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HOLIDAY MAGIC IN MALTA – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Jet off for a sensational holiday experience in magical Malta, a magnificent Mediterranean island getaway steeped in culture, relaxation, beauty and wonder.

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All-year-round sunshine makes this enchanting destination between Sicily and the North African coast perfect for a sizzling summer getaway or the opportunity to escape the chilly weather back home during the winter months.

Malta boasts rich history and culture, divine sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, fabulous food, superb shops and unrivalled hospitality.

You’ll also discover plenty of evening entertainment, quaint towns and villages, water sports action and the charming nearby islands of Gozo and Comino.

We’ve chosen to turn the spotlight on awe-inspiring Malta to reveal what it’s a great choice for couples, families and groups of friends yearning for a fun-filled holiday adventure.

How long is the flight from the UK to Malta?

It takes approximately three hours to fly from the UK to Malta and the island is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

The official languages spoken there are Maltese, a semitic language largely made up of words borrowed from other European languages, and English which is spoken by a majority of the local population.

What is the weather like in Malta and when is the best time to visit?

Malta enjoys warm summers and mild winters, with more than 3,000 hours of annual sunshine, making it a wonderful place to visit any time of year.

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June to August is a very popular time to holiday on the island, with minimal rain and daily temperatures around 31°C (88 F).

The island experiences an average 12 hours of sunshine during the summer months and around 6 hours in the mid-winter.

Average daily winter temperatures hover between 15°C to 20°C, making Malta a fantastic choice for a winter holiday, with many of the main attractions open and the island also hosting a myriad of colourful festive spectacles including the Christmas village at Valletta waterfront, Sliema Christmas Market and St Julian’s Christmas Festival.

What are the main holiday resorts in Malta?

Malta has a resort to suit all tastes, from lively coastal towns brimming with entertainment and vibrant nightlife to more laid-back retreats, with sandy shores, lush landscapes and blissful tranquillity.

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The island capital Valletta is an enthralling walled city which is home to incredible Baroque architecture, grand palaces, opera houses and theatres, fascinating museums and gourmet restaurants.

Bugibba is a magnet for beach lovers with its popular golden sands, water sports thrills and excellent bars, shops and restaurants, while nearby Qawra is a quieter spot which is ideal for couples craving a romantic time in an alluring coastal village setting.

Many of the island’s elegant 5-star boutique hotels are located in the south of the island, in glorious Valletta and St Julian’s Bay with its lovely beaches, top-class restaurants and fantastic shops.

Mellieha has the wow factor, with its pristine beaches, ancient landmarks and picturesque landscapes, while Golden Bay is a real winner with families, boasting a jawdropping Blue Flag beach, golden dunes, water sports galore and luxury hotels.

St George’s Bay is a delightful resort with shops, bars and restaurants which is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. The resort town of Sliema is home to the 18th-century polygonal Fort Tigné, the baroque-inspired Stella Maris Church and a wonderful long waterfront.

What are the major attractions in Malta?

You won’t struggle to find exciting things to see and do during your holiday in the mesmerising island of Malta.

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No visit to this Mediterranean escape would be complete without checking out the seductive UNESCO listed capital Valletta, with its regal squares, unique art, beautiful churches, ancient architecture and majestic palaces.

A major city attraction is St John's Co-Cathedral which will take your breath away with its rich art and relics, Baroque frescos, vaulted ceilings, ornate marble floors, carved stone walls and imposing statues.

Other must-see attractions in Valletta include the domed Carmelite Church, Parliament Building, Royal Opera House, Upper Barrakka Gardens, National Museum of Archaeology and the magnificent Grandmasters Palace, with its ancient artwork and tapestries.

It’s also worth visiting the city’s Grand Harbour where you’ll discover the world’s oldest saluting gun battery still in operation, with a firing ceremony held daily at midday.

There are plenty of other fascinating attractions away from the capital, including the Hagar Qim and Mnajdra neolithic temples complex, the Medieval fortified city of Mdina, the Tarxien Temples and Red Tower near Marfa.

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For a flavour of local life you should visit the bustling fish market in Marsaxlokk, while Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is an intriguing excavated prehistoric burial site and the Blue Grotto near Zurrieq town will wow you with its intense blue waters in the cave.

Another fabulous attraction is a winery trail around some of the major vineyards in Malta and Gozo where you'll get to sample the superb produce. Wine-producing estates you'll visit include Meridiana, Maria Rosa, Marsovin, Monte Kristo, Mar Casar and Ta Mena.

A short taxi boat ride from Malta will take you over to the nearby awe-inspiring islands of Gozo and Comino. Private boat tours of the islands, plus a highly-rated tour of Malta’s Grand Harbour, are also worth considering.

Gozo is home to delightful villages, divine beaches, the megalithic Ggantija Temples and the fortified city of Victoria, while Comino boasts fantastic dive sites, a famous Blue Lagoon and amazing reptiles including the Maltese Wall Lizard and Moorish Gecko.

What sports and leisure activities can you enjoy in Malta?

Malta is brimming with superb sports and leisure amenities and attractions, with something to suit the needs of every fun-seeking holidaymaker.

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The azure Mediterranean Sea is perfect for a plethora of water sports including water-skiing, jet-skiing, flyboarding, wakeboarding, parasailing and kitesurfing, while other exciting pursuits on the waves include kayaking, snorkelling, banana boat rides and catamaran cruises.

Walking, hiking, cycling and Segways are among the options for getting around the island, to check out its many landmarks and natural attractions including hidden valleys, rugged cliffs, secluded coves and golden sandy beaches.

Popular outdoor pursuits in Malta include trail-running, ziplining, buggy safaris, horse-riding, mountain biking, golfing, canyoning, ziplining and jeep safaris.

Is there a good transport system in Malta?

You won’t struggle to find a suitable mode of transport for getting around the island, with its reliable and inexpensive public bus fleet a great option for exploring the main cities, towns and villages.

You can also consider hiring a car or motorbike for getting around. You’ll drive on the left-hand side of the road in Malta and all signage is in English.

There are also plenty of official white taxis operating in Malta which you can hail from the street and the island’s size makes cycling another way to get out and about.

A ferry service links the capital Valletta to Sliema, while water taxi, ferry or seaplane are the transport options for visiting the islands of Gozo or Comino.

Where are the best beaches in Malta?

Malta coastline is home to sensational beaches, incredible dive sites, historic wrecks and some of the cleanest waters in the EU.

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Mellieha Bay boasts the island’s largest sandy beach where you’ll discover safe and shallow waters which are ideal for families. Kayaking, windsurfing, parasailing and banana boat rides are popular activities at this wonderful sandy expanse.

Golden Bay in the north of the island makes a big impression with its red sands, rolling dunes and heavenly sunsets. Mistra Bay is a pleasant sandy beach with several enchanting caves to explore and St George’s Bay in St Julian’s has a fantastic beach with plenty of fun on the sands.

The Blue Lagoon on Comino island is home to a breathtaking beach which is truly beautiful, while the terracotta-coloured sands of Gozo's Ramla Bay provide a great opportunity to catch some rays in spellbinding surroundings.

What is the nightlife like in Malta?

People who like to party will find plenty of places to dance from dusk till dawn in Malta, with night clubs and lively beach bars among the delights which await.

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For a more sophisticated night out you can visit the superb wine bars in Valletta, Three Cities and Mdina. The Bridge Bar in Valletta, for example, is a wonderful candlelit venue where you can enjoy fine wines and live jazz music.

Bugibba, Qawra and Sliema are also good for evening entertainment, with pleasant bars and excellent beachfront restaurants.

Malta is also home to several casinos if you fancy trying your luck on the roulette table. These include the Dragonara Casino, Oracle Casino and Portomaso casino.

What food and drink is popular in Malta?

Malta is a dream come true for foodies, with gastronomic joys galore to send you taste buds into raptures of delight.

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The island is home to an amazing 31 restaurants with a coveted 5 Michelin Star rating where you’ll discover to satisfy incredible fare to satisfy the most discerning palate.

Stuffar tal-Fenek is the island’s national dish which comprises tender cuts of rabbit that have been slow cooked with potatoes, red wine, garlic, onions, carrots and tomato puree.

Bigilla is a Maltese pasta made from mashed tic beans, garlic, parsley and other herbs which is often served with fresh bread or Maltese water crackers.

Other mouth-watering favourites include Kapunata, which is a version of ratatouille; Bragioli (beef olives), Lampuki fish pie and snails.

Pastizzi is a much-loved fast food featuring layers of flaky pastry with a choice of fillings including ricotta cheese, anchovies, mushy peas, corned beef and apple.

Imqaret are delicious crunchy sweet treats with a rich date filling, while prinjolata is a sweet round cake, coated with cream, melted chocolate and cherries.

Cisk lager is a popular beverage which has been brewed on the island since 1929 and highly-regarded local liqueurs include Lumicetta ta' Mari, Bajtrija and Hanini Digestiv.

Is Malta good for shopping?

If you fancy some retail therapy during your holiday, Malta offers everything from high-end shopping malls to lively markets where you can barter for a bargain.

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You'll discover electronic goods, designer clothing and glitzy jewellery and much more in the main malls which include Bay Street Shopping Complex, The Plaza Shopping Centre and The Point Shopping Mall.

The capital Valletta is a shopper’s paradise, with the Embassy Shopping Centre among the attractions, while St Julian’s, Sliema and St Paul’s Bay also boast an impressive choice of shops.

The Farmers' Market, Ta’ Qali crafts village and Birgu Flea Market are well worth a visit. You'll also find excellent market in Valletta, Qormi, Victoria, Rabat and Marsaxlokk.

Discover the beauty and wonder of magic of Malta on an exciting sunshine holiday. Book your escape today to this wonderful Mediterranean getaway at Destination2.co.uk.