Get the most out of your trip to Malta with my Ultimate Travel Guide! Find out more how Malta packs glorious variety into its small archipelago.
You’ll find prehistoric temples, fossil-studded cliffs, hidden coves, thrilling scuba diving and a history of remarkable intensity.
The island country of Malta is located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily (Italy), it consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino, of which Malta is the largest island. Through its long and at times turbulent history played a vital role in the interplay between emerging Europe and the older cultures of Africa and the Middle East for the domination of the region.
As a result, Maltese society has been molded by centuries of foreign rule including the Phoenicians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Swabians, Aragonese, Hospitallers, French, and British!
Location: South of Sicily, Italy, Mediterranean Sea, Europe
Languages: Maltese (a mix of Arabic, Italian, and English) and English
Climate: Hot and dry summers, warm and sporadically wet autumns, and short, cool winters with adequate rainfall. The temperature is very stable with monthly averages ranging from the mid-50s F (about 12 °C) to the mid-80s F (about 29 °C)
Visa: Malta is part of the Schengen system which allows visitors to travel to all 26 countries without a visa. Find out if you need to apply for a visa.
Best Time to Visit Malta
The high season is between July and August with the hotels are fully booked and the beaches bustling with tourists. The low season is between November and March with temperatures dropping to an average of 12 – 18°C. During Christmas and New Year’s there is a mini high season.
The best time to go would be between April and June or September and October with the weather warm and sunny and the occasional rainfall. The sea is warmer in the autumn than in spring.
How to Get There
The quickest way to reach Malta is by plane, from almost anywhere in Europe. Travelers coming directly from the United States need to connect to Malta from a larger European city, like Paris or Rome. Air Malta, the national airline, operates to and from all major airports in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The airport Malta International Airport is in Valletta.
I recommend searching through jetradar.com They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals.
Where to Stay in Malta
Depending on your budget, you have many options to choose from. Along with hotels, you can stay in service apartments, guesthouses, and even aparthotels (apartments that have been renovated into hotels).
Places to Visit for Kids
Malta and Gozo make an ideal family destination, with plenty of things to see as well as good old bucket-and-spade fun.
- At Comino, you can take boat trips, swim and explore at this tower-topped island.
- Visit Popeye Village the village-style film set turned theme park is both fun and spectacular for both young and old
- In Valletta, make sure your visit the Choreographed fountains, the National War Museum, gardens, and forts, and Upper Barrakka Gardens Valletta’s finest viewpoint.
- Try out Buġibba & Qawra glass-bottomed boat trips, Buġibba Water Park and the Malta National Aquarium.
- Mellieħa Bay with rows of water-sports providers offering windsurfing, kiteboarding, waterskiing and more. Here’s how to choose the best snorkeling gear!
- Vittoriosa is the original home of the Knights, with Fort St. Angelo and the Inquisitor’s Palace.
- Do not skip the National Museum of Archaeology, which holds Malta’s most dazzling and refined prehistoric relics.
- Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is a 5000-year-old subterranean necropolis masterfully carved out of the rock.
Things to do in Malta
Malta, Gozo, and Comino offer some of the world’s best diving, as well as sports including parasailing, kayaking, waterskiing and SUP (stand-up paddleboarding) along the scenic sandy stretches or rocky, picturesque coves.
Head back to some of the beautifully preserved towns, dating from the time of the swashbuckling Knights of Malta and visit prehistoric temples and necropolises, constructed a millennium before the Egyptian pyramids.
You can also enjoy Malta’s cuisine of an enticing mix of influences, including Italian, French, British and Arabic flavors.
I wouldn’t recommend cycling on the Maltese roads as most roads are narrow and potholed. There is also a lot of traffic with the drivers showing little considerations for cyclists. That said, things are considerably better on the back roads and also on Gozo – the roads can still be rough, but there’s far less traffic, and more and more visitors are opting to cycle around the island rather than rely on the buses.
Renting a car gives you more flexibility, particularly to discover out-of-the-way beach coves. Car rental rates in Malta are among the lowest in Europe. Supply is limited on Gozo so for July and August you’ll need to book in advance to be assured of a vehicle.
Most buses run from 5.30 am to 11 pm and are operated by the Malta Public Transport. Many bus routes on Malta originate from the Valletta Bus Station and radiate to all parts of the island, but there are also many routes that bypass the capital.
The bus timings range from every 10 minutes to hourly for less-visited places however punctuality is a challenge, especially in the afternoon and evening.
There’s a penalty charge of €10 if you’re caught traveling without a ticket.
Valletta Ferry Services operates regular ferries between Valletta’s Marsamxett Harbour and Sliema, as well as from near Valletta Waterfront to the Three Cities.
Gozo Channel operates the car ferry that shuttles between Malta’s Ċirkewwa and Gozo’s Mġarr every 45 minutes from 6 am to 6 pm (and roughly every 1½ hours throughout the night).
Official Maltese taxis are white (usually Mercedes, with a taxi sign on top; ). To combat regular complaints of overcharging, taxi drivers must by law use the meter to determine the fare (except the airport and seaport, where there are set fares).
As an alternative to the official Maltese white taxis, unsigned black taxis are owned by private companies and usually offer cheaper set fares (similar to the UK’s minicabs). To order a taxi, it’s best to ask your hotel reception for the name and number of their preferred service. There are several 24-hour companies.
The Karrozzin – a traditional horse-drawn carriage with seats for four passengers – has been in use in Malta since 1856. Many of the carriages are treasured family possessions passed down through generations and are cared for with obsessive pride.
- Dress modestly when visiting churches.
- When entering a church or someone’s house, take off your hat.
- Learn a few words in Maltese like bongu (hello) and grazzi ħafna (thank you very much).
- Punctuality is very important to Maltese – so be on time!
- When visiting a home make sure you take the host a gift such as chocolate or bouquet of flowers.
- Make a reservation at the restaurant who you may spend hours waiting for a table.
- Going topless at the beach is not allowed
- Avoid boasting about your wealth. Modesty is important for Maltese, and they do not appreciate people who put themselves above others.
- Swearing and blasphemy may be offensive to your Maltese counterpart. Take care not to use language that may offend them.
- Littering is not acceptable
- Don’t argue with a Maltese server about how a dish is meant to be done as they will not change it and they love to argue
Are there any recommended vaccinations for Malta? Nope!
High-standard health and dental care are readily available in Malta, and for minor illnesses, pharmacists can give valuable advice and sell over-the-counter medication. There are pharmacies in most towns; these are generally open from 9 am to 1 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm Monday to Saturday.
On Sundays and public holidays, they open by roster in the morning – the local Sunday newspapers print details of the roster, and it can be found online at www.ehealth.gov.mt.
Malta’s public general hospital is Mater Dei Hospital, 2km southwest of Sliema and accessible by bus 75 from Valletta. Gozo’s smaller General Hospital may also be of use
English is spoken at all pharmacies, hospitals and health centers.
Money and Costs
In Malta the ATMs are widespread. Credit cards are used in larger hotels and upmarket restaurants, but some smaller hotels and restaurants only accept cash. Cash can be changed at hotels, banks, exchange bureaux, and some tourist shops. For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com
Food: A sandwich, pizza or pasta will cost €6 – 12 while a meal in a restaurant will be around €20 – 30. If you fancy eating in a high-end restaurant, expect to spend anything between €50 –100 for a meal.
Accommodation: The rate for a double room in a budget hotel is anything between €40 – 60 per night, in a mid-range hotel €70 – 140 and in a top-end hotel €140 – 300! Book your room now!
Transportation: Opting for a 12-day bus pass will cost €15 while the average cost per day for renting a car is €25.
Insurance: Get a quote – Make sure you’re ready for anything;
- Trip cancellation
- Emergency medical transportation
- Emergency medical expenses
- Gear lost or stolen
Have you been to Malta? Comment below with anything you would add to this Ultimate Travel Guide for Malta
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Let’s Fight Climate Change
Environmentally friendly, go green and eco-friendly are phrases that have been trending over the past few months and rightly so! For far too long we as holidaymakers have ignored our impact on the local environment.
With that in mind, I have been inspired to create the What’s Your Carbon Collection that will hopefully make people aware of their contribution to climate change.
All the proceeds from the sale of this collection (apparel and accessories) will be donated to Earthjustice. They are the premier nonprofit public interest environmental law organization.