Everything you need to know before you go!
***Due to the traffic light system restrictions all current air schedules are subject to change***
Flights take around 3.5 hours and all arrive into Malta’s International Airport, Luqa.
As the island is so quaintly compact transfers to mainland resorts take no more than a maximum of 45 minutes. (Transfers by bus will of course take longer)
Entry requirements for UK nationals
The requirements for entering the islands along with the rules for arriving back in the UK are extremely fluid and read like war and peace!
You can find all of the latest information in my blog posts in the "Malta Travel Advice" section at the foot of this page.
Covid-19 swab centres
For pre-travel rapid antigen testing before your journey home, you can find a list of swabbing centres across the islands here
No jet lag here, Malta is GMT+1
You can contact all of the new Maltese friends you will make using country code +356
Malta has two official languages, Maltese and English. Italian is also widely spoken.
Predominantly Roman Catholic, but many other religious denominations are also represented too.
Public Holidays Holidays
The islands have 14 annual Public Holidays.
The only date which varies from year to year is Good Friday, every other holiday is celebrated on a set date. Interestingly, Boxing Day is a regular day - pop it in your diary though, as Malta's Boxing Day Sales are amazing! 🤩
Holidays are as follows:
1st January – New Year’s Day
10th February – Feast of St. Paul’s Shipwreck
19th March – Feast of St. Joseph
31st March – Freedom Day
March / April (date changes) – Good Friday
1st May – Labour Day
7th June – Sette Giugno
29th June – Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul (L-Imnarja)
15th August – Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (Santa Marija)
8th September – Feast of Our Lady of Victories
21st September – Independence Day
8th December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception
13th December – Republic Day
25th December – Christmas Day
Christmas is a truly magical time to visit the islands of Malta and Gozo, you can read all about this special time of year in my blog post here
Typically #Mediterranean, the islands climate is strongly influenced by the sea. Malta gloriously enjoys over 300 sunny days a year.
#Spring and #autumn are refreshingly cooler than #summer, although the African #Scirocco winds do occasionally bring in unseasonably high temperatures and humidity. I love spring as this is when the islands are at their greenest and abundant in beautifully colourful wild flowers.
In #summer expect to enjoy 12 hours of delicious sunshine a day, Malta is one very hot and dry rock during these months.
In mid #winter, sunshine drops to around 5-6 hours but the days are mild. Winters can also experience cold spells caused by the Northern winds from Central Europe. It’s not unknown for me to wear a fur coat and fur hat, then next day, T-shirt and shorts. Best advice, prepare for every eventuality!
You’ll be pleased to hear that annual rainfall levels are low, around 600mm a year, but be prepared, as when it rains in Malta, it really rains! Think monsoon!
No panic, your hairdryer will work absolutely fine here as the islands use our 3 pin UK plugs. I would however recommend that if you staying in a farmhouse that you pop in a couple of two pin adaptors just to be on the safe side too.
The official line is that tap water is safe to drink across the islands, but I’ve had one too many upset tummy’s to believe that over the years.
I always drink the local bottled water, it’s inexpensive and hotel rooms usually pop in a bottle or two to start you off. I also avoid ice in my drinks unless I know it’s made from bottled water.
Beware! The Maltese drive in the shade, it’s sometimes comparable to the Wacky Races. On the plus side the official rule is you drive on the left. I have a dedicated blog post which covers everything you need to know when driving in Malta and Gozo.
Both Malta and Gozo have a super and inexpensive network of bus services. Do they run on time? Erm mostly no! Do they get crowded, yes indeed.
The main terminuses can be found in the capital #Valletta, and in Victoria on Gozo. Single journeys which allow a transfer (full journey to be completed within 2 hours) are priced as follows,
Summer €2.00 (mid June to mid October)
Night Services €3.00
Tickets can be purchased as you board from the driver.
Further savings can be made with the purchase of a 7 day Tourist card - the Explore Tallinja card. This offers 7 days of unlimited travel at any time of day, at a super cost of,
€21 for adults
€15 for children up to the age of 10
Click here to view a list of sales outlets
Full bus schedule information can be found here
Take the breathtakingly beautiful journey from Sliema to Valletta by ferry or from Valletta to the 3 cities (Cospicua) onboard Valletta Ferry Services
At the moment the Maltese Government is subsidising these routes with only a tip required for the crew. Usual rates are as follows,
Adult Day single €1.50 (night services €1.75)
Adult Day return €2.80 (night services €3.30)
Child Day single €0.50
Child Day return €0.90
When travelling back to Valletta from Cospicua do ask the crew for a ticket or retain your ticket as this will allow you to use the Upper Barrakka lift free of charge. Using the lift avoids the climb back up to the city.
Schedules and routes can be found here
There is no way to reach the island of Gozo or Comino other than by boat.
Gozo Ferry Service
The crossing time is approx 25 minutes. Do take a seat outside as the scenery is stunning. Ferry tickets need only be purchased on your return from Gozo allowing you to board at ease in Malta.
Fares are as follows,
Standard foot passenger fare €4.65 return (night fare after 8pm €4.05 return)
Standard child fare (age 3 to 12) €1.15 return
Car plus driver €15.70 (night fare €12.80)
To calculate a fare with a car, two adults and 2 children, €15.70, plus one foot passenger at €4.65 and two children at €1.15 each = €22.65
Gozo passenger only fast ferry service
From the 1st of June 2021 there are two new kids on the ferry block!
Virtu Ferries Gozo and Gozo Fast Ferry will operate a foot passenger only service from Valletta in Malta to Mgarr in Gozo. These are fast ferries with a journey time of less than 45 minutes! Full details can be found in this blog post.
Hop on, Hop off services
New to the islands this year is the hop on, hop off catamaran service from Sliema to Comino, stopping at Bugibba, and Mgarr in Gozo. This service runs from August to the end of October. Pricing is as follows,
€11.50 for children under the age of 12
Children up to 4 years of age travel free
Tickets and schedule information can be found here
As well as the catamaran, you can also have fun experiencing a hop on, hop off bus tour of both Malta and Gozo. These partially open, double decker tour buses stop at all the major sightseeing spots on both islands.
Check out the full list of options and pricing here
Comino can also be visited from Malta by one of the many day trips offered by various sightseeing companies. Your hotel will be able to arrange this for you, usually with a pick up and return from your accommodation.
Bella Comino ferries operate a scheduled ferry service from Mgarr Harbour in Gozo to the Blue Lagoon on Comino. The journey is quick, no more than 15 minutes. Prices are,
€10 return per adult
€3 return per child (aged 5-10 years)
The full schedule can be viewed here
Word from the wise! Swerve the option of an add on cave tour for this one - the ferry is too large to enter. There are a plethora of speedboats available on Comino which will take you on a thrilling ride to the caves at a very reasonable fee. The speedboats can actually enter the caves allowing you to view the beautiful azure blue sea and the many colourful corals.
From Marfa and Cirkewwa on Malta the Comino ferry service is operated by the Comino Ferries Co-Op Ltd.
The journey time is approx 25 minutes.
Pricing is as follows,
€13 return per adult
€7 return per child (under the age of 10)
Schedules can be found here
After all of the above, should you still have #wanderlust its also possible to visit Sicily for the day too!
The service is ran by a high speed catamaran operated by Virtu Ferries Ltd.
Virtu were meant to be joined by Ponte Ferries in 2021, offering a more competitive pricing structure and an arrival into the port of Augusta. However this service has currently been suspended following a legal challenge before the Sicilian authorities by Virtu.
The Virtu service will take you from Valletta to Pozzallo in #Sicily and the day excursion will offer a trip to Mt Etna and a historical Sicilian village, usually Modica or #Taormina.
Please be aware that this is a long day, leaving Malta usually around 6am, and not returning until around 10pm.
Sicily is a large island therefore a lot of your day will be spent onboard the coach, however the scenery is stunning.
Full information can be found here
If you prefer to freestyle your visit, you can purchase foot passenger or car plus passenger tickets allowing you to spend your time in Sicily totally at leisure.
You can find pricing options here