GMT + 1 hour
Find history and beauty on the islands of Malta
Megaliths, medieval dungeons and Calypso's Cave - Malta is positively mythic. The narrow cobblestone streets of its towns are crowded with Renaissance cathedrals and baroque palaces. The neighbouring island of Gozo has a distinct character all of its own. The colourful countryside is prettier, the pace is slower and there are fewer tourists.
- One of the joys of these two islands is that, no matter where you are, you’re never far from one of the many beaches or secluded little coves
- For Norman and Baroque architecture, as well as a laidback ambience head to Malta’s ancient capital Mdina
- The capital Valletta is busier and there are plenty of shops, restaurants and historic sites to enjoy
- You can reach Gozo by a short ferry ride and it is well worth the trip to experience the change of tempo on Malta’s sister island
- A trip to the sea caverns of the Blue Grotto – one of the most beautiful spots in Malta – is a must highlight of any trip to these Mediterranean Islands.
Best time to visit
The weather is typically Mediterranean with long, dry, sunny summers and short, cool winters. It is generally hot from April until October. In August and September it can be very humid, with very warm nights. There is a cooling breeze throughout summer but Spring and Autumn can bring a hot and dry wind from Africa.
Malta’s ancient capital, Mdina is a typical medieval town located in the centre of the island. Boasting some of the best Norman and Baroque architecture on the island this is a serene town with endless squares and narrow alleyways to explore. Largely off limits to cars, and known as the ‘Silent City’, Mdina is reminiscent of a bygone era.
To the northeast, the walled capital of Valletta delivers resplendent Upper Barraka Gardens, wall-to-wall frescoes in the magnum opus of St John’s Co-Cathedral and fascinating underground catacombs. North of Valletta, lively St Julian’s delights with impressive spa hotels, a dynamic promenade and rocky beaches, perfect for sun soaking.
St Julian’s is a traditional seafront resort town, lined with a variety of yachts, fishing boats and charming Maltese luzzus. A quaint backdrop of sun-drenched town houses line the harbourfront, whilst a string of cafés and bars welcome passers-by with the aromas of local cuisine.
To the east of St Julian’s lies the sophisticated resort of Sliema, One of Malta’s more popular resorts. Enjoying an idyllic three-mile-long seafront and rocky platforms, Sliema is a swimmers heaven. Why not end a sublime day of sunshine and relaxation with fine cuisine at a Maltese, Mexican or Italian restaurant, followed by a romantic horse and cart ride.
Mellieha Bay boasts the longest sandy beach in Malta - Gadira Beach. Perfectly complemented by its shallow waters, and the perfect amount selection of beach bars and restaurants to accompany, Mellieha Bay is a fantastic resort for families and groups alike. Get your adrenaline pumping with parasailing, enjoy a leisurely paddle with pedalos, or head to stunning Golden Bay where the 2004 movie Troy was filmed.
The mythical dwelling of the nymph that seduced Odysseus in Homer’s epic poem springs to life at the Calypso Cave on the island of Gozo. Jump into Xlendi Bay’s blue green waters, dive into sublime Dwejra, where underwater visibility is phenomenal, and watch waves crash high against the extraordinary geological formation of The Azure Window. Take a boat to Comino where the enchanting Blue Lagoon transports you to a paradise of crystal clear waters and beautiful sands.
Gozo is known to provide a tranquil haven for a tempo and scene change. The charm of Malta’s sister island is immediately apparent; it’s greener, more rural and smaller, with life’s rhythms dictated by the seasons, fishing and agriculture. Steeped in myth, Gozo is thoughtto be the legendary Calypso’s isle of Homer’s Odyssey – a peaceful,mystical backwater. Baroque churches and old stone farmhouses dot the countryside.