Where should we stay?
St Julian's is the very heart of Malta’s popularity with tourists but that doesn’t mean it has traded in its classy feel. While the seafront is lined with boutiques, cafes and bars, it brings its own unique additions such as the luzzus – traditional Maltese fishing boats – that bob in the harbour, next to the speed boats that ferry people out to the waterskiing action.
Then there is the architecture: those wonderful, honey-coloured town houses and the bars and cafes bedecked in bougainvilleas beside the paved promenade.
And when the sun sets, the place to head is undoubtedly Paceville, the lively area just to the west of St Julian’s. If you want to drink in a bar where the local population is represented, this is the place to come. Or for that classier night out, cruise over the bay to the capital, Valletta, or head off the Dragonara Point Casino.
Sliema and St Julian's form a near continuous town spread over two adjacent peninsulas with St Julian's to the north (about 20 minutes walk) and Valetta and a third peninsula to the south (about 20 minutes drive).
If you like a little sightseeing in your holiday, combined with sports and good food, Sliema fits the bill. This busy – and still growing – town focuses on The Strand, a broad promenade with views of Valletta 0.5km to 1km away. Sliema’s shops are among the best on the island: look for Maltese lace, fine silverware, pottery, and woollens. When night falls Sliema’s bars and restaurants are relaxed and mellow in mood, with a cosmopolitan feel.
Together with Sliema and St Julian's, both located on the north coast, Bugibba and its extension Qawra are the best summer destinations in Malta and perfect starting points for the tours around the islands.
Qawra can be found on the northeast of Malta island, and with Buġibba forms a part of St Paul's Bay. Although there is no beach, many people swim and bathe off the rocks, and the resort is popular for tourists who enjoy a stroll by the sea at night. Qawra also has some impressive historical connections as it was here that the Knights of St John – the Christian military order – built one of their many towers, now a restaurant!
The area is also marked out as being a more ‘touristy’ area of Malta due to the many bars which show football. Consequently you’re guaranteed a lively nightlife, with casinos, bars, and clubs forming a major part of the town. Bugibba comes alive with colourful lights and loud music that ramp up the energy in the streets around Plazza tal-Bajja.
Set on the north coast of Malta, Mellieha Bay is a place of two halves. On the hill is the old town, where life continues at the unhurried pace of more distant times, and down in the bay is something of a rarity – a sandy beach, andd the longest beach on the island, offering crystal clear water that stays shallow for some way out.
Mellieha Bay is within easy reach of some top sights, too. Thirty minutes gets you to Mdina, the medieval city that’s a must, and another 15 minutes beyond that allows you to take in the ancient temples at Mgarr.
What is there to do on Malta?
The Azure Window is undoubtedly one of Malta’s highlights. This beautiful, natural arch has been formed in the rock due to waves crashing against the cliffs and eroding them away. It’s easy to get to by hopping on a ferry over to Gozo and then heading over to Dwerja Point which offers the very best views. Make sure you see it before it disappears!
Take a Dghajsa
You simply have to take one of these local water taxis during your stay in Malta. The Maltese equivalent of the Venetian gondola, you can just hop on board and enjoy a trip around the three main cities, as well as seeing some of the main forts on the island.
Of all the cities in Malta, Mdina is probably the most best known, and for good reason. Known as the Silent City, you can wind your way through the maze of narrow, cobbled streets and feel like you’re in a medieval town. There’s no way better way to lose a few hours than to lose yourself in its myriad nooks and crannies.
Ready to book a holiday you'll remember forever?
Booking a package holiday is easy when you come to A1 Travel. We have 35 years of experience of matching holidaymakers with the perfect destination and we think you'll fall in love with Malta the moment you arrive. Our prices are highly competitive and we’re sure we can help you find the Malta deal to suit your needs. Just leave all of the hard work to us – all you have to do is find your passport and pack your suitcase!