Although this archipelago makes up one of the smallest countries in the Mediterranean Sea, there are so many fun things to do in Malta!
Malta’s main islands of Malta, Gozo, and Comino offer a fascinating blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and epic adventure. Picture world-class ancient sites, crystal clear water lagoons, epic sea caves, rich sandy beaches and rocky coves, dramatic cliffs, and world-class scuba diving and snorkeling.
I spent several weeks exploring and photographing every inch of this incredible island nation and wrote the most comprehensive free Malta travel guide you’ll find on the internet. Here, I cover all of the best activities, must-see places, and some off-the-beaten-path hidden gems in Malta for your first trip.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
Best Things to Do in Malta
This is a long to-do list by any standards and, yes I've done them all! If you want my quick answer, I recommend that every first-time visitor to Malta visits the Comino and the Blue Lagoon on one of the many great boat trips, takes a day trip to Gozo (or stay overnight), and visit the famous Blue Grotto and the iconic Marsaxlokk Village.
Below is a short video of my top 10 recommendations for things to do, as well as my top 3 recommended tours you can book in Malta right now. Keep reading to dive into the complete list!
Explore the island of Gozo on a small-group Jeep adventure tour from Malta
1. Walk the Streets of Valletta
Valletta (or Il-Belt), is the tiny capital of Malta, a beautiful walled city adorned in baroque architecture and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its spectacular Grand Harbour, John's Co-Cathedral, and fantastic museums.
This vibrant city is the perfect place to stroll down its iconic narrow streets, taking you back nearly 500 years of history to the time of the Knights of St. John. This was a Roman Catholic order responsible for the city's construction following the notorious Great Siege of 1956.
Here are the top highlights and attractions in the Maltese capital of Valletta:
- St. John's Co-Cathedral - the heart of Valletta. The Co-Cathedral contains rich baroque art and frescos, impressive marble floors, and incredible vaulted ceilings.
- Upper Barrakka Gardens & Saluting Battery - great views of the Grand Harbour. Make sure to visit the Saluting Battery, a daily artillery battery display originating from the 16th century.
- Barrakka Lift - an amazing lift connecting the Valletta waterfront to the Upper Barrakka Gardens (1 euro per person).
- Traditional Boat to the Three Cities (Għaqda Barklori l-Isla) - hop on a luzzu or dgħajsa across the Grand Harbour to explore the Three Cities of Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea, and Cospicua.
- Fort St. Angelo - an impressive bastioned fort in Birgu at the center of the Malta Grand Harbour.
- Fort St Elmo - far-reaching fort at the tip of the Sciberras Peninsula.
- Museums - National Museum of Archeology, MUŻA - National Museum of Art, the Lascaris War Rooms, and the National War Museum.
- Grandmaster's Palace - beautiful former palace of the Grand Master of the Order of St. John.
- Casa Rocca Piccola - 16th century Maltese palace
2. Explore Comino Island
One of the best ways to spend a day trip in Malta is to visit the small island of Comino.
At just 3.5 square kilometers (1.35 sq mi), Comino is the smallest inhabited island in Malta. However, adventure travelers and nature lovers will find that this amazing limestone island is easily the most beautiful.
Known for its astonishing sea caves, crystal clear blue waters, and secluded bays, a visit to Comino should be on everybody's Malta travel itinerary.
The easiest way to see all of the attractions on Comino including the Blue Lagoon, Crystal Lagoon, and Santa Marija Caves is to book a Comino Island boat trip online.
These are trips on shared boats and are very affordable. Alternatively, travelers in a group have the option of booking a private tour. I've had a great experience with Outdoor Explorers and highly recommend them.
3. Malta Blue Lagoon
The breathtaking Blue Lagoon is perhaps the most iconic natural attraction in Malta, and one of those places that every traveler should see once in their lifetime.
This clear water lagoon is situated on the western side of Comino, sheltered by limestone cliffs and the neighboring Cominotto islet.
The turquoise water and sandy bottom make swimming in the Blue Lagoon one of the best things to do in Malta if you're looking for the best place to swim and snorkel with many fish and healthy marine life.
4. The Three Cities
The Three Cities refers to the three fortified cities of Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea, and Cospicua, located directly across the Grand Harbour from Valletta.
These cities are some of the oldest in Malta, Birgu being the oldest as it was constructed during the Middle Ages.
The best way to visit the Three Cities is to take a boat trip from Valletta in a traditional Maltese boat called a dgħajsa. From the water, you'll get to see all of the amazing fortifications and iconic churches. Most tours will also stop by in Birgu, where you can wander the narrow streets and head up to the Fort of Saint Angelo.
5. Day Trip to Gozo
Gozo Island is the more relaxed sister island located in the north of the Maltese archipelago. At around a third of the size of the main island, Gozo is the perfect place to explore on a day trip.
In my opinion, Gozo is one of the most beautiful places in the Mediterranean. Picture pristine coastlines, untouched country trails, quaint villages, and amazing scuba diving sites. Gozo is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling in Malta.
A popular and adventurous way to explore the island is to book a full-day Quad Bike tour from Malta island. This includes powerboat transport and a visit to some of the most iconic attractions on Gozo including:
- Ramla Bay
- Dwejra Bay
- Calypso Cave
- Marsalforn & the Salt Pans
- Powerboat back to Malta via the Blue Lagoon and Comino Caves
Travel Tip: While a day trip to Gozo is an excellent way to see the island, I highly recommend spending more time here. There are so many things to do and see on Gozo, so if you have a couple of days to spare, I highly recommend it!
6. Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples
Did you know that on the islands of Malta lie megalithic stone temple structures predating even the Great Pyramids in Egypt?
Two of the best examples of prehistoric Maltese structures are the Ħaġar Qim (pronounced adge-ar-eem) and Mnajdra Temples (mm-nigh-dra), located high on the southern Malta coastline overlooking the nature reserve of Flifla Island. These temples were constructed by a lost and forgotten prehistoric civilization that inhabited Malta as far back as 3600 BCE (that's roughly 1000 years older than the oldest Pyramid in Egypt).
Both temple structures were constructed using massive limestone blocks, some weighing more than 20 tonnes! Very little is known about the site's purpose, but its massive combined effort and intricate attention to detail suggest that these were once very important religious sites.
The two temples are separated by a short 700-meter track and can be visited from the same entrance.
7. Water Sports at Ġnejna Bay (Ta' Marija Cave)
While all the tourists know about Mellieħa Bay and Sliema, few make it out to the spectacular Ġnejna Bay.
This is a local sandy beach situated beneath the historic Ta' Lippija Tower. On the beach, you can rent a kayak, SUP, or jet ski quite cheaply from Ġnejna Watersports.
We decided to rent a kayak and explore the surrounding bay and nearby cliffs. One of the top attractions we found was the Ta' Marija Cave, a deep sea cave located just a short paddle around the southern headland past Pullicino's Cove.
8. Sunset at Dingli Cliffs
The Dingli Cliffs are a long stretch of towering limestone cliffs on Malta’s southwest coast. This area is the highest point in Malta and offers dramatic views of the Mediterranean Sea from its many viewpoints and cliffside hiking trails.
If you're looking for the best way to wind down a long day of exploring the Maltese Islands, head over to Dingli Cliffs for a spectacular sunset.
9. Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is one of the primary draws for many travelers visiting the Maltese Islands.
In fact, Malta is well regarded as one of the best scuba diving destinations in Europe. Dive sites include intricate networks of caves, reefs, and an abundance of shallow wrecks.
The two most popular dives are the Blue Hole dive site on Gozo and the P31 Wreck off Comino. Both of these dives are quite shallow and accessible to even basic open water divers. Some other popular sites include:
- El Faroud Oil Tanker - best wreck dive, Malta Island
- MV Karwela - wreck famous for its staircase, Gozo Island
- Double Arch - popular cave dive, Gozo Island
- Santa Maria Caves - Comino Island
- Inland Sea - tunnel towards the open sea, Gozo Island
- Blenheim Bomber - underwater plane wreck on Malta Island
I dived with St. Andrew's Divers Cove on Gozo and OrangeShark divers from Malta. I highly recommend both of these centers if you're looking for a shop to plan a day of diving or even to get your open-water certification.
10. The Blue Grotto
Malta’s Blue Grotto (Taht il-Hnejja) is one of the most beautiful natural caves in the country. Located on the majestic southern coastline, this cave has gained international attention for its sweeping limestone arch above radiant turquoise waters.
Visitors can witness this cave for free from the adjacent viewpoint on the outskirts of the fishing harbor called Wied iż-Żurrieq.
However, the best way to experience this remarkable cave is from the water on board a traditional and colorful luzzu fishing boat. These depart from the Wied iż-Żurrieq village and go all the way through the Blue Grotto cave, plus an additional six surrounding sea caves.
If you're staying in one of the popular tourist areas like St Julian's, Valletta, Salina Bay, or Mellieħa, then the easiest way to get to the Blue Grotto is via a full-day overland tour.
11. Popeye Village & the Anchor Bay Sunset Viewpoint
What was once a film set for the famous 1980 musical 'Popeye' starring Robin Williams has now grown to be one of the most unique tourist attractions in Malta.
The Popeye Village, also known as Sweethaven Village is located in Anchor Bay, just a short drive from the resort area of Mellieħa.
The village is open for tourists to visit from around 10 am during the summer months, usually from June to October. The cost is roughly 16.50 euros for adults, and 12.50 euros for children.
This is one of the most unique things to do in Malta for families and includes access to the film set, use of sun beds, animation shows, a cinema, and even a nine-hole mini-golf course.
While I didn't access the set, I did head down to the famous Anchor Bay sunset point just opposite the village. This is one of the best sunset locations in Malta and offers a great view of the village as well.
12. The Crystal Lagoon
While everyone who visits Malta knows about the Blue Lagoon, few realize that there's an equally beautiful clear water lagoon right around the bend.
Known as Crystal Lagoon, this picturesque sheltered cave is located just south of the Blue Lagoon on Comino Island. This is the perfect place for swimming, snorkeling, cliff jumping, and exploring the many nearby sea caves.
A unique feature of the Crystal Lagoon is the famous tunnel cave. This is a 30-meter-long natural tunnel carved into the nearby rock face. During calm weather conditions, this is a great place to swim through and admire the amazing blue glow.
13. Cafe del Mar
Okay, I'm going to admit it. I'm not the biggest party animal. In fact, you're more likely to find me on one of the many Malta hiking trails than at a beach club.
However, there is one particular club that I would recommend anyone visit– the Cafe del Mar.
This bar/restaurant is located next to the Malta National Aquarium in St Paul's Bay and features an incredible cliffside infinity pool and relaxed summer vibes.
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14. Horse Riding at Golden Bay
Chasing a unique outdoor activity in Malta? Book a sunset trail ride in Golden Bay.
The company I went with is called Golden Bay Horse Riding, they are the leaders in the market and have been running guided trail rides for over 30 years!
I recommend the later session, especially during the summer to avoid the heat and catch a beautiful sunset at the same time.
15. St. John's Co-Cathedral
Lovers of history and remarkable architecture shouldn't miss the spectacular St. John's Co-Cathedral. For anyone who's been traveling through Europe, the cathedral looks just like any other. However, it's not until you step inside that you realize just how incredible this unique Maltese baroque architecture really is.
St. John's Co-Cathedral was built between 1573 and 1577 by Girolamo Cassar and contains masterful works of art. Entrance to the cathedral costs 15 euros per person and is well worth it when in Valletta.
16. Hiking at Għajn Tuffieħa & the Clay Cliffs (Il-Majjistral)
Many tourists visit the famous fine sands of Golden Bay but unfortunately never make it to the beautiful beaches and cliffs right around the corner!
One of my favorite hiking areas in Malta is called the Il-Majjistral Nature & History Park. This is located in the northwest region of Malta Island and forms an area encompassing Golden Bay to Il-Prajjet.
If you're up for a scenic sunrise or sunset hike, I recommend taking one of the trails leading from Għajn Tuffieħa, another beautiful beach. A highlight spot is the famous Clay Cliffs, which is a great place to snap some unique landscape photos.
17. The Underground Tunnels of Valletta
The Knights of St. John didn't build Valletta as a city. Its original purpose was as to serve as an impenetrable fortress to defend the island.
The city walls and prominent fortifications surrounding the Grand Harbour are impressive but It wasn't until 2009 that another extensive defense system was discovered. Beneath Valletta, an unknowing archeological survey to build a new parking lot revealed the extent of a vast underground tunnel system!
The Maltese people used some of these tunnels during World War II's heavy bombings. However, this was just a fraction of the undergrown network.
Today, visitors can visit this underground labyrinth by booking a tour well in advance. Keep in mind that there are only a few tours a week, and there is a long waiting list.
18. Għar Lapsi Hike
Apart from the famous Blue Grotto, the south coast of Malta Island is largely missed by tourists. It's a shame because this region offers some amazing rocky coves and picturesque sea caves.
If you're looking to escape the resort town crowds and head out for a scenic coastal hike to some secluded coves, don't miss the Lapsi hiking area.
There is a free car park and bus stop just a little further on from the Lapsi Reverse Osmosis plant.
From here, you can hike past the scenic Għar Lapsi cave and dive site towards Għar Hxixa and Għar Neffied. This part of the coast is very beautiful and you'll find some excellent swimming spots too.
19. Malta Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus
While I didn't do this tour, I thought it would be a good suggestion to recommend the Malta hop-on-hop-off bus to travelers who want to go sightseeing to all of the best places to visit in Malta, including some amazing beaches and the most significant historical places in a single day.
Tip: there's also a similar bus tour on Gozo as well.
20. Għar Dalam Cave
Għar Dalam Cave is a must-visit prehistoric site for travelers fascinated by ancient history. This is Malta's oldest site, where archeologists have unearthed remains of animals that have been long lost on these islands.
Included in the discoveries were several bones of dwarf elephants, hippopotamus, and even giant swans. There were also bear and wolf bones found in the cave alongside evidence of human settlement in Malta dating back 7,400 years ago!
Attached to the Għar Dalam cave is a small museum housing many of these findings.
Visiting this significant site is a good idea if you're planning on exploring attractions on the west coast of Malta like Marsaxxlok fishing village, Pretty Bay, and Delimara Point.
21. Il-Kalanka and Delimara Point
Delimara point is a small peninsula stretching out to the easternmost point of Malta. This region is quite remote but definitely worth visiting if you have your own car to get around.
Stop by the Il-Kalanka Lighthouse for a great view, especially during sunset. Alternatively, head down to the Il-Kalanka rocky beach for a local swimming spot without the crowds.
22. St. Peter's Pool
St. Peter's Pool is a natural rocky pool located on the far eastern coast of Malta, just above Il-Kalanka.
This site is great for swimming, relaxing, and cliff jumping into crystal clear water. The pool is quite deep and has a useful steel ladder bolted into the limestone, making it easy to get in and out of the pool.
Many locals and tourists visit the St. Peter's Pool to jump in from the rocky platform. The jump height is roughly 4 meters, which isn't huge but a fun jump!
23. Mountain Biking at Munxar Cliffs
The Munxar Cliffs is another off-the-beaten-path location in Malta worth visiting. These towering limestone cliffs are situated north of Delimara Point and offer breathtaking views over the Meditteranean Sea and large sea caves below.
I explored the Munxar Cliffs on a mountain biking tour from Marsaxlokk to Marsaskala with MC Adventures. This was a fun way to experience all of the beautiful sites around this region, with plenty of stops for great photos.
24. Marsaxlokk Fishing Village (Market)
The village of Marsaxlokk is a colorful fishing town located in the southeast part of Malta. Famous for its colorful traditional fishing boats and vibrant Sunday markets, visiting this picturesque village is a must!
I highly recommend stopping by on a Sunday, where you can stroll the markets traditionally selling fresh fish, but now sell all sorts of handmade crafts and souvenirs.
25. Fort St. Angelo (Valletta)
Staring out into Valletta's Grand Harbour, the impeding Fort St. Angelo is often what first steals your attention.
This bastioned fort is located in Birgu (one of the Three Cities) and was originally built during the medieval period as a castle.
Today, visitors can cross the harbor to explore Saint Angelo's fort, which offers some of the best views of Valletta.
26. Upper Barrakka Gardens & The Saluting Battery
Chasing the best views of the Grand Harbour in Valletta? Head over to the Upper Barrakka Gardens, a historic garden area near Castille Place.
These gardens have a rich history dating back to the Italian Knights, who used this place as private gardens.
One of the most fascinating things to do at the Upper Barrakka Gardens is to watch the explosive saluting battery display. This occurs every day around 11 pm and is recognized as being one of the oldest saluting batteries still in operation.
27. Coral Lagoon
Chances are you might have seen photos of the iconic collapsed-roof sea cave with crystal clear water. This is known as the Coral Lagoon, and while one of the most beautiful natural attractions in Malta, few actually make it here.
That's because the only access inside this cave is via the sea, requiring entry by boat or kayak.
To get here, I recommend renting a kayak at the nearby Armier Bay Beach and visiting around midday when the sun shines directly into the deep water.
Alternatively, there is a boat trip that makes a stop at the Coral Lagoon, as well as other attractions like the Blue Hole and St. Paul's Islands.
28. Sunset at the Chapel of Immaculate Conception (Mellieħa)
The Chapel of Immaculate Conception is a tiny church chapel situated on the tip of Mellieħa Bay, just near the Coral Lagoon.
This headland is a great spot to sit and watch the sunset, and I guarantee that you won't find any other tourists here! As the sun sets, watch the warm summer glow light up the boats and buildings in the distance.
This is one of my favorite places to visit in Malta!
29. Traditional Dgħajsa or Luzzu Ride on the Grand Harbour (Valletta)
Don't have time to explore the Three Cities? Head down to the Valletta Grand Harbour, just across the street from the Barrakka Gardens lift.
Here, you'll find local boat drivers offering a ride around the Grand Harbour for a cheap fee.
30. Sunset Hike at Mtahleb
The small village of Mtahleb is another hidden gem in Malta that I highly recommend any adventure traveler check out!
This rural enclave is located in the remote western regions of the main island of Malta. You won't find many buildings, just a few farmhouses and a single church dotting the coast. I've been told that even Maltese locals hardly make it out here!
However, if you're into hiking or just chasing one of the best sunset locations, then exploring the coastal tracks of Miġra l-Ferħa is one of the best ways to spend an afternoon in Malta!
31. Wied il-Mielaħ Window (Gozo Island)
Yes, the famous Azure Window has collapsed. However, did you know that there is another impressive natural arch on Gozo Island?
Admittedly, this arch isn't as spectacular as the original Azure Window, but the amazing Wied il-Mielaħ is certainly a worthwhile stop when touring Gozo Island.
This arch is tucked into the cliff line and only really visible after walking down a set of rocky steps. The water below the arch is a deep shade of turquoise and great for photos.
The Gozo arch is located in the far northwest of the island and accessible via a country road. The best way to get here is to have your own car. However, some of the tours recommended in this blog post also make a stop here, including the self-drive ATV tour.
32. Rock Climbing On Gozo
Did you know that the island of Gozo is one of the best rock climbing destinations in Europe? Whether you're a pro looking for some insane overhangs and epic deep-water soloing crags or a beginner wanting to try a new adventure activity in Malta, Gozo is the spot!
We spent an afternoon climbing and abseiling at Wied il-Mielaħ (above) with 'Didi' from Gozo Climbing and organized by Gozo Adventures. This was one of my favorite outdoor activities on the island and one of the best things to do in Malta for young adults.
32. Kayak from Gozo to Comino
Adventure travelers staying on Gozo will want to skip the regular boat tour to the Blue Lagoon. Instead, book a kayaking adventure across the channel and explore not only the Blue Lagoon but many other clear water bays and epic sea caves of Comino Island.
Even if you are an experienced kayaker, local rules state that tourists must be accompanied by a professional guide to cross the channel. Gozo Adventures organized my Comino kayaking trip, departing from the beautiful Ħondoq ir-Rummien Beach on the south side of Gozo.
The trip takes less than 15 minutes in good weather conditions, allowing for a full day to explore Comino. This kayak trip is one of the best adventure experiences in Malta and easily the best way to explore the hidden gems of these spectacular islands.
33. Ġgantija Megalithic Temple Complex (Gozo Island)
When visiting Gozo, make sure to stop by the ancient Ġgantija Temple Complex– the oldest neolithic site in Malta. This megalithic temple resembles the Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra Temples, with huge limestone boulders and intricate rock carvings dating back to roughly 3600 BCE!
This makes Ġgantija Temple the second oldest religious structure in the world after Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. And, therefore this is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Malta for lovers of ancient history.
Together with the other Megalithic Temples of Malta, this complex is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors will find a newly renovated museum at the entrance, housing some incredible treasures.
34. Visit Rabat (Victoria) on Gozo Island
Rabat, also known as Victoria, is the capital of Gozo and is famous for its imposing hilltop Cittadella (Citadel) standing tall on the geographical nucleus of the island.
While the city is the most populated on Gozo, only around 7000 people are living here, a testament to the laid-back nature of this island.
When in Gozo, visiting Victoria is a must, here are some of the top highlights & worthwhile attractions you won't want to miss:
- The Cittadella
- Grand Basilica of St. George
- Republic Street (main commercial heart of the city)
- The Old Prison
- Folklore Museum
- Citadel Armoury
- Independence Square
Fun Fact: Historians believe that Rabat (which translates to suburb in Arabic) has maintained settlement for as long as 7000 years.
35. Ta' Ċenċ Cliffs and Sanap Cliffs Sunset Points (Gozo Island)
Island life is all about adventures and chasing sunsets. When visiting Malta's sister island, Gozo you'll want to head down to the south coast to wrap up your day.
Here, you'll discover two amazing sunset viewpoints, the Ta' Ċenċ Cliffs and the Sanap Cliffs. These locations are just a short drive apart and both offer dramatic coastal cliff vistas that'll blow you away!
36. Beach Hopping on Gozo Island
While Malta Island has some amazing beaches and secluded coves, my favorite sandy beaches are found on Gozo Island.
If it's fun in the sun you're chasing, then one of the top things to do in Malta is to get yourself a quad bike or rental car and go beach hopping on Gozo.
Some of my favorite beaches include:
- Ramla Beach (famous red sand)
- Hondoq ir-Rummien (picturesque sandy beach)
- Mġarr ix-Xini (secluded hidden gem)
- Xlendi Beach
- Inland Sea
- Wied il-Għasri (amazing snaking cove)
37. Calypso Cave
Calypso's Cave (L-ghar ta' Calisso) is one of the most popular and most famous mythological sites in Malta. Located near Ramla Bay on Gozo Island, Calypso Cave is believed to be the cave mentioned in Homer's ancient poem "The Odyssey".
The legend has it that the nymph Calypso kept Odysseus there for seven years after shipwrecking on Gozo.
Today, the cave is closed to visitors due to a partially collapsed roof. However, this doesn't mean it should be missed, especially if you are interested in ancient Greek mythology. There's also an excellent viewing platform above the cave, offering remarkable views of Ramla Beach and the northern Gozo coastline.
Travel Tip: Calypso's Cave is commonly confused with the more popular Tal-Mixta Cave (number 48 below), which is located on the opposite side of Ramla Bay.
38. Try Pastizzi (Maltese Street Food)
Maltese culture and cuisine are largely a reflection of its long and contentious history. From Arab to French rule, among others, the island nation has developed a truly unique mix that is entirely their own.
However, sometimes, even with all of the complexities of mixing cultural influences simplicity emerges.
And it doesn't get much simpler (or more delicious) than the humble pastizzi.
This is a local Maltese street food item made from traditional savory pastry and stuffed with delicious ricotta or curried peas filling. You can pick these up for less than a euro in most villages across the islands.
Food tip: For those visiting Gozo, I highly recommend the Crystal Palace (Is-Serkin) pastizzi shop.
39. The Malta Blue Hole
This natural geological formation is a 15-meter (roughly 50 feet) deep cylindrical coastal tube located in Dwerja Bay, on the west coast of Malta.
The Blue Hole is arguably the most famous dive site in Malta, and an absolute must for all scuba diving enthusiasts. It features an imposing underwater arch and wide cave and divers can enjoy visibility of up to 40 meters!
40. Fungus Rock
While not as famous as the Blue Hole and nearby Inland Sea (number 43 below) the protruding Fungus Rock is another impressive geological feature worth checking out in Dwerja Bay (Gozo).
This tiny islet is a huge chunk of limestone rock on the outside of the perfectly circular Black Lagoon. While most people glance by it, I believe this icon to be one of the best photography subjects on Gozo.
Did you know? The name "Fungus Rock" (which is also sometimes called Mushroom Rock, or Il-Ġebla tal-Ġeneral) comes from a time when the Knights Hospitaller discovered a unique plant growing on top of the rock. At first, this discovery appeared to be a mushroom but turned out to be a parasitic flowering plant. The Knights used this plant (despite the repugnant odor) as a medical cure for dysentery for many years.
41. Book a Romantic Gozo Picnic
Considering visiting Malta on a honeymoon? If so, one of the best things to do in Malta for couples is to book an organized, romantic Gozo Picnic.
Ana, a Gozo local, is well-known on the island for arranging amazing outdoor dinner spreads in stunning and secret coastal regions of Gozo for over four years.
Whether it's your honeymoon, anniversary, birthday, or any other excuse to plan one of the most romantic evenings of your life, message Ana on Instagram (your second half will thank you).
42. See the Remains of the Azure Window (Gozo)
If you google natural attractions in Malta, the first answer will likely be the Azure Window (Dwejra Window), a remarkable natural rock arch sitting beside Gozo's famous Blue Hole and featured in the world-famous Game of Thrones series.
Unfortunately, this Maltese icon met its fate when it collapsed into the sea in 2017. This was a tragic loss for locals and past visitors alike.
Nevertheless, there is an upside to this tragic event. If you never got a chance to see it standing like myself, you can now explore its underwater remains on an extended dive from the Blue Hole.
43. The Inland Sea (Gozo Island)
The Inland Sea (sometimes called Qawra in Maltese) is another unique natural formation in Malta attracting beachgoers and divers alike.
This is perhaps the most unique beach in Malta since its pebbly shores are separated from the Mediterranean sea by a thin natural tunnel carved through a rocky headland in Dwerja Bay.
On a fine day, travelers can swim or scuba dive through the tunnel from the saltwater lagoon, which makes for a thrilling adventure!
44. Wied il-Għasri Beach on Gozo Island
Wied il-Għasri is a unique natural gorge carved into the northern coast of Gozo Island. Here, travelers can find a long, snaking stream of pristine turquoise water, towered by steeply sloping limestone cliffs.
This location is edged into a scenic valley and offers a unique and incredibly picturesque location for swimming, snorkeling, or hiking.
45. Għar ir-Riħ - Cathedral Cave (Gozo)
While Wied il-Għasri (above) is gaining popularity, many travelers still aren't aware of the nearby Għar ir-Riħ, also known as Cathedral Cave.
This stunning sea cave is one of the most beautiful in the archipelago and a popular dive site for experienced divers. What makes this dive site so spectacular is its amazing domed vault, accessible only via a large opening at 6-18 meters under the water.
While I didn't get a chance to dive at this site or experience the Cathedral Cave myself, I did jump and swim into the sea cave one calm afternoon to explore the sea opening. I recommend only doing this if you are a very experienced swimmer and only in superb conditions, as this location can get quite rough in bad weather.
46. Gozo Salt Pans
Did you know that in ancient times, due to its unique use for food preservation, salt was so highly valued that it was used as a currency?
While we might take regular table salt for granted in modern times, the ancient Gozitans sure didn't.
To gather this life-sustaining mineral, the people of Gozo carved large, square salt pans along the coast. These are shallow, artificial dishes used to collect and dry sea water, leaving behind a thin layer of pure sea salt.
Today, these salt pans are still in use as far back as Phoenician and Roman times. You can find the best examples of these famous salt pans in the north of Gozo Island (the Xwejni Salt Pans), and on the west coast (the Xlendi Salt Pans).
47. Go Sailing Around Malta
Looking for an amazing Mediterranean sailing experience? With its pristine coastlines, secluded coves, and calm, turquoise waters, Malta is up there with the best sailing destinations in Europe.
Charter and skipper your own vessel, or jump on board a private boat charter, visiting sparsely-visited gems and iconic Maltese coastal attractions like the Blue Lagoon.
48. Tal-Mixta Cave at Ramla Beach, Gozo
While I mentioned Calypso Cave above, Tal-Mixta Cave is another cliffside cave in Ramla Bay (Gozo Island).
Tal-Mixta is a large, open cavern accessible via a back and side tunneled entrance. Its wide, open front face makes for excellent views over Ramla Beach and is one of the best sunset viewpoint locations in Malta.
49. Santa Maria Cave (Comino Island)
Ready to experience the most spectacular, bluest, and outright translucent water you've ever seen? That is exactly what you will find at Santa Marija Cave (Santa Maria Cave) on Comino Island.
This beautiful natural sea cave is accessible only via the sea and is usually included on all of the best Comino and Blue Lagoon boat tours.
Again, I've had a great experience on the Comino boat tour with Outdoor Explorers and highly recommend booking this option if you want to enter the Santa Maria Cave.
50. Elephant Head Rock (Comino Island)
Elephant Head Rock, also called Elephant Rock, or Elephant Arch, is a spectacular natural arch located on the east side of Comino Island. You don't need to look too closely to figure out where this rocky arch got its name.
Again, you'll likely visit this spot if you book the Comino island boat tour above. So, look out for it, and make sure to snap a photo!
51. Visit Mdina - The Former Capital of Malta
While Valletta is the modern capital of Malta, the original capital was Mdina, located near the center of Malta.
This is a tiny fortified city with many significant historical sites. Originally built in the medieval period, this hillside location has been fortified for nearly 3000 years but has been inhabited since prehistory!
However, upon the arrival of the Knights of the Order of St. John, Birgu (opposite Valletta) became the new administrative capital. As a result, Mdina never regained its pre-1530 significance, hence its famous nickname, The Silent City.
Today, visiting Mdina is a must, with its spectacular Baroque architecture, maze-like narrow streets, and impressive city walls making it one of the top tourist attractions in Malta.
I know what you're thinking, you've already included a visit to Rabat on this list of Malta things to do!
Yes, you're right, but remember, Rabat simply translates to suburb in Arabic, and hence is the traditional name for the capital of Gozo and the townships outside of Mdina.
You'll likely pass Rabat when heading to the Main Gate of Mdina. But, I recommend exploring the local streets beyond as well. If you're up for a local experience, head down to Crystal Palace for some one-of-a-kind pastizzi or one of the main local eateries for some traditional Rabbit Stew.
53. Hire a Jet Ski or go Parasailing
After an adrenaline-fueled water activity? One of the most fun things to do during good weather in Malta is to rent a jet ski and explore the coastline.
Some of the best places to do this are:
- Armier Bay (North Malta)
- Mellieħa Bay
- Maraskala (South Eastern Region)
Alternatively, if you're feeling super adventurous, another popular adventure activity is parasailing from St. George's Bay (near Paceville).
Travel Tip: Prefer to be shown the best spots coastal with a local guide instead? Check out this Jet Ski Experience tour in the south of Malta.
54. St Paul's Island
St Paul's Island, also known as Selmunett is a tiny islet straddled near the northeast tip of Malta Island, near the town of Selmun. While this tiny island remains uninhabited since the end of World War II, it does make for an off-the-beaten-path destination worth checking out.
Of course, you'll need a boat, jet ski, or kayak to reach it. But, when you do, you'll likely find a deserted island dropping into clean water. The only remaining landmark on St Paul's Island is the Statue of Saint Paul beside the ruined 1649 tower by Grand Master Giovanni Paolo Lascaris.
Did you know? St. Paul's Island is sometimes referred to as St. Paul's Islands (the plural form). This is because at first glance, it looks like there are two islands. However, it is only one, connected by a thin isthmus.
55. Tarxien Temples and Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum
By now, you'll already know that Malta is a top destination for all fans of ancient history. The final megalithic temple site on this Malta travel guide is the incredible Tarxien Temples and Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, located near the modern capital of Valletta.
The Tarxien Temple is an archeological complex comprising of three temples dating back to roughly 3150 BCE. While similar to the other temple structures on Gozo and Malta islands, the Tarxien Temples are particularly interesting due to several intricate stonework pieces depicting domestic animals.
Additionally, visitors will want to check out the Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum, also called the Tarxiem Hypogeum. This is a neolithic subterranean structure from around roughly the same time. Interestingly, this underground sanctuary is believed to have been some type of significant necropolis, housing more than 7,000 ancient bodies.
56. The Markus Divinus Zafrana Boutique Winery
To experience the very best of local Maltese wine, produced with indigenous grape varieties and reflecting Malta's unique heritage, make sure to try Markus Divinus' wine.
Better yet, arrange a visit to the Markus Divinus Zafrana Boutique Winery, located near the famous Dingli Cliffs on the main island of Malta.
On my visit, we were lucky enough to visit this quaint winery during a special wine tasting event. We were blown away by the hospitality and quality of wines on offer, highly recommend!
57. Ninu's Cave & Xerri's Grotto (Gozo Island)
At Xagħra, near the middle of Gozo Island lies two impressive underground caves with a unique twist– both are accessible by walking downstairs in a private residence!
That's because both of these caves were individually discovered by unexpecting locals digging wells. Xerri's Grotto and Ninu's Cave feature incredible limestone stalactites and a local guide will show you the most interesting ones at each.
Xerri's Grotto is the largest of the two and is entered via a 10-meter spiral staircase.
58. Sunset at Saint Agatha's Tower (It-Torri L-Aħmar)
When visiting the beautiful Mellieħa Bay (Għadira), it's hard to miss the striking red castle-like tower standing tall on the nearby hillside.
This tower is called It-Torri L-Aħmar, Saint Agatha's Tower, or simply the Red Tower of Mellieħa. This is a considerable bastioned watchtower on a strategic hill overlooking the entire northern peninsula, with panoramic views out to the Comino and Gozo Islands.
The Red Tower is one of the best places to visit in Malta for sunset, due to its close proximity to popular hotels and resorts and expansive views on offer.
Did you know? The people of Malta used Saint Mary's Tower on Comino and Saint Agatha's Tower on Malta Island to send warnings of pirate and enemy invasions between the islands by lighting fires in the tallest bastions.
59. Time Your Visit With a Maltese Village Feast
It's true, perhaps the only thing the Maltese like more than food and fireworks are their patron saints. And, if you're lucky enough to time your visit to Malta with one of the nearly 100 village feasts, you'll get to see all of these three determining cultural cornerstones come together.
These religious and traditional events happen every year, with each village celebrating a different patron saint (or sometimes more). The feasts, or festas started under the rule of the Knights of St John and include religious processions, lively band marches and performances, delicious street foods, and of course, elaborate firework shows.
The Maltese are extremely proud of their traditions and are very excited to share them with tourists. We visited several feasts during our time traveling in Malta but one of the best was the Feast of Our Lady of the Lilly in Mqabba. This was easily one of the most fantastic fireworks displays I've ever experienced!
60. Visit the Game of Thrones Filming Locations
While everyone knows Dubrovnik as King's Landing, many don't realize that the original Game of Thrones filming location for several first-season scenes took place in Malta.
Without giving away too many spoilers for those who still haven't watched the greatest TV show ever made, here are some of the main GoT filming locations in Malta.
- Rabat (Malta) - Season 1 Red Keep's Garden
- Mdina Gate - King's Landing
- Fort Saint Angelo - Red Keep Prison
- Mtahleb Cliffs - Famous Daenery's baby dragon scene
- Azure Window (now collapsed) - Dothraki Wedding
61. The Mosta Rotunda
The Rotunda of Mosta, also known as the Mosta Dome, or the Sanctuary Basilica of the Assumption of Our Lady is one of the most impressive neoclassical basilicas in Malta.
Even with architectural masterpieces like Valletta's St. John's Co-Cathedral, the Mosta Rotunda is still the largest and most famous church in Malta. Its design is based on the famous Pantheon in Rome and has the largest unsupported dome in the world.
Whether you visit the interior or photograph it from afar, visiting this remarkable building is a must-do activity for your Malta itinerary!
62. Visit Sliema & St Julian's
The region just north of Valletta is Malta's primary hotel and resort strip. These regions are comprised of Sliema, St. Julian's, and Paceville. If it's nightlife, shopping, or scenic coastal bars and cafes you're after, you'll want to visit this tourist area.
Better yet, some of Malta's best accommodation options are found here including the Marriot, Hilton, and the famous 1926 Hotel & Spa. So, if you're still in the process of planning your travels in Malta, this neighborhood might be your best pick for accommodation!
63. Hike the Victoria Lines
Colloquially known as the 'Great Wall' of Malta, the strategically constructed Victoria Lines are a 12-kilometer (7.45 mi) long fortification front built by the British Empire during the late 1800s.
This long wall runs all the way from Madliena in the east to Binġemma and the limits of Rabat in the west. During the cooler and greener months, hiking Victoria Lines is one of the best things to do in Malta for young adventurers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The trail follows the old wall structure running along the geographical barrier called the Great Fault. Along the way, you'll pass significant landmarks like Fort Mosta, the Targa Battery, the Dejra Lines, and Fort Bingemma.
64. Eat Traditional Maltese Cuisine (Best Places to Eat)
While I've already mentioned Malta's traditional street food, pastizzi, the truth is that Malta is a culinary paradise, with a huge variety of delicious cultural dishes to discover.
In fact, many consider Malta one of Europe's gastronomical capitals, with over 31 Michelin restaurants on the islands. But, you don't have to fine dine to get a real taste of authentic and delicious Maltese cuisine.
Based on my experience in Malta, here are the must-visit restaurants and cafes to try
- Don Berto - Birgu
- Coast at Cassarini - Wied iż-Żurrieq (Blue Grotto township)
- The Fat Rabbit - Gozo
- Makren's Bakery - Gozo
- Ta' Rikardu - Gozo
- Cafe del Mar - St Paul's Bay
- Diar il-Bniet - Dingli
- Nenu The Artisan Baker - Valletta
- Il Pirata - Mellieħa Bay
- Fontanella Tea Garden - Mdina
- No 43 - Valletta
65. Museum Hopping in Valletta
For lovers of culture, history, and art, you won't want to pass up some of the excellent museum visits on offer in Malta's capital.
Some of the best museums worth visiting include
- National Museum of Archaeology
- MUZA - Museum of Fine Arts
- Palace Armoury
- National War Museum - St Elmo Fort
- The Lascaris War Rooms
- Malta Maritime Museum
Budget Travel Tip: For travelers looking to check out multiple museums in Malta, I recommend purchasing a Heritage Malta Multisite pass for 25 euros in person at any Heritage Malta site.
66. Għar Ħasan Cave
Looking for an off-the-beaten-path hidden gem in Malta that not even most locals know about?
For travelers with their own car, drive down to the Għar Ħasan cave, located in the south of Malta near the Malta Freeport. This site is technically closed and not an official tourist site, but is easily accessible via a large gap in the fence near a parking area beside 'MaritimeMT'.
While access to the deepest parts of this beautiful sea cave is off-limits, we were able to explore some tunneled sections by turning at the steel gate once inside. The view from the entrance of this cave is also phenomenal!
Careful though, being a closed site, the walkway and barriers are not maintained!
Visiting Malta with friends? Or, want to make new ones? With its many vibrant bars and eclectic clubs, Malta is well-known as a great party destination in Europe.
You'll find many great venues stretched out around Valletta, Sliema, St Julian's, and Paceville. But, if you're after a true island party experience, don't look past the famous 5-hour Lazy Pirate Boat Party aboard the Fernandez 2.
68. Unwind at Mellieħa
Mellieħa Bay is a beautiful village in the north of Malta. This region offers a more laid-back beach vibe than the dynamic and animated neighborhoods north of Valletta.
Famous for having the longest sandy beach in Malta, this area is great for families or couples looking for a relaxed Maltese holiday experience. The beach also has quite shallow waters far out into the bay, making it one of the best beaches for children.
Whether you're staying at one of the resorts or boutique hotels, or just visiting for a day trip from other regions, there's plenty to do! Lounge at the famous Mellieħa Bay beach (Għadira Bay), cafe hop on the waterfront, hike up to the famous Red Tower via the Foresta 2000 Nature Reserve or take the bus to the quaint northern beaches like Armier Bay & Ramla tal-Bir.
69. Stare Out to Filfla Island
When visiting the top southern attractions on Malta Island like the Blue Grotto, Ħaġar Qim, or the Dingli Cliffs, you might notice the tall rocky outcrop in the distance.
This is Malta's fourth unofficial island called Filfla. Unlike the main islands, this tiny speck is an uninhabited and mostly barren island with a Marine Protected designation. Additionally, it's home to the endemic wall lizard, door snail, as well as one of the world's largest colonies of European Storm Petrel.
Due to its protected nature, tourists are not able to explore the island on foot. However, it is a beautiful landmark and makes for some great photos from the southern shores.
70. Hiking in tal-Inwadar National Park
Sadly, tourists hardly make it out to the little-known tal-Inwadar National Park (Il-Park Nazzjonali tal-Inwadar), situated on the easternmost tip of Malta Island.
This quiet coastal region complete with easy trails and an amazing Azul-water cove is only a relatively new National Park, receiving its status in 2016.
If you're looking for a quiet place for an evening walk near Marsaskala, don't miss this hidden gem in Malta!
Where to Stay in Malta
Travelers will find a broad variety of accommodation types, from 5-star resorts to traditional terraced boutique hotels scattered all over Malta's islands. However, the most popular neighborhoods to base yourself in Malta include Valletta, Sliema & St Julian's, Mellieħa Bay, and Gozo Island.
To save you time searching, make sure to check out my comprehensive guide to where to stay in Malta, or this guide to Gozo's Best Boutique Hotels. In a rush? Below are the top four options based on location, reviews, and my personal experience.
1. 1926 Hotel & Spa Sliema
This amazing 4-star luxury facility in Sliema offers Mediterranean Sea views & a rooftop infinity swimming pool. Easy access to the ferry terminal running to Gozo & Valletta.
2. Iniala Harbour House Valletta
Perched atop Valletta's stunning St Barbara Bastion, this incredible boutique experience offers stunning views of the Grand Harbour & the Three Cities from traditional Maltese balconies.
3. db Seabank Resort Mellieħa
Situated just feet from the white sandy shores of Malta's longest beach, this all-inclusive hotel offers five restaurants, a fitness center, a spa, multiple pools, & a bowling alley!
4. Quaint Boutique Hotel (Nadur) Gozo
A beautifully renovated boutique hotel beside the Nadur Parish Church. Find spacious balcony terraces overlooking the town square & offering a peaceful, traditional ambiance.
Travel tip: Accommodation in Malta sells out quickly, especially for the summer vacation period. This is a location where you do not want to book at the last minute!
Quick Things to Know Before Visiting Malta
Here are some quick logistical tips for visiting the islands of Malta.
- The Malta international airport will likely be your port of entry. This is located near the town of Luqa in the middle of the main island– a fair distance from the hotel areas. Luckily, you can pre-book a hotel transfer online for less than 7 euros.
- While Malta is a small country there is a lot to explore! I highly recommend renting a car, as this will give you the most flexibility to visit all the main attractions in Malta. Use DiscoverCars to compare rates across dealerships and make sure to book in advance (cars sell out in peak season).
- The official currency is Euros. Travelers arriving from outside of Europe can easily withdraw euros at the airport ATMs (cashpoints), which will offer the cheapest exchange rates.
- Most Maltese people speak Maltese and English. You will have no problem getting by with English. Many also speak Italian.
- Don't forget travel insurance. If you're following this guide, there'll be a lot of outdoor adventure activities. HeyMondo offers great coverage at affordable rates and has an excellent app for managing claims. Plus, We Seek Travel readers get 5% OFF travel insurance!
- Wondering where to stay? At the bottom of this blog post, I've included a quick area and accommodation guide to help you pick which region is right for your travel style and budget. You can also read my comprehensive accommodation guide for inspiration.
How to Get Around in Malta
While this island nation is the fifth smallest country in Europe, as you know by now, there are so many attractions and interesting things to do in Malta scattered over the three islands.
For those lucky enough to secure one in advance, the best way to get around is to rent your own car. Driving in Malta is quite easy and you can take the vehicle across to Comino cheaply on the ferry. However, being a small country, rental cars often sell out during the busy period.
Therefore, it's a good idea to check availability and prices across dealerships using DiscoverCars well in advance.
Alternatively, if you don't want to drive, you can use Malta's well-connected bus service to the main tourist areas. This is a very affordable and reliable way to get around Malta.
Hopping Between Gozo, Comino, & Malta
Honestly, a trip to Malta is incomplete if you don't visit the Gozo and Comino!
I recommend visiting the smallest island of Comino on a day trip, either via the public ferry in Ċirkewwa, or on an organized boat trip.
On the other hand, Gozo is much larger and deserves at least a night or two's stay. To get here, head to Ċirkewwa and take the public Gozo Ferry across the channel (roughly 15 minutes).
Alternatively, travelers with less time can also explore Gozo on an ATV self-drive day trip, which includes a boat stop at the Blue Lagoon.
Final Roundup: The Top 5 Things to Do in Malta
In this comprehensive travel guide, I've provided you with over 70 amazing things to do in Malta!
But, if that's too many, here are the top 5 must-do highlights and popular places that I believe every traveler needs to experience at least once in their lifetime.
- The Blue Lagoon
- Exploring Gozo Island
- Visiting one of the megalithic temple ruins
- A traditional Għaqda Barklori l-Isla boat ride in the Grand Harbour
- Experience the famous Malta sunsets
Faqs About Travel in Malta
How many days in Malta is enough?
In order to see the top highlights across the islands, I recommend at least 5-7 days in Malta. However, it is possible to see the must-visit sites like the Grand Harbour, Blue Lagoon, and a day trip on Gozo in 3-4 days.
Is Malta cheap to visit?
Being a European destination and operating with the euro, Malta is typically not a cheap place to travel to. However, budget travelers can find relatively affordable guest-house accommodation and youth hostels, and eat quite affordably by sticking to street food and shopping at supermarkets like LIDL.
Where is the airport?
The Malta International Airport is located in the south of the main island, roughly 9 kilometers from the capital city of Valletta. There is no international airport on Gozo or Comino.
Can you drink the water in Malta?
Yes, tap water is generally safe to drink in Malta as it satisfies all European standards. However, I still filter all of my tap water with a Grayl travel bottle (water purifier).
Do I need a visa to visit?
Malta is an EU Schengen member state and therefore enforces the same visa requirements.
When is the best time to visit Malta?
The main tourism high season in Malta is during the summer months, from June to September. This is a great time to visit Malta as the weather is usually very warm and the seas are nearly always calm. However, to beat the crowds, the best time to visit Malta is during the shoulder season of May, and September/October. During this time, travelers can expect great weather, cheaper accommodation prices, and fewer crowds.
Is Malta a safe travel destination?
Malta is extremely safe. Instances of violent crime are extremely rare and even petty crime rarely occurs toward tourists.
More Malta Travel Guides & Adventure Inspiration
And, that's a wrap for this ultimate travel guide summing up the 70 best things to do in Malta! I hope this guide has inspired you to visit the beautiful islands of Malta, Comino, and Gozo, I guarantee you won't run out of fun activities & mind-blowing natural attractions!
Even with this long guide, I urge you to go off the beaten path and discover some amazing hidden gems of your own! If you find something you feel like sharing with other travelers, leave a comment below!
Otherwise, here are some more useful guides & inspiring blog posts that will be a great tool for planning your trip.
- 16 Things to do on Comino - my detailed guide to the island of Comino
- 40 Amazing Things to do on Gozo - I explored every corner of Malta's sister island of Gozo to form this comprehensive travel guide
- Best Beaches in Malta - a thorough beach guide covering the most popular spots and plenty of hidden gems
- Guide to Mellieha - a detailed travel guide covering the top 16 things to do in Mellieha
- 26 Things to do in Valletta - I cover my favorite things to do in Malta's capital
- Top Sunset Spoints in Malta - wind down your day at one of these epic sunset locations in Malta
- The Malta Blue Lagoon Guide - the most up-to-date resource on visiting Malta's most popular natural attraction, the Blue Lagoon!
- Accommodation resources: Looking for places to stay? Read my guide to finding where to stay in Malta. Or, for a unique stay, check out this list of great Boutique Hotels in Gozo and more Boutique Hotels in Valletta.