Featured Video Play Icon

One Week in Malta – The Perfect Itinerary (Beach & Culture!)

Somehow I’ve found myself on this rock of just 400,000 people in the Mediterranean. Nestled in between Sicily in the North and Tunisia in the South, Malta is a melting pot in the middle of the Mediterranean where the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe have crossed time and time again, creating a unique blend of culture that is distinctly Maltese.

Brilliantly turquoise water gently hugs the island. Move inland and find yourself in a sea of traditional limestone buildings with primary coloured balconies and doors embellished with ornamental handles in the shape of everything from angels to seahorses. The smell of hot, greasy but oh-so-tempting pastizzis and pizza by the slice fills the air. Cars roll bumper to bumper down the narrow streets, the sun beats down and the Maltese greet each other with their boisterous Bonġu.

Malta should get on just about everyone’s destination bucket list. From long beach days, crazy Mediterranean boat parties to ancient megalithic temples and medieval fortifications, families, party-goers, couples, and lone backpackers alike will find the holiday experience they are seeking in Malta.

This guide is designed for those who are interested in experiencing the rich culture and history of Malta (and a few beaches too).

Day 1 – Valletta & The Three Cities 

Valletta, Malta’s capital city
Streets of Valletta, Malta
The streets of Valletta

There’s no better way to start your trip than in the capital city and cultural hub of Malta. Get lost in Valletta’s labyrinth of narrow streets, stumble into a boutique shop, art gallery or discover one of Valletta’s many eateries.

D'Office Valletta, Malta
Maltese platter at one of our favourite restaurants in Valletta, D’Office

Recommend Restaurants in Valletta: 

View chasers, head to Panorama Restaurant, 267 St Ursula Street, Il-Belt Valletta

Enjoy the back streets of Valletta at D’Office, 132, Triq l arcisqof, Valletta

Vegans and non-vegans alike will enjoy a taste of veggie heaven at Grassy Hopper, 59, Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta

Dear hipsters: Cafe Society, 13, Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta

Craft beer lovers, visit Wild Honey, 127, St. Lucia’s Street, Il-Belt Valletta

Beer lovers in general chill out at The Beer Cave, Castile Hotel, Pjazza Kastilja Valletta

The Three Cities

Water Taxi Valletta to Three Cities Malta
The water taxi from Valletta to the Three Cities

For just 2 euros, take a water taxi to the Three Cities from Valletta. There’s no other way to take in the majestic-ness of the fortified cities than by boat, looking up and gawking at them. Alternatively, you can pay for a full history lesson from one of these boatmen for around 6 euros per person traversing through each creek of the Three Cities. The Three Cities, Valletta

Day 2 – Comino & the Blue Lagooncomino and the blue lagoon malta

The Blue Lagoon on the isle of Comino is one of the most beautiful places in the Maltese islands. The island of Comino has a total of 2 inhabitants (you can take a stroll past their house) along with a few interesting sites that are worth trekking to like the Santa Marija Tower. With crystal clear shallow blue water, the Blue Lagoon is a necessary day trip. Visit just before (May) the peak summer months or just after (September – October) to experience the Blue Lagoon without the insane summer crowds. From July to August, expect nothing less than an anthill. Never fear! You can find two other beaches on Comino – Santa Marija Bay and St Nicholas Bay if you need to escape the crowds.

You can either take a full day cruise (they usually have an open bar) for around €30-€50 from Sliema to Comino or you can take the bus to Cirkewwa, the ferry terminal, where there are express fast boats waiting to take tourists straight to Comino. They offer tickets from the ferry terminal to Comino and back OR you can use your ticket to travel from the ferry terminal to Comino and then on to Gozo.

comino and the blue lagoon malta

Day 3 – The Blue Grotto & The Megalithic Temples of Malta, Mdina & St Paul’s Catacombs
blue grotto malta

Honestly, the Blue Grotto is perhaps even more beautiful than the recently sea struck Azure Window. I recently took an adventurous swim through some of the sea caves in this area; the water is this unearthly blue and the marine life is amazing – moray eels, octopus, and even the occasional stingray and dolphins. Most tourists enjoy taking a short 30 minute boat tour (8 euros per person) through the Blue Grotto and neighbouring caves. We enjoyed the boat tour as well as it’s a great way to see many different caves, gaze into the crazy blue water and snap some photos.

Ħaġar Qim

solar eclipse - Hagar Qim Temple Complex
I won’t spoil everything. You have to visit (or google) Hagar Qim to find out what this was used for.

The Ħaġar Qim temple complex is a short bus ride or walk – on a nice breezy day – from the Blue Grotto. Ħaġar Qim forms one part of the UNESCO World Heritage “Megalithic Temples of Malta”. The Megalithic Temples of Malta are the oldest man-made structures in the world. Seriously, older than the Pyramids of Egypt. Definitely visit Ħaġar Qim temple complex in Malta and Ġgantija (the earliest of the Megalithic Temples of Malta) in Gozo.

Open from 9am -5pm; Entry is €10.00

Tip: Buy the Entertainer App if it’s not too late in your travels. This app offers Buy 1 Get 1 deals, including many great restaurants and attractions like these Heritage Malta sites.

Mdina

By R Muscat – Mdina, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33648867

Mdina, like Valletta, is a beautiful fortified medieval city in the North of Malta. Built on top of a high plateau, Mdina offers incredible views along the fortifications over the countryside and out to sea. Traditionally, the nobility of Malta lived in Mdina and the town served of great importance as the capital during its time. You wouldn’t believe it but even today Mdina is completely inhabited. It’s a living, breathing city and at the same time a true journey back in time.

St Paul’s Catacombs

st pauls catacombs malta

There are many attractions you are sure to stumble upon as you wander the timeless streets of Mdina. We really enjoyed exploring the vast St Paul’s Catacombs under Mdina’s neighbouring city, Rabat.

Open from 9am to 5pm; Entry is €5.00

Day 4 – Beach Day

Ghajn Tuffieha Malta
Ghajn Tuffieha, Malta

If you’ve come to Malta, you better love the beach. Ghajn Tuffieha pictured above is one of Malta’s best beaches that’s easily accessible by bus.

Sliema Rocks, Malta
Off the rocks in Sliema, Malta

The rocky bays of Sliema never disappoint either.

Day 5 – Marsaxlokk & St Peter’s PoolMarsaxlokk Malta

Seafood lovers, head to Malta’s fishing village – Marsaxlokk. We had a bit of an experience and didn’t push hard enough to get the price of a fish before they sent if off to be cooked. We ended up with a burnt snapper that cost €40 and left poor Jonas a bit traumatized. Stick to the daily specials or the mixed seafood platters which are all around €7-€10. St Peter’s Pool is nearby and is a popular little spot for swimming and cliff jumping.

Day 6 & 7 – Gozo

Just a stones throw, Gozo is Malta’s tiny and pristine sister island. Gozo has a population of just over 30k and an equally tiny land mass. Visiting Gozo, in my opinion, is pure bliss. Spend at least a night in Gozo and leisurely explore this charming little island.

Popular attractions: Marsalforn, Salt Pans, Xlendi Bay, Ramla Bay, Calypso Cave Victoria, Citadella, Gjantija Temples

How to get here: €4-€5 on the Gozo Ferry from Cirkewwa, Malta

San Blas, Gozo, Malta
San Blas Beach in Gozo, Malta
The Inland Sea, Gozo - Malta
The Inland Sea, Gozo
Gozitan Pizza - Malta
Gozitan pizza topped off with thin sliced potatoes, hot olives, capers and anchovies
Prickly pear in Gozo, Malta - Maltese Islands
Fields of Prickly Pear along Gozo’s coast
Gjantija Temples Malta
Gjantija Temples
Gozo Malta
Ta’ Pinu, Gozo

Planning a trip to Malta? What are you looking forward to see? 

Sasha

Writer and Founder at DO YOU EVEN TOURIST?
Passionate traveller. Sea gypsy. Digital Nomad.
No fixed plans and not intent on arriving.

4 thoughts on “One Week in Malta – The Perfect Itinerary (Beach & Culture!)

    1. Hi Jessi,

      Bus is great to reach all of these spots in Malta. You can grab a buss pass at the airport or they even have a new all inclusive pass which includes buss, ferry and hop on hop off bus which I would definitely opt for.

      In Gozo the one day hop on hop off pass is the best for a short visit to the island.

      To and fro the airport get a cheaper and faster cab with either ecabbs or taxify. I’ve seen tourists stuck waiting for 1-2 hours for a standard taxi at the airport.

      Or you can rent a car or motorbike for around 30euros a day. Depending on where you’re from, the roads/driving in Malta can give you a panic attack. It’s not super necessary so if you can stick to the public transport which will take you basically everywhere on the island.

  1. I love this! And now Malta is on my bucket list thanks to you!

    How do you suggest I travel with two kids? Should we rent an apartment and have it as our base? Where would you suggest? Id like to take our time touring through, so no rush.
    Is it expensive? Cost of apartments? Food? Transport etc?

    Love your blog!

    1. Hi Sam! Thanks for commenting! Malta should definitely be on your bucketlist. 🙂 I would get a short let apartment or a private airbnb as they are very affordable here and may be easier to get while you’re overseas – you can trust the review system more etc. Depending on where the airbnb is on the island you can find properties for as low as 43 per night for your private place up to 90 for a place like this https://www.airbnb.com.mt/rooms/1781915?check_in=2017-11-12&check_out=2017-11-25&location=Malta&s=n9EDOWO6

      You can find short lets on a website like this https://housing.justlanded.com/en/Malta
      Gozo holiday homes http://www.gozoholidayhomes.com/

      I would definitely recommend these options over the hotels which are a bit dated and even more expensive.

      Malta is such a small island you could be based anywhere and be able to get around just fine. If you’re on Gozo you can still visit Malta but will take a short journey on the ferry for the day.

      Getting around – public bus as the roads are pretty scary to drive yourself! Get the public transport pass right at the airport. They have one that allows you to use the card on double decker tourist busses, public busses and even the ferry all inclusive.
      You can also download the app – TAXIFY https://taxify.eu/cities/malta/ It’s like the uber of Malta and will get you everywhere you need much cheaper than a taxi.

      <3 Hope you visit Malta soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

code

CommentLuv badge