Essential Travel Guide to Malta
If you’re thinking of making Malta your next holiday destination, you’ll want to know everything you can about this gem of a country before you go. Malta seems to be one of those places that people have either been to again and again and can’t see past it or they’ve never been at all. Perhaps it’s been on your radar but you’ve simply overlooked it in favour of the usual Mediterranean hotspots. Malta is a delightful place to spend a week or two and you can be sure of a warm welcome from the locals.
Malta was part of the British Empire until 1964 and traces of British legacy are evident. They drive on the left and you might even spot a red post box or phone booth on your travels!
Malta’s weather is arguably one of the island’s biggest pulls. Boasting over 300 days of sunshine per year, the climate certainly attracts sun worshippers, water sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts alike. It is also a magnet for culture and history buffs. This place is just brimming with character and atmosphere, as well as more historic sights than you can shake your selfie stick at. Culture and history aside, Malta holds an annual chocolate festival so there’s another good reason to go!
There are pretty beaches for sun-worshippers to enjoy lazy days under the Mediterranean skies, elegant harbour towns to visit and a vibrant nightlife.
Malta also has some of the best scuba diving in the Med and people visit in their droves year after year to experience the water sports here. It really is an island delight. Due to Malta’s proximity to Italy, it’s also possible to take a day trip over to Sicily…if you can bear to tear yourself away.
Here’s some tips on where to eat, where to stay and where to catch some sunshine during your holiday…
Where to Eat in Malta
Like most holiday destinations, Malta has a fabulous choice of eateries to cater for every palate. Here, we’ve chosen a few that might whet your appetite that have been listed on TripAdvisor too.
Brown’s Kitchen, Valletta Waterfront
Selection of nachos, burgers, seafood, pastas, poultry, game and meat dishes plus a kids’ menu.
Open Monday- Saturday 10:00-23:00
Rampila Restaurant & Wine Bar
Maltese food with a Mediterranean influence with freshly prepared daily specials. There’s also an exhibition within the restaurant.
Open Monday- Sunday 12:00-22:30
Quality seasonal menu available
Open Monday- Saturday (closed Sundays and only open for lunch on Tuesdays)
12:00-14:30 and 18:00-22:00
One80 Kitchen & Lounge, Mellieha
One80 enjoys beautiful views that might have inspired the restaurant’s name. Ideal for lunch, dinner and drinks.
Open 7 days.
Acqua Marina, Bugibba
Italian/Sicilian cuisine. Open daily except Tuesdays.
Lulu, St Julian’s
High end, fine Mediterranean dining within chic décor. Bookings advisable.
Open Monday- Saturday 19:00-23:30
Sunday lunch only
Malta’s Best Beaches
Also known as Ghadira Bay, this 800m stretch slopes into crystal clear waters and has impressive watersports facilities too.
The central point for summer days in Sliema, the beach runs along the waterfront promenade. It’s pretty rocky and water shoes might be a good idea. Plenty of bars and cafes along the front so you won’t need to venture too far for refreshments.
A lovely stretch of sandy beach with good amenities – beach hut cafes, sunbeds and umbrellas available. This beach is popular with guests of the Radisson Golden Sands Hotel which is in close proximity. A flag system is in place during the summer months as well as lifeguards on patrol to advise on swimming conditions.
St George’s Bay
This beach is closest for St Julian’s and Valletta so expect it to be busy in the summer months. The ideal spot if you want to be in the heart of then action with planet of bars and restaurants nearby.
This blur flag beach is the next bay along from Golden Bay and usually less crowded.
Religious Life in Malta
Christian faith is an integral part of the Maltese way of life and religion is at the heart of their culture as well as being dominant in the country’s landscape. You could say there’s a church for every day. These magnificent holy sites provide shelter from the blistering sun if you’re out and about exploring and it gets too hot but as well as seeking refuge from the heat, do go in and perhaps light a candle or say a little prayer, regardless of your religious
Malta History and Culture
Despite being one of the smallest countries in the world, Malta is packed with ancient treasures, fortresses, churches, cathedrals and archaeological artefacts, Malta is often described as an open-air museum!
Here are our top resorts and attractions in Malta as a starting point for discovering this wonderful place:
Best Places to Visit in Malta
Where to Stay in Malta
Best hotels in Malta (4 and 5-star selection)
- The Phoenicia Malta
- The Westin Dragonara Malta
- Solana Hotel & Spa
- Hotel Palazzo Consiglia
- Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux Malta
- The Corinthia Palace Hotel
- The Victoria
- Le Meridien St Julian’s Hotel & Spa
When to Go to Malta
Malta enjoys fine weather for most of the year but July and August are the hottest months when temperatures can sometimes reach 30+
April, May and June sees more bearable temperatures and it’s also less crowded in these shoulder months.
September is an ideal time to visit as it’s still pretty warm but again, less crowded. December, January and February are traditionally cooler and possibly wetter.