While Malta may not be the first location you think of when looking to book a holiday, it is fast becoming a more popular destination, and although this small Mediterranean island prides itself on its history, there is much more to see and do, so read our guide and discover what Malta Holidays have to offer the whole family.
Hire a Dghajsa for a tour
If you’re wondering what a Dghajsa is, it is a small boat that acts as a water taxi, operated by locals to give you a tour of the historic Maltese waterfront. Similar to the Gondolas that can be found on the canals of Venice, the Dghajsa tours last 45 minute, showing you the three forts built by the Knights of Malta: Fort St Angelo, Fort Ricasoli and Fort St Elmo, finishing in the Grand Harbour.
A Dghajsa tour costs around €30 for 45 minutes, but try and haggle this price down on quieter days when business may be slow
The Malta Experience
The Malta Experience is an interactive, educational, audio-visual show that guides you through 7000 years of Malta’s history, including a 33 ft screen, 44 projectors and audio commentary in 12 different languages. There’s an onsite café to grab a drink before or after the show, and the obligatory souvenir shop to take something home for a friend or family member. Admission for adults is €9.50, €4.50 for children
Enjoy the Knights Spectacular
Adults can expect to pay around €40, while children’s admission is around € 20.
The Knights Spectacular is a 2 hour show depicting a battle scene, in which over 50 performers go toe to toe in combat, using horses, cannons, guns and swords to entertain the audience while they feast on a three course meal. Music and dance accompany the show, which will leave everyone on the edge of their seats. Admission is €40 for adults and €20 for children.
Go swimming with dolphins
Forget the history, and take advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity to go swimming with dolphins. Normally the type of activity you’d associate with Florida, this unique experience can take place at the Mediteranneo Marine Park in Malta. Under the supervision of a professional dolphin trainer, dive in and enjoy the moment. Family members take pictures, or at an additional cost you can hire the onsite professional photographer to capture the moment forever.
Swimming with dolphins isn’t cheap though, the cost is €120 for both adults and children. For more information check out the Marine Park Malta website
Head down to the beach
It wouldn’t be a holiday if you didn’t head down to the beach, and Malta has plenty to choose from. Beaches at Ghadira Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, Golden Sands, Paradise Bay, Pretty Bay and Armier Bay are free for everyone; all you’ll have to pay for is to rent a sun lounger and a drink to cool yourself down.
Splash ‘n’ Fun water park
Malta has its own water park, the perfect day out for everyone. You don’t all have to get in the water; there are plenty of activities for the adults to enjoy while the kids get soaked, such as salsa classes and aerobics. If you want to join in, there are eight different areas of the water park, including a high tide wave pool, the lazy river, the super bowl, the sidewinder slides and a more relaxed family pool/slide area.
Swim in the blue lagoon
One final water based activity for you: swim in the blue lagoon. Located along the coast of Comino, a small island between Malta and Gozo, the Blue Lagoon’s waters are the clearest in the Mediterranean.
Boat trips run daily from Gozo and Malta, allowing you to take a swim in this idyllic spot. Snorkelers and divers also frequent the Blue Lagoon to take in the marine life in unrivalled turquoise sea. Get there early to enjoy the lagoon in all its glory before the day trippers arrive though!
Visit Fort Rinella
Part of the furniture in Malta, Fort Rinella was originally constructed to defend the island from Italian battleships. Armed with a 100 ton Armstrong gun, Fort Rinella offers daily shows featuring military re-enactments, bayonet practice, rifle shooting and firing a large Victorian cannon to offer visitors an animated tour of the old fort. Once a year on May 5th, the huge cannon is fired to ensure it is still in working order. Admission is €8 for adults and €7 for children.
Visit the Hypogeum
As it is the only known prehistoric temple in the world, the Hypogeum of ?al-Saflieni is definitely worth a visit, although it is advisable to book well in advance as only 80 visitors are permitted per day. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hypogeum has 3 different accessible levels, containing tombs, statues, rock carvings & stonework, paintings and a snake pit.
In the Oracle room of the Hypogeum, you will find that a man’s voice will echo around the chambers, whilst a woman’s does not, so if you wish to create an eerie echo then feel free to make some noise!
Admission is €20 for adults, while children will pay €12.
There are plenty of other things to see and do on Malta, so you should find there’s more than enough to keep you occupied. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the local cuisine; the signature dish of Malta is a ‘Pastizzi’ – a pastry containing ricotta or peas, or there are meat variations such as corned beef or pork pastizzis.
Other local foods include sheep’s cheese, coriander sausages, pates and macaroni. Also, rabbit served with potatoes is popular with the Maltese residents too!