Malta is a small island that offers more than the average traveller would think. Spending a holiday in Malta in Valletta or lounging on a sun lounger in a resort would be reprehensible. It offers culture, nature, adrenaline and unusual experiences. If you can plan wisely, a holiday in Malta can be adventurous, exploratory and inexpensive. I have summarised the basic information for active travellers. Malta holidays, weather, transport, and things to do:
Does it depend on what you prefer?
If you want to enjoy the sea and swimming, the beaches around Buggiba, Il Quawra and Mellieha are ideal. The Blue Lagoon on Gozo is the most crowded beach, but it’s so crowded and overcrowded with tourists that I’ve only swum there once. On the other hand, on the island’s south side, I discovered Gnejma and Quarraba Bay beaches, which are an extra treat and a feast for the eyes. However, getting to them takes a lot of work. If you live near Valletta, stay on the beaches southeast of Marsaxxlokk.
Culture, art and history
Centres of history can be found when visiting the cities of Valletta, Mdina and Rabat. Also, the one on the island of Gozo. 🙂 Today, the centre of Malta is Valletta and its three cities, but it was not always so. Like Lanzarote Teguise, Malta’s original capital was the medieval citadel of Mdina. Today it is home to old aristocratic families and has an atmosphere all its own.
Nearby Rabat hides the old Christian St. Paul’s Catacombs with the Grotto of St. Peter. Valletta is full of temples, fortifications, gardens and historical monuments. But if you like modern art, visit Spazju Kreattiv, a gallery full of inspiration and ideas.
Malta may not have mountains but try exploring the coastal reefs and cliffs, and you’ll fall on your butt. The southwestern part of the island charmed me the most. The Blue Grotto, Dingli Cliffs, Qarraba trails, or the national park Il Majistral are a must-ride. If you want to sacrifice and visit Gozo, take the trail across the island. You’ll discover some beautiful nooks and crannies.
When to discover Malta
Between May and November the sea temperature reaches above 20°C. Summers are hot and dry, but very pleasant thanks to the winds. However, Malta is full of tourists in the summer holidays.
The best times to go hiking, exploring and sightseeing are late spring (May, June) and early autumn (September, October and early November). Malta is at its most beautiful in spring, when everything is in bloom and full of greenery.
A car is more of a liability in Malta. If, then a scooter. The island is small, and parking spaces are minimal. Moreover, Malta has a perfectly sorted out bus and ferry transport system.
Transport from the airport
Express buses X1 to X4 connect you quickly with the airport, Valletta, Rabat and all the island’s centres. Local buses go everywhere. In the summer, punctuality and overcrowding can be an issue. Still, in the low season, I recommend this as the most efficient mode of transport. By the way, that transport is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to Malta.
The single fare is paid by the driver. Off-season €1,50 in high season €2. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes and is transferable. Always have cash ready. A prepaid card can also be arranged, but you don’t need it. Watch out for the names in the timetables. The Maltese often refer to stops by their Maltese equivalent, so it takes a while to find your way around.
A network of ferries from Cirkewwa will also take you quickly to the neighbouring islands of Comino, Gozo and the Blue Lagoon. Enjoy the Malta holidays and the nice weather.