Since visiting Malta in July it has quickly crept up my ‘favourites’ list. There is simply so much to see and do in this wonderfully historic country, from it’s beautiful cliff edges, to stunning architecture, and friendly locals to clear waters, it is an island with many sides. Me and Theo flew out to Malta at the beginning of the summer holidays with the little one to spend a week here, and we were delighted with what we found. Another wonderful country added to my list… Here is my ultimate guide to a week in Malta…
One of my must-have essentials for this trip was my trusty Marco Polo Pocket Guide. From start to finish of the trip, this guide was my sole source of information, from finding out which cafe was best to visit in Mdina, to using Malta’s extensive bus network, and how to get the the Blue Lagoon, and beat the crowds. It also has a handy pull out map at the back which we’ve since scribbled all over, and used to map out of week of adventures…
HOW TO GET THERE
The most convenient and efficient way for us was to fly to Malta with Jet2 Holidays and everything about flying with Jet2 was easy and simple. From the moment we booked the flights from East Midlands via Jet2.com, right down to landing in Malta and getting on our transfer, we got incredible customer service. We were really impressed with the service and would recommend flying with them to all of my readers!
We went on a package holiday so I am not sure how much flights are individually, but I believe they are about £80 for a return flight to Malta with Jet2 Holidays. A family holiday for four to Malta with Jet2 Holidays with flights and transfers included is about £1,200 in a 4* hotel in Sliema in September.
WHEN TO GO
We used the Jet2.com website to look at when was best for us to fly and how to get cheaper flights. By booking with Jet2 Holidays, it also gave us all the information we needed including when to go, temperatures, where was best to stay and what was included. August was blooming hot, and a lot of the time it was too hot for Arabella too. We spent our days running from the sun, into cafes and places with shade as it was simply too hot. I would recommend visiting Malta between April – June or September – November, as the weather will have cooled down by then and the school holidays won’t be in session so it’ll be a lot less busy in the cities and restaurants.
WHERE TO STAY
After researching places to stay through Jet2 Holidays, we ended up opting for Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa located just outside of Mellieha Bay in the end, as recommended by previous customers of Jet2 Holidays. And we were really impressed!
WHAT TO DO
1. Comino Island and the Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is famous in Comino for its mesmerising waters and jaw-dropping scenery. It’s well worth a trip as you can go snorkelling and swim in the cool clear waters and the take in the area’s dazzling beauty. Only 3.5 square kilometres, Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited but it does have the stunning Blue Lagoon. And other beaches on the island include Santa Marija Bay and San Niklaw Bay. Read my full post on visiting the Blue Lagoon here.
2. Popeye Village
After a couple of days exploring Malta we decided to jump on a bus from Mellieha and go visit the famous local attraction, Popeye Village. Located in Anchor bay and just a short journey from Mellieha by bus, the village includes the original film set from the 1980’s film which starred the legendary actor Robin Williams, and the new addition to the village is the inflatable obstacle course which was a big hit with both children and adults! This beautiful cove is one of Malta’s biggest tourist attractions with most of the film set still intact. Read my full post on visiting here.
3. Valletta and the Three Cities
If you are visiting Malta, you’ve got to visit the countries capital Valletta at least once. This stunning, yet small city is memorable and exceptional, from the cafes dotted along it’s white stone streets, to the views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens, everything about this city is stunning and it’s a must visit if you are in Malta. Read my full post on visiting Valletta here.
4. Mdina and Rabat
On our third day in Malta we jumped on a bus from Mellieha and headed over to The Silent City, Mdina. Sitting on top of a hill overlooking large parts of Malta, Mdina is a small town, rich in history and surrounded by tall bastion fortifications. Today Mdina is a major tourist attraction recognised internationally as an important UNESCO World Heritage Site (currently on its tentative list). Read my full post on visiting here.
5. Sliema and St Julian’s
Sliema and St. Julian’s area are where things are happening right now. They are Malta’s capital for entertainment, shopping, nightlife, dining, upmarket property and accommodation and living the good life in general. In fact, a large percentage of businesses listed on this online travel guide are actually situated in or around this area. Connected by a lovely seafront promenade, with shimmering Mediterranean views, this collection of districts merge into one another, and are packed with shops, restaurants and bars.
6. Mellieha and Mellieha Bay
This is where we based ourselves during our week long trip to Malta, staying at the Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa. Mellieħa is a large village or small town in the Northern Region of Malta and has a population of 10,087. Mellieħa is a tourist resort, popular for its sandy beaches and natural environment, and is split into three areas; Mellieha (old town), Mellieha Heights (on the hill overlooking the Bay) and Mellieha Bay (where you will find most hotels and restaurants).
7. Ħaġar Qim
Ħaġar Qim is a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta, dating from the Ġgantija phase (3600-3200 BC). The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by the World Heritage Sites committee as “unique architectural masterpieces.” In 1992 UNESCO recognized Ħaġar Qim and four other Maltese megalithic structures as World Heritage Sites. A visit to Ħaġar Qim is just magical and a must-visit when visiting the island of Malta.
8. Blue Grotto
The Blue Grotto is one of Malta’s most visited sites and is a number of sea caverns on the south east coast of Malta, a short distance off the fishermen’s harbour of Wied iż-Żurrieq of Qrendi, Malta. The location of the caves, combined with the rays of sunlight, lead to the seawater mirroring and showing numerous shades of blue on the cave walls and ceilings. The several caverns inside the grotto mirror the brilliant phosphorescent colours of the underwater flora and fauna, whilst other caverns show a deep dark shade of blue. Underwater, different colors of red, mauve, green, orange and yellow give an impressive and most welcoming picture to its visitors and are a sight to see!
9. Gozo and The Citadel
In case you’re confused, Gozo isn’t in Malta, it’s next door. Because the two islands are so close to each other they are often referred to as Malta & Gozo. The Republic of Malta is an archipelago, and it consists of 3 inhabited islands and more less significant uninhabited islands (about 11). The three important islands are Malta, Gozo and Comino, where you can find the Blue Lagoon. Gozo has a population of over 30,000 people, and despite being much smaller than Malta is well worth a day exploring the island. Victoria Citadel is the most visited point on the island, just after the Tal Mixta cave. I would definitely recommend you to visit Victoria Citadel during sunset, as you might see some of the most beautiful views in Europe! The sunset was really impressive, and you can also have dinner inside the Citadella for that real Gozo experience.
10. Dingli Cliffs
Dingli is a village in the Northern Region of Malta, with a population of 3,608 as of March 2014. The village lies on a plateau some 250 metres above sea level, which is one of the highest points of Malta and thus has become a great tourist attraction due to the amazing views it offers from the cliffs. The area provides not only open sea views over the tiny, uninhabited isle of Filfla, but is also a good vantage point over Malta. From the cliffs there are also views of the nearby Buskett Gardens and Verdala Palace.
WHAT TO PACK
You guys have been loving my outfits posts on Instagram over the past month, and I’ve had so many messages from you asking where the outfits I wore whilst on my recent trip to Malta are from. I’ve tried to reply to you all separately and where possible send links to the items, but to make things easier, and so you can see everything I wore in Malta and go and buy it yourself, I thought I would pull together a blog post dedicated to my Malta wardrobe. I have split the blog posts in to individual outs, with the sizing I opted for, and the link to where you can buy the item. Read the full post of what I wore in Malta here…
Outfit #1 – Red Herring Leopard Print Midi Dress – BUY HERE: Red Herring Leopard Print Midi Dress
Outfit #2 – Womens Holiday V-Neck Button Through Midi Dress – BUY HERE: White Midi Dress
Outfit #3 – Marks & Spencers Black Tummy Control Swimsuit – BUY HERE: M&S Swimsuit
Outfit #4 – ASOS Shirred Sleeve Polka Dot Midi Dress – BUY HERE: ASOS Dress
Outfit #6 – Fat Face Lily Vintage Flora Maxi Dress – BUY HERE: Fat Face Maxi Dress
Outfit #7 – New Look Bardot Frill Red Top – BUY HERE: Similar top here
I flew to Malta with the wonderful team at Jet2 Holidays on a package holiday, including flights, accommodation and transfers. We stayed at the lovely Maritim Antonine Hotel in Mellieha Bay. For more information and to book your own trip to Malta visit Jet2 Holidays.