Couples Holidays in Malta
Malta: the ideal setting for a romantic holiday
Magical locations and romantic hotels, bewitching cities and a staggeringly beautiful coastline bathed in glittering sunshine make Malta the ideal destination to focus on spending time with your partner. If you enjoy wining and dining there are plenty of places to whet your appetite, and for those who like to explore there are some truly romantic ways to get around, from gondola-style boats to pretty horse-drawn carriages.
Simply sightseeing and going for a stroll can be a romantic experience in Malta with such locations to discover as the lofty medieval citadel of Mdina, the magnificent baroque streets of Valletta, and a flush of seaside promenades overlooking sun-spangled bays bobbing with boats or dusted with golden sand. The island also has more than its fair share of quality eateries in atmospheric settings. Dining and drinking at night in the elegant restaurants and bars around St Julian's Bay and watching the twinkling lights dance across the water, or visiting one of Valletta's harbour-front restaurants that spill out onto the wide walkway is sure to put you in the mood for love.
Couples staying in Malta's most popular resort area, made up of St Julians, Paceville and Sliema, are right on the doorstep of the island's most magnificent city, Valletta, which is just to the south. From the moment you set foot in the city, it's apparent from the baroque architecture, crumbling bastions, and fortress that this is a place steeped in history. Stone steps and narrow cobbled streets link the city's gardens and squares where cafe culture thrives and modern shops hide in beautifully preserved buildings. To experience the very definition of elaborate baroque decoration, visit St John's Co-Cathedral, incrusted in marble and gilt gold with elaborate painted ceiling panels.
Ride a horse-drawn carriage through the narrow streets to experience Valletta's timeless romantic ambience. Steal a kiss in the lofty Hastings Garden or the Upper Barrakka Gardens filled with fountains and statues. And don't miss a visit to Fort St Elmo with its masterful position on the tip of the headland. Take a gondola-style boat tour of the Grand Harbour to appreciate the magnificence of the city's seafront facade and get up close to the distinctive Maltese fishing boats painted in yellow and blue, with eyes on the front to ward off bad luck and bring good fortune.
Mdina's atmospheric streets and lofty landscape views also lend themselves to holiday romance. Get lost in the maze of medieval streets and gaze up at the beautiful detailing of the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, and enjoy a delicious Maltese meal together with local wine at Trattoria AD1530 in an ambient little square. Continue journeying back through the ages together with a visit to Malta's Unesco-listed Megalithic Temples, that have stood the test of time for longer than both Stone Henge and the Egyptian Pyramids.
Sail into the sunset together
Cruising around the archipelago and experiencing its stirringly beautiful shores with phosphorescent caves, blue lagoons and dramatic rock formations is another wonderful way to spend time with your partner in Malta. Catch a boat trip to the Blue Grotto in the south of the island, join a dolphin-spotting tour in season or enjoy the pleasures of Mediterranean island hopping with easy connections to Comino and Gozo to the north.
There are plenty of safe beauty spots for swimming, snorkelling and frolicking in the ocean, and chief among them is the Blue Lagoon on the edge of Comino island, which is a natural lido area of crystal clear sea enclosed by flat rocks. There are regular water taxis travelling from Cirkewwa port to the area or you can join an organised tour. If you prefer to simply luxuriate in the sun, head to peaceful Paradise Bay in the north or spend the day at Golden Bay, also on the northern coast, to enjoy the best beaches the island has to offer.
Hotels for couples
Couples who like to lounge in the lap of luxury can pick from an impressive collection of high-end hotels including restored palaces and individualised boutiques. The island's most exclusive hotel, the five-star Xara Palace, is perfect for a short stay while exploring atmospheric Mdina. The characterful boutique hotel has just 17 rooms in a converted 17th century palace that oozes romantic ambience and charm. If you are staying at the hotel, be sure to try the excellent local cuisine at Trattoria AD1530 that spills onto an old palazzo by the Xara Palace.
Most travellers will want to spend a few days exploring the magical Maltese capital and there's a good selection of hotels that are perfectly positioned for sightseeing in the city. Couples looking for luxury rooms need look no further than the Phoenicia hotel or the five-star Hotel Grand Xelsior. But if you prefer romance on a budget, the little boutique Luciano's hotel has pleasant individually-designed rooms at very reasonable prices.
To enjoy a sociable and lively holiday in St Julian's Bay, Le Meridian hotel is ideal. The most intimate option in the area is the smallish 44-room Juliani boutique hotel with luxurious nautical-style rooms on the waterfront amid a vast array of places for dining, drinking and dancing.
For an away-from-it-all break just the two of you, the large and luxurious Ramla Bay Resort on the northernmost point of Malta is a tranquil idyll that offers destination weddings for couples who want to get hitched and have a honeymoon at the same time. Situated in a relatively undeveloped area with clear sea views and a private sandy beach, you can spend long lazy days in the sun, lounging around the three outdoor salt water pools in pretty grounds and gardens or indulging in relaxing treatments at the hotel's spa. For more active couples there's a PADI dive centre that can help you explore the underwater world together. And the ferry point to Comino and Gozo is just nearby, making it easy to hop across to another island for the day.
Couples holidays in Malta
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