Just a three hour flight away from the UK, English-speaking Malta is a popular year round holiday destination. Complete with 300 days of sunshine a year, breathtaking architecture and the blue hues of the Mediterranean sea, the Maltese Islands are perfect for both beach holidays and city breaks.
The diverse archipelago consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino, all of which appeal to different personalities and age groups.
This quiet area in the north of the island is ideal if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere. The peaceful resort is home to Malta’s longest and most popular sandy beach, stretching across 800m and with great views over the Mediterranean Sea. There are plenty of cafes and bars to choose from that surround the bay.
The coastline from Sliema to St Julian’s is home to rocky beaches that are popular for swimming and sunbathing because of the easy access to the clear water. Explore the elevated promenade above the beaches for restaurants, shops and cafes.
St. Julian’s is another entertainment hub on the picturesque east coast of Malta. Partylovers should head to Paceville which is home to tons of nightclubs and bars, while those seeking tranquility can wander around Spinola Bay stopping off at independent cafes to rehydrate or relax on the lovely sandy beach at St George’s Bay.
St. Paul’s Bay
This lively area is where you’ll find the increasingly popular resorts of Bugibba and Qawra, perfect for couples and families with older children. Alongside a beauitful coastline and old town, expect to find an abundance of local cafes, bars, resaturants and a range of three or four star hotels.
Situated on the Mediterranean waterfront, Malta’s capital Valletta is rich in history and boasts over 320 historic monuments to discover. Valletta is renowned for its peaceful atmosphere, quaint location and breathtaking scenery. It was the 2018 European Capital of Culture and the whole city is a recognised UNESCO world heritage site.
Baroque architecture and features inspired by the 17th and 18th century style line the streets of Valletta, which is home to some of the world’s most ancient buildings. St John’s Co-Cathedral is the cultural jewel of Valletta. Inside visitors will find gold plated walls, beautiful tapestries and the only signed work by Caravaggio; The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
The unique locations within the city have been used to re-create countless scenes set in Malta. Recent movies filmed in Valletta include: 13 Hours, The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, World War Z, Assassins Creed and Murder on the Orient Express.
It is a great city break destination as it is compact, walkable and easy to explore in a weekend getaway. However, if you want to explore the whole Archipelago, there’s plenty to keep you occupied on a longer holiday.
The Archipelago’s second largest island, Gozo, is located 25 minutes from Malta, and accessible by a 25 minute ferry journey that departs regularly throughout the day. Gozo boasts a laid-back atmosphere, plenty of natural beauty and an abundance of historical sites that showcase the island’s interesting past. Although its sister island of Malta has made the move towards a cosmopolitan state, Gozo still retains the age-old charms that make it so special.
Ir-Rabat, the capital city of the island of Gozo was renamed Victoria to honour the famous British Queen’s Golden Jubilee. The city boasts several historical sites incluiding the medieval Citadel which is home to The Cathedral Museum, the Museum of Archaeology, the Folklore Museum and more. You’ll also find a number of shops, an open market, opera theatres and peaceful outdoor spaces like Villa Rundle Public Gardens.
Gozo is full of authenticity, especially when it comes to beaches. Ramla il-Hamra in Xaghra, which translates to Red Sands, is the biggest stretch of beach on the island, adorned with set back cafes that compliment the picturesque landscape. On a nearby hilltop, you’ll find perhaps the oldest free-standing structure on earth. Made some 5,500 years ago, Ggantija is the island’s only world-class tourist site; two temples of stones so huge the locals believed they were built by giants.