THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE BEST OF MALTA
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Perfectly situated between the Italian island of Sicily and the northern portion of Africa, sits the archipelago Malta, with glistening Mediterranean vibes and show stopping landscapes.
Malta is framed by azure blue waters, outstanding beaches, a plethora of history stemming from its occupancy and rule and well its pretty darn picture-perfect!
The laid-back locals and lifestyle makes Malta the gem of the Mediterranean as well as hosting some of the best diving spots in the world and not forgetting the highest density of historic sites in the world.
Malta is sure to satisfy your travel taste whether you’re a culture vulture and want to immerse yourself into the fortifications, Knights of Malta stories, or wander the 5000-year necropolis, eat your way through the delicious fusion cuisine or simply just lay and explore the beach life! The choice and option is yours!
- Useful Malta Facts Before You Travel
- Length of Stay
- Getting to and Around Malta
- Where to Stay in Malta
- The Best Things to do in Malta
- Wining & Dining in Malta
- Malta Guide Round Up
- Pin For Later
Plan Before You Travel
Travel Planning Resources
- Look for great flight deals via Flight Centre
- For coaches and trains head to Trainline
- Competitive car hire rates can be found at Europcar
- Search rates and book hotels at Booking.com & Cool Stays
- Travel books and itinerary planning resources at Foyles
- Book tours, activities and experiences with Viator & Get your Guide
- All your sustainable living and holiday products available at &Keep.
Useful Malta Facts Before You Travel
- The Language: Maltese citizens tend to speak Maltese (especially in places like the three cities, which is pretty residential) but around 90% of them speak English and 50% of them speak Italian being so closely located to Italy and Sicily in particular.
- Currency: A combination of Credit cards and the Euro is used throughout Malta. Most restaurants, clothing stores and retailers will accept most major credit cards (American Express not always!). Smaller street stalls and villages would be cash friendly for purchasing snacks or small souvenirs.
- Weather: Malta’s very typical Mediterranean climate means its never going to be too cold, even in the winter months. Winter temperatures lows are usually between 15-20°C, whereas in the summer, temperatures can go from 21-35°C.
- High season in Malta is considered to be June to August and is extremely busy with many hotels being booked up and restaurants being harder to obtain reservations. The beaches tend to be very crowded. The festive period between Christmas and New Year can get a little busy but not as much as summer, but with a little forward planning Christmas break can be perfect. Shoulder season naturally is a great choice as the weather is more bearable, but Malta has a lovely mediterranean climate, although if you’re looking to swim in the sea, summer is advisable.
Length of Stay
This depends largely on what you like to do but combining city and beach time, 7-10 days is perfect but including time on Gozo as well as a day trip to Comino, two weeks can be spent quite leisurely on the island archipelago.
Getting to and Around Malta
- Air: Most people will be travelling to the island by air and will arrive at Malta’s International Airport in Gudja, located Southwest of the capital, Valletta and is roughly a 20 minute drive away. It is easily accessible via shuttles and taxis from most of Malta. Compare best flight deals at Skyscanner or Easyjet if you’re based in Europe. Flights from UK to Malta are under three hours in duration.
Other options to arrive into Malta
- Boat: How about a cruise mooring at the Valletta Waterfront in the Grand Harbour or a ferry from Sicily to Malta if you’re taking a day trip. The ferry from Pozzallo to Valletta takes 1.45 hours
- Taxi: Malta is a relatively small island and taxis are affordable and the most common means of transport to get around. You can either opt for an official white taxi car, though be aware they turn on the meter once you get in or download the Bolt app and book via this. It’s great value for money and you won’t need to carry cash around for this method either.
- Public Transport: Buses are generally reliable but do take longer with making numerous stops along the way to your destination. The Buses go to most tourist destinations if you’re based in a city setting like Valletta and Sliema, you can pretty much travel anywhere on the bus from the central Bus Station.
Buy a 12 trip card for 15 Euros if you’ll be using the bus frequently.
- Car: Hiring a car is the most convenient and flexible way to get around on the island and you can even take the car over to Gozo on the ferry should you desire. There are lots of care hire companies who will drop cars off to your accommodation and also pick up. Check out Europcar for some great rates and you can also pick up from the airport.
Be-lavie Tip: Pick a car with SatNav to make things easier for getting around and pay attention to local parking restrictions to avoid fines. Valletta has a reasonable 24-hour car park just outside of the old town, close to the bus station which is super handy and costs around 10 Euros per day.
- Ferry: Travelling to Comino and Gozo is accessible easily by Ferry. Ferries leave one per hour and in the winter season ferries to Comino can be reduced and end early. Ferries leave from Cirkewwa port
- Malta Public Transport Route Map https://www.publictransport.com.mt/en/news-details/malta-public-transport-route-map
- The Gozo channel ferry can take passengers as well as cars and is regular at every 20 minutes and off peak time a little less. It runs almost 24 hours per day.
- The Comino Ferry has much reduced times and leaves every hour with a complimentary tour of the caves. A return ticket is 13 Euros per person
- On Foot: walking in the old UNESCO Heritage cities and towns like Valletta and Mdina is recommended, once within the walls, as cars are not permitted but car parks are located and easily sign posted on the outskirts. Additionally, Malta, Gozo and Comino have some incredible coastal walks, but outdoor terrain does vary so be prepared. It’s the best way to see some wonderful viewpoints though!
Where to Stay in Malta
Malta’s abodes cater for all tastes and pockets, from luxury boutique hotels in Valletta, to beach resorts in Mellieha and nightlife lovers will adore the contemporary hotels of St. Julians. There are many options from hiring villas to backpacking in hostels. As a guide here are some tips on what to expect by area:
- Valletta: Best place to stay for sightseeing
- Il-Gżira and Msida, budget price accommodations and local experience
- St Julian´s, Good for nightlife lovers and great restaurants and bars
- Sliema, Malta’s commercial centre and great if you love to shop
- Mellieha, great beach holiday locations with lots of holiday-style apartments.
- St. Pauls Bay, Bugibba and Qawra, great locations for a family holiday
- Mdina and Raba, historic stays in the oldest part pf Malta.
- Three Cities: Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua are great places if you don’t have the budget for Valletta but want to be quite central.
- Marsaskala, The place to head if you’re on a budget.
- Marsaxlokk; particularly beautiful if you want to experience life in a typical fishing village in Malta
- Gozo, many boutique style hotels and a great place to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of Malta mainland.
Casa Ellul, VallettaHotel Spotlight
Casa Ellul, is the former Victorian Palazzo residence of the Ellul family in Valletta. This beautiful residence has been lovingly restored by the same family owners into a classical, stylish boutique hotel with Baroque influences and preservation of stunning original features.
Located perfectly opposite the Carmelite Church in the side streets of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valletta is reflected in the style and grandeur of the hotel’s interiors echoing style and sophistication on every level.
Each of the nine suites are individually styled and surround a beautiful shaded courtyard perfect for relaxing during the day or evening whilst you plan your days happenings!
The suites have been uniquely designed by architect Chris Briffa, to complement the building, incorporating contemporary hints with classic baroque style. Many of the suites and common areas are adorned with local and internationally sourced antiques.
Three of the duplex suites have incredible rooftop terraces with two of them also featuring Jacuzzis on the rooftop-perfect to relax after hours with the twinkling Valletta skyline as a backdrop.
Be-lavie favourite is Suite five, also known as the Piano Nobile Suite, which was original the main bedroom of the palazzo and houses an actual ‘piano nobile’ which was restored as part of the original furniture. The Suite also benefits from soaring ceilings, a beautiful fireplace and a cantilevered marble wash hand basin which was designed and manufactured specifically for this suite; the shape was carved out of a large bianco carrara marble block. The shower is also wisely concealed behind the glazed curved partition in a satin finish, allowing privacy but also taking advantage of the room’s natural lighting. The amenities are sourced locally and are all full-size product ticking the need for less plastic waste. The suite’s stunning Maltese balcony, features a Hidrobox bath with ornate views of the Carmelite church opposite as well as the traditional alleyway Maltese streets.
Breakfast is a fabulous affair with fresh pastries, cakes, juices, cheeses, teas and coffees as well as big selection of cooked items such as eggs any way you like them, bacon and sausage. Special requests are never too much for the chef! It’s also served in the double faced, rooms at the front of the property behind the reception area which is manned 24 hours a day.
The suites and common areas all have WIFI as well as satellite TV and tea and coffee making facilities and a coffee machine!
The boutique hotel is perfectly located in the centre of Valletta within easy reach of the ferry ports, great bars, restaurants and all the city’s main attractions!
This boutique residence is a true hidden gem in the heart of Valletta.
Location: 81 Old Theatre Street, Il-Belt Valletta, Tel. +356 2122 4821. Website
Read Next (Related Article): Beautiful Photography Locations around Malta
The Best Things to do in Malta
Valletta (il Belt)
One of the world’s oldest UNESCO Heritage Sites, Valletta is a relatively small capital city with an incredibly high concentration of historic sites. Malta itself has around 365 churches (one for every day of the year) with around 30 being in Valletta itself!!
Valletta is quaint, lined with cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, beautiful typically romantic Maltese Balconies, with hanging plants and the colours of the architecture and houses are bright and vivid. The vibe is laid back and relaxed and nothing like the busy business vibe you’d expect from a regular capital city!
Expect lots of baroque architecture and the best thing to do in Malta is to wander the streets and stumble upon everyday scenes,
Valletta streets are utterly picturesque and just like the rest of Malta, make for some stunning photography spots, which are great to capture in the early morning with less crowds or at golden hour.
Valletta is reminiscent of the streets of Sicily with a hint of North Africa and old-world vibes with restaurants, cafes and wine bars with vaulted ceilings as well as loggia- style squares surrounded by al-fresco dining.
The Best Bits
- Upper & Lower Barrakka Gardens (Incredible views of the Grand Harbour and Three Cities)
- The Grandmaster Palace & Armoury (Grand Masters of the Order of Malta’s residence. Nowadays, the palace houses the President of Malta Office)
- Republic Street & Merchant Street (Shopping)
- The casa Rocco Piccola (The only inhabited palace in Valletta by Marquis de Piro
- Teatru Maoel (Maltese National Theatre)
- The National Museum of Archaeology (A must for ancient ruin enthusiasts)
- The Fort St Elmo and The National War Museum
- Valletta Must-Visit : St. John Cathedral.
- The Victoria Gate (built by the British and named after Queen Victoria, to serve as a main entrance from the Grand Harbour.
- Wandering the streets and alleyways.
St Johns Cathedral, VallettaActivity Spotlight
If there’s one place you visit in Valletta, let it be the Baroque masterpiece known as St. John’s Cathedral.
Don’t be fooled by the simple façade, for it hides a breath-taking interior comprising of marble decorated floor with the coat of arms houses the Knights of the Order tombs. The vault is completely covered with frescoes depicting the life of St. John the Baptist.
Audio guides are available and recommended to discover the eight chapels, each dedicated to one of the languages of the Order and elaborately decorated. The pillars and walls are covered with breath taking golden adornments and be sure to peruse Caravaggio’s paintings.
Remember to follow the audio tour and climb the stairs to the gallery, where you will get to see just how vast this Baroque architectural site of worship is.
Be-lavie Tip: Ensure your arms and legs are covered, this is one of the most respectful places of worship you’re likely to visit in Malta. No high heels as these would damage the delicate flooring Whilst inside maintain quiet at all times.
Location: Triq San Gwann, Il-Belt Valletta. Tel +356 2122 0536. Website
The three cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua are some of the most beautiful and authentic areas of Malta. They are excellent examples of old neighbourhoods which are also pretty residential and therefore authentic with scenes of local everyday life.
The best views over the Three Cities, as they’re collectively known, are from the Upper Barrakka gardens. From here you can take the Barrakka Lift, which is super panoramic to go down to the lower level and crossing the street to the left, where you can board the ferries that will take around ten minutes to reach the city of Birgy via Vittoriosa Harbour.
Ferries cost around 2.80 Euros for a roundrip.
It’s good to note that each of the Three Cities have incredible views of Malta and the harbour front so remember to look back.
As well as a ferry, it’s possible to get a traditional boat known as a dgħajsa. On the Birgu side, the boats dock in the marina just next to the Freedom Monument. On the Valletta side, they dock at the base of Fort Lascaris, and it’s a five minute walk to the Barrakka Lift (elevator), which costs 1 EUR per person to go up to the Upper Barrakka Gardens (free to go down). However, if you have a ticket to the Three Cities-Valletta Ferry, the lift is included and is free for the return trip!
The best way to explore the Three cities is by Foot.
The Best Bits
- Fort St. Angelo (great example of Maltas fortification and the Naval base for many years)
- Inquisitor’s Palace
- Malta Maritime Museum
- St. Lawrence’s Church
- Victory Square
- Birgu’s Hidden Streets
Fort St, Angelo, BirguActivity Spotlight
Sitting upon strongholds that have been home to forts since 1241, Fort St, Angelo has hosted many artillery platforms and has been repurposed for modern use. Again it lies on the port of Birgu so has great views out to Valletta and a visit here is a must. Infact it’s one of the best things to see in Birgu aside from The Maritime Museum and Inquisitor’s Palace.
Visiting the Fortress will take you walking along the path of the high Fortress walls and rooftops. From here you’ll experience the most spectacular panoramic views of the Three Cities, Valletta and the mouth of The Grand Harbour. Visit the café at the top where these views are the most incredible and enjoy a coffee with a vista and a half!
Inside the fort is a great museum and exhibits including the maritime history of the fort, history of the mediterranean and the various empires that have influenced Malta. It wasn’t just the English that ruled over Malta, the Romans, Normans, Ottomans and French all ruled for a period over these islands.
Location: Waterfront, Birgu, Malta. Tel.+356 2540 1800. Website:
- Gardjola Gardens best views over Valletta
- Senglea Basillica
- Wander Senglea Streets
- St Michael;s Bastion
- Vittoriosa Yacht Marina
- Sliema can be reached via a short 15 minute ferry ride from Valletta and is more of the commercial centre of Malta. Sliema is for you if you love shopping. In fact many of the international fashion brands are in Sliema. It also has a great selection of restaurants along the coast and within and around the cute neighbourhoods. You will also get some lovely unique views of Valletta on the Ferry ride to Sliema as well as from some of the rooftop bars and restaurants. There is a lovely promenade that connects Sliema to St. Julian’s, which is great to walk along once you get off the ferry at Sliema sea front. The walk takes around 20 minutes and connects you to the beach.
- The shopping and scope out the roof top terraces of fancy bars for Valletta views.
Sliema can be reached via a short 15 minute ferry ride from Valletta and is more of the commercial centre of Malta. Sliema is for you if you love shopping. Infact many of the international fashion brands are in Sliema. It also has a great selection of restaurants along the coast and further in and cute neighbourhoods. You will also get some lovely unique views of Valletta on the Ferry ride to Sliema as well as from some of the rooftop bars and restaurants. There is a lovely promenade that connects Sliema to St. Julian’s which is great to walk along once you get off the ferry at Sliema sea front. The walk takes around 20 minutes and you can also walk along certain parts of the beach.
The Best Bits
- The shopping and scope out the roof top terraces of fancy bars for Valletta views.
This city is quite touristy and has a big selection of larger hotels great restaurants as well as clubs, casinos and shopping malls. If you love to party and love the hustle and bustle on your holidays, then St. Julian’s is for you!
During the summer months both Sliema and St. Julian’s are propbably the most crowded areas of the whole island.
The Best Bits
- Check out the yachts and fancy seafood restaurants in and around Balluta Bay
Mdina was the capital of Malta and this is where during the middle ages, prior to the Order of Malta, the government was located.
Mdina was then called ‘Citta Notabile’ translating to the noble city but upon arrival of the knights, they required to be closer to their ships and decided upon Valletta as the new capital city.
Mdina is also named ‘the Silent City’ and is a fortified city well known for its for its charm and quiet streets.
The Best Bits
- The Entrance Gate to Mdina (Featured in Game of Thrones)
- St. Paul’s Cathedral (the oldest cathedral in Malta) and its museum
- The 18th century Vilhena Palace
- The Palazzo Falson.
- The Hidden Enclosure
- Don’t miss Pastizzi and a hot drink at the Fontella Tea Gardens
- Wonder the ancient streets of Mdina
- View the ramparts by walking down to the old moat which have been landscaped into a beautiful blooming garden
Be-lavie Tip; Head to Mdina early morning, as from 10:00 in the peak season and sometimes low season you will see coaches full of tourists so to beat the crowds visit as early as possible especially if you’re wanting to take photographs.
- Mdina & Rabat Walking Tour
- Private Guided Visit: Mdina Tour (three hours + private pick-up and drop off)
- Guided visit by Night: This is the ultimate tour which incorporates Mdina with ‘The Malta experience’ a 5D show tracing the history of Valletta including a visit to Mosta. This tour includes transport from your hotel.
Located right next to Mdina, just walk out of the gates and follow the pedestrianised area right infront of you and you’ll be in Rabat.
The Best Bits
- St. Paul’s Church and Grotto, where Paul the Apostle sought refuge after their boat sank off the island
- St. Paul’s Catacombs, the city’s necropolis for 500 years
- St. Agatha’s Catacombs, where Saint Agatha hid during her exile from Sicily
- Domvs Romana, a Roman-era house turned into a museum.
Mosta is well known for its monumental church and the Rotunda, whose design was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. It was built around 1833 by the money raised by residents and is one of the most beautiful churches in Malta as you will discover. Some even say the church is the biggest in Europe but you can see it’s glory from many spots’ from the island.
Mosta Rotunda, of neoclassical architecture, is best known for what happened here at 16:40 on 9 April 1942.
During mass, the Germans dropped a bomb, weighing 50kg right into the dome, which pierced its dome and fell into the church. Remarkably the bomb never went off and all 300 residents receiving early evening mass survived. You can go and see the bomb and the story of what happened on this day, in the exhibition behind the rotunda. Some say this was a true miracle of God.
Be sure to climb the stairs to view the rotunda from the gallery and also check out the war bunker with a great exhibition under the church, which is accessed just outside of the church gates.
Location: Rotunda Square, Mosta, Malta, Mosta, Malta. Tel. +356 2741 8368. Website
The blue Grotto is located around two km away from the town of Zurrieg and if you’re wandering, its name derives from the intense blue colour that reflects off the cave making the water look that beautiful azure shimmery intense hue.
Just outside of the city, you can get a great aerial view of the Blue lagoon but one of the best ways to view, is by driving two minutes down from this viewing location at the small WiedIz Zurrieq port and take a 20 minute boat tour.
The boat seats around 6-8 people and costs around 8 Euro for adults. The fishermen will take you to see the caves and Grotto and many of its windows and viewpoints will be talked through by the fishermen’s commentary!
Be-Lavie Tips: Check the weather before you take a boat trip as in stormy weather conditions, most will not sail for safety reasons. For the best light, the sun shines into the Blue Grotto in the morning but sunset is also a great time to take the trip. The boats run from 10:00-15:30. In the winter months the last or sunset trip leaves at 16:00 and the views are simply incredible. Many people don’t know about the last trip but hang around and the fishermen will tell you! If you’re not driving a car during your vacation you can visit the Blue Grotto as it’s included in this Sunday Marsaxlokk day trip
The town of Naxxar (pronounced as nashar) is built on a hill in the northern central part of Malta. Naxxar is quite a residential place with the main square having many restaurants and shops alongside the Parish Church. The older part of Naxxar hosts pretty quaint narrow streets, lined with guesthouses and picturesque entrances.
The Best Bits
- Palazzo Parisio: Built in the 19th century by Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna, this beautiful palace is now a venue which houses a spa and a fine dining restaurant that serves the most delicious afternoon tea. If you dine here you can also visit the stunning gardens and orangerie.
- Naxxar Paris Church: Built in the 17th century and is strategically located in the main square of Naxxar. The grand façade of the church is of the baroque style; having a massive bronze door and two clocks, one of which is a painting showing the time as quarter to twelve. On the inside, the main attractions are the painting depicting the Birth of Our Lady by Mattia Preti (1613-1699) and the statue of the Vitorja (Our Lady of Victories), which holds a display of precious jewels that the Naxxar people offer the Vitorja in return for answering their prayers.
- Defence towers and fortifications: When the Knights of St. John arrived in Malta they built a number of towers, two of which are in Naxxar: Tal-Kaptan Tower and Gauci Tower.
- Take a Walk: Go for a walk in the old part of the town, start from the road opposite the Parish church, and discover the narrow streets, old houses, wooden balconies and bright coloured flowers that give Naxxar a magical and peaceful character. There are a couple of small chapels around the town that reflect the villagers’ dedication to religion. You can then relax in any of the public gardens that are in Naxxar or stop for a coffee at one of the many cafeterias in the town centre.
Naxxar Festa: The Naxxar Festa is held on the 8th of September, in honour to Our Lady of Victory. Naxxar is thriving with activity during the week prior to the festa. The Parish Church and the main streets are decorated in bright festive colours and people go out to the centre to listen to brass bands playing cheerful music and watch the air and ground fireworks that fill the air with a beautiful array of colours. On the streets, there are stalls selling local delicacies, such as candy floss and nougat.
A fine example of a traditional fishing port, with multi coloured fishing boats (Luzzu) and coloured buildings. Marsaxlokk is the place to be on a Sundays, with a fish market taking place every Sunday, although it’s not just about the fish, you can buy a whole host of things at this market, from clothing to handbags and souvenirs, which incidentally are a lot cheaper than in Valletta.
The port is lined with a great selection of bars, cafes, seafood places as well as pizzerias and reasonable priced too. If it’s seafood you’re after, it doesn’t come fresher than in Marsaxlokk. You’ll even see the fishermen coming in with their daily catch and sending it off to the restaurants you’ll be dining at.
Be-lavie Tips: A great restaurant recommendation is T’anna Mari with lovely views of the port and is family owned and offers great seafood and pasta dishes. Grab a table outside but inside is equally beautiful and homely and the service is super friendly. If you’re driving to Marsaxlokk, drive right past the port and park in the big car park around the corner, however if you’re driving on market day try not to get too close to the port as streets are narrow and parking is much harder to find. If you’re not planning hiring a car to tour the island, then you can look into booking a day trip which includes transport from your hotel, the services of a guide and a visit to the Blue Grotto (the boat tour inside, costs extra) as well as Marsaxlokk.
This is a city located on top of a hill and is perfect to either go to for the day or you can stay here if you’re planning to explore more of the Northern part of Malta, including the sister islands of Gozo and Comino. If this is the case, around three nights should cover it.
Il-Mellieħa is home to Popeye Village, which is always a shot with families, situated on the stunning Anchor Bay, which provides great sunset views. Hiking trails link 19th-century, clifftop Ghajn Znuber observation tower with Il-Majjistral nature and history park, noted for herons and egrets. The 19th-century Mellieħa parish church stands on a hilltop by the sanctuary of Our Lady, which has a gilded, Byzantine-style fresco. Pizzerias, grills, and bars line surrounding streets.
Located on the North-Western part of Malta, Popeye Village was built from scratch for the 1980 movie, Popeye. The movie was shot here and starred Robin Williams as the leading man!
This is one gigantic set built on the most beautiful Anchor Bay with trees being imported from Canada to build some of the houses with a road being created to the bay. Once the film had been shot, they decided to keep the set as it was and turn the place into an amusement park where children can dress up in their favourite characters as well as take boat rides. The park has it’s own restaurants as well as stores and trampolines to keep the little people entertained.
Location: Triq Tal-Prajjet, Il-Mellieħa, Malta. Tel. +356 2152 4782. Popeye Village Website
Red Fort (Red Tower)
St Agatha’s Tower is the official name of the Red Fort located in Marfa, about a five minutes drive from Mellieha. Built in 1649 it was used to watch the coasts and protect merchants from attacks by the pirates. The Red Fort could hold up to 50 soldiers and had five cannons. Although it has been repainted over the years, it was named after the colour of it’s original walls.
The views from the top of the tower are stunning and a tour costs around 2€. You can see as far as Gozo and Comino from here.
Be-lavie Tip: There are some great walking spots near the Red Fort, as you exit the tower, turn right and you’ll see cliffs and great views surrounding the tower on the hill.
Location: Triq Tad-Dahar, Il-Mellieħa, Malta. Tel.:+356 2122 0358. Website:
Malta’s sister Island and the second biggest island of the archipelago is far more rural and quieter than the mainland and is full of breath-taking landscapes comprising of beaches and secluded caves.
How to get to Gozo:
The Channel Line ferry from Cirkewwa, in the Northern part of Malta is the simplest way to get to Gozo. The trip lasts around 20 mins and the ferry takes passengers as well as cars. The whole process is organised like a well-oiled machine and you only pay on your way back. In the ferry there is a café and a shop which sells souvenirs, magazines and snacks.
The views out to Gozo and Comino are pretty beautiful so its good to grab a coffee and go out on deck to grab some fresh air.
A return ferry ticket costs 15.70€ for a car plus passenger and a further 4.65€ each for any other passengers.
For more information: Gozo Channel Ferries
Another option is the fast ferry from Valletta to Gozo which departs from the Valletta’s Grand Harbour and can have you in Gozo in 45 minutes but this ferry is only for passengers.
For both ferries, you disembark at Mgarr harbour. Further information is available at the Gozo Fast Ferry
The Best Bits
- Victoria: The capital city of Gozo, Victoria or Rabat as the locals call it is the main city in Gozo and is a good spot for shopping, with daily markets as well as having some great cafes and restaurants to dine in. Victoria’s main attraction is undoubtedly The Citadella, which makes up the fortified portion of the city. You access the fort in the central part of Gozo and it comprises of the Cathedral of Assumption, the old prison, archaeological sites and some of the best views over the whole of Gozo from the ramparts. It’s definitely worth walking around the whole Citadella for the incredible views.
- Ta’ Pinu: The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and national shrine located some 700 metres from the village of Għarb built on a hill and can be seen from a great distance.
- Djewra: The area of Djewra, in the north west of Gozo is very famous for the Azur Windom (Game of Thrones fans will know of the scenes filmed here!), although unfortunately it crumbled and collapsed into the sea in 2017. Also located in Djewra are the Fungus Rock, the Inland Sea and the Deep Blue Hole.
- Marsalforn: For a beach location in the summertime, head to Marsalforn, where people flock to see the 3 km long salt plains on the edge of the city.
- Ggantija Temples: To catch a glimpse of Gozo’s best preserved history, head to the Ggantija Temples which provide some impressive archaeological ruins.
- Ramla Bay Beach: The most beautiful beach on Gozo has to be Ramla bay, with 22 km of golden sand, this is a great place for all to enjoy.
Be-lavie Tip: You can get great views of Ramla bay from Tal Mixta cave!
Gozo Day Trips
Malta–Gozo Round Trip Tour
If you haven’t hired a car or would like to look into guided or more formal day trip itinerary check these out which depart from different locations in Malta, including some that pick-up from your accommodation:
- Full Day Gozo Tour From Malta with pick-up
- Guided Full Day Jeep Tour with Lunch & Powerboat Ride
- Guided visit of Gozo by Tuktuk & Comino with Lunch
Gozo Guided Tours
Happy to make your own way to Gozo via Ferry? You can still choose from the tours below to see the sites if you don’t fancy taking a taxi.
- Quad Bike Tour with lunch Included (Can also do from Valletta)
- Gozo 2 Hour Exploration Tour
- The Hope on Hop Off Gozo Bus
Comino is named after the spice, cumin as it grows on the island in abundance.
The smallest of the islands that makes up the archipelago, Comino has no residents. This is where the famous Blue Lagoon is and almost everyone who visit Malta will have on their bucket list to swim in these clear turquoise blue waters.
The Best Bits
- Swimming in the Blue Lagoon is a great experience and the landscape is breath-taking. Hiking around the island is a must as well as finding the many rock windows, flora and fauna of which could be a bird lover’s paradise as well as heading to St Mary’s Tower for some panoramic views of the surroundings. You can only go up the tower if the flag is raised though and the entrance fee is on a donation basis.
- A good place to head also is the Crystal lagoon, which is far prettier than the Blue Lagoon and with less crowds. It’s more popular with experienced divers. Just turn right when you disembark and walk up the hill and follow the island around and you will stumble upon it!
- If you don’t fancy lying around the crowded part of the Blue Lagoon, head to Santa Maria Bay, where there is a hotel and restaurants as well as restroom facilities.
Be-lavie Tip: Comino gets very busy in the summer, infact it’s hard to see anywhere empty around the island and especially, Blue Lagoon area. For a more relaxing experience go before 10:00 or after 16:00.
How to get to Comino
First thing to note is: plan and purchase a ticket in advance, especially in peak season as things get super busy!!
Here are some suggestions on how you can get to Comino from mainland Malta
- Comino Ferries. From Cirkewawa opposite the Gozo ferry Terminal on the right, you can get a small ferry operated by Cpmino Ferries which leaves every half an hour. Tickets can be purchased from the boat cabin right outside where you board and includes a tour of the caves on the way there. Pricing is 13 Euros for adults and 7 Euros for children round trip.
- You can also take the comino Ferries from Mgaar which is North of Cirkewawa.
Be-lavie Tip: Pick-up times are not always what is stated and ferries can leave earlier than scheduled time of between 5-10 minutes without prior notice, therefore get to drop off and get on points earlier than the time you’re told!!
- Boat tour to the Blue Lagoon Everything from transportation from hotel and locations in Malta is organised for you – the hassle free approach if you don’t like to sort out logistics.
- Catamaran Boat Trip A larger version of the boat trip for a day out at sea if you have allocated a whole day of swimming snorkelling – and food and drinks can be bought on board.
- Blue Lagoon Sailing Boats with surrounding bay visits: If you love to sail, this one’s for you. As well as visiting the busier spots, you can discover the surrounding areas as well as enjoy lunch with wine and the transportation pick up drop off from your accommodation is included.
- Sunset Cruise to Blue Lagoon & Sea Caves
- Private Boat Tours Charter a boat for your party and customise the itinerary. Pick up is at Gozo Port or Cirkewwa if coming from mainland Malta
Wining & Dining in Malta
Malta’s unique but traditional Mediterranean cuisine is a complete melting pot of fresh flavours and vibrant ingredients, meaning that the food and drink places of Malta are both diverse yet traditional. You have seafood sourced direct from the ocean with the country’s great positioning, handpicked medley of capers, fresh melt in the mouth ravioli, Caponata, influenced by it’s Sicilian neighbours. Food is washed down with some of the best wines in the world. Wines containing a mix of grapes but such unique tones to the land. When it comes to sweet treats lets drool over ricotta cassata, hot chocolate puddings and a speciality of fig ice-cream. Influenced heavily by north Africa and Italy, the dining scene is a hugely decadent affair, with the Maltese being supremely passionate about cooking and eating out, you’d be hard pushed to find a good restaurant without reservation.
Read Next (Related Article): Discover the best Food & Drink Places in Malta
Malta Guide Round Up
Malta and its islands make up an archipelago that incorporate ancient history and archaeology, a Mediterranean culture fused with North African elements as well as having some of the most beautiful landscapes and ocean scapes in the world. Malta is a country waiting to be discovered, unique in its own right, a melting pot of flavours, cultures and stunning vistas, it’s no wonder it is a jewel in the Mediterranean.