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One Week In Malta: A First Timer’s Guide To Planning A Week In Malta

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When I booked a week in Malta earlier this year, I had no idea what to expect. 

If I’m honest, I was a little apprehensive about the whole thing. Although I travel to every new destination with an open mind, I’d heard mixed things about Malta.

More specifically, I’d heard lots of people tell me that it felt “very English”. Although I’m not one to shun somewhere because it’s touristy, I was worried. Many of the people I’d heard it from were travel friends and fellow bloggers whose opinions I respected – and who usually travelled in a similar way to me.

But it was booked. And, hey, I like to give everywhere a chance. And so I found myself spending one week in Malta at the end of June.

If you’re also considering a week on this tiny European island state, I say: go! I was pleasantly surprised by my week in Malta, and I’m sure you will be too. Here’s everything you need to know while planning your Malta trip to have the best time possible!

Why spend a week in Malta

Once a traveller’s best kept European secret, it seems everyone’s been travelling to Malta recently. I can’t jump into their minds and tell you why everyone is visiting Malta right now, but I can confirm that it’s well worth a visit.  

Malta is a unique mix of European and North African influences – and yet totally distinct from them both. The language carries heavy traces of Arabic, the food isn’t totally different from the Greeks’ and the architecture wouldn’t look entirely out of place in Italy. 

And yet everything is very much Maltese.

It’s hard to describe Malta – and that’s exactly why you should experience it for yourself. It has a real unique feel about it, and it only becomes more intriguing the longer you’re there.

Malta also has something for everyone. 

Somehow, they manage to fit a little bit of everything on that tiny island. Sandy beaches, history, culture, friendly people and amazing food. It’s impressive. Whatever your travel style, you’re sure to find something in Malta.


Coast of Valletta in Malta


Is one week in Malta enough?

One week in Malta, like one week anywhere in the world, simply isn’t enough to dig deep and see everything. You could easily spend two weeks or more exploring Malta and still leave much of the island untouched – it is an entire country, after all! 

Add in the islands of Comino and Gozo, and you could easily spend months exploring all that Malta has to offer.

If you only have a week in Malta, it’s a good length of time to see the best bits and more. Malta is a small island, and you can see a surprising amount in one week. It’s also pretty easy to get around thanks to the well-connected public buses and limited number of roads.

In fact, it would be worth visiting Malta for 2 or 3 days, if that’s all the time you have. The capital city, Valletta, is close to the airport, making it an easy weekend break.

If you can, though, stay for an entire week. There’s no chance of running out of things to do, yet you’ll still be able to cover a large amount.


Valletta the Maltese capital city


Where to stay in Malta 

When you begin looking for where to stay in Malta, you’ll probably see a few names pop up. The most popular areas are Valletta, Sliema, St. Julian’s, St. Paul’s Bay/Qawra or Mellieha. 

The best area for you will depend on what you’re looking for. Sliema is an easy to reach area known for its restaurants and bars, while St. Julian’s is the bets area for nightlife. If you’re looking for beaches more than anything else, Mellieha has access to the island’s finest stretches of sand. The resorts of St Paul’s Bay, Qawra and Bugibba all have a bit of everything if you’re on a budget and want a little bit of everything. 

If you’re travelling to Malta for the first time, though, I would recommend staying in the capital. Valletta is one of the nearest cities to the airport and has the best transport links of all of Malta’s resorts. That means it’s the perfect base for a week in Malta because it’ll be easy to get out and see more of the island. Which you want to do, right?


Find somewhere to stay in Malta:



Accommodation in Malta

With millions of tourists visiting the island every year, Malta has no shortage of accommodation options. And there really is something for every type of traveller.

Within the selection of hotels, you’ll find everything from all-inclusive resorts to boutique hotels. Villas can be as secluded or serviced as you like. And there are plenty of apartments to choose from, with whatever facilities you need.

Here are some of the best options depending on your travel style:

For a boutique city break, try AX The Saint John in Valletta. I stayed here for a week and it was the perfect central base for working travellers who like a little luxury.

For an all-inclusive escape, try the Seashells Resorts in the beach resort of St. Paul’s Bay. It’s situated on the northern coast of the island, giving it easy access to the Gozo and Comino ferries, as well as some of Malta’s best beaches.

If you prefer to have your own kitchen and amenities, you can get an apartment right in the centre of the action on Airbnb. This 1 bedroom apartment is close to Sliema harbour and cheaper than most hotels in the area.


Airbnb discount code for new accounts


Places to visit in Malta

With one week in Malta, you’ll be able to see a good amount of the island. Malta is a large enough island that you’d never get bored but a small enough island that nothing’s ever too far away.

Whether you hire a car, use the public buses or book some organised excursions (the easiest option of all!), aim to visit at least a few other places than the one you’re staying in. The hop on hop off bus is also a great way to see the island and get a feel for it when you first arrive.

Here are some of my favourite places to visit during a week in Malta:

Marsaxlokk: If you’ve ever seen photos of Malta, you’ve probably seen the iconic blue fishing boats. These boats can be found in Marsaxlokk, a sleepy fishing village on the south-eastern coast of Malta. You won’t need a full day there, but it’s a great way to pass a morning or afternoon.


Do you have travel insurance?

Before you go, make sure you’re covered in case anything goes wrong. I use World Nomads because they cover lots of activities that other insurers don’t and I had a great experience claiming with them. Find out more or get an instant quote below:

 

 

The Blue Grotto: A series of caves accessible only by boat, the Blue Grotto was probably my favourite place in Malta. The total boat ride takes about 30 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to explore the surrounding area.

If you’re in Malta on a Sunday, this 5-hour tour combines the Blue Grotto with a visit to the Sunday market in Marsaxlokk.

Gozo and Comino: No trip to Malta would be complete without visiting the beautiful islands of Gozo and Comino. Again, the islands are only accessible by boat, so you’ll need to set aside the entire day. 

To get to Gozo and Comino, you can take the respective ferries. If you want to see them both, I recommend booking a full day trip that covers the two islands. I did this one and there were chances for swimming and snorkelling, too.



Planning your Malta itinerary 

Given how easy it easy to get around Malta, you don’t need to over-plan your trip. Instead, I’d recommend choosing a few things you want to do, booking them in and then seeing how you feel when you get there.

A large part of Malta’s charm can be experienced just by walking around, soaking it all in. Make sure you leave plenty of time to explore  and be spontaneous during your week in Malta – you won’t regret it!

More things to do in Malta:

 


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A WEEK IN MALTA

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