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The Best Time to Visit Malta: A Local’s Guide

Want to know when’s the best time to visit Malta & Gozo?

I can give you my honest answer straightaway, and this post would end here. Instead, I have decided to go through every season and highlight the pros and cons of visiting Malta during each period. I also include a list of must-do’s and interesting events in every season.

If you’re still not sure when to visit Malta after reading this post, feel free to ask me any questions you may have in the comments section.

Best time to visit Malta
Summer sunset over Malta. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Visiting Malta in summer

Pros

You are guaranteed nice weather throughout the entire trip, although be prepared for some rain and the occasional storm if you’re visiting in September.

Cons

Too hot! Honestly, I hate Maltese summers. July and August are the worst months – it’s too hot to do anything. It also gets very warm at night, making it difficult to get a good night’s rest.

Malta is also very crowded during the summer months. You would need to head to the beach very early to get a decent spot. Popular attractions like Valletta and Mdina are also very busy in summer, and there’s nothing more hell-like than being stuck in crowded places in the searing summer heat.

If you’re visiting Malta in summer, make sure to pack these essentials for a safer and more enjoyable trip.

Best time to visit Malta
Comino. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Top things to do in Malta during summer

1. Hit the beach

You should only visit Malta in summer if you love the beach, or just want to lie by the pool all day. There are several beautiful beaches in Malta and Gozo. However, popular beaches like St. George’s Bay in St. Julian’s, Golden Bay in Ghajn Tuffieha and Ghadira Bay in Mellieha will be very crowded in summer.

Thankfully, there are some lesser-known beaches which you can enjoy, including Mgiebah Bay and Little Armier in Mellieha, and San Blas Bay and Hondoq ir-Rummien in Gozo.

2. Party on a boat

If you’re a party animal and a sun-seeker, you’ll love Malta’s boat parties. The boats normally leave from Sliema Ferries and sail along Malta’s eastern coast. Most summer boat parties take place in the evening (it’s too hot during the day!).

3. Take a trip to Comino

One of my top tips for visiting Malta is to avoid Comino in summer. The island’s Blue Lagoon looks amazing in photos, but you might be sorely disappointed when you get there – unless you don’t mind swimming in crowded areas!

If you enjoy boat travel and don’t mind spending all day in the sun, I highly recommend taking a boat trip to Comino. While almost all boat companies stop at the Blue Lagoon, some of them also make stops at Gozo and hidden sea caves along the coast.

Earth Garden | Festivals in Malta in Summer
Earth Garden. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Best summer festivals & events in Malta

If you’re visiting Malta in summer and want to get a taste of local culture, go to a village feast. Every weekend, various villages and towns across Malta and Gozo celebrate the feast of their patron saint. Known locally as festas, these religious celebrations feature spectacular fireworks, band marches and processions with the statue of the patron saint. Here’s a full list of Malta village feasts.

Another traditional summer celebration is l-Imnarja, which is one of the oldest feasts in Malta. L-Imnarja is celebrated on the 29th of June in Buskett, a woodland near Rabat, and features a farmers’ market, traditional music and various agricultural events.

Other amazing Malta festivals that take place in summer include Earth Garden, an alternative music festival held in June, the Malta International Food Festival (July), Malta Jazz Festival (July) and the Malta International Arts Festival (June).

Best time to visit Malta
St. Paul’s Islands. Photo by Daniela Frendo

Visiting Malta in autumn

Pros

My favourite thing about autumn in Malta is the weather. Octobers are normally warm enough for a swim – and you get to have the whole beach to yourself. Autumn is the best time to visit Malta if you want to avoid the crowds and still enjoy some nice weather.

Cons

The only downside to visiting Malta in autumn is the occasional heavy storm, which can last a day or two. However, thunderstorms in Malta can be very spectacular – so just grab a coffee and enjoy the show!

Gnejna Bay, Malta
Gnejna Bay. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Top things to do in Malta during autumn

1. Have a picnic by the sea

On a nice autumn day, you can enjoy a swim at one of Malta’s beautiful sandy beaches, like Paradise Bay and Ghadira in Mellieha, Gnejna in Mgarr, or Golden Bay and Riviera Bay in Ghajn Tuffieha. If the sea’s a bit too cold or rough, have a picnic instead!

2. Go on a coastal walk

Autumn is a great time for hiking in Malta. Since October is generally a warm month, you can pair a hike with a swim. I highly recommend going on a nice coastal walk in offbeat places like Mistra, Dingli Cliffs, Fomm ir-Rih and Mtahleb.

Birgu Fest | Malta Autumn Events
Birgu by Candelight. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Best autumn festivals & events in Malta

One of the largest events in the Maltese calendar is Notte Bianca. This annual event takes place in October (normally first weekend of the month), in the historic city of Valletta. Notte Bianca is a celebration of local art, culture and history, with several performances, events and exhibitions hosted in various sites across the city.

Another not-to-miss event is Birgu Fest, or Birgu by Candlelight. Birgu is an old port city and is home to several historic buildings, including the Inquisitor’s Palace and Fort St. Angelo. Every year, Birgu’s street lights are switched off for two nights and its beautiful, winding streets are lit up with candles. The city also hosts several events during BirguFest, including an artisan market, history walks and concerts. This event tends to be very crowded, so I highly recommend getting there around 6pm and having an early dinner before setting off to explore Birgu’s atmospheric, candlelit streets.

Gozo in winter
Gozo in winter. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Visiting Malta in winter

Pros

Despite having mild winters, Malta is very quiet in winter. The average day temperature in winter is about 15 degrees, while the nights tend to be a bit chilly. Long sunny spells are also common in winter, making this season perfect for picnics, hiking and just exploring Malta’s beautiful towns.

Cons

If you’re visiting Malta in winter, expect some heavy rain and storms. Due to the bad weather in winter, it might be difficult to plan a trip to Gozo in advance as the ferries do not operate when the sea is too rough.

Geocaching in Malta
Victoria Lines Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Top things to do in Malta during winter

1. Get off the beaten path

Malta may be a small, overpopulated island, but there are several scenic hiking trails to explore. Winter is the best time to go hiking in Malta, when the hills and fields are an emerald green.

Some of the most beautiful places in Malta for hiking include Victoria Lines walking trail in central Malta, Wied Babu near Hagar Qim Temples and Bahrija, a rural area near Rabat which is home to a Bronze Village and ancient tombs.

Recommendation: If you want to do several hikes in Malta, I highly recommend getting this hiking guidebook. My husband and I found it very useful when we lived in Malta.

2. Explore Valletta’s coffee scene

If the weather’s bad but you don’t want to spend all day cooped up in your room, head to Valletta for a coffee crawl. There are so many types of coffee shops in the city, from traditional cafes where you can enjoy some pastizzi, to quirky and hipster places.

Make sure you check out Prego, an old cafe in Valletta which has retained most of its original decor. Another must-visit is Caffe Cordina, which is located in a lavish palace on Republic Street.

Malta Carnival 2020. Photo by Roo Pitt via Flickr.

Best winter festivals & events in Malta

If you’re visiting Malta over the Christmas period, make sure you visit a local artisan market. There is normally one in different towns across the island in the run-up to Christmas. Also, make sure to visit Valletta in the evening to enjoy the colourful Christmas lights in the main streets.

The largest New Year’s Eve party on the island takes place in Valletta. This a free national event, held every year. The Valletta NYE Celebrations are held in the beautiful streets and squares of the city.

Malta also celebrates Carnival – in fact, this is one of the most popular events on the island. Carnival has been celebrated in Malta since the 1500s, making it one of the oldest traditions in the country. The main Carnival celebrations are held in Valletta, where large, colourful floats are paraded through the streets, accompanied by dancers in flamboyant costumes. For a truly offbeat cultural experience, head to the Nadur Carnival in Gozo, which is an adults only event due to its uncensored and often grotesque costumes.

Maltese spring produce. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Visiting Malta in spring

Pros

There are many reasons you should visit Malta in spring: beautiful weather, delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables, an array of amazing events, just to name a few.

May is a great time to go for a swim as the days are warm enough and the beaches are not yet busy.

Cons

Windy days are very common in springtime, but they are rarely accompanied by heavy rain or storms.

The Easter period is normally quite busy, so try to avoid visiting Malta during the two-week spring holidays.

Best time to visit Malta
Lower Barrakka Gardens, Valletta. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Top things to do in Malta during spring

1. Visit a farmers market

Malta produces a variety of delicious fruits and vegetables in springtime, including strawberries, cherries, broad beans and peas. If you want to sample some local produce, head to the Farmers Market in Ta’ Qali, or visit Vincent’s Eco-farm in Mgarr, a certified organic farm.

2. Stroll through the gardens in Valletta and Floriana

If you’re visiting Malta in spring, try to pop into the beautiful gardens in Valletta and Floriana. Go for a nice stroll through the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens and enjoy the views over the Grand Harbour, or enjoy a wee rest in the quiet Hastings Gardens.

If you want to explore a little-known place just outside Valletta, take a trip to the beautiful Argotti Botanical Garden in Floriana, or the Msida Bastion Historic Garden, which served as a Protestant cemetery in the 19th century.

Strawberry Festival in Mgarr. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Best spring festivals & events in Malta

Planning to visit Malta in Easter? Check out the country’s traditional Easter events, including Last Supper displays in various churches across Malta and the much-loved Good Friday processions held in different towns.

Another popular spring celebration is the Feast of St. Joseph on March 19, which is also a public holiday. This feast is celebrated in Rabat (Malta) with processions, fireworks and marching bands.

Other amazing spring events in Malta include the Strawberry Festival in Mgarr (known locally as Festa Frawli), the Malta International Fireworks Festival (April) and Medieval Mdina.

Best time to visit Malta
Mdina in spring. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Best time to visit Malta? Spring!

As a local, I love springtime in Malta. The weather is just wonderful, with long sunny days and breezy evenings. March and April are perfect for picnics and hiking, while in May the days are warm enough for a swim.

My favourite thing about spring in Malta is the seasonal produce. Local strawberries are super delicious, and I love snacking on raw beans and peas.

This is also a great time for exploring local attractions. While some places can be a bit busy, especially during the Easter holidays, you don’t have to worry about the weather being too hot or rainy.

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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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