11 adventures you can only have in Malta

All photos: VisitMalta.com, unless otherwise indicated

Next-level island hopping, ancient treasures, epic events and fantastic food – it’s all here on this Mediterranean marvel.

Now, you probably already know that the Maltese Islands are a top-tier beach holiday destination. The archipelago is a sun-drenched, full-blown Mediterranean dreamland, teeming with silky sand and crystalline, turquoise waters. But did you know that the country is jam-packed with other stuff, too?

Although it might sound as overstating the obvious for those in the know, but for those who don’t know Malta is an archipelago consisting of the islands of Malta, Gozo, Comino and loads of other rocks and isles – and between them lie nearly 7,000 years of human history. Think unique culinary and drinking cultures, countless incredible historical sights and a huge variety of adventurous activities to get stuck into. And that’s us barely getting started.  

Malta as a holiday destination offers many package deals covering the best of the Islands for any budget. All you’ll have to worry about is making the most of this incredible country. Here are the 11 things you’ve simply got to do in Malta.

1. Tour the islands by kayak

There are few better ways to navigate Malta’s maze of lagoons, caves and cliffs than by kayak. And if thrill-seeking is your cuppa tea, don’t miss the Islands’ plentiful opportunities for rock-climbing, quad-biking and zip-lining.

2. Guzzle down some Maltese merlot

For such a tiny country, Malta produces a frankly ridiculous amount of utterly delicious wine. Be sure to sign up for a few tours of the country’s finest estates and wineries. And certainly don’t forget to indulge in your fair share of tastings. Cin cin!

3. Go wild at Malta Pride

Malta’s topped the Rainbow Index (a ranking of Europe’s most LGBTQ+-friendly countries) for a whopping six years. It’s an inclusivity hotspot and Malta Pride, which is celebrated widely every September, is a total hoot. In 2023, the capital, Valletta, will also host EuroPride – so head on down for conferences, vigils, live music and, obviously, some phenomenal parties.  

Peek beneath the waves From the Blue Hole to the the HMS Maori dive site, the Maltese Islands are paradise for scuba enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Kids can get a diving licence from the age of ten – so there’s no excuse for not getting up close and personal with the caves and shipwrecks beneath those turquoise waves.

4. Peek beneath the waves

From the Blue Hole to the the HMS Maori dive site, the Maltese Islands are paradise for scuba enthusiasts of all ages and abilities. Kids can get a diving licence from the age of ten – so there’s no excuse for not getting up close and personal with the caves and shipwrecks beneath those turquoise waves.

5. Sample the local cuisine

Maltese cuisine is an eclectic melting pot of Mediterranean food styles, ranging from local pâtés and fish dishes to sumptuous cheeses and traditional desserts. Dishes are often seasonal and, for a truly Maltese experience, you’ll want to pair them with some live jazz at Bridge Bar in Valletta.

6. Pristine beach swimming

Most people already know about Malta’s famed lagoons, but did you know that the Mediterranean archipelago has not one, not two, but 11 Blue Flag beaches? From the red sands of Ramla Bay to Paradise Bay in Mellieħa, Malta is home to some of Europe’s most pristine and well-kept stretches of sand. 

7. Go island hopping

Malta isn’t just one island but three, so holidaymakers certainly shouldn’t forget to hire a boat or take a ferry out to the surrounding isles. Both Comino and Gozo are packed full of stuff to do – so much stuff, in fact, that either is worth an entire holiday in themselves.

Photo: Frank Leuderalbert via locationscout.net

8. Gaze through the Wied il-Mielaħ

Following the collapse of the famed Azure Window, a natural stone arch, in 2017, which you might have seen in a ‘Game of Thrones’ wedding scene, the Wied il-Mielaħ Window has taken up the title of being Gozo’s most remarkable geological feature. A natural limestone arch, the ceiling of the ‘window’ is so thick that you can actually walk across it. It’s a marvel of natural engineering.

Photo: Karl Glanville via locationscout.net

9. Get into family-friendly fun

Besides, of course, its dazzling beaches and huge array of thrilling things to do, Malta’s also got plenty of fun for all the family. From the slides and flumes of Splash and Fun Water Park to the film set of Popeye Village (built for the Robin Williams movie) and the interactive exhibits of the Esplora Interactive Science Centre, there’s plenty here that’ll keep the kids happy. More highlights include the Playmobil FunPark (perfect for small kids) and the Nickelodeon Treasure Hunt, an epic outdoor weekend event returning to Malta on May 28-29.

10. Map out ancient delights

Home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, dozens of magnificent churches, boatloads of fine art and tons of just generally fascinating places, the Maltese Islands are chock-full of historical intrigue. From the medieval city walls of Valletta to the Ġgantija Temples (which is the second-oldest freestanding structure in the world), these islands have more bucket-list sights than your wildest dreams.

11. Boogie down with world-class DJs

Up for a party? Great – Malta’s got loads of ‘em. Annie Mac’s Lost and Found is set to bring joyous party bangers to a strip of the Maltese coast this June, followed by the heavy beats of Abode on the Rock, the Isle of MTV (Europe’s biggest free summer festival), Glitch Festival’s cave raves, Drumcode’s line-up of techno masters and the first edition of house fest Defected Malta. From August 5-7, World Club Dome will take over Valletta’s neighbouring town, Floriana, with huge DJs and pool party action. Forget Berlin. Malta’s the new electro hotspot.