With a Mediterranean climate, rich history, plenty of activities and excursions and on average more than 300 sunny days a year, it’s understandable why Malta is such a popular all-inclusive holiday destination. In this guide, we’ll give you an idea of what Malta has to offer, as well as some suggestions for the many excursions available.
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Malta is famed for its sunny weather, and in the summer months, you can really feel the benefit of the favourable Mediterranean climate. Average high temperatures go up to around the 30°C mark from June to September, but if that seems a bit warm to you, then you might want to consider travelling in the winter months when average highs of 16°C and above can be experienced.
Please note that these temperatures are average highs for Malta and were correct at the time of writing.
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Malta is quite a popular holiday destination, and the cuisine available at the many all-inclusive hotels reflects this. Expect to find a selection of delicacies from Oriental, Asian, European, American and even African cuisines available, alongside international dishes.
Many all-inclusive hotels on the island cater to children of all ages, with some offering dedicated buffets and dining areas, and others simply featuring a children’s menu or section. If you prefer to keep things a little quieter, you should be able to find a hotel that offers adults-only dining.
If you’re fortunate enough to be offered local cuisine, you might be surprised to find that there’s an international influence to each of these dishes too. This is because Malta has been occupied by Italian, French, African and British invading forces at different periods of time, with the following being considered traditional local specialities:
Soppa tal-armla, or the widow’s soup, is a traditional home cooked broth that contains a mixture of vegetables and intended to be slow cooked for much of the day before being served.
Timpana is quite a heavy dish, consisting of macaroni encased in a pastry pie; making it great for those who have a big appetite, but not so good for those who want to watch their figure.
Seafood is another popular staple of traditional Malta cuisine, with lampuka, a fish native to the area, finding its way into a number of different dishes.
Fenkata is a rabbit stew with origins dating back to the Middle Ages. Depending on how true to the origins of this dish your chef is being, Fenkata can be served in two sittings; one consisting of spaghetti and a rabbit ragu, and the second the actual rabbit meat itself alongside fries and vegetables.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, keep an eye open for pudina tal-ħobż, or bread pudding, gagħaq tal-għasel, which is a ring of treacle or honey, kwareżimal biscuits, as well as kannoli which is a ricotta-filled cornet.
With such a pleasant Mediterranean climate, many of the hotels in Malta feature at least one swimming pool as their main attraction, from adults-only pools designed to relax and cool off in, to child-friendly affairs that allow younger holidaymakers to let off some steam.
Being an island surrounded by the often stunning Mediterranean Sea, it’s no surprise that many of the all-inclusive hotels here feature access to a range of water sports, including snorkelling and scuba, as well as motorised and non-motorised aquatic activities.
If you prefer to stay dry, many of the all-inclusive hotel’s have facilities for sports such as tennis, football, volleyball and more, as well as less active games such as table tennis, darts, pool, and other games rooms activities.
If you want to take a break from keeping the kids entertained, check to see if your all-inclusive hotel offers a kids club before you book. Not all hotels offer this facility, but those that do usually include a variety of games and events that are suitable for children of all ages.
Evening entertainment can be somewhat mixed, with some hotels offering a full evening entertainment programme and others putting on more low key shows. There’s a lot to see around Malta, with plenty of exciting bars and clubs, so whether you want to stay close to the hotel or go exploring at night; you should be able to find something that’s right for you.
Although Malta is not known for having miles of stunning coastline, there are still excellent beaches that offer something for everyone, from sun worshipers to families, and even surfers who want to make the most of the waves. In fact, in the winter, most of the beaches transform into surfer hangouts.
Most of the all-inclusive resorts are situated directly on the beach, however, there is a few that are located a little further inland, but as Malta isn’t a particularly large island, whichever hotel you choose, you won’t be far from the beach. Some of the beaches worth checking out include the Golden Bay, Għajn Tuffieha, Saint Thomas Bay and Saint Peter’s Pool.
Who Goes There?
One of Malta’s main sources of income is tourism, and this is evident from the approximately 1.6 million visitors that they receive each year, an amount of people that is around 3 times the number of people who actually live there.
It’s known to divide opinion among holidaymakers, with some people saying that it is their go-to place for a guaranteed good time, returning year after year, and other tourists saying that they weren’t particularly impressed.
While Malta gained independence in the 60s, the influence of the relatively recent British rule is still evident, and although the British aren’t the only nationality to visit, we probably make up the greatest number of visitors, alongside other European holidaymakers.
Malta doesn’t have a rail network, and perhaps as a result of this, it does have an extensive bus network that runs throughout the island. It’s important to be aware that as with the UK, the buses aren’t known for sticking to their advertised schedules. They also don’t run past 11 pm, but if you aren’t in a hurry, they’re worth considering, and the ‘hop-on-hop-off’ open top bus is often highly recommended by tourists.
If you do need to get a taxi, keep in mind that the white ones are the only taxis who can legally pick you up from the street, and while they are metered, some of the drivers are known to ignore the meter and just charge an arbitrary price. It shouldn’t cost you much more than €15 for a short journey, with longer journeys across the island costing closer to €35.
If you want to see the island from a different perspective, it’s worth asking a taxi driver, as some do offer unique tours of the island, taking in the sights that you might not see on an excursion.
Malta has a lot offer beyond fun in the sea and relaxing on the beach or by the pool. There’s plenty to explore at the various towns and villages throughout this Mediterranean island, but if you’re looking for something a bit more specific, then one of the following excursions might be right for you:
Great for families and big kids
Be quick to the finish at the Popeye Village – Located in Mellieħa, the Popeye Village is quite an experience for those who grew up with the antics of one of the world’s most famous sailors, as well as those who are curious about the spinach-loving sailor man. The Popeye Village was built as a set for the 1980s Popeye film and be great fun for the whole family.
Make a splash at the Splash and Fun Water Park – A great day out for children and adults alike; the Splash and Fun Water Park in Naxxar has a wide variety of water slides, rides and swimming pools, as well as restaurants offering refreshments throughout the day.
Check out the dolphin show at Mediterraneo Marine Park – Located in Naxxar, Mediterraneo Marine Park is the only marine park on the island, providing an opportunity for the whole family to learn about marine life while having fun, and there’s also an opportunity to swim with dolphins.
Great for adults and teenagers
Check out the Malta Jazz Festival – The Malta Jazz Festival is usually held in July and attracts some of the greatest jazz musicians from around the world in a 3-day celebration of one of the most varied genres of music.
Get lost in ancient history at Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra – If you have an interest in historic civilisations, then visiting the megalithic temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra could be the ideal excursion for you. Situated on the cliff in the south-west of Malta, these temples are believed to have been built around 3600 BC, making them older than the pyramids.
Go sightseeing at the Blue Grotto – The Blue Grotto is made up of 7 caves in the south of the island, and with dazzlingly deep blue waters and spectacular natural rock formations; it’s understandable why this excursion is so popular. There are many ways to visit the Blue Grotto, but the most traditional way is by boat.
Experience the miracle church of Mosta – Malta is home to a surprisingly large amount of churches considering how small its population is, but the miracle church of Mosta, also known as the Rotunda of Mosta, is considered to be the 3rd largest dome church in Europe and the 9th largest in the world.
Explore St. Paul’s catacombs – Essentially a Christian burial chamber that existed during the Roman occupation of Malta; St. Paul’s catacombs provide a fascinating look into the history of the island by providing visitors with an insight into its architectural and artistic identity.
Indulge at the Marsovin, Delicata and Qormi summer wine festivals – Whether you can tell a Pinot Noir from a Merlot or if you just enjoy good wine, these wine festivals are open to all and good times are encouraged. The dates of the festivals can change, so if you really want to go it’s advisable to check before booking, but in 2016 the Marsovin Summer Wine Festival was held in July, the Delicata Classic Wine Festival was held in August and the Qormi Wine Festival was held in September.
*Details correct as of April 2017, however, errors can occur, deals can expire and facilities can change. Please treat this information as a rough guideline. If you notice an obvious error or a better price, let us know and we’ll update this page.