2017 for me was ‘year of the mini-break’ and spending 4 days in Malta was a perfect choice for one of my trips.
I hadn’t long been in my new job and couldn’t take any big chunks of time off so I ended up taking lots of short breaks througout the year.
It was a great way to tick off some more destinations on my bucketlist whilst not having too much work to catch up on on my return. Read my post about the benefits of weekend breaks here.
We arrived in Malta without many expectations and we left very content and impressed. It is a beautiful country with lots to see and do. We stayed for 4 nights in July 2017, and here are my best bits:
We stayed in Sliema at the Palace Hotel and it was a great base to explore Malta. Sliema is right on the coast, making it easy to jump on a ferry over to Valletta, or take a day-trip ferry circling the entire island like we did, stopping at the Blue Lagoon (more below). There are lots of bars/restaurants down by the waterfront too.
The Asian restaurant ‘TemptAsian’ on the 9th floor of the hotel was incredible and had fantastic views over Sliema and Valletta harbour.
Tip: The hotel is at the top of a pretty steep hill, so be prepared for some walking! It is worth it though for the views you get whilst relaxing in their awesome infinity pool or on your balcony!
Valletta is the capital of Malta.
It is a beautiful place to explore and full of interesting architecture. One thing we noticed in particular was how amazingly clean it was!
Whilst you are there, make sure you check out the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens (they’re free). We also visited the National War Museum and St John’s Cathedral.
Mdina is Malta’s old capital. Get lost amongst the walls and take lots of photos!
Don’t forget to stop for a drink/cake/lunch/anything at the Fontanella Tea Garden and enjoy the fantastic view across the island.
Getting there: be prepared for Malta’s poor public transport. Our bus journey took WAY longer than expected so this trip pretty much took a whole day from Sliema when we thought it would be a half day.
THE BLUE LAGOON
You will enjoy the blue lagoon if you visit with the right expectations. Yes it is amazingly blue and beautiful, but it is also completely brimming with boats and tourists.
As is often the case, those Instagram photos you see without anyone in the background are cleverly created, timed, and sometimes edited.
Our visit to the Blue Lagoon was via a boat trip that circled the entire island. We got dropped at the lagoon for an hour or so and then continued back along the coast to Sliema. Other sights that we saw along the way included the Dingli Cliffs and Popeye Village.
IF YOU’VE GOT MORE TIME…
St Julian’s is another popular place to stay, just north of Sliema. You will find Malta’s best nightlife here alongside shops and restaurants.
We had a lovely meal at Wigi’s Kitchen – we were lucky to get their last table available so it’s best to book in advance!
A super cute and colourful fishing village that I wanted to visit but we just didn’t have the time!
Take a day-trip to neighbouring Gozo and/or Comino.
Have you been to Malta? Let me know in the comments!
You may also be interested in my other European destination guides:
- 7 days in Cyprus: The Ultimate Island Guide
- 48 hours in Carcassonne, France
- A weekend guide to Venice
- Top things to do in Seville, Spain