Malta Vacation Travel Guide

Malta Vacation, jam-packed with adventure

This may be a small island, but you can expect a vacation to Malta to be jam-packed with adventure. From beautiful beaches and historical 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 and immersing yourself in the local culture, 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. The town is the seat of Malta’s government and is home to many of the country’s most important museums and monuments. Sliema and St Julian’s, on the other hand, boast a wealth of upmarket bars and restaurants that really come to life when the sun goes down.

Things to do

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 vacation 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 are lots of islands off the mainland to explore. A trip to tranquil Gozo provides unspoiled beaches and diving opportunities – a perfect Malta vacation.

Where to stay

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.

Weather & climate

Want to hit the beach? Book your vacation in Malta for July or August. You can enjoy temperatures in the mid-30°C (86°F) at this time of year, plus hours of glorious sunshine. For a more comfortable climate, consider taking a Malta vacation in spring or autumn. Resorts are quieter at this time of year, and the weather is much cooler in case you want to explore the scenery. Temperatures hover around 16°C (60°F) in the winter, so it’s an even better time of year to get out and about and see the numerous ancient sites and villages.

Best places to stay in Malta

Sliema

The seaside suburb of Sliema was once the preserve of the Maltese upper classes. Set on a headland between Marsamxett Harbor and the open sea, Sliema is Malta’s number one tourist area. It is also the island’s most densely populated town. Malta’s largest resort Sliema, offers a long and reinvigorating shoreline, modern hotels, great international shops, and a cosmopolitan vibe. On a peninsula, Sliema Strand looks out to Valletta. Enjoy a drink in an array of cafés‚ bars and restaurants while enjoying views across the harbour. Pronounced’ Slee–maaʼ, Sliema has a choice of inviting bars and restaurants that, when the sun sets, form part of the resort’s low key nightlife and make the perfect places to enjoy sunset views across the harbour.

Things to do

Located on the northeast coast of Malta, you’ll love Sliema’s stunning Mediterranean weather and relaxing atmosphere. You can unwind in the sun, try a delicious locally-sourced meal at a taverna, or enjoy activities such as snorkelling and diving. But there’s more, as Sliema’s old fishing village also offers boutique shopping and a bustling nightlife. And of course, like any great Mediterranean destination, the seafront promenade is the perfect place for an evening stroll or simply to sit and watch the waves of people go by.

Hotel Recommendation in Sliema

AX The Palace

Saint Julian’s

From a simple fishing village, Saint Julian’s has grown into a busy resort, sought-after for its restaurants, bars, and nightlife.

If for you a breakaway is all about enjoying a touch of the high life, then a vacation to Saint Julian’s is perfect. Located on Malta’s north coast, what started out as a small fishing village has blossomed into one of the country’s hottest vacation hotspots. Although you’ll find plenty of 5-star hotels and some very sleek yachts bobbing about in the harbour, this resort hasn’t lost any of its authentic charms. Down by the bay, you’ll find restaurants serving traditional Maltese meals and a town bustling with shops, from upmarket boutiques to quirky stores selling local handicrafts.

Things to do

St Julian’s vacation also introduces you to the coolest nightlife on the island that’s close enough to hit the bars if you want to, and far enough away that you can have a peaceful night in. Paceville, just to the west of here, is where you’ll find the bars, clubs, and pubs, where the partying goes long into the night. With its own Blue Flag Beach, vacation to St Julian’s has all the vital ingredients to make your break one to remember.

Hotel Recommendation in Saint Julian’s

InterContinental Hotels – Malta

 

St. Paul’s Bay

Several sites around this bay recall stories of St Paul’s temporary stay in Malta.

A vacation to St. Paul’s Bay is ideal for those who want a taste of the highlife, but also want to experience some authentic Maltese culture. Now the largest resort on the island’s north coast, it began as a small fishing village. Despite blossoming into one of Malta’s most popular tourist destinations, it’s still home to native Maltese families. They have ensured that the resort has retained much of its original charm.

Things to do

Take a sunset stroll along the beautiful promenade with a loved one, and enjoy a leisurely drink in one of the bars or restaurants. Families are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to see and do. Take one of the regular cruises around the bay, or spend an afternoon exploring prehistoric caves and megalithic temples. Although there is some nightlife, the resort is quieter than some of its neighbours, making St Paul’s Bay vacations perfect for those who want to enjoy their vacation to Malta at their own pace.

Hotel Recommendation in St. Paul’s Bay

Dolmen Hotel Malta

 

Bugibba

Turn up the heat with a trip to Bugibba on the northern tip of Malta; it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations on the island. This bustling town may be small, but it has plenty of personalities, with its lively main square and charming tavernas. It’s picturesque, too, with a pretty waterfront and contemporary hotels. There’s also a charming beach where you can sit back and relax in the sunshine. And as it’s part of the broader St Paul’s Bay area, which is also made up of St Paul’s and Qawra, you’ll find all kinds of water sports adventures going on nearby. You’ll be ready for drinks and dinner at one of Bugibba’s many welcoming establishments when you get back to town.

Things to do

Bugibba is a firm favourite among travellers to Malta, and it’s easy to see why. Tucked between St Paul’s and Qawra in the stunning St Paul’s Bay, you’ll feel like you’re staying in more than one resort. A stunning waterside promenade runs across the three towns, and Bugibba has its own small beach, too. You’ll also find a quaint harbour here, filled with pretty painted boats that add a burst of colour to already charming scenery. Don’t forget to bring your camera, as this part of Malta is perfect for budding photographers. If you want to see somewhere new, why not take a trip over to one of Malta’s islands?

 

Qawra

A vacation in Qawra, pronounced ‘awra,’ will take you to one of Malta’s most popular resorts. You’ll find it on the north-east coast of the island, and you can expect a classic sun, sea and sand combination. Qawra is set around stunning St Paul’s Bay, boasting a sun-soaked beach running along azure waters. It’s a real hotspot for water sports, too, with as much water-skiing and scuba diving as you like. The kids will love the beach, and there are also plenty of family-friendly attractions to explore together. Love history? This island is full of unusual sites dating back thousands of years. There’s plenty of natural wonders to see too, so whether you enjoy the summer sun or a winter break, vacations to Qawra are great all year round.

Things to do

This modern vacation resort maintains a sense of Maltese tradition. You’ll find lots of luxury high-rise hotels along the seafront, with bustling bars and cafés lining the promenade. And then there’s the 16th century Qawra Tower to explore. This former fortress is now home to a swimming pool and restaurant. If you want to get away from it all, there are lots of quiet coves to hide in along St Paul’s Bay. And when you’re ready to take a break from the sunny beaches, why not step it up a gear at a water sports centre?

Getting around Malta

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 that you can travel with ease.

By car: Everyone drives on the left-hand side here. These are many 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).

Tour suggestions

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