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Malta



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Popular Malta Vacation Itineraries

Although we can arrange a trip solely focused on Malta, it is usually combined with some time exploring neighboring Sicily.

Where to go in Malta

Malta Tours & Vacation Packages

This tiny island nation (population 300,000) might seem insignificant, but it has been in the middle of the action of several pivotal international conflicts. Located to the south of Sicily and a short hop by plane from Catania, it shares much of the same history as its much larger cousin, but with a few key differences.

The Fortress Island

Malta’s strategic location in the Mediterranean between Italy and Africa makes it an ideal fortress island, and when you first see Valletta’s mighty bastions you’ll see just what that means. After being routed from Rhodes by the Ottomans, the Knights of St John were given the island of Malta by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The Knights built up the defenses and when the Ottomans came calling, with a massive naval fleet and many troops, they managed to repel them. It is this feat that earned Malta praise as the defender of Christendom.

The Knights' power waned in the late 1790s and Napoleon took the island through betrayal. But French rule wasn’t something the Maltese people enjoyed and they asked the British, at war with France at the time, to rid them of the French. In 1800 Malta became a protectorate of Britain and remained that way until an independence referendum in 1964. During that time Malta was the launchpad for a turning point of WWII, the invasion of Sicily, and subsequently Italy. The British navy finally set sail back home in 1979, and the island had to turn to other means of financial support.

English is spoken everywhere

Malta’s economy these days is a combination of tourism, financial services, and online gaming. An expat-friendly environment (everything’s in both English and Maltese) has swelled the island’s population. Visitors from the UK will feel especially at home: red phone boxes and post boxes and a plethora of British high street stores are a reminder of the countries' close relationship.

Surprising cuisine

Maltese cuisine might come as a pleasant surprise. It’s a culmination of the fish, meat, vegetables, and spices available locally and things brought by the island’s various occupiers. Unlike monocultural Sicily, there’s a big appetite for foreign food too, so you definitely won't be bored.

Don't miss out on Gozo

The country of Malta is actually made up of two islands, Malta and Gozo. Ask any Maltese and they’ll tell you "Gozo is where you go to unwind." Tiny Gozo is more rural than Malta, the western coast of which is lined with towns and cities. The main town of Gozo is Vittorija or Rabat (you’ll have to get used to the fact that places have two, or sometimes three names here). A thirty minute car ferry connects the islands so it’s a very easy day trip.

Malta is easy to get around

Back on Malta, the capital Valletta is situated on a fortified peninsula just 630 meters wide and 900 meters long. In most other countries the neighboring areas of Sliema and St. Julian’s would simply be suburbs of the capital but here they have their own identities. Each has its merits as a place to stay and for this reason, we’ve picked out hotels in each of them for you to use as a base. During the trip planning process we’ll work with you to pick the right option for you. Moving between them is easy, with inexpensive public transport and ferries.

Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Malta

When is the best time to visit Malta?
The best time to visit Malta would be in Spring or Summer. August is usually quite busy, as it's a popular destination for people from all over Europe who take their vacations in August, therefore, we usually suggest May or September, when the weather is still warm and you can easily walk around everywhere and enjoy some relaxation by the beach.
How many UNESCO World Heritage Sites does Malta have?
The Maltese Islands have three sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

These are the City of Valletta, the Megalithic Temples and the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum.

In all, seven megalithic temples are found on the islands of Malta and Gozo, each the result of an individual development. The two temples of Ġgantija on the island of Gozo are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures. The Ġgantija Temples are the oldest, free-standing monuments in the world and are a testament to the Island's inhabitation for at least 1,000 years before the famous Egyptian pyramids of Giza were constructed.

On the island of Malta, the temples of Ħaġar QimMnajdra and Tarxien are unique architectural masterpieces, given the limited resources available to their builders. The Ta' Ħagrat and Skorba complexes show how the tradition of temple-building was handed down in Malta. These temples were inscribed on the World Heritage List as a group and represent a unique architectural tradition that flourished on the Maltese Islands between 3600 and 2500 B.C.

The Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum is a rock-cut underground complex that was used both as a sanctuary as well as for burial purposes by the temple builders. It was discovered during construction works in 1902. The three underground levels date from around 3600 to 2400 B.C. The monument is considered one of the essential prehistoric monuments in the world.

How many days do I need to see Malta?
We recommend a stay of around 4 nights, to enjoy the capital, Valletta, and some of the islands, so that you will have enough time to soak in the culture and history of Malta and also enjoy some relaxation time by the beach, take some boat tours or cooking classes and explore the smaller islands around.
Are there direct flights to Malta from the US?
Yes. Valletta has an international airport with connections from and to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington and Boston.
What should I pack for a trip to Malta?
If travelling in Spring or Summer, the weather is usually quite warm, therefore we suggest to pack light clothes, comfortable shoes as you will walk around a lot. If you are planning to take boat tours or to go to the beach, we recommend to bring your own swimming suits, towels and flip flops.
Even though it's quite warm, being an island, it can get quite windy, specially in the evenings, so remember to bring a light jacket or a scarf. In Winter, weather is usually mild but temperatures can drop in the evening and at night, so it's always suggested to bring winter jackets and clothes.
What are the beaches like in Malta?
Being an island, Malta is surrounded by the sea.
Malta has beaches for everyone, from windsurfers to sunbathers. Choose from golden sand, red sand, rocks, blue lagoons and even inland seas. Some beaches and rocky shores are off the beaten track, but worth seeking out for their seclusion. Do not miss a boat trip to Comino's Blue Lagoon for the ultimate in azure water.
What is Malta cuisine like?
Traditional Maltese food is rustic and based on the seasons. Look out for Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Rabbit Stew, Bragioli (beef olives), Kapunata, (Maltese version of ratatouille), and widow's soup, which includes a small round of Gbejniet (sheep or goat's cheese).
In Valletta you can find a huge variety of different cuisines from all over the world (such as Italian, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Mexican, Thai and so on).
What is public transportation like in Malta?
The public bus service on Malta and Gozo is a good way to get around as buses serve the major tourist areas, go practically everywhere and are inexpensive and efficient.
The white taxi service can pick up passengers from anywhere, except bus-stops. Taxi services from the Malta International Airport and the Seaport Terminal to all localities in Malta are based on a fixed tariff.

A regular ferry service links Malta to Gozo, taking about 20 minutes each way.

There are also regular boat services between each island and Comino.

A water taxi service using traditional Maltese 'dghajsa' boats is also available in Grand Harbour.

Is Malta safe?
Generally, Malta is very safe to visit. It is among the safest countries in the EU to travel to, but it has its dangers. Use your common sense and keep your valuables closely by your side, since the most common type of crime is petty theft.
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