Best time to visit: February, March, April, May, June
Average high: 22˚C
Average low: 15˚C
Price of meals: 3/5
Holiday type: Beach / Culture / Family / Party / Romantic
By courtesy of their location, the Maltese Islands are a fascinating mix of North African, Arabic and European history. The ever-present sunshine, rolling hills, picturesque towns and pristine beaches belie Malta’s history as the birthplace of the Knights of Malta, who helped defend Europe from the Ottoman Empire. Fortunately, the numerous prehistoric ruins and temples across the island, and the medieval architecture of the palaces, cathedrals and villas of Mdina, Rabat and Valletta, all serve to inform visitors of the islands’ 4,000-year-old history.
While Malta boasts its own beaches, coves and swimming spots, such as the beautiful Golden Bay Beach in the northwest, they can get crowded in tourist season. The smaller island of Gozo boasts similar scenery and history but is much less visited, while the tiny Comino in between, much of which is a protected nature reserve, is the home of the unspoiled Blue Lagoon, where swimmers, divers and sunbathers can enjoy a real sense of isolation.
There is as much to do in the azure blue waters that surround the islands, including sailing the rocky coast, swimming with ocean life and scuba diving to explore the underwater caves and sunken ships that lie on the ocean floor.
Families can spend their time enjoying the beach and ocean activities, including snorkelling, diving and surfing. Tennis is a popular sport on the islands and courts can be found scattered around. Malta was also the site of the 1980 film, Popeye, and sightseers can still visit the colourful set.
Holidaymakers planning to visit in June should consider timing their trip to coincide with the Mnarja Harvest festival, where the community comes together to celebrate its rich history of folklore. Without a doubt, summer is the most popular season for festivals on the island, including both an arts festival and a jazz festival in July.
Malta is fortunate to enjoy sunshine and little rainfall all year round. In fact, it has 300 sunny days per year! While the temperature usually peaks at around 30˚C in the summer, it rarely drops below 15˚C in the winter, so is comfortable in all seasons. The warm summer and beautiful water attract thousands of tourists to its beaches each summer, meaning June, July and August are the busiest months. May offers the perfect balance between the weather starting to get hotter, the temperature still being cool enough for more strenuous activities, like hiking, and fewer tourists.
Meal prices in Malta are comparable with the UK. A single-course meal for one averages €12, while a three-course dinner for two is approximately €50. Beer, both domestic and imported, costs between €2 and €3.50, while a coffee will cost no more than €2.50. A bottle of water from a store averages €1.
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