Earlier this year, one of Malta’s most famous landmarks – Azure Window – has collapsed into the sea after a heavy storm. It’s not there anymore, and we will never ever get to see this beautiful limestone natural arch now. But none the less, we’ve packed our bags and booked tickets to this little group of islands last month.
With over 7,000 years history, the tiny island of Malta is jam packed with natural wonders, historic sights to explore and exciting things to do. Being just a few hours flight away from the UK, this sunny Mediterranean island makes it a perfect long weekend escape.
To make things easy for you we have a few suggestions on places to visit and what to eat and drink. So, if you only have a long weekend to spare, we’ve got it covered.
What to know:
- The currency is the Euro, and cash is more widely accepted.
- Maltese and English are the official languages. Virtually everyone can speak English.
- Almost all of the street signs are in Maltese, bubt most shops and businesses use the English version in advertising.
- All road signs are in English. And the Maltese drive on the left side of the road too!
- There are 300 days of summer, making it an ideal long weekend destination all-year round.
- The Maltese are devout Catholics. Dress suitably when entering a church, and behave respectfully.
- Topless sunbathing is prohibited on public beaches, but tolerated on private ones.
- The best way to get around Malta is by public transport. However some buses don’t run very often. Make sure you check the google maps when planning your journey. There are schedules listed on every stop.
When to go:
Malta’s high season runs from late June to September. If you can, avoid the crowds and heat of July and August; in September and June the islands are less crowded and still pretty warm.
How to get there:
Malta is less than 3 hours away from many British airports. There’s only 1 international airport in Malta where all the flights arrive – which is no more than 45 minutes car or taxi ride away from anywhere on the main island
Where to Stay in Malta:
Seashells Resort | Set on St Paul’s Bay in Qawra, this seafront resort overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. Both stylish and comfortable, the hotel has a lovely spa, fine dining and gorgeous beachfront views.
Where to Eat in Malta
Cheeky Monkey Gastropub | Lovely venue just across the road from Seashells resort; great food, quality beer cocktails and a fun atmosphere!
San Giuliano Restaurant | Overlooking Spinola Bay, this fine dining restaurant has a team of expert Italian chefs offering various dishes including pasta specialities and fresh fish.
Caffe Cordina | When in Valletta, have a break at Caffe Cordina (244 Republic Street) located in an old palazzo. Enjoy the views and cool down with an ice-cream or a lovely cocktail. If you’re hungry, do as the Maltese do and order a pastizz, a traditional pasty filled with cheese or peas; they are usually small, but not at Cordina.
Xpresso Café & Bistro | For lunch with panoramic views stretching all the way to Mosta, pop into the lovely Xpresso Cafe & Bistro.
Avenue | Located in Paceville, this is probably the longest restaurant we’ve ever been to. Try their Gondola pizza, it’s very good.
Fontanella Cafe | Try some of the delectable sweets at Fontanella Cafe, in Mdina, and enjoy the views over a big part of Malta from atop the hill.
What to Do in Malta
Start with exploring the capital city – Valletta| Go to the capital city, Valletta (a World Heritage Site). See St. John’s Co-Cathedral, explore the streets, and take in the views over the Three Cities from the Upper Barakka Gardens. St John’s Cathedral was built between 1573 and 1578, and is undoubtedly Malta’s most striking church with baroque interiors.
While in Valletta, enjoy the two great viewpoints: the Lower Barakka Gardens and the Upper Barrakka Gardens. The most stunning and, of course the most visited, is the Upper Barrakka Gardens. From here enjoy the views overlooking the stunning Three Cities across the water.
Visit Mdina |Settled by the Knights, this walled city has expansive views over the island, offering a lovely village to explore by foot. is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Malta. Inhale the quietness as you explore the narrow backstreets of this ‘silent city’.
Take a boat trip to Gozo, Comino and Blue Lagoon | If you’re only there for a long weekend, it’s definitely worth to squeeze in Gozo, Comino and Blue Lagoon into one day by taking a boat trip. We’d highly recommend Hornblower Cruises. From the hotel pick up to cave sightseeing to Blue Lagoon dipping, It was a fantastic day and we’ve enjoyed every minute.
See where they filmed the original Popeye movie, and take a dip in Anchor Bay |Popeye Village is a another great spot to visit. This is where the actual 1980’s Popeye movie was filmed! Make sure you take the bikini and goggles when going there, as there is a gorgeous swimming spot – Anchor Bay just nearby where you can relax, swim and snorkel.
Take a stroll along Spinola Bay | Everyone visiting Malta should go by the Spinola Bay, it is great to have a walk or sit down on a bench and enjoy the view. There are plenty of restaurants and bars nearby where you can have a bite to eat while absorbing the view.
Where to go out:
Paceville, St Julian’s | This area is the main hub of the nightlife – here you’ll find plenty of bars and clubs.
The Ordnance Pub | |True Brit-pub atmosphere to be enjoyed in the heart of this Mediterranean capital; there’s games on a large screen, beer on tap and good pub food too.
For more tips and information on Malta’s nightlife, visit maltauncovered.com