Family holidays in Malta immerse you in historic island culture, invite kids on endless adventures and give you acres of beach and the Mediterranean too.
One of the warmest, friendliest countries in Europe it has everything from eco-credentials and awe-inspiring scenery to world-class art and fantastic food. So where should you go and what should you do for an unforgettable Maltese experience?
Almost right in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta has 3000 hours of sunshine a year and temperatures of 20˚C in late autumn.
It’s one of the smallest countries in the world but has three World Heritage sites including the entire historic centre of the capital city, Valletta.
You can fly direct from London to Malta in three hours, all-year-round.
Many of Malta’s range of 4 and 5-star family resorts are Eco-Certified.
In 2018, Valletta will be the European Capital of Culture.
There are over a dozen islands in the Maltese archipelago but only three are inhabited: Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Malta is home to five European Destinations of Excellence – Nadur, Santa Lucija, Melliefia, Senglia and Gharb.
Malta isn’t the island to find dense Mediterranean pine forests or impressive mountains. It’s all about the dramatic coastline, remarkable beaches and wonderful geology here. Cliffs, sea caves, grottos, lagoons and gorgeous beaches trim the island and when kids aren’t playing in the warm waters, rambling round Malta’s rugged edges is an incredible adventure.
Surrounded on three sides by the Mediterranean and on all four by immense fortified walls, Valletta is one of the loveliest cities in Europe. Historic down to the last narrow, cobbled street and endlessly atmospheric, it’s also a colourful delight for kids to explore. The forts and towers are adventures in themselves and every quarter has a long and enthralling story to tell. Fortunately there are plenty of excellent local guides in the city to narrate for you and a tour – even for an hour – is a great way to get your bearings before going it alone.
Green and gentle Gozo is the second largest inhabited island in the Maltese Archipelago. There are no cities here, just charming Baroque towns surrounded by fields, farms and tiny villages. Huge, white cliffs overlook a Mediterranean punctuated by enormous sea arches and golden beaches. Rural trails criss-cross the countryside. And you can take kids on endless expeditions to discover everything from prehistoric temples to herds of inquisitive goats, acres of wildflowers and skies full of butterflies.
Miniature Comino sits between Gozo and the main island. It’s car-free, with just one hotel and the air is so clear and fresh it smells of herbs all summer long. Possibly not the best base for energetic kids but you have to visit at least once to swim in the transparent waters of the famous Blue Lagoon. It’s a wonderful day out from either of the neighbouring islands – don’t forget to pack a picnic because there are no towns here either.
Both Malta and Gozo have bus services with over 80 routes across the islands from early in the morning until 11pm. There are regular car ferries between Malta and Gozo, a range of water taxis and a small passenger ferry for Comino. It’s also a wonderful country to cycle and there are bike hire companies in Valletta and a Hertz Bike Hire in the airport arrival hall.