so why not let your hair down? When it comes to culture, there’s no shortage of things to see. Mdina and Valetta are well worth visiting, and there’s lots of islands off the mainland to explore. A trip to tranquil Gozo provides unspoilt beaches and bountiful diving opportunities.
Malta’s spectacular coastline and crystal-clear waters are a huge draw for visitors. It’s mostly rugged, complete with a mix of rocky coves and sandy spots. Mellieha Bay is one of the biggest sandy stretches on the mainland, while Qawra and Bugibba boast lots of flat rocks and platforms, and is a popular sunbathing spot.
There’s plenty to discover beneath the water, and keen divers will love to discover sites like the wreck of the HMS Maori in Valletta. Gozo and Comino have some of the finest dive sites in Europe, and the Santa Maria Caves, for example, are absolutely teaming with marine life.
Summer means sun-kissed festivals in Malta. Held early in the season, Annie Mac Presents: Lost & Found Festival is a highlight of the calendar; it brings together the best of the UK dance scene, plus grime and hip-hop. This diverse line-up features castle raves and boat parties. Later, in June, the Isle of MTV festival arrives to the island; and this is followed by the Glitch Festival in September, which is an absolute must for lovers of techno and house.
Culture lovers will adore medieval Mdina Old City. This impressive northern settlement has a rich history dating back 4,000 years. Hidden lanes and breathtaking architecture await here is one of the best examples of a walled city anywhere in Europe. The current capital city of Valletta is another cultural highlight of the island. You can expect a beautiful blend of Medieval and Baroque architecture, coupled with superb shopping and dining. The Grand Harbour, or the Harbour of Valletta, is well worth a visit.
Looking for some peace and quiet? Head for Gozo, Malta’s sister island; it’s home to unspoilt villages and secluded beaches. Victoria, the lively capital, boasts a striking citadel, a bustling central square, and a maze of Medieval alleyways. It-Tokk, or ‘the meeting place’, is lined with pavement cafés where you can grab a coffee and a bite to eat. Marsalforn Bay is one of Gozo’s most popular resorts, complete with a charming sandy beach. Or how about Ramla Bay, with its gorgeous deep red sands? Don’t miss the mysterious Ġgantija Temples, which are even older than the Egyptian pyramids.
You could also spend a day on the miniature island of Comino, where the white sands of the Blue Lagoon lead directly into shimmering waters.
Beach lovers: Sit back and relax at a stunning coastal resort; expect charming bays and clear blue waters galore.
Culture buffs: Explore Malta’s colourful history with a visit to Valletta, the island’s capital city, and the walled town of Mdina.
Fun lovers: Whether you’re deep-sea diving off the coast of Qawra or dancing the night away in St Julian’s, there’s always plenty to enjoy on this island.
Language: Maltese and English are both official languages of Malta
Currency: The currency used in Malta is Euro (€).
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 UK: The flight time to Malta is 3 hours.
Tourist Information: Find more Malta tourist information at http://www.visitmalta.com/en/home
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, which 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.
Want to hit the beach? Book your holidays in Malta for July or August; you can enjoy temperatures in the mid-30s (°C) at this time of year, plus hours of glorious sunshine. For a more comfortable climate, consider taking a Malta Holiday in spring or autumn. Resorts are quieter at this time of year, and it’s much cooler if you want to explore the scenery. Temperatures hover around 16 (°C) in the winter, so it’s an even better time of year to get out and about and see the ancient sites and villages.
By bus: It’s simple to get around Malta this way, thanks to an extensive network that runs on the mainland and Gozo.
By ferry: Regular ferries run between Malta, Gozo and Comino, so you can travel with ease.
By car: Everyone drives on the left-hand side here, so British drivers will feel right at home. These are lots of car-hire outlets around the island, where you can hire a vehicle.
By water taxi: Head across from Valletta’s Grand Harbour and enjoy a ride on a traditional Maltese boat called a dghajsa (pronounced dye-sa).
Carnival: February is carnival time here, with five colourful days of lively parades, fantastic costumes, and dancing in the streets.
Holy Week: Expect upbeat processions and plenty of feasting during Easter, when thousands of Maltese folk turn out to visit and pray in seven different churches.
Saint’s Day: Every village and town has its own saint’s day celebration (called 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.