If you have chosen Malta as your holiday destination, you should know that this country, with an area of ~ 300 square kilometers and a population of 420,000 inhabitants, is one of the most visited European countries, receiving over 1,200,000 tourists every year. You might think that such a small country – consisting of one more oversized island and two smaller ones – will not cause you much trouble, and you will be able to go through it all in a 3-4 day city break. In reality, this is not the case. If you want to visit Malta from one end to the other and get to know its historic streets, temples and churches, castles and forts, beaches, coves, and gardens, then you need to book at least a week.
If you are really passionate about history and archeology, you will probably want more days, and you will have to choose a period to visit in winter, more precisely between November and March. During this time, the weather is perfect for hiking, the sun shines for many hours in the sky, the streets are more deserted, the queues for all the sights disappear entirely, and you can enjoy beautiful landscapes, you can take photos in which there are no other unwanted characters, and you can even find a beach just for you, relax and dream. If you are lucky, in November, the seawater can have temperatures of up to 22-23 degrees, so you can splash away at will.
Malta is recognized as one of the best winter holiday destinations because it is blessed with a perfect climate (the best in the Mediterranean), with temperatures that can reach up to 15 degrees during the day but which do not drop below 5-6 degrees at night. On some days, the wind may blow harder, and it may rain, but compared to the winter in Europe, in Malta, the winter is much milder and friendlier. That is why many Europeans in the Nordic countries, but also in the UK, especially retirees, prefer to move to Malta during the winter, thus saving large sums of money that they would pay in their countries only on heating.
1. Holidays in Malta, through tiny villages and ancient farms.
2. St John's Co-Cathedral, a must-visit on holiday in Malta.
3. Mediterranea Festival, Gozo
It is not at all easy to present 7,000 years of Gozitan culture in three weeks. But the organizers of the events of the annual Mediterranea Gozo Festival are doing a good job. Being the largest island in the Maltese archipelago (apart from Malta itself), Gozo has developed its own history while retaining its unique character. Less populated and less touristy, Gozo’s beaches are quieter, the original architecture is better preserved, and the way of life is more traditional. It is the perfect place for a late fall where you can enjoy opera, ballet, music concerts, theater, conferences, excursions, art, and fireworks exhibitions.
4. Chocolate Festival, Hamrun
5. Horseback riding along the coasts
Some tips for a successful trip to Malta
- As in many tourist cities, here you have to beware of those who want to take advantage of gullible tourists. Always ask beforehand the rate you are going to pay in a taxi, but also the price of fruit in the markets. The Maltese tend to raise prices a little when selling to foreigners, not if you ask in advance – especially at roadside stalls selling fruit and vegetables.
- Remember that in Malta the traffic is on the left side and that is why you have to be very careful, especially when crossing the street and taking the bus from the station.
- In many public places there is free internet access – parks, mall, train station – but also to most terraces and restaurants.
- In Valletta, in the main squares and in the parks, there are fountains with drinking water from where you can fill your bottle whenever you want.
- If you are traveling by bus, be aware that the driver does not stop at all stations unless there are other passengers getting on / off. If you want to get off at a specific station, you have to notify the driver (there is a red button to be pressed), and if you want information, you can very well ask anyone around you. Absolutely all the locals speak English and are very kind, eager to help and guide you.
- You should also know that in Malta the English electrical system is used, i.e., sockets with three holes. It’s a good idea to have a travel adapter if you don’t want to pay a few euros to charge your phone or camera battery.