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The Best Things to Do in Malta and Gozo

Are you looking for the best things to do in Malta?

Malta may be small, but the island is packed with beautiful attractions and ancient sites. In fact, I highly recommend spending a week on the island – this should give you enough time to see the main highlights and take a trip to Gozo.

In this post, I share my top recommendations for things to do in Malta and Gozo. Let’s dive right in!


Top 5 things to do in Malta

Malta is the largest island in the Maltese archipelago, with a total area of 246 square kilometres.

Yes – it’s still quite small, but you’ll be amazed by the sheer number of things to do in Malta.

If you’re only visiting Malta for a few days, here are the top 5 things to do.

1. Spend a day in Valletta

A trip to Valletta should be at the top of your Malta bucket list. I may be biased, but Valletta is definitely one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Built in the 16th century, Valletta is packed with architectural gems, from Baroque palaces and churches to traditional limestone houses with colourful doors and balconies.

Valletta balconies Malta
Colourful Valletta balconies. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Malta’s capital also has a vibrant art and culture scene, with plenty of exhibitions and productions taking place at the stunning Manoel Theatre, St. James’ Cavalier, and other sites across the city.

Additionally, there are many historical attractions. Make sure to visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which is home to several masterpieces, including The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio.

St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

If you want to learn more about Maltese history, pop into The Museum of Archaeology and The Grandmaster’s Palace.

In the evening, the streets of Valletta flaunt a different personality, as several wine bars and gastro pubs open their doors to locals and visitors alike.

You can enjoy a nice drink on the atmospheric streets, while listening to live music.

2. Wander through the streets of Mdina

Mdina is one of the most popular attractions in Malta. This ancient city is known for its maze of quaint streets, harboured within fortified walls.

Mdina is perched on a hill and therefore offers beautiful views over some parts of Malta.

It’s also home to several interesting sites, including St. Paul’s Cathedral and the National Museum of Natural History, which is housed in a beautiful French Baroque palace.

St. Paul's Cathedral in Mdina
St. Paul’s Cathedral. Photos by Daniela Frendo.

Mdina can be quite crowded during the day. If you want to avoid the crowds, visit Mdina in the evening, when the streets are much quieter (and more magical!).

Mdina at night
Mdina at night. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

3. Explore the old city of Birgu

The port city of Birgu has a lot to offer, however it is often overlooked by tourists.

Whether you’re looking for a non-touristy alternative to Valletta and Mdina, or want to delve deeper into Malta’s history, you can a spend a day exploring the old streets of Birgu.

Birgu is located on the south side of the Grand Harbour. The city has played a vital role during the Great Siege of Malta in 1565 and during World War II.

Some interesting places to visit in Birgu include The Inquisitor’s Palace, Fort St. Angelo and the Malta Maritime Museum.

Fort St. Angelo in Birgu | Things to do in Malta
Fort St. Angelo. Photo by Daniela Frendo

Also, make sure to pop into the Sicolo Norman House, a very old building in Birgu (possibly the oldest), which has been beautifully renovated by its current owner.

The Sicolo-Norman House in Birgu.
The Sicolo-Norman House in Birgu. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

4. Visit Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples

The prehistoric temples of the Maltese islands were built between 3600 and 3000 BC. They’re some of the oldest standing structures in the world.

The megalithic temple complex of Hagar Qim and Mnajdra shed some light on Malta’s ancient communities.

The structure of the temples is just fascinating. Some of the stones are over 5 metres high and weigh around 20 tonnes.

The temples feature stone pillars decorated with spirals. An elliptical hole in the stone allows light to enter the temple during sunrise on the summer solstice.

Archaeologists have also unearthed headless mini statues of a female figure, which may suggest that these ancient communities worshiped a deity of fertility.

5. Go for a swim at Ghajn Tuffieha or Gnejna

Some of the most beautiful beaches in Malta are found in the northern region of the island.

Ghajn Tuffieha is home to two stunning beaches, Golden Bay and Riviera Bay, which are right next to each other.

Golden Bay in Malta
Golden Bay. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

These beaches are also great spots for watching the sunset.

Sunset in Ghajn Tuffieha.
Sunset in Ghajn Tuffieha. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Another beautiful beach is Gnejna Bay in Mgarr. While this beach is a bit smaller than others in the region, it is still quite a lovely swimming spot, surrounding by clay slopes and hills.

Gnejna | things to do in Malta
Gnejna. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Malta’s beaches are usually very crowded in summer. However, thanks to the island’s warm Mediterranean climate, you can still go for a swim in autumn and spring – and you’ll likely have the entire beach to yourself!


20 more amazing things to do in Malta

Looking for things to do in Malta for a week or longer? Here are more suggestions!

1. Indulge in pastizzi

Pastizzi are Malta’s favourite snack. These are pastries that are filled with either ricotta or mushy peas.

Both types of pastizzi are equally delicious, and more-ish!

Pastizzi
Pastizzi. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You can buy pastizzi from pastizzerias. These are small food outlets that sell takeaway snacks, including pastries, pizza, and baked pasta.

However, most traditional cafes serve pastizzi as well.

2. Go on a boat trip to Comino

The Maltese islands boast a rugged coastline punctuated with beautiful sandy beaches and hidden grottos.

The tiny island of Comino sits between Malta and Gozo. It’s almost uninhabited, and it’s known for the crystal clear waters of Blue Lagoon bay.

The Blue Lagoon in Comino Malta
The Blue Lagoon. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You can visit Comino on a boat trip. Most boats depart from the touristy towns of Sliema and Bugibba.

Taking a boat trip to Comino is one of the most popular things to do in Malta. In fact, the Blue Lagoon can get very busy in summer, with boats full of tourists constantly pulling into the bay.

Only visit Comino if you don’t mind crowds.

3. Hike along the Victoria Lines

The Victoria Lines is a defensive wall that was built by the British military in the 19th century, when Malta was still a British colony.

The wall runs along a natural fault and spans almost the entire width of Malta, from Madliena to Fomm ir-Rih.

If you don’t feel like hiking along the entire wall (12km), start your walk from Bingemma (you can park next to the chapel of Our Lady of Itria) and hike along the Dwejra Lines sections.

Bingemma is also home to a network of ancient tombs and cave dwellings, which you can explore before walking up the hill towards Dwejra. Along the way, you can enjoy stunning views over the island.

4. Spend Sunday morning in Marsaxlokk

If you’re a seafood lover, one of the best things to do in Malta is to take a trip to Marsaxlokk.

This seaside village on the southern tip of Malta hosts a fish market every Sunday, where local fishermen set up stalls with their latest haul.

Marsaxlokk | best things to do in Malta
Marsaxlokk. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

If you have no cooking facilities at your accommodation, you can enjoy some nice seafood at one of the restaurants situated along the promenade.

Marsaxlokk is also known for its colourful boats, including the Maltese luzzu; a traditional fishing boat painted in bright colours, with the eye of Osiris adorning each side of the bow.

5. Party with the locals at a village festa

One of the most popular Maltese traditions is the village festa.

Every parish in Malta has a patron saint. Throughout the year, several towns across the island honour their saints with band marches, processions and spectacular fireworks.

The feast of St. Publius in Floriana.
The feast of St. Publius in Floriana. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

During the festa, the local church is beautifully decorated and the statue of the saint is paraded through the streets. Ground fireworks are another important feature of the Maltese festa.

The majority of festas take place from May till September. In fact, you can hear fireworks almost every night in summer.

6. Marvel at the Mosta Dome

The town of Mosta is famous for its impressive Rotunda, which is an excellent example of the Neoclassical architectural style.

Dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, this large, 19th-century church at the heart of one of Malta’s most picturesque towns boasts a range of outstanding features. Its facade is dominated by a portico with six Ionic columns and is flanked by two bell towers.

Meanwhile, the dome is one of the largest of its kind in the world. It stands at a height of 61 metres and has a diameter of nearly 40 metres.

The interior of the church is adorned with beautiful murals, stucco mouldings, religious statues and other exquisite decorations.

During the Second World War, a heavy bomb was dropped straight onto the church during mass. It pierced the dome and landed amid a congregation of around 300 people. Miraculously, the bomb did not explode.

7. Go for coffee in a traditional town

Do you want to experience Malta beyond the tourist sites? Head to a traditional town and mingle with the locals.

For example, Naxxar is a bustling town with many cafes and shops – and a magnificent church. You can enjoy a nice drink in the square – Java makes amazing coffee!

Another quaint place for coffee is Siggiewi (pronounced See-gee-wee). On a Saturday, the town centre is a hive of activity, with locals getting their shopping done and enjoying coffee in the square.

Marilu serves some lovely drinks and snacks, and you can sit outside and watch the world go by.

The centre of Siggiewi is a maze of alleys, with traditional houses and old dwellings. And like Naxxar, it has a spectacular church.

8. Go underground at the Hypogeum

The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni is an underground prehistoric burial site which was discovered in the early 1900s and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Built on three levels, the Hypogeum is made up of a network of rock-cut chambers, some of which feature beautiful red ochre paintings and carvings on the wall. Some of the human remains that were found at this burial site date back to about 4000BC.

The Hypogeum in Malta | things to do in Malta
The Hypogeum. Photo via Flickr.

You can explore this fascinating ancient site on a guided tour. However, you must book your tickets in advance as there is a limit on the number of visitors per tour and per day.

9. Venture into the catacombs

Rabat is home to some of the earliest Christian sites in Malta.

Dating back to Punic and Roman times, St. Paul’s Catacombs are made up of interconnected underground chambers and passages, which cover an area of over 2000 square metres. Some of the walls are decorated with old frescoes.

There’s also the St. Cataldus Catacombs, which lie beneath a chapel near the main square of Rabat.

catacombs rabat katald
St. Cataldus catacombs. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Another must-visit site is St. Agatha’s Crypt and Catacombs, which are located close to St. Paul’s Catacombs.

According to legend, St. Agatha hid in a cave after fleeing Sicily – the same cave that was later turned into a crypt with impressive Byzantine and Graeco-Roman frescoes.

10. Enjoy a traditional meal in Mgarr

Want to try some authentic Maltese dishes? Head to Mgarr!

This agricultural village boasts some of the best restaurants in Malta for traditional food. Most of these places serve dishes prepared with fresh produce sourced from local farmers.

Mgarr church
Mgarr church. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

One of my favourite restaurants in Mgarr is Farmers Bar. Managed by a local farmers co-operative, this restaurant serves traditional Maltese dishes, such as rabbit, horsemeat, snails and baked pasta, prepared fresh each day.

Snails Mgarr Malta
Snails from Farmers Bar. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

There’s also Il-Barri, right next to the Mgarr parish church. This place is known for its hearty rabbit dish, but it has a lot of other options on the menu, including soups, pasta, and pizza.

Rabbit meal Malta
Fenek at Il-Barri. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Il-Barri is a popular restaurant among locals, so you’ll want to book a table in advance, especially if you’re dining there at the weekend.

11. Chill out in St. Paul’s Bay

Situated on a peninsula, St. Paul’s Bay (also called Bugibba) is one of the largest towns in Malta. It is also a touristic area, with lots of hotels, bars, and restaurants.

St. Paul’s Bay is one of the best places to stay in Malta, especially if you want to pair lazy days by the sea with a spot of sightseeing.

St. Paul's Bay
St. Paul’s Bay. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You can go for evening strolls along the promenade, hang out at the bars in Bugibba square, and enjoy a nice drink or meal by the sea.

St. Paul's Bay
St. Paul’s Bay. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

St. Paul’s Bay is a very multicultural place. This is reflected in the variety of restaurants and shops on the peninsula.

If you like to try different cuisines, check out Chicha Hut (Filipino restaurant), Tava Terrace (Turkish & Mediterranean food), and Umi (sushi).

If you fancy a nice drink and some bites, head to The Sea Cloud. They make some lovely cocktails and tapas.

There’s also Simenta Kiosk, which serves fresh fish and is situated on a jetty with views of the sea.

Simenta St. Paul's Bay
Mussels at Simenta. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

12. Enjoy a quiet swim at Ghar Lapsi

If you prefer going for a swim in a quiet area, take a trip to Ghar Lapsi; a small, secluded bay near the village of Siggiewi.

Ghar Lapsi’s main allure is its natural rocky swimming pool with turquoise waters, as well as a cosy cave situated right on the bay.

Ghar Lapsi | things to do in Malta
Ghar Lapsi. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

There are also a few restaurants where you can enjoy a lovely meal with beautiful views over the Mediterranean Sea.

Ghar Lapsi is also a great spot for scuba diving.

13. Take a boat tour of the Blue Grotto

Located close to Hagar Qim Temples, the Blue Grotto is a stunning cave system on the southern coast of Malta.

These sea caves are known for their vibrant blue waters, which you can enjoy on a Blue Grotto boat tour.

Blue Grotto Malta
Image by Wepin from Pixabay.

The boat tours leave from Wied iz-Zurrieq, a small fishing harbour where you can take in stunning views of the sea and Filfla (a small, uninhabited island) and enjoy a nice meal at one of the local restaurants (try the seafood!).

14. Eat and shop in Sliema & St. Julians

Like St. Paul’s Bay, the neighbouring seaside towns of St. Julian’s and Sliema are teeming with cafes, pubs, and restaurants.

They’re also popular tourist spots, and very multicultural. You’ll find all sorts of cuisines, including Latin American, Mediterranean, and Asian restaurants.

Empanadas
Having empanadas in Sliema. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Shops and restaurants in these towns tend to be a bit on the pricey side. But you get to enjoy a nice meal in a lively place like Spinola Bay, Balluta Bay, or Sliema Ferries.

Balluta bay Malta
Balluta. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

If you want to do some shopping, Sliema is one of the best places for it. You’ll find a lot of international retailers, especially at The Point shopping centre.

15. Hike along the coast in Mistra

Want to pair a nice swim with a scenic hike? Mistra is a great place for outdoor lovers.

Start your walk from Mistra Bay and walk up the hill towards Mistra Battery, an 18th-century coastal fortification.

Keep walking along the cliffside – there is a steep pathway that takes you up a hill first and then along the coastline. You’ll even get a close-up view of St. Paul’s Islands, which are believed to be the site of St. Paul’s shipwreck.

St. Paul's Island in Malta
St. Paul’s Island. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

This hike also takes you to an area known as il-Blata l-Bajda; a stretch of coastline with old salt pans carved into the limestone.

Il-Blata Bajda, Mistra, Malta
Il-Blata Bajda. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You’ll also come across a few pillboxes along the way. Be careful when exploring these old structures as a lot of them are in a very dilapidated state.

Next, walk up the hill towards Fort Campbell, a fort built by the British in the late 1930s.

From there, follow the road back to Mistra Bay. You can either take the long route via Selmun Palace, or walk down a shorter path which takes you back to the bay via the cliffside and Mistra Battery.

Selmun Palace. Photo by Daniela Frendo.
Selmun Palace. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

On a nice warm day, you could end the hike with a swim in the bay.

16. Go on a wee adventure in Dingli

Situated on the island’s western coast, the quaint village of Dingli is home to the highest point in Malta.

Dingli Cliffs rise up to 253 metres above sea level and offer staggering views of the rugged coast and the sea – plus a glimpse of Filfla.

Dingli Cliffs is a great place for a refreshing, coastal walk. There is a road that runs along the cliffs, with a great viewpoint next to St. Mary Magdalene Chapel.

Other interesting sites in the area include Dingli Cart Ruts (Clapham Junction), an ancient network of tracks cut into the ground, and Ghar il-Kbir, a series of caves, which was inhabited by Malta’s early cave dwellers.

Another beautiful place to visit is Buskett Gardens, one of the few green places in Malta.

Planted in the 1500s to serve as a hunting reserve, this small woodland is made up of hundreds of native coniferous trees and groves of fruit trees.

Buskett Malta
Buskett. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Buskett is also home to the beautiful Verdala Palace, which was built in 1586 and was originally used as a hunting lodge.

Nowadays, the palace serves as the summer residence of the President of Malta.

17. Pop into the Red Tower

Saint Agatha’s Tower in Mellieha, also known as the Red Tower, looks like the perfect sandcastle. Built in the 1600s, this red watchtower sits on a hill overlooking Mellieha Bay.

The Red Tower Mellieha Malta
The Red Tower. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You can pair a visit to the Red Tower with a walk along Rdum il-Qammieh. There is a clear path that starts from the Red Tower and finishes at the edge of the cliff, where you’ll find an abandoned radar station.

Rdum il-Qammieh.
Rdum il-Qammieh. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

This walk also offers scenic views of the island’s rugged north-western coast.

18. Get off the beaten path in Mtahleb

One of my favourite places in Malta is Mtahleb, a rural community in the limits of Rabat.

This is one of the few places in Malta that remain secluded and largely untainted by development.

Mtahleb | things to do in Malta
Mtahleb. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Mtahleb sits along the western coast, its main landmark being an isolated church with a red dome.

The path alongside the church leads down to the coast, where you’ll find a ravine in the cliffs. This area is known as Migra l-Ferha.

There is a set of rock-hewn steps that lead to the sea, however it is not advisable to swim here as the currents can be very dangerous.

Mtahleb.
Mtahleb ravine. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You can walk along the Mtahleb coast, sticking to the path for safety.

This area is very scenic, especially in winter, when the hills and valley flaunt lush green hues. From the pathway you can also enjoy beautiful views of sea caves – an area known as Ras id-Dawwara.

Ras id-Dawwara | things to do in Malta
Ras id-Dawwara. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Important tip: When hiking in Malta, you will often come across signs that read ‘private land’ or ‘RTO’ (reserved to owner). Some areas are occupied illegally. Avoid walking in areas that are marked as private, as some landowners can be very hostile towards trespassers.

19. Visit the pilgrimage site in Mellieha

Perched on a hill, the northern town of Mellieha is mostly known for its large stretch of sandy beach, Ghadira Bay.

However, this peaceful town is also home to a beautiful pilgrimage site.

The Mellieha pilgrimage site.
The Mellieha pilgrimage site. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Next to the imposing Mellieha parish church lies the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha – a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The chapel was built in the 16th century and has since been enlarged several times, becoming a popular pilgrimage site.

The walls of the sacristy are covered in gifts and pledges, from photos of loved ones to baby clothes and other personal belongings.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha.
The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

The highlight of the sanctuary is a Byzantine-style fresco depicting the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus.

According to legend, this fresco in the Crypt of Our Lady of Mellieha was painted by St Luke after he found himself shipwrecked on the island along with St. Paul (although it was probably painted in the 13th century).

While you’re here, you can also check out the Mellieha air raid shelter and the pretty street art in the surroundings.

Mellieha air raid shelter and street art.
Mellieha air raid shelter and street art. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Another must-see is the subterranean crypt of Il-Madonna tal-Ghar (or Our Lady of the Grotto). Steeped in legend and mystery, this 17th-century underground chapel was carved into the rock by a Sicilian merchant.

Throughout the years, several pilgrims and devotees have left votive offerings and letters on the walls of the crypt.

20. Walk around Senglea

Senglea (also known as Isla) is a fortified city that sits on the Grand Harbour, overlooking Birgu and Valletta.

While it’s not as popular as other places in the area, it’s worth a visit. You can walk along the promenade, where you’ll find local fishermen tending to their boats or enjoying a coffee at one of the kiosks.

From here, you can head up to Gardjola Gardens. Perched on the 16th-century bastions, this little oasis offers breathtaking views of the harbour.

Gardjola Gardens
Gardjola Gardens. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

The decorated sentry (Gardjola) that sits on the tip of the bastion is possibly Senglea’s star attraction. Its adorned with sculptures that symbolize vigilance: an eye, an ear, and a crane bird.

Then, you can head into the town centre and marvel at the The Basilica of the Nativity of Mary.

This church was built in the 16th century but was destroyed during the Second World War. It was rebuilt in 1956.

The Basilica of the Nativity of Mary | things to do in Malta
The Basilica of the Nativity of Mary. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

And finally, you can make your way back to the harbour, walking through the gates in the bastions.

Senglea
Senglea. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Senglea is a truly beautiful place, though it’s a bit hilly. If you’re visiting Malta in summer, you might fancy a swim in the harbour after the walk – however, make sure that you stay within the designated swimming areas, as the port can get a little busy.


Top 5 things to do in Gozo

Gozo is Malta’s sister island. It’s much smaller, and more rural, yet there are still plenty of attractions. In fact, I recommend spending a night on Gozo, rather than visiting the island on a day trip.

So, here are some of the best things to do in Gozo.

1. Walk around Cittadella

If you’re visiting Gozo, your first stop should be Cittadella.

This old citadel is situated on a hill in Victoria (also known as Rabat). It is believed that this area has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and that it later served as an administrative town during Phoenician and Roman times.

Cittadella Gozo
Cittadella. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Like Mdina, Cittadella delights visitors a with maze of quaint alleys, although on a much smaller scale. From the ramparts, you can enjoy panoramic views over Gozo.

The main highlight of Cittadella is the 17th-century cathedral, which you can visit along with the Cathedral Museum.

I also recommend visiting the Folklore Museum, which is housed in a medieval building and offers an insight into rural life on the island throughout the centuries.

2. Stroll through the alleys of Victoria

Victoria (also known as Rabat) is a joy to explore. The streets are lined with traditional houses and little shops.

A daily open-air market is held in Independence Square, with street vendors also setting up their stalls in surrounding alleys.

Shops in Victoria Gozo
Shops in Victoria. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Besides stalls selling tourist souvenirs and local crafts, you’ll also find a few tiny shops brimming with local antiques.

Just off Independence Square lies the beautiful St. George’s Basilica.

St. George's Basilica Gozo
St. George’s Basilica. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

You can enjoy a coffee in the cosy piazza, then carry on exploring the quiet alleys of the old town, or walk down Republic Street, the bustling main street of Victoria.

3. Unravel the mysteries of Ggantija Temples

The Ggantija Temples in Gozo are the oldest megalithic temples on the Maltese islands. Built between 3600 and 3200 B.C, they’re older than the Egyptian pyramids.

Ggantija temples Gozo
Ggantija Temples. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

According to legend, these temples were built by an ancient community of giants. Some of the stone slabs are over five metres long and weigh over fifty tons.

Archaeologists are still not sure what these imposing structures were built for, although they were likely used as a place of worship.

The remains of animal bones found at the site, as well as the presence of stone hearths, suggest that animal sacrifices were held here.

4. Climb to Ta’ Gurdan Lighthouse

If you want to take in some stunning views while visiting Gozo, take a trip to Ta’ Gurdan Lighthouse near the village of Ghasri.

The view from Ta Gurdan Lighthouse.
The view from Ta Gurdan Lighthouse. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

Constructed in 1851 under British rule, Ta’ Gurdan Lighthouse sits on a rocky ridge at 161 metres above sea level. If an attendant is present, you may be able to pop into the lighthouse.

You will need to climb a steep hill to get to the lighthouse (though you can park your car in a road just under the rocky ridge).

Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Gozitan countryside and coastline.

5. Explore Gozo’s hidden bays and valleys

Gozo’s coast is dotted with natural wonders and picturesque bays.

While the beaches of Ramla Bay, Xlendi and Marsalforn are normally very busy, you can escape the crowds by visiting some of Gozo’s hidden gems.

One of my favourite spots in Gozo is Wied il-Mielah, a natural arch located at the end of a valley.

Wied il-Mielah.
Wied il-Mielah. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

There is a narrow staircase that takes you down to the shore and allows you to take in a full view of this majestic arch.

If you want to go for a quiet swim, head to Mgarr ix-Xini: a small sheltered bay which has starred in a film produced by Angelina Jolie.

Another pretty swimming spot is Wied il-Ghasri, a coastal gorge with turquoise waters.


Best things to do in Malta with kids

Visiting Malta with kids? Here are some activities that they will love.

1. Meet Popeye and Olive

Popeye Village in Mellieha is one of the most colourful and photogenic places in Malta.

Located on a sheltered bay, this village of colourful wooden buildings was built as a film set for the 1980 musical film Popeye, starring Robin Williams.

Popeye village | things to do in Malta with kids
Popeye Village. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

The film set has since been converted into a family fun park, with performances and shows by Popeye, Olive Oyl, and other characters.

You can pop into the cute wooden houses, and take a boat trip around the beautiful Anchor Bay.

Even if you’re not travelling with kids, this is still one of the best things to do in Malta! Plus, you can just lounge on the beach all day.

2. Travel back in time at Ghar Dalam

Visiting Ghar Dalam is another amazing thing to do in Malta with kids.

Located in Birzebbuga, this 145-metre-long cave contains fossils and bones of animal species that became extinct thousands of years ago.

Ghar Dalam Malta
Ghar Dalam. Photo via Wikimedia.

The lowermost layers of Ghar Dalam are more than 500,000 years old. Some of the remains found in this part of the cave belong to dwarf elephants, hippopotamuses and deer. These creatures inhabited Malta when the island was still joined to Italy.

Neanderthal teeth were also found in the cave, as well as pottery dating back to 5200 BC. In fact, Ghar Dalam is home to the earliest evidence of human settlement on Malta.

3. Dive into the marine world

The Malta National Aquarium in St. Paul’s Bay offers a deep immersion into sea life.

It’s home to more than 175 animal species, including fish, reptiles, and amphibians. It also hosts educational events for children.

There’s a lovely restaurant on site, with beautiful views of the bay.

4. Feed the imagination at Esplora

The Esplore Interactive Science Centre offers a delightful experience for children.

Located in Kalkara, this attraction enables visitors to explore the world of science through interactive activities and exhibits.

There’s also a planetarium, and a multisensory room that caters to people with different abilities.

Esplora Malta

5. Spend a day at Ghadira Bay

Ghadira Bay in Mellieha is very popular among tourists and local families, mostly due to its large stretch of shallow water.

In fact, it’s perfect for kids!

Ghadira Bay
Ghadira Bay. Photo by Daniela Frendo

It’s also one of the largest beaches in Malta, so it can get quite busy in summer. You’ll need to go there super early to get a good spot.


Best things to do in Malta & Gozo (summary)

Feeling a little overwhelmed by all the amazing things to do in Malta? Here’s a handy list!

  1. Spend a day in Valletta
  2. Wander through the streets of Mdina
  3. Explore the old city of Birgu
    • Visit the Inquisitor’s Palace & Fort St. Angelo.
  4. Visit Hagar Qim & Mnajdra Temples
  5. Go for a swim at Ghajn Tuffieha or Gnejna
    • Check the beach flag to make sure it’s safe to swim
  6. Indulge in pastizzi
    • You can find them at any pastizzeria and they’re usually less than a euro!
  7. Go on a boat trip to Comino
  8. Hike along the Victoria Lines
    • Make sure to check out the caves in Bingemma.
  9. Spend Sunday morning in Marsaxlokk
    • The weekly fish market is a popular attraction.
  10. Party with the locals at a village festa
    • Expect lots of fireworks when visiting Malta in summer.
  11. Marvel at the Mosta Dome
    • It’s the third largest of its kind in the world!
  12. Go for coffee in a traditional town
    • Naxxar has some lovely coffee shops.
  13. Go underground at the Hypogeum
    • You’ll need to book your tickets well in advance due to entry restrictions.
  14. Venture into the Rabat catacombs
    • Visit St. Paul’s Catacombs, St. Agatha’s chapel and crypt, and St. Cataldus catacombs.
  15. Enjoy a traditional meal in Mgarr
  16. Chill out in St. Paul’s Bay
    • You’ll find many restaurants and bars by the sea.
  17. Enjoy a quiet swim at Ghar Lapsi
    • It’s a natural swimming pool with clear waters.
  18. Take a boat tour of the Blue Grotto
    • You can get on a boat tour from Wied iz-Zurrieq.
  19. Eat and shop in Sliema & St. Julian’s
    • The Point has a large number of shops and cafes.
  20. Hike along the coast in Mistra
    • You’ll get some lovely views of St. Paul’s Island.
  21. Go on a wee adventure in Dingli
    • Dingli Cliffs are the highest point in Malta.
  22. Pop into the Red Tower
    • This 17th-century watchtower overlooks Mellieha Bay.
  23. Get off the beaten path in Mtahleb
    • It’s a secluded area with a spectacular coastline.
  24. Visit the pilgrimage site in Mellieha
    • Check out the churches, crypt, and war shelters.
  25. Explore Senglea
    • You get amazing views of the Grand Harbour from Gardjola Gardens.
  26. Walk around Cittadella
    • Visit the Cathedral and folklore museum.
  27. Stroll through the alleys of Victoria
    • The Gozitan capital has a lot of cute shops and cafes.
  28. Unravel the mysteries of Ggantija Temples
    • These are among the oldest standing structures in the world.
  29. Climb to Ta’ Gurdan Lighthouse
    • You get some panoramic views of Gozo from here.
  30. Explore Gozo’s hidden bays and valleys
    • Check out Wied il-Mielah and Mgarr ix-Xini
  31. Meet Popeye and Olive at Popeye Village
  32. Travel back in time at Ghar Dalam
    • This cave contains fossils and bones of extinct animal species.
  33. Dive into the marine world
  34. Feed the imagination at Esplora
    • This interactive science centre is perfect for kids!
  35. Spend a day at Ghadira Bay
    • It’s a family-friendly beach with shallow water.

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