13 Reasons to take a Malta minibreak holiday

Malta

Valletta, Malta

For the perfect mini break, Malta is somewhere you should add to your 2017 bucket list.

Valletta, Malta is itself a UNESCO site and is the European Capital of Culture, 2018. So, there are lots of reasons to take a Malta Minibreak holiday on this Mediterranean gem.

The Malta minibreak.

Malta is somewhere that I’ve had on my radar for a while now. In fact, it was actually somewhere I had as a contender for if we moved abroad.

Why?

Even though I’d never been, I’d heard so many great things from people of all ages and I was intrigued.

Malta

The fact that English is spoken makes it a great place to emigrate and to visit.

I’ve been. I loved it. So, I’m going to tell you why all these reasons mean you should have a Malta minibreak or holiday on your bucket list.

  • The weather
  • The location
  • The food and drink
  • The shopping
  • The cost
  • The getting around
  • The hotels and accommodation
  • The  festivals
  • The European capital of culture 2018
  • The Game of Thrones film sets
  • The People

Malta Weather

As Malta is located near the coast of North Africa and is neighbours with Sicily, it is the perfect location for mild to hot weather all year round, but you can check when  are the best times to visit where in Malta here before you go.

We went in March and temperatures were around 20 degrees. Admittedly, the locals were wrapped up in hats and scarves because, apparently, that was cold for them!

We, however, enjoyed prancing about without tights (we obviously had other clothes on) and with light jackets. There was a pretty bracing wind at times and the temperatures do drop at night time, so it’s not the time really for skimpy tops.

Mdina, Malta

Malta Location

Again, location makes Malta pretty easy to get to. Especially if you’re coming from Europe! We’re talking mini breaks here, but if you were staying for longer, you can always hop on a boat trip over to Sicily which is 1.5 hours away by catamaran.

The flight times to Malta from London are around 3.5hrs. I actually flew from Leeds and Michele from London, but our flights left and landed within 30 minutes of each other (both ways), so that was perfect for us. 

Malta Food & Drink

I already wrote a post on the best places to eat and drink in Malta and there are some vegetarian and vegan suggestions in there too. So, be sure to check that out.

But, in short, if you love fresh food with a Mediterranean influence, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Malta’s location again means you can’t much fresher than locally caught that day fish, like what I had in Giovanni.

5 best places to eat and drink in Malta, including Giannini, Valetta. www.kittyandb.com

Eating out and traditional Maltese food

Eating out is really reasonable and enough to satisfy every type of diet. You must try the traditional pea cakes or pastizzi and also the local honey. The name Malta amongst other suggestions, has its roots in the Greek for honey, because of the abundance of it. Honey is one of Malta’s traditions and treasures, so you’d be rude not to try it!

Malta also produces wine and we found some absolute belters, so if it’s wine you want, it’s a lot of wine you’ll get! You can take wine tours or head to the Malta Wine Festival in August

Malta Shopping

The shops in Valetta are great. I even stumbled on M&S and you know I love myself a bit (a lot) of M&S! Unfortunately, the prices there were higher than England, so no bargains for me! 

The shops are set in the beautiful backdrop of meandering old streets and historical buildings, so it’s culture on so many levels! Alongside the modern and familiar shops, are traditional Maltese artisanal shops selling things like jewellery and you can find some really well priced, well, gems!

Look out for some filigree silver jewellery, made the traditional way!

Mdina, Malta

Malta Prices

Malta uses the Euro and it’s a pretty affordable place to be! Economically-speaking, Malta does well for itself. Prices are definitely lower than some other similar European destinations. But, of course, you can really choose to spend as much or as little as you want. We splurged on things like going out for a slap up meal at Giannini. But, if I went during the summer, we’d definitely spend some cash on some water sports. 

Malta Watersports

Speaking of which, something we didn’t do, but I’d like to try is some of the outdoor activities and particularly, the watersports and diving. The clear, calm waters around the Islands and the reef, wrecks, and sea life, make Malta a top diving destination.

There are lots of clean, sandy beaches to visit in Malta. One of the biggest draws is the Blue Lagoon, with its picture perfect clear waters, where there are #nofilters needed!

Mdina, Malta

Getting around Malta

Malta is a relatively small island (316 km2) and so nowhere is particularly far away. We stayed in Attard and nothing we did was more than a 15 minute car ride away.

Speaking of cars, be warned, everyone drives in Malta, so traffic can be pretty bad. The buses are plentiful – and generally busy and hot in our experience! But, they are really cheap and a good cost-effective way to travel.

Taxis are easy to come by and we used them a lot. If you really want to travel in style you could always take a horse-drawn cart ride or even take a classic car trip and enjoy the coastline.

If you’re travelling to Malta with a disability, you can check accessibility options here.

 

 

The Corinthia Palace and Spa Hotel, Malta

Where to stay in Malta

There are loads of places to stay. We always like a bit of glamour and luxe and so we chose the Corinthia Palace and Spa Hotel. It’s a 5* hotel in San Anton, which is part of the Corinthia chain and one of 2 in Malta. It was about 15 minutes from the airport and close to the major attractions.

It’s a classically styled hotel and the historical jewel in Malta’s hospitality crown. If you like uber modern, it won’t be for you. But, if you want some character and to be treated like royalty, it’s definitely for you!

The staff are proud and passionate to work there and that really makes the experience special. I think there are still offers available from the website we booked with – my secret for luxe travel for less!

I also know there are a lot of apartment rentals in Malta, and I love that as a self-catering home from home.

Malta Music Festivals

We didn’t get a chance to go to a festival, but Malta is firmly establishing itself as a festival front runner. Malta hosts huge festivals like the MTV Isle of Malta Festival and Annie Mac’s the Lost and Found Festival, with all night raves, boat parties, castle raves (!) and beach parties. For more sedate, traditional festivals, there are loads more.

In 2018 there’s the Malta International Music Festival, for which pianists will play to enter during September 2017.

The Malta annual festivals calendar includes: Carnival, Jazz and Rock Festival, Beer Festival, Arts Festivals, Rolex Sea Race and loads more here.

European Capital of Culture 2018

In 2018, Valletta will be the European Capital of Culture and it’s not hard to see why. It is itself one of the 3 UNESCO sites in Malta. If you like churches, you will be spoilt for choice as I’m pretty sure Malta has more churches than people!

There really is something for everyone: Arts, history, tradition, sports, music, take your pick!

Whilst in Valletta, don’t forget to take in some of  Malta’s best panoramic views from the Barrakka Gardens, or wander into some of the amazing bars and food stops along Strait Street, which is enjoying a real renaissance after it’s not so illustrious past.

Island hopping and Game of Thrones film sets

Beyond Valletta, another must see is Mdina, the 1000bc Arabic walled city known as the Silent City. And home to the first season of Game of Thrones (did you see my post located there?).

But, that’s not all, there are other film spots to check out like Popeye Village, which has gone beyond more than the set for the 1980s film with family-friendly activities and it’s even a wedding venue

Malta is an archipelago, so you can also visit the islands of Comino and Gozo.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it there, but they’re on our list for next time!

Another Game of Thrones location and former home to the iconic Azure Window. It literally blew away the day we arrived.

It wasn’t me!

There’s an alternative to Azure Window, the Wied il-mielah window on Gozo, if you really want to get your fill of these types of geological wonders. 

The entrance to Mdina, and Game of Thrones location.

The stunning history and UNESCO sites.

If that doesn’t give your fill, there are also 2 other UNESCO sites: Hal Saflieni Hypogeum and the 7 Megalithic Temples, which are apparently some of the oldest free-standing structures on the planet!

There are just so many attractions to visit and experience in Malta, you’ll find it hard to narrow it down.  To name a few, there’s the 16th century Grand Master’s Palace or the Ghar Dalam Cave, which is a bountiful archaeological site, not far from Valletta.

The Maltese People

The Maltese people are very warm and welcoming and very laid back in that typical Mediterranean style. Malta has a colourful history, with lots of influences which you can see everywhere. The official languages are Maltese and English, which means you can practice that Maltese, but if you get really stuck, you’ll probably be ok to revert to English.

All in all, Malta is a great place to visit, whatever type of minibreak or holiday you’re looking for. There’s something for everyone and that’s why I’ll definitely be back!

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Summary

15 Comments

  1. July 4, 2017 / 3:55 pm
    I went to Malta last Easter and the weather was lovely, I wish I'd had a chance to go over to Sicily though as this would have been a great day out x
    • July 4, 2017 / 7:06 pm
      Oh, lovely! We didn't go to Sicily this time, but I'd certainly do it on the next trip. I've been to Sicily before and it's gorgeous. Worth the boat trip, even though I suffer terribly with sea sickness! Haha x
  2. July 4, 2017 / 6:54 pm
    I've seen a lot about Malta recently. I've never considered visiting before, but it looks so beautiful. I'm going to need to add t to our ever growing bucket list.
    • July 4, 2017 / 7:08 pm
      It seems to have crept up on me, too! Definitely one to add to the list, I couldn't recommend it highly enough. x
  3. July 5, 2017 / 7:12 am
    My parents took us to Malta for their silver wedding anniversary, instead of wasting money on a party they didn't want. It was a while ago, but I remember I really liked it. Jenni recently posted...June SnapshotsMy Profile
  4. July 5, 2017 / 4:00 pm
    I've never been to Malta and was put off after my mother-in-law came back complaining about how dirty it was, how expensive it was and how she was never going again. Well, you're post has made me think twice! I guess it always pays to get a second opinion!
  5. July 5, 2017 / 4:10 pm
    I have been to Malta last autumn and loved every bit of it. It was an unexpected holiday, because I initially booked Luxembourg but the airport there closed so I got offered a free flight anywhere else in Europe. I fell in love with Malta, especially with Mdina and its quiet streets.
  6. July 5, 2017 / 5:03 pm
    We have never been to Malta but I've heard great things about it! It looks like a gorgeous island, your photos are stunning!
  7. July 5, 2017 / 6:51 pm
    I've always dreamt of visiting Malta and even more so now having read your post! Looks devine x
  8. July 5, 2017 / 7:51 pm
    Malta food is amazing and I love the white building in there! We stayed only for 3 nights and was never enough! Kids had great time really
  9. July 5, 2017 / 8:21 pm
    Your photos are lovely and really inspiring. We went years ago and I'm not too sure about returning but you may well have changed my mind
  10. July 6, 2017 / 12:05 am
    It looks like a good place to visit for a weekend! It's now on my holiday wish list, thanks for sharing!

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