Malta is a tiny island in the Mediterranean, afloat between Sicily and the North African coast. I took a two-week holiday to Malta in summer 2014 and fell in love with it. Here’s everything you should do in 72 hours in Malta.
Where to Stay:
InterContinental Malta (5-star)
How to Get There:
Flights available from most UK cities; budget and domestic airlines
Malta’s capital, Valletta
For an island in the Mediterranean, Malta has very few sandy beaches. Most hotels have private beaches for their guests to enjoy, although stretches of sandy coastline can be found in the sparsely populated southern coast of the island.
Feel at Home:
English is one of Malta’s official languages.
Morning: Trek through Valletta, nipping in and out of the tiny tourist shops down the narrow streets lined with gallerias–traditional enclosed balconies jutting from the buildings. Wear comfortable shoes and opt for a rucksack instead of a wheely suitcase: everywhere in Valletta seems to be uphill! Pay a visit to some of Valletta’s tourist attractions including the Barrakka Gardens and the National Archaeology Museum and head to the sea to look back at the city’s impressive waterfront.
Noon: After a morning exploring the beautiful city, enjoy a cafe lunch at an outdoor table along St George’s Square. Leave space for a refreshing fresh orange or lemonade slush from street vendors, pushing carts through the winding streets. Catch a bus to neighbouring St Julians and check into the InterContinental Hotel.
Evening: Spend the afternoon and early evening relaxing at the hotel’s rooftop pool. There’s a fantastic, if slightly pricey poolside menu offering snacks, light bites and plenty of drinks on tap at the pool bar.
Night: Right on the InterContinental’s doorstep is bustling Bay Street and St Julians’, renowned for its nightlife. St Julians’ Bay is where the tourists and locals mingle on sticky dancefloors and on rooftops beneath neon lights and Romantic lanterns. Stroll down to the seafront, calling in for cocktails at the various bars along the way.
Morning: Start the day with a hearty breakfast from one of the hotel’s many restaurants, before heading to the private beach to grab a lounger and soak up the sun. InterContinental’s private beach is just a few minutes walk away from the hotel and is the perfect atmosphere to relax.
Noon: Dine in the private beach’s restaurant or head back up St Julians and stop in one of the many takeaways. Alternatively, in Bay Street shopping arcade, just across from the InterContinental, you’ll find an M&S Simply Food. After your lunch, hop on a bus and head for Mdina.
Evening: Wander the winding, eerie streets of Mdina, the Silent City, dating back to medieval times. Visit St Paul’s Catacombs and get lost amongst the artisan shops, tourist spots and hole-in-the-wall cafes. Before taking the bus back, stop off for dinner at one of Mdina’s many restaurants. Choose from a popular eatery along the walls of Mdina, overlooking the island and the Mediterranean sea, or head deep into Mdina and opt for a hidden gem with lush garden and welcoming interior.
Morning: Catch an early bus to the far end of the island and visit Marsakloxx and its neighbouring fishing villages. Line your tummy at one of Malta’s numerous walk-up bakeries and try traditional treats such as imqaret, a date roll with lemon and cinnamon. Don’t forget to buy a bag of infamous Maltese nougat and marzipan for snacking through the day.
Noon: Just before lunch, make your way to the bay in Marsakloxx and browse the impressive covered market. Keep your eye out for Osiris, Phoenician good luck symbols prevalent in the area. Dine on a lunch of fresh fish overlooking the bay, with a gentle breeze blowing in the palm trees.
Evening: Head back to Valletta for a night flight home.