Malta is just over three hours from the UK and its sister island Gozo is a 25-minute ferry ride away. It's smaller, greener, less populated than Malta.
It’s a great base for biking trips with Gozo Adventures, which take you along quiet country roads, through quaint villages down to the sea where you can stop for a cooling dip in the turquoise waters. Sea kayaking is also a great way to explore the beautiful rocky coastlines. Gozo Adventures cater for all levels of experience including children from ages six and up. Kayaking is available all year round here, and you can take explore caves and to swim and snorkel. Quad biking with Gozo Pride Tours is another way for thrill-seekers to enjoy the island’s hidden treasures.
Head to the luxurious, family-friendly Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz, set in beautiful countryside. It’s an ideal place tostayand children under 12 are free. There are special healthy kids’ menus, a Kids' Club, an outdoor pool for children and a babysitting service. You can chill out at the Kempinski’s renowned spa, a peaceful haven – absolutely no ‘plinkity-plonkity’ music – where they can relax in the beautiful marble Hammam, enjoy specially tailored facials and massages, or consult the Ayurvedic doctor for health and dietary advice. Evenings are a time for lingering overfamilydinner, looking out to sea while savouring fish picked from the day’s catch or one of the cracking pizzas Gozitan and Maltese restaurants are so good at.
Walking is a great way to exercise and explore the island. Along the spectacular coastline you'll find secluded sandy coves, and if you go trekking with a guide in the hills' rugged, lunar landscape you'll discover its diverse flora and fauna.
For teens with energy to burn, rock climbing, abseiling and zip-lining with MC Adventure will satisfy the keenest sense of adventure. Alternatively, gliding around the countryside on a Segway is the greatest fun for kids and parents – big, daft grins guaranteed. Another vantage point to take in the lovely countryside views from is a horse; Bidnija Horseriding Stables on the north of the island provides horses to suit all levels and are accompanied by a qualified instructor. Older kids and teens who want to be in the sea can kayak, windsurf, snorkel and deep-water soloing, which involves rock climbing above the sea and then diving into the enticing blue waters below.
A good place to relax after a day’s exertion is the five-star Westin Dragonara, overlooking St Julian’s Bay, where children under 12 also stay free. It has a Kids' Club, a healthy children’s menu and extensive grounds with outdoor activities.
How to get there: Air Malta flies from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester, from £124 return.
Travel time: London to Malta is 3 hours.
More information: visitmalta.com.
Air Malta operates a year-round service of 26 flights per week from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester with fares from £62 one way. Air Malta also operates regional summer charter flights from Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Exeter, Norwich and Glasgow.