Malta is a small island country measuring only 27km by 14km. But there is a lot to explore in this tiny island, including panoramic sights like stunning lagoons, rock formations, and 5000-year-old monasteries.
Thanks to its size, getting around to see all places is a breeze. So, you may want to limit yourself to this country and visit these top tourist attractions. Here are the top day trips from Malta!
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Day Trips in Malta: Island Hopping & Day Trip from Malta to Sicily!
- 2 More information about Malta
- 3 → Check out these activities in Malta
- 4 Are you on Pinterest? Pin these for later read!
Top 10 Day Trips in Malta: Island Hopping & Day Trip from Malta to Sicily!
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its high amount of ancient monuments, Valletta is the first planned city in Europe. Initially built as a range of streets on a thin peninsula in the 17th century, Valletta never had any space to visit, and its architecture was mostly untouched.
When you plan your day trips from Malta to Valletta, be sure to visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a well glided gem in the crown, along with treasure-packed National Museum of Archeology and Grand Master’s Palace. One can also spot the recent additions of famous architect Renzo Piano in the city’s architecture, which includes parliament building, a new city gate, and an open-air theatre, which dates back to the WWII era.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Valletta, Malta
Related read: Things to do in Valetta
Mdina and Rabat
The small piazzas and narrow lanes of Mdina on the hilltop encircle the legendary golden-stone walls. This citadel evokes the Arabic feel where royal convents and mansions hide behind the unassuming doors. Here, the restaurants are perched well for a great lunch break.
Rabat refers to ‘superb.’ It is a small town outside the fortifications of Mdina. It is blessed with the local feel. The excavated Roman villa and spooky line of catacombs shouldn’t be missed.
Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra house are the ancient temples of Malta. These temples are located over the sea cliffs facing the islet Filfla. There is also a great small museum to be visited on boat trips in Malta.
Wied iż-Żurrieq is just a short drive away from these temples. It is a starting point with boat trips across the dazzling yet dark Mediterranean to an array of sea caves, glowing with thousands of shades of blue.
Sliema and St. Julian’s Marsaxlokk
The centers of attraction here are none other than bright fishing boats which bob in the harbor. Their reflections indeed make water seem colorful, and a lot of stalls are on the shore. Marsaxlokk hosts the biggest fish market of Malta every Sunday, where one can buy everything, be it oysters or baby sharks.
It is a great inspiration, being so vivid and grand, for a feast at one of the harbor-facing restaurants. However, one can also visit the town on weekdays, when it turns a lot more tranquil and serene when you witness the fishermen setting their nets in the harbor.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Sliema, Malta
The Three Cities, Tarxien Temples, and Hypogeum
The Three Cities are the tiny fortified towns located in front of Valletta on the dazzling blue Great Harbour. The Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua are the Three Cities. You can take a boat ride across the water to get the most amazing sights to behold.
Vittoriosa is the most impressive port of the three cities. It houses Inquisitor’s Palace, the maze of streets, some of the great traditional restaurants, and Malta at War Museum.
The ancient Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is the next stop among the three amazing cities in Paola. These subterranean caverns are preserved well and were carved on the rock, and they are around 5000 years old. Complement your treasure hunt in the ancient Tarxien Temples, located only a couple of blocks of distance.
Your hunt for soft sand ends here as it is one of the peachiest options in Malta. This golden arc on the north coast is located in front of a great hotel. Several restaurants are found here to add to the puckish charm.
It has multiple activities to enjoy. Here you can water-ski, go boating, and windsurf directly from the beach. Charlie’s Discover Speed Boat Trips is an excellent option to take a boat trip here. They will take you to hidden beaches and sea caves, and even to Comino Island.
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The landmass of Malta drops magically 220m in the water at Dingli Cliffs. If you want to enjoy a brisk walk, Dingli Cliffs are the best place with a narrow road running atop the cliffs. Maltese dishes like rabbit stew are the best to eat at the nearest Bobbyland, facing the spectacular views from this restaurant set in a Nissen hut.
Then, you can continue your expedition to unearth the mystery at Clapham Junction. It is a series of intense, primitive tracks that resemble cart trails in the pavement of limestone. It is placed 1.5km down the cliffs.
The ferry to Gozo from Valletta will take you to dizzying cliffs, fairytale views, and remarkable restaurants. Despite being smaller than Malta, Gozo has a lot of prime attractions to explore. You may take a regular ferry from Cirkewwa to get there.
Some of the major highlights here include Victoria (a hilltop capital), the beautiful Dwejra rock formations, as well as the beautiful Xaghra, a small town which has the Ggantija historic temples, which are grand by nature and name. For relaxing bike rides through the roads, leisurely and long rambles, and swimming at coves, Gozo is the best tourist attraction here.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Gozo, Malta
Comino and Blue Lagoon
Remember those postcards which look pure blue? The Blue Lagoon here really looks the same. With the base of rock and white sand, the wide-open lagoon is so aggressively aquamarine that colors exude a couple of notches. It is a paradise for those who get here for snorkeling and swimming. It is located along the barren, picture-perfect island of Comino, an ideal destination for a relaxing amble and feeling like Robinson Crusoe.
From both Gozo and Malta, you will find a lot of options for tours. You may also go solo by picking a water taxi from either Mgarr (Gozo) or Cirkewwa Port at Malta.
Read also: Top 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Europe
On day trips from Malta to Sicily, you will be spoilt for choices as it is full of attractions. Most of the time, you will come across some of the ancient treasures of the world. For example, you will witness one of the three of the best temples in the Greek world. You can explore one of the largest Greek temples at Selinunte.
With around 3500 sq. m. of mosaics, Villa Romana del Casale, Enna is among the oldest villas which are preserved well in the Roman Empire. Recently, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It has the twin towns of Modica and Ragusa, which represent the charm of Baroque art in Europe. At Monreale, both the exclusive cloister and mosaic paintings are the major centers of attractions in European art. You can also witness one of Italy’s best collections at Palermo’s Archeological Museum.
Mt. Etna is ranked as the tallest active volcano in Europe, and it also has some of the natural wonders. You will further explore the local culture of the city and befriend with lively people, along with enjoying its attractions.
Read the full blog post: Top 14 Places to Visit in Italy
More information about Malta
Sightseeing in Malta
There are four different routes for sightseeing in Malta, including Malta by Night, a fantastic option for you. This tour is best enjoyed from March to mid of November, every week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The tour starts from Bugibba and goes through several landscapes. The average cost of day tickets is starting at €20 per head (€13 for kids from 5 to 15 years).
There is a detailed audio commentary for all tours available in 16 different languages, and service is available in open double-decker buses. You can take buses from North and South, which depart from Sliema Ferries from 9 am and available every 30 minutes.
The last tour departs at 15:00 hrs from Sliema from Monday to Saturday and 14:00 hrs on Sundays. It takes up to 3 hours for the complete tour. But it is up to you as to where you board and leave at any stop en-route.
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If you want to add a twist to your guided tour, look for the ones based on specific themes. Malta is famous for its sun-kissed beaches, rich history, crystal clear blue skies, and a large number of shooting spots, local food, as well as ghost stories.
Game of Thrones Tour
This full-day tour is an excellent excuse for GoT fans to get there, at least once in a lifetime. You will visit all of the shooting spots of Game of Thrones at Malta, by Malta Film Tours. Here, the guides are actors themselves on the show. They will also offer details behind the scenes on the production. The guided tour costs €59 per head, and for children, it costs €29.50 from 5 to 12 years old.
In Malta, hiring a car is super easy. Rates of car hire over here are cheapest in Europe, and UK drivers are well trained. You may also take local buses run by Malta Public Transport, which operates all over Gozo and Malta. You may get regular water taxis and car ferries along the islands.
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→ Check out these activities in Malta