Unveiling Malta’s Treasures: A Guide to the Island’s Top Attractions
Malta, a small island nation nestled amidst the Mediterranean Sea, is a captivating destination that offers a wealth of historical, cultural, and natural attractions. From its ancient temples to its stunning beaches, Malta has something to offer every traveler. Here’s a guide to the best Malta attractions that will help you plan your perfect itinerary. The best attractions in Malta are:
1. Valletta: A UNESCO World Heritage City
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a UNESCO World Heritage City and a must-visit destination. Its well-preserved fortifications, Baroque architecture, and vibrant atmosphere make it a delight to explore. Stroll through the narrow streets lined with pastel-colored buildings, admire the Grand Master’s Palace, and wander through the Upper Barrakka Gardens for stunning views of the Grand Harbour.
Must visit in Valletta during your stay:
1) The Saint John co-cathedral, which behind a sober exterior facade hides an extraordinary wealth inside. Everywhere there is gold and magnificent paintings by Caravaggio.
The marble slabs which make up the pavement house the tombs of the Grand Masters of the Order of Malta as well as nobles. Nearly 400 of them are buried there. A must see in Malta!
2) The palace of the Grand Masters which was once their residence. Worth seeing in particular for the council room and the ambassadors’ lounge. But what remains most impressive is still the armory and its collection of more than 5,000 pieces of armor and weapons worn and used by knights and grand masters.
3) The Manoel theater, one of the oldest in Europe.
4) Fort Saint Elme inside which is the national war museum.
5) The National Museum of Fine Arts which houses a collection of objects, sculptures and paintings that belonged to the Order of Saint John.
6) The barraka gardens, 2 gardens also called upper barraka and lower barraka. The lower one is quite small but worth it for its very photogenic temple.
The one at the top is the largest with its pretty colonnades and the magnificent view it offers over the 3 cities. Below you can see the saluting battery, a set of cannons once used to salute foreign ships and which still resonate with their shots every day at midday.
7) And finally, stroll along the streets of Republic Street and Merchant Street, the main commercial arteries of Valletta where you will find many stores and restaurants.
Valetta. Above: Skyline, Saluting Battery, Lower Barrakka Gardens, St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the city walls. Xwejnusgozo (montage)Boguslaw Garbacz, Briangotts, Ies, Coldsun2006 (original photos), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
2. The 3 cities
From Valletta, you can easily reach the Three Cities which are located just opposite.
From the Barraka gardens at the top, take the panoramic elevator (always free for the descent. For the ascent it will also be free if you have returned from the boat for the 3 cities).
Cross the street and continue to the left to arrive at the boat pier.
The ticket is purchased once inside the boat and a return trip costs €2.80 per person for a 10-minute journey.
The boat will drop you off at the docks of the town of Vittoriosa, the largest town of the 3 Cities. The other 2 cities are respectively Senglea and Cospicua.
They all have their specificities but have one thing in common: the panoramas they offer over Valletta. The best way to discover them is to stroll through the small streets on foot!
In Vittoriosa, don’t miss Fort Sant’Angelo, the Inquisitor’s Palace and the Maritime Museum.
In Senglea, go to the tip of the city, to the Safe Haven garden, one of the most beautiful viewpoints over Valletta.
From Valletta, gaze upon the Three Cities: Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua. Each holds history in its limestone walls, from knights to maritime tales. As daylight fades, lights twinkle, merging past and present in a captivating tableau. This view encapsulates Malta’s story in a single, stunning vista. Lionel Baur, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
3. Mdina – The Silent City
Mdina is the ancient capital of Malta. During the medieval period and before the arrival of the Knights of the Order, it served as the seat of administration and government. It was nicknamed the “Citta Notabile”, the noble city.
But when they arrived, the knights felt that they would be better placed near their ships and Valletta then took its place as capital.
Nicknamed the “Silent City”, this fortified city owes its charm to the calm that reigns in the maze of its streets.
From above, Mdina’s weathered walls stand proud, encapsulating centuries of history. The limestone fortress wraps around the Silent City, hiding stories within its narrow streets and ancient buildings. The cathedral’s dome catches the sunlight, a beacon of Mdina’s past. Beyond, Malta’s countryside stretches toward the sparkling Mediterranean—a timeless view of history and beauty. R Muscat, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mdina is made up of many historic buildings and monuments such as St. Paul’s Cathedral (the oldest cathedral in Malta), its museum, the 18th century Vilhena Palace and other palaces located on Villegaignon Street such as the Falson Palace.
After visiting the city, you can go down for a walk in the city’s old moats, now converted into gardens. You will be able to discover the ramparts from below and it will be even more impressive.
Founded as Maleth by Phoenicians, Mdina evolved from the Roman-era Melite. Once larger, it shrank during Byzantine or Arab rule, adopting its name from ‘medina.’
Once Malta’s capital, Mdina faded after the Order of St. John’s arrival in 1530. A revival in the 18th century added Baroque touches without erasing its medieval soul.
Today, known as the “Silent City,” Mdina remains a noble and religious center, preserving properties passed down through generations. A testament to time, it captivates visitors as a potential UNESCO World Heritage Site—an enduring icon of Malta’s rich history.
4. Sliema and St Julian’s
Sliema and St Julian are the two main tourist towns in Malta. This is where you will find a multitude of hotels, restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
Perfect cities for those who want to go out in the evening, like popular and lively places, a little less if you are the type who prefers calm.
You can eat on one of the many terraces overlooking the sea and enjoy a unique view of Valletta.
Also note, a pretty seaside walk in Sliema which also passes through St Julian. This is probably the most populated area of the island, especially during summer evenings!
From above, Sliema’s vistas unfurl—a blend of the modern and historic. The Strand and Tigné Point merge with Fort Tigné, while the Lombard Bank building stands sentinel. Stella Maris Church adds a touch of tranquility amid Tower Road’s bustling skyline. In this aerial tapestry, Sliema’s allure lies in its diverse and captivating views. Xwejnusgozo (montage) FrankBothe, Ies and Maris1891 (original photos), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
5. Rabat (Victoria), next to Mdina
Rabat, also worth visiting during an itinerary in Malta, is the neighboring city of Mdina. Once you leave the fortified city of Mdina, you enter directly into Rabat.
This city is much less touristy, but it would still be a shame not to take the time to visit its few historical sites. The main ones are the Saint-Paul catacombs, built between the 2nd and 5th centuries, as well as the large Dominican monastery, with its superb gardens, which also served as settings for the Game of Thrones series.
By visiting the Wignacourt museum, you can discover a vast collection of religious art objects, and it is also here that you will find the entrance to access the city’s underground passages. By crossing them, you will arrive at the famous cave of Saint Paul, famous for having welcomed the apostle upon his arrival in Malta.
Nestled atop a hill, this area’s history traces back to Neolithic times. Victoria officially gained its name on June 10, 1887, during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, as per the request of Bishop Pietro Monsignor Pace. Yet, among Gozitans, particularly the elder generation, the town is often affectionately referred to as Rabat. This distinction, Rabat, Gozo, ensures clarity amidst the similarly named town on Malta’s main island. Despite its official moniker, the echoes of tradition persist in this ancient town atop the hills of Gozo. Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
To see in Rabat:
- The church and grotto of Saint-Paul which served as refuge for the apostle during his shipwreck on the island
- The Saint-Paul catacombs which served as a necropolis for 500 years
- The Sainte-Agathe catacombs where Sainte-Agathe hid during her exile from Sicily
- The Domus Romana, a villa from the Roman era now converted into a museum.
6. Gozo – A Quieter Side of Malta
Gozo is Malta’s second largest island. More rural and calmer than its big sister, it offers very beautiful landscapes, beautiful coves and a number of things to do and see.
To get there, simply take the ferry with Gozo Channel Line from the island of Malta to Cirkewwa. The journey takes around twenty minutes.
No problem transporting your rental car, there are plenty of spaces for cars. Boarding is very well organized and happens quickly.
On board the ferry, there is a cafeteria and a store that sells a little bit of everything (newspapers, magazines, souvenirs, food).
Price: for a car and 3 people, we paid 25€.
Good to know: you don’t have to pay anything on the way out, payment is made on the way back.
From June 1, 2021, you can also take the fast ferry from Valletta to Gozo.
From the Grand Harbor in Valletta, you can take the fast ferry which arrives in Gozo in 45 minutes.
This boat only takes passengers and no cars. You will disembark at the same place as the other ferry, at the port of Gozo.
For prices and timetables, you have all the information on the official website.
The “Gaudos” ferry, part of Gozo Channel Line, sets sail from Mgarr Harbor in Gozo, connecting the islands of Gozo and Malta. This vital link offers passengers breathtaking views of the Mediterranean as it crosses the Gozo Channel, serving as a crucial transport route for both people and vehicles between the islands. HH58, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Once you arrive in Gozo, you won’t be bored for a second, by visiting:
- Victoria or Rabat for locals. It is the main town of Gozo and the center of the island. There are plenty of shops and restaurants there, but tourists mainly come to explore the Citadel, the fortified part of the city, located on a hill. To see inside: the Cathedral, the old prisons, the archaeological remains and the view of all of Gozo from the ramparts.
- The Djewra region in the North West of Gozo, famous for the Azure Window (now unfortunately disappeared), the Fungus Rock (mushroom rock), the Inland Sea and the Deep Blue Hole.
- Marsalforn, a popular seaside resort in summer but which is especially worth the detour for its salt marshes stretching 3 kilometers long on the edge of the town.
- The sanctuary of Ta’Pinu, a magnificent church built on a small mound visible from afar.
- The cliffs of Ta’Cenc which plunge more than 130 meters towards the sea and allow you to see a beautiful panorama. If you have a drone, this is the ideal place to have fun!
- The temples of Ggantija, which are among the most impressive and best preserved on the island
Ramla Bay Beach, the largest sandy beach in Gozo. It is the family beach par excellence, it is ideal with children who will have plenty of space to play.
Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs. Gozo landscapes offer a stunning array of natural beauty on Malta’s sister island. They encompass rugged coastlines, idyllic beaches, rolling hills adorned with terraced fields, and historical sites that dot the countryside. The island boasts captivating scenery, including the iconic Azure Window (formerly), the breathtaking Ramla Bay, and the ancient Ġgantija Temples. These landscapes capture the essence of Gozo’s charm and allure, drawing visitors with their picturesque vistas and rich historical heritage. Syced, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
7. The Blue Lagoon and the island of Comino
Comino is a very small island located between the island of Malta and Gozo but its reputation is well established, notably thanks to its Blue Lagoon, a magnificent lagoon with turquoise waters.
Every day, boats shuttle between Malta and Comino, and between Gozo and Comino to bring tourists to admire the color of its crystal clear waters and of course to swim there.
I prefer to warn you, unless you go there completely out of season, you should not be allergic to crowds.
As there are a lot of tourists going to Comino every day, we highly recommend booking your boat ticket in advance!
The view from Comino to the Blue Lagoon and surrounding rocks in Għajnsielem, Malta, is stunning. With crystal-clear turquoise waters contrasting against rugged cliffs, it’s a captivating sight. Cominotto, a smaller islet, adds to the allure. This scenic vista is a serene gem, drawing visitors to Malta’s coastal beauty. Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
To go to Comino, you have several options. Simply click on the links in orange to book the one that suits you:
1) Blue Lagoon Boat Trip: The classic Blue Lagoon day cruise. Possibility of being picked up from most towns in Malta (additional charge, to be arranged after your booking)
2) Cruise to the Blue Lagoon by catamaran: the same as above but on a large catamaran! An excellent choice for a great day at sea. Pick-up also available from several locations (location to be defined after your reservation).
3) Sailing trip to the Blue Lagoon and other pretty bays: the best option for swimming in great places besides the Blue Lagoon! Snacks, wine and lunch + free transport from Malta are included.
4) Private Cruise to Comino and Gozo (3h30): simply the best private boat tour to visit Comino and the Blue Lagoon. Josef, your skipper, will do everything to ensure that you have an extraordinary day at sea.
On the program: swimming stops at the Blue Lagoon and the Crystal Lagoon (snorkeling equipment included!) as well as a visit to the Comino sea caves.
5) Private Boat Trip to Blue Lagoon from Valletta: And yes, you can also take your private cruise to Comino Blue Lagoon from Valletta! A good opportunity to discover the capital and the Maltese coasts from the sea.
6) Private Sailing Day Trip from Valletta: Same as above, but on a skippered sailboat! As this is also a private excursion, you decide the day’s program. Enjoy!😎
If you don’t want to take a boat trip, you can also take a small shuttle boat from Marfa or Cirkewwa (in the north of Malta) which will take you to Comino.
7) The private Blue Lagoon cruise that Josef offers can also depart from Gozo.
You will have the choice between 2 types of excursions (click on the links in orange to book):
A 3.5 hour private boat trip to Comino and South Gozo
A full-day private cruise around Comino and South Gozo (my recommendation!).
8) Take the shuttle boat from the port of Mgarr (where the ferry which crosses Malta-Gozo arrives).
9) Take the fast shuttle boat from Hondoq Ir Rummien (high season only). You will also discover the very pretty bay of Hondoq with its small beach, and a nice hike which goes to the port of Mgarr. You can also do plenty of water activities in Hondoq.
From Hondoq, you can also choose the “shuttle to Comino + Visit to the Santa Maria Caves” version which will allow you to discover these pretty sea caves and the coast of Comino.
Once in Comino, do not hesitate to take a tour of the island on foot to admire the magnificent landscapes, this will allow you to enjoy a moment of calm. Climb to the top of the Sainte Marie tower to enjoy a breathtaking view.
Tips: if the flag is raised at the top of the tower you can climb it otherwise you will just admire it from below. There is no entrance fee but operates on a donation principle.
On Comino you will also find a second beach: Santa Maria Bay with a hotel, restaurant services and public toilets. There are a lot fewer people than at the Blue Lagoon.
Travel Tips advice
All the options I just told you about and other boat trips are detailed in my other article: How to visit Comino and the Blue Lagoon.
If you want to enjoy Comino in a quiet way, choose times before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
The island of Comino takes its name from the plant that grows abundantly there in spring: cumin. Thanks to us, you will be able to shine in society with this all-important information!
8. Marsaxlokk – Fishing Village Charms
An authentic small coastal town, Marsaxlokk is a true haven of peace, located in the southwest of the island of Malta. The only seaside resort to be preserved from modern buildings, you will love visiting it!
Notably its Sunday market, which was originally a fish market. Today, it has continued to grow and expand its charm. It now also sells locally produced honey, fruit jams, wine as well as vegetables, souvenirs and clothing.
After visiting this market, you can have lunch in one of the many restaurants scattered in front of the picturesque Marsaxlokk Bay to taste seafood. A great time during your stay in Malta!
The view from the pontoon at ‘Xatt is-Sajjieda offers a captivating sight of Marsaxlokk port and its picturesque parish church. The vibrant colors of the traditional fishing boats, known as luzzus, paint the harbor, creating a vivid mosaic against the backdrop of the cerulean Mediterranean waters. From this unique perspective, the bustling activity of the fishing village blends harmoniously with the timeless charm of the church, offering visitors a glimpse into the heart and soul of Marsaxlokk’s maritime heritage. Seancarlgrech, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
9. San Pawl il-Bahar (St Paul)
San Pawl il-Baħar, known as St. Paul’s Bay in English, is a charming town located in the northern part of Malta. Named after the biblical figure St. Paul, who was shipwrecked on the island, it’s a popular destination known for its scenic coastline, historic sites, and vibrant atmosphere.
Located along the northeast coast of the island, in St. Paul’s Bay, this town is where the Apostle Paul – the man said to have launched Christianity in Malta – was shipwrecked on his journey to Rome in 60 AD.
San Pawl il-Baħar also holds historical significance, with sites like the Wignacourt Tower, built in the 17th century as a coastal defense tower. Additionally, the nearby town of Buġibba offers a lively promenade with entertainment options and a bustling nightlife.
In summer, the city triples its population and becomes an important seaside resort. The splendid Mediterranean Sea caresses the shore and offers magnificent maritime landscapes and a peaceful setting. This is an essential stopover during a stay in Malta.
St. Paul’s Island, situated off the coast of Malta, holds historical and religious significance as the legendary site where St. Paul was shipwrecked in 60 AD. This small, rocky islet is known for its connection to the biblical account of St. Paul’s arrival in Malta after the shipwreck, contributing to Malta’s rich cultural heritage and attracting visitors interested in its historical and religious importance. Christian Formosa, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
10. Popeye Village
Popeye Village, located in Anchor Bay, Malta, is a charming and nostalgic attraction. Built as a film set for the 1980 musical production “Popeye,” this picturesque village has been preserved and transformed into a popular tourist destination.
Visitors can explore the colorful wooden structures, take part in various activities like boat rides and water trampolines, and even meet characters in Popeye’s world. The village offers a delightful escape into the whimsical world of the beloved cartoon character, making it a fun-filled destination for families and anyone seeking a touch of nostalgia.
Popeye Village in Malta is a whimsical attraction nestled in Anchor Bay. Originally built as a film set for the 1980 musical “Popeye,” this colorful village is now a beloved theme park and tourist destination. Visitors can explore the vibrant wooden structures, engage in various activities, and even meet characters from the Popeye world. With its nostalgic charm and family-friendly ambiance, Popeye Village is a delightful stop for both fans of the iconic character and anyone seeking a touch of whimsy and fun. VillageHero from Ulm, Germany, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
To reach Popeye Village in Malta, you have a few options:
By Car: You can drive to Anchor Bay, Mellieħa, where Popeye Village is located. There’s parking available near the attraction.
By Public Transport: Buses run regularly from various parts of Malta to Mellieħa. Once in Mellieħa, you can either walk to Anchor Bay (it’s about a 30-minute walk) or take a short taxi ride to Popeye Village.
As for the entrance fees, it’s best to check the official Popeye Village website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date pricing information. Ticket prices may vary based on age, season, and any special offers or packages they might have. Additionally, they might offer different rates for activities within the village.
11. Megalithic Temples of Malta
The Megalithic Temples of Malta stand as enigmatic marvels, testament to an ancient civilization’s ingenuity and spirituality. Dating back to 3600-700 BC, these prehistoric structures predate even the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge, marking them among the world’s oldest free-standing stone buildings.
Their construction, with limited tools and resources, remains a mystery, shrouded in the mists of time. Yet, their significance as UNESCO World Heritage Sites resonates, inviting visitors to ponder the mysteries of these ancient sanctuaries and marvel at the accomplishments of Malta’s earliest inhabitants.
Hagar Qim – Estimated to have been built between 3200 and 3600 BCE (Before Common Era), which translates to approximately 5200 to 5600 years ago.
Located in Qrendi, this temple complex overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and showcases impressive megalithic structures, including the main temple and several apses.
Mnajdra – Constructed in various phases, with the oldest parts dating back to around 3200-3600 BCE, approximately 5200 to 5600 years ago.
Situated near Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra comprises three temples constructed in different phases, exhibiting intricate alignments with the solstices and equinoxes.
Ggantija – Estimated to have been constructed around 3000-3600 BCE, approximately 5000 to 5600 years ago.
Found on the island of Gozo, Ggantija is one of the oldest freestanding structures in the world, featuring two temple complexes known for their colossal megaliths.
Tarxien Temples – Believed to have been built between 2500 and 3600 BCE, approximately 4500 to 5600 years ago.
Located in Tarxien, this site consists of four megalithic structures, adorned with intricate stone carvings and decorations depicting animals, plants, and human figures.
Ta’ Hagrat – Constructed between 3200 and 3600 BCE, approximately 5200 to 5600 years ago.
Positioned in Mġarr, Ta’ Ħaġrat is a smaller but well-preserved temple complex featuring two adjacent temples built from globigerina limestone.
Skorba Temples – Estimated to have been built around 2500-3600 BCE, approximately 4500 to 5600 years ago.
Situated near Żebbiegħ, the Skorba Temples comprise two structures, showcasing some of the oldest remains on the Maltese Islands and providing insights into Malta’s Neolithic era.
These temples collectively offer invaluable insights into Malta’s prehistoric past and stand as remarkable testaments to ancient architectural prowess and spiritual beliefs.
What to do in Malta during a 3-day weekend?
If you only have three days to visit Malta, here is the itinerary we recommend. Start by delving into the history of Valletta, visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Upper Barrakka Gardens, and taste a typical dish of Maltese cuisine.
On day 2, explore the megalithic temples of Hagar Qim and the silent city of Mdina.
Finally, on the 3rd and last day, depart for the island of Gozo, discover the magnificent Ramla Bay beach and explore the island’s capital, Victoria (also called Rabat).
This three-day getaway will leave you with lasting memories of the beauty and history of Malta.
What to see in Malta in a week?
Malta being a small island, it is entirely possible to explore it in seven days. Here is a suggested itinerary for a week’s stay in Malta.
On day 1, visit the charming capital of Valletta. Stroll the cobbled lanes, visit the majestic Palace of the Grand Masters and St. John’s Co-Cathedral, and try a delicious Maltese dish at a local restaurant. The next day, go to the Three Cities of Malta, then leave for Mdina, the ancient capital of Malta, nicknamed the “Silent” for its peaceful atmosphere.
On the 3rd day, take a ferry for a day trip to the island of Gozo and discover its beautiful unspoiled beaches and the Qbajjar salt pans. The following day, explore Comino, the island with crystal clear waters, and take a boat ride to the blue grotto.
On the 5th day, return to Malta to visit the megalithic temples of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra, monumental prehistoric constructions built during the 4th and 3rd millennia BC.
On the penultimate day, explore the fishing villages of Marsaxlokk and taste fresh fish at the market. End the day with a stroll through Barrakka Gardens in Valletta.
Finally, on the 7th day, take advantage of your last day to go shopping in Valletta or sunbathe on one of Malta’s beautiful beaches.
How long does it take to visit Malta?
Ideally, you should allow a week to fully explore the treasures of Malta. However, a shorter visit of 3 to 4 days is enough to taste the essentials of this charming Mediterranean destination and to discover its main attractions.
The unmissable natural sites of Malta
In addition to historical and cultural sites, Malta is teeming with stunning natural places, which you will have the opportunity to discover during a short walk or a long hike. Among the most beautiful sites in Malta that you should definitely visit during your trip are:
– Saint Peter’s Pool
Not far from Marsaxlokk is another famous place on the island of Malta, St Peter’s Pool. To reach St Peter’s Pool from Marsaxlokk, allow 10 minutes by car. The road is well signposted and you will find 2 free car parks to park.
Nestled on Malta’s Dellimara Peninsula, St. Peter’s Pool, locally known as Il-Bajja ta Pietru, beckons with its serene beauty. This small bay, a hotspot for snorkeling enthusiasts, captivates visitors with its crystal-clear waters and a hidden gem—a small cave adorning its western edge.
St Peter’s Pool is a natural swimming pool which was slowly formed by erosion. It is located in the southwest of Malta, in a small bay on the Delimara peninsula. The place is quite popular with both locals and tourists, but if you go there during the week or at the end of the day. You can sunbathe there and take advantage of the azure water for a little swim in a magical setting. However, the road to get to Saint Peter’s Pool is not in very good condition, if you are driving, take it slowly.
However, the charm of this natural wonder comes with a caution. Recent years have seen the installation of protective measures, including fences and warning signs. These serve as a reminder of the cliffs’ erosion, cautioning visitors against potential falling debris. Despite this, St. Peter’s Pool remains a coveted destination, inviting travelers to experience its allure while respecting the safety measures put in place.
– The Dingli Cliffs
The Dingli Cliffs in Malta stand as an awe-inspiring testament to nature’s grandeur. Located on the western coast of the island, these towering cliffs offer a dramatic vista overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Rising to heights of over 250 meters (820 feet), the cliffs provide a breathtaking panoramic view that captivates visitors with its sheer beauty.
This natural wonder is a haven for nature enthusiasts and hikers, offering stunning trails along the cliff edge. As you traverse these paths, the unobstructed views of the azure waters below and the vast expanse of the horizon create an unforgettable experience. At sunset, the cliffs become a canvas for vibrant colors, casting a magical hue across the landscape.
These cliffs located away from the village of the same name are the highest point on the entire island of Malta. They rise more than 250 meters (820 feet) above sea level, and you can admire splendid sunsets there. The Dingli cliffs will be the ideal place to take a long walk by the sea, which will delight lovers of hiking and photography. Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Dingli Cliffs encapsulate the raw beauty of Malta’s coastline, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in its majestic splendor and witness the breathtaking harmony of land meeting sea.
– The Blue Grotto
This is one of the most famous natural sites in the entire archipelago. Here, you can find a group of caves which form an astonishing and magnificent landscape. The Blue Grotto is the best known of all these caverns, thanks to the very pronounced blue color that the water takes on when sunlight reflects on it. To visit this unique site, you will necessarily have to go by sea, and the easiest way will be to plan a short boat trip from the port of Wied iz-Zurrieq.
This site is so beautiful that it was used as a setting in major international productions like Troy. This area is also very popular for diving, in fact not far underwater is the ship Um El Faroud, a 10,000 ton Libyan oil tanker which was scuttled and transformed into an artificial reef after an accidental explosion.
The vista from Promenade ta’ Wied Babu in Żurrieq offers a breathtaking panoramic view cascading down to the mesmerizing Blue Grotto in Qrendi, Malta. From this vantage point, the azure waters weave through the rugged coastline, creating a captivating tapestry of natural beauty against the backdrop of the majestic cliffs. Frank Vincentz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
– Tal-Mixta Cave
You’ve probably seen this photo on social media before but maybe you didn’t know where it was located. Tal-Mixta Cave is located on the island of Gozo and offers a sublime view of the coast below, ideal for taking beautiful photos! You won’t find any signs but you can easily reach it on foot by following the directions on an online map.
Tal-Mixta Cave presents an ideal spot for those seeking solitude and breathtaking scenery. As the sea breeze whispers through the cliffs and the waves gently kiss the shore, visitors are treated to a sense of tranquility and wonder. Whether it’s admiring the endless expanse of the horizon or reveling in the natural beauty that surrounds, the view from Tal-Mixta Cave is a testament to Malta’s captivating landscapes.
The view from Tal Mixta Cave overlooking Ramla Bay in Gozo, Malta, is a breathtaking spectacle. Perched high on the cliffs, this vantage point offers a panoramic vista of one of the island’s most stunning beaches. From here, the golden sands of Ramla Bay contrast vividly against the deep blue hues of the Mediterranean Sea. Asherxyz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
– The beaches of Malta
On the two main islands of the archipelago, and on the small island of Comini which is located between the two, you can find very beautiful beaches:
On the island of Malta, you will be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a place to sunbathe. Children will particularly enjoy Mellieha Bay and Pretty Bay. If you want to practice water activities, Golden Bay will be the ideal place.
ramla bay beaches malta
In Gozo, Ramla Bay is the most popular beach. If you are looking for a little peace and quiet, you should turn to San Blas Bay, but this small, more isolated beach is also more difficult to reach.
In Comino, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most beautiful places in the archipelago. It is also an extremely touristy place, which is not ideal for swimming, but the scenery is definitely worth the detour.
You can enjoy the most beautiful beaches in Malta quite early in the year if you are not too cold. And if you don’t yet know where to go in May, it’s a time that I particularly like: much fewer people than in summer and already nice temperatures 🙂
Here is an inventory for the beaches of Malta:
- Mellieha Bay: shallow water and quite large stretch of sand, family beach
- Pretty Bay: ideal with children, equipped with playgrounds and shallow water
- Paradise Bay: close to the ferry to Gozo, very beautiful color of the water but quite touristy
- Golden Bay: large, very touristy sandy beach, possibility of doing water sports
- Ghajn Tuffieha Bay: very beautiful place, accessed by a staircase. Don’t forget to take a walk on the left side towards the rock with its astonishing shape.
- Gejna Bay: medium-sized sandy beach with a nice walk along the sea.
- Ramla Bay in Gozo, large beach of ocher sand, the family beach par excellence
- San Blas Bay in Gozo, a pretty cove which is worth a bit because you can only access it on foot. The hardest part will be getting back up!
- The Blue Lagoon and Santa Maria Bay in Comino
Where to sleep in Malta?
Hotels in Valletta
When traveling to Malta, it is a good idea to start by visiting Valletta, as the city is quite close to the airport. A good choice for the first 1-2 nights. This also allows you to save on car rental, by renting it after your visit to Valletta.
- Grand Harbor Hotel: Hotel with traditional architecture, located in the city center of Valletta, just 100 meters from the Upper Barraka Gardens. Basic double room from €90 per night or with a view of the sea and the Three Cities for €110, breakfast included. The pros: ideal location, magnificent view, roof terrace.
- Tano’s Boutique guesthouse: Hotel located in the center of Valletta, a stone’s throw from all the places to visit. Spacious and bright double room from €115 per night. The advantages: the central location, the calm, the roof terrace for breakfast. The best price/performance ratio in the city!
- Grand Hôtel Excelsior: 5* hotel located by the sea, the view is truly sublime! Very nice rooms from 170€ per night. The best: The swimming pool, the jacuzzi, the free parking, the excellent breakfast, the view, the service, and many other things that will make your stay truly exceptional! Our big favorite in Valletta.
- Hotel Phenicia Malta: 5* Luxury hotel located on City Gate Square. Spacious, bright and tastefully decorated double room from €349, breakfast at €17. The plus points: the infinity pool with a view of the port, the huge garden, the location and free private parking. This is quite simply the best hotel in Valletta.
The town of Mellieha, located on top of a hill, is an excellent choice for accommodation and visiting the north of the island (Mdina, Rabat, the beaches of Gnejna, Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bay, the red tower, Popeye Village etc. + getaway to Comino). Allow 2-3 nights.
The ferry also departs from the north of the island to the island of Gozo, the next stop!
- Pergola Hotel & Spa: Located in Mellieha, views of the bay, church and village, Gozo and Comino. Studio with equipped kitchenette from 80€, breakfast at 8€. The pluses: the possibility of cooking, the view, excellent service, the 3 swimming pools.
- Solana Hotel & Spa: Located 10 minutes walk from the beach. Modern, air-conditioned double room from €90, breakfast at €7.95. The best: the swimming pool on the roof terrace, the Spa, the very welcoming staff.
The Mellieha Church in Malta is a stunning sight at night. Illuminated against the dark sky, its grand façade and towering steeple create a captivating silhouette. The lights accentuate the intricate architectural details, casting a serene glow that contrasts beautifully with the surrounding darkness. This nighttime spectacle offers a different perspective, highlighting the church’s grandeur and adding a touch of majesty to the Mellieha skyline. Malcolm grima83, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
- Riviera Hotel & Spa: Located on the seafront, in Marfa Bay. Spacious and bright double room with balcony from €100, breakfast included. The plus points: the 2 outdoor swimming pools, the Spa, the view, the calm. It’s our favorite for its performance/price ratio.
- Maritim Antonine Hotel & spa: Located in the town of Mellieha, 1 km from a large sandy beach. Huge and elegant double room from €140 per night, breakfast included. The advantages: rooftop swimming pool on the 9th floor offering a panoramic view over the entire bay, heated swimming pool and jacuzzi, varied and copious buffet, proximity to bus stops to go to Valletta or the beach. Without a doubt one of the best choices for sleeping in the North of Malta.
- Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Malta Golden Sands: Located in Golden Bay, a 2-minute walk from a pretty beach. Large double room with balcony and view of the sea or countryside from €150 per night, breakfast at €20. The advantages: access to the beach, the view, the delicious breakfast, in summer the price includes the provision of deckchairs and parasols on the private beach. This is our recommendation for a luxury stay in Mellieha.
Island of Gozo
The island is rather small, and the best thing is to take a bed and breakfast in Victoria (best if you don’t have a car), Qala or Nadur for example. We recommend that you avoid the towns of Xlendi and Marsalforn, concrete seaside resorts which are really very ugly.
There are some truly sublime places on the island of Gozo! We recommend 2-3 nights.
- Guesthouse Bambina: Guesthouse located in Xaghra, 10 minutes walk from the beach. Double room with modern and zen decoration from 40€. The pros: superb house with swimming pool and a magnificent view of Gozo, warm welcome, access to the beach on foot, and the almost unbeatable price. Our choice for its excellent performance/price ratio!
- Casa Gemelli Boutique Guesthouse: Boutique hotel located in Victoria, the main town of Gozo. Fully renovated double room with decoration mixing traditional and modern from 70€, breakfast included. The pros: location in Victoria allowing you to take all the buses, the homemade breakfast, the friendliness and valuable advice of the staff.
- The Duke Boutique Hostel: Establishment located in the center of Victoria. Huge and comfortable double room from €86 per night, breakfast included. The pros: location, great bed, the view from the roof terrace, the varied and copious breakfast, the availability of the staff, some rooms with jacuzzi on the terrace.
- Kempiski Hotel San Lawrenz: Luxury hotel located in San Lawrenz, close to the Inland Sea and the Ta’Pinu basilica. Spacious and modern double room with balcony from €116 per night, breakfast extra at €25. The best: the magnificent view, huge swimming pools, indoor swimming pool, free parking, exceptional breakfast, the spa. This is quite simply the best hotel in Gozo.