Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Where to go in Malta

A bit about Malta

A little mid-Mediterranean nation half-way between northern Africa and Sicily, Malta's scenic coasts, warm climate and rich heritage are the main draw for tourists. Along with its sister-islands of Comino and Gozo, Malta is blessed with clear waters the colour of lapis lazuli and dramatically beautiful shores speckled with rocky inlets, caves, lagoons and golden beaches.

The island has an excellent tourism infrastructure making it easy to get around, go sightseeing and find fun things to do from trekking in protected areas to visiting theme parks. The lion's share of Malta's resorts and hotels are clustered around the north of the island close to gorgeous beaches, fantastic facilities and a bevy of places to eat, drink and be merry.

The island is a heavenly destination for a beach escape, but its crystalline seas also make it particularly popular for divers, snorkelers and swimmers, with legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau naming the archipelago amongst his top dive sites. There are plenty of well-equipped dive centres dotted around the island, and you can find the most awe-inspiring diving off the shores of Gozo and Comino just a short ferry ride away.

Travellers who enjoy sightseeing and discovering history and heritage are in for a real treat in Malta, where the past is deep, rich and fascinating, and still very much evident. From the amazing antiquity of its Neolithic temples to the grandiose splendour of Valletta, the island has plenty of man-made marvels. With more than 320 heritage monuments, the honey-hued capital city built by the Knights of St John is simply not to be missed and will become European Capital of Culture in 2018.

Beach holidays

Sliema, St Julian's and Paceville

Malta's liveliest corner has a clutch of tourist resorts that merge into one another. Rocky shores washed by inviting ultramarine water and little harbours bobbing with boats are linked by a seafront promenade, with the closest beach to St Julian's, Sliema and Paceville being the pale swish of sand at St George's Bay. On the whole, the area has the greatest variety of places to dine and drink in Malta from high-end seafront restaurants to fast food outlets, and it's also well-known for its nightlife and entertainment that includes bars, clubs, a bowling alley and cinema.

Starting life as a quaint fishing village, St Julian's has transformed into a buzzing tourist district with smart hotels and holiday apartments. Dining and relaxing in the elegant restaurants and bars around St Julian's Bay, with twinkling lights dancing on the water, is the perfect way to end a day. The little luxurious Juliani boutique hotel is one of the most pleasant places to stay in the area with a cafe, room service, a rooftop pool and serene interiors.

Neighbouring Paceville is the place to go if you want to party, with countless bars and clubs bouncing to life come nightfall. Nearby Sliema is quieter and more refined with neat residences lining the rocky shore. The five-star Le Meridien hotel, perched above Balluta Bay and harbour, is one of the nicest in the area and it's only a short walk from Sliema's seafront promenade. Its style is more smart boutique than sprawling resort but it does have four restaurants, a spa and a peaceful rooftop pool.

A more family-friendly option is the Westin Dragonara Resort hotel situated between St Julian's and the sandy beach at St George's Bay. It has four restaurants, a spa and a beach club on the rocky shore offering watersports, sunloungers and refreshments and there's even a casino housed in a huge neoclassical villa that used to belong to the Marquis of Malta. The hotel is ideal if you want a peaceful location that's still close to the buzz of Paceville. To stay right on the beach, there is an Intercontinental hotel perched at one end of St George's Bay with part of the sand reserved for guests.

Bugibba, Qawra and St Paul's Bay

Nestled on a headland between two deeply inset bays in northern Malta, the two resorts of Bugibba and Qawra are right beside one another and form the largest tourist area on the island, while the relaxing and peaceful resort of St Paul's Bay is just next door. The pleasant tourist town of Bugibba has a wide seafront walkway along the rocky shore that's lined with restaurants, cafes and bars. Equally, Qawra's pretty landscaped promenade skirts the shore and features Malta's shiny National Aquarium, which adds to the area's appeal to families.

Nearby, St Paul's Bay is a great location for a serene break in the sun, swimming in the deep water from the rocks and cliffs and gazing out at St Paul's island opposite. St Paul's Bay has held on to much of its traditional fishing village charm, and the low-key San Pawl Hotel in Back Tail Street is a good budget base in the area.

Built around landscaped grounds sloping down to the sea, the four-star Dolmen Resort Hotel is a centrally located accommodation option in Qawra for travellers who like large resorts with lots of facilities. There's a spa, four pools, a private beach offering watersports and a dive centre, tennis, a casino, several eateries and a piano bar. Seashells Resort at Suncrest is a decent mid-range family option on the seashore overlooking Qawra Bay with two pools and water slide that's popular with children.

Mellieha and Golden Bay

Malta's northern peninsula is indented with sandy beaches that include the island's longest ribbon of sand at Mellieha (Ghadira) Bay and the most scenic beach at Golden Bay, both on the western side. Needless to say it's the best place on the island for a holiday centred on the beach. It's also close to Cirkewwa harbour where you can board boats to the neighbouring isles of Gozo and Comino and experience the extraordinary natural beauty of the Maltese coastline.

Close to the ferry point is the wonderful Ramla Bay Resort, in a relatively undeveloped area of coastline, which has sprawling gardens, pools, a sandy beach, several eateries and bright and airy rooms all with balconies. It's a particularly good spot for aqua-sports enthusiasts with its own PADI dive centre and a watersports hut offering a range of activities. The proximity to the boat to Comino and Gozo also means it's easy to get to the famous Blue Lagoon, as well as the Azure Window and other sites of interest on these two smaller islands.

The small tourist town of Mellieha clings to a gentle hillside above the bay and has a decent collection of hotels. Seabank Hotel is one of Malta's most impressive modern resort hotels with a huge central swimming pool close to the long sandy beach. It's family-friendly and all-inclusive making it perfect for a beach-focused break.

To the south of Mellieha is Malta's first national park, Majjistral Nature and History Park, which marks an area of unspoiled coastline and dramatic cliffs perfect for hiking and exploring on foot. Beyond the park is Golden Bay, a wide beach of soft pale golden sand flanked by hillsides and with several eateries set back from the water. The five-star Radisson Blu Golden Sands hotel is just above the beach and is ideal for fans of aquatic activities, with watersports facilities for snorkelling, parasailing, jetskiing, a diving centre and a jetty. Its slightly out-of-the-way location makes it more of a destination hotel than an ideal base for sightseeing, but its seven restaurants and bars ensure guests are well catered for.

Heritage destinations

Valletta

Malta's grand capital is awash with baroque flourishes and packs in more heritage per square mile than anywhere else in the Mediterranean. Crowned by the fortress of St Elmo, the city was created in the 16th century by the Knights of St John on a headland flanked by two natural harbours, and it is an absolute must-explore for curious travellers. The old city is still intact, with modern shops hiding behind a beautifully-preserved facade, and lofty gardens filled with fountains and statues.

Accommodation options in Valletta vary from low-key guesthouses to five-star landmarks. In keeping with its surroundings, Valletta's most grandiose hotel is the Phoenicia in Valletta, named for the ancient trading civilization - the Phoenicians - that once populated the island. It is unmistakably first-class with opulent furnishings and excellent service, plus it has a great location by old Valletta, making it a great base for sightseeing. The five-star Hotel Grand Xelsior, close to the centre, is another high-end option, while little boutique Lucianos has individual rooms at very reasonable prices.

Mdina

The island's former capital, Mdina or 'the silent city,' is just as fascinating to explore as Valletta. The city is a medieval walled citadel with atmospheric winding streets and an elevated position with panoramic views over the island. Mdina has one of the island's most enticing places to stay - the stunning Xara Palace hotel - which was once a 17th century palace. The hotel has been restored to its former palatial glory with sumptuous interiors, period features and historic paintings by Maltese and international artists. Surprisingly for somewhere as seemingly tucked-away as Mdina, the hotel has hosted a number of famous names including Hollywood actor Bruce Willis.

Search for hotels in Malta

Holiday Place Exclusives ↓

Holiday Place Exclusives

These hotels have been carefully hand-picked as excellent Malta hotels. Each offers it’s own unique perspective but also outstanding value.

mahamoud

Mahamoud Adan

Product Administrator

All inclusive…

san antonio hotel and spa

San Antonio Hotel and Spa

Holidays from £279 per person

view details

More all inclusive breaks

Places of interest in Malta

Depending on the type of location you want, the kind of facilities you'd like to find and the proximity to certain attractions, we have a good number of areas for you to choose from and stay at during your holiday.

Whether you want a pumping and energetic beachside retreat, a tranquil setting in a secluded cove, a hillside resort perched in the midst of nature, or a strategic central location close to civilisation and buzzing city life, nightclubs, theme parks and other kinds of leisure attractions, we can advise you on the best places for you.

Choose from our selection of handpicked places and be based right at the place that's most ideal for you and your travelling party

Talk to a specialist

mahamoud

Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT

Related articles for Malta

Malta Airport tops list of World's Top 10 Scenic Airport Approaches

PrivateFly.com has revealed its list of Top 10 Most Scenic Airports Approaches in the world for 2016. The list was based on experiences from thousands of travellers from all over the world and was topped by Malta Airport. Finalists include Nice Cote D'Azur, Queenstown in New Zealand, Saba (Juancho E. Irausquin) in the Caribbean, Los Angeles in the U.S, and St Maarten Airport in the Caribbean.

Hotel Application for Palazzo Zammitello in Valletta, Malta approved

An application to turn the Palazzo Zammitello in Valletta into a boutique hotel has been approved. Situated in the corner building on Republic Street opposite the Wembley Store in Malta's capital, the building was built by the high official Giuseppe Zammit and his architect Michele Cachia, to be used as Zammit's city home.

The Phoenicia honoured with coveted 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Award

The Phoenicia in Malta has received the 2016 TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Award for Luxury Hotels, following a hugely successful year in 2015. The property has become the first hotel in Malta to join the 'Leading Hotels of the World', and it was awarded TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence last year.