Malta - Mellieha / Source: @jannerboy62
If you’re ready for your summer trip and looking for a perfect 7-day Malta travel itinerary, then this article is for you. Actually, it’s more like a perfect 9-day travel itinerary, as it counts your arrival and departure days separately.
If you want to get the most out of your trip, the best arrival day in Malta would be Friday evening. Then you can follow this itinerary day-by-day, and leave Malta the following Saturday. So keep reading and get inspired!
In this article we’ll cover all the most popular destinations in Malta included in the Travel Challenge Book. Why? Because if you want to check off all the places in the book from your bucket list, you need to have a good plan! So, let’s do it!
If you’re traveling from any European country, here you can download the flight schedule to Malta.
In this article, you’ll learn the answers to all of these questions:
What is the best time to travel to Malta?
How many days should you plan to visit Malta?
What should you know about Malta before visiting?
How should a perfect 7-Day Malta Travel Itinerary look like?
Valletta - the capital of Malta
What is the best time to travel to Malta?
Until normal circumstances, try to avoid the peak summer season which is July and August. Great months for visiting are May/June and September/October.
How many days should you plan for visiting Malta?
It depends on how much time you have and what you want to see. You can do a short trip of 3-5 days but you can also do one week, which is optimal, as you can cover the most popular destinations that Malta offers without any rush.
If you prefer slow traveling and getting around Malta as a local, you can spend two or more weeks exploring Maltese islands and you won’t get bored.
What should you know about Malta before visiting?
There are many travelers who visit a certain country without knowing even basic information about it. Don’t be one of them. At least you should know what language people speak in Malta and how you can pay there.
What language do people in Malta speak?
Malta has two official languages: Maltese and English. Many people speak Italian as well. Maltese is the most widely spoken language in Malta. English is used for newspapers, radio, menus, etc. So, if you at least speak English, you’ll be fine in Malta.
What is the currency in Malta?
The official currency is the Euro (€). You’ll find ATMs and bank branches in most villages.
What is the food like in Malta?
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Maltese cuisine. It’s very similar to Mediterranean with a lot of olive oil, fresh seafood, vegetables, and pasta.
Some of the traditional dishes include Pastizzi (pastries usually filled with ricotta cheese), Bigilla (local bean paste), Ħobż biż-Żejt (bread with olive oil and tomato paste), Lampuki Pie (fish pie), Stuffat tal-Fenek (rabbit stew), Widow’s Soup (traditional Maltese vegetable soup), Aljotta (maltese fish soup), Bragioli (beef olives), Imqaret (date cakes), Qagħaq tal-Għasel (reacle/honey rings).
In the picture below you can see all the dishes listed here. Just save the picture to your phone and start checking them off your list one-by-one when visiting Malta. This way you can be sure you’ve tried some of the most traditional Maltese dishes. Enjoy!
Traditional dishes in Malta - list for food lovers
Is Malta safe?
Yes! Malta has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Malta is also home to a growing expat community due to its great sunny weather.
Anything special I need when traveling to Malta?
Yes! You need a special adapter! For Malta the associated plug type is G, which is the plug that has three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. Don’t forget it!
How should a perfect 7-Day Malta Travel Itinerary look like?
Now the most important part is coming - planning.
The best way to not forget to visit any of the best places in Malta is to get the Travel Challenge Book and check them off one by one! Once your trip is over you can stick your photos inside or write down notes from your adventure. This way you can keep your memories forever!
Best places to visit in Malta
Here is your complete seven day itinerary for Malta.
Your 1-week itinerary will start in Valletta, where you’ll spend 3 days (2 nights). Once you arrive at the airport, the easiest way to get to your hotel is a taxi that takes appx. 15 minutes’ drive and costs 15€.
Note: For the first days in Valletta, there is no need to rent a car at the airport as it might be difficult to drive through the city by car and find a parking spot. Valletta is easily accessible without a car. After you leave Valletta and start exploring the island, you should rent a car.
Once you arrive at your hotel, you can unpack your luggage and go for a stroll in the city. You can visit the Republic Street and the Merchant Street in Valletta for shopping and some good food. If you’re a food lover, don’t forget the list above with some of the traditional Maltese dishes! Depends on when you arrive you might take a longer walk through the city and get some drinks, or you can just relax and get ready for the following day.
Day 1: Valletta
Your second day will start with Saint John’s Co-Cathedral which is one of the most visited spots in Valletta, so it’s worth visiting in the morning before all the crowds arrive. The cathedral opens at 9:30 a.m. every day except Sunday. On Sunday it’s closed! To enter the cathedral, you’ll need to have your arms and legs covered. The entrance fee is €15 for adults and includes an audio guide. You can plan your visit of the cathedral for appx. 1 hour.
After that you can continue to the Grandmaster’s Palace to visit the State Rooms and the Palace Armory, where one of the world’s greatest arms collections can be found. The Grandmaster Palace remains the official residence of the Maltese President, so some rooms can be occasionally closed. The entrance fee is 10€ for adults and you should plan appx. 1-2 hours for visit.
Once you leave the Grandmaster’s Palace, you can stop at Lower Barrakka Gardens and take a picture of “The Siege Bell War Memorial,” which is a ridiculously photogenic monument with the Three Cities in the background.
Then you can continue to Upper Barrakka Gardens with numerous benches and flower beds—appx. 10 minutes walk. From here you’ll get a great view over the Three Cities and you can also visit the Saluting Battery. Every day at noon a salvo is fired by people in historic costumes. The ticket costs €3 for adults.
Now it’s time for lunch. You can head to the Republic Street or the Strait Street where you can find a variety of restaurants to enjoy your lunch break. If you’re a foodie, you should head to Is-Suq Tal-Belt, which is an indoor food market and a fantastic lunch spot. Don’t forget to try pastizzi pastries (Malta’s national snack).
After your lunch you have two options:
Option 1: If you’re a military fan and interested in Malta’s war history, you should head to the Fort St. Elmo and the National War Museum.
Option 2: If you enjoy the ancient history, walking outside and taking lots of pictures, you should explore fortified cities, known as Three Cities of Malta.
Option 1: The Fort St. Elmo and the National War Museum
The Fort St. Elmo is best known for its role in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565. It was built in 1552 by the Order of St. John to protect Valletta harbors from Ottoman attacks. Due to its position, it’s a great spot with panoramic views of the harbors and surrounding towns.
You can also find here the National War Museum. The most important piece in the museum is the George Cross Medal which was given in 1942 to the whole population of Malta as a recognition for their bravery during the war. This cross now features on the Maltese flag.
To reach Fort St. Elmo and the National War Museum, you’ll just need to walk a little bit. Make sure you don’t plan your visit on Tuesday, as the fort is closed. It opens at 10 a.m. every other day and the entrance fee is €10 for adults.
Option 2: Three Cities of Malta
You can find the Three Cities to the East of Valletta, right across Grand Harbour. All of them: Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (Isla), and Bormla (Cospicua) are rich in history. They were built by the Knights of St. John when they arrived in Malta in 1530.
The oldest and the most popular one is Birgu (Vittoriosa). Here you don’t want to miss the Birgu Waterfront with museums, a yacht marina, and Fort St. Angelo. In Senglea, go to the Safe Haven Gardens at the edge of the city with one of the best view over Valletta. If you want to learn more about the history of Three Cities, you can opt for a guided tour.
To reach the Three cities from Valleta, you can take a ferry, so you need to make your way the Upper Barrakka Lift. Go down the lift and walk across the street to the Valletta Waterfront. The return ticket cost is €2.80 per person and takes about 10 minutes. So enjoy the ride and the view. Once you arrive at the dock of Bormla (Cospicua), you can start exploring.
At the end of the day you can get back to Valletta by ferry or just get on a bus, which takes around 15 minutes.
In the evening you can go to Republic Street and Merchant Street where you’ll find many restaurants and shopping options.
One day in Valletta - best places to see
Day 2: Sliema and St. Julian’s
As you walked and learned a lot about history yesterday, today you can slow down and enjoy some sun, beach, walking on a promenade with cafes, restaurants, and some shopping in Sliema and St. Julian’s.
You’ll start your day with the trip to Sliema by ferry from Valletta. The ferry ride takes around 10 minutes and the return ticket cost is €2.80 per person. You can check the ferry schedule here to find the best time to start your trip.
Once you arrive in Sliema, you’ll take a right on the promenade and walk to the edge of the town to Fort Tigne and Tigne Beach Point with beautiful views where you can take amazing pictures of Valletta.
If you’re an adventurous soul, you should try Malta Self Drive Boats on your walk to Fort Tigne. It’s a great way to experience Malta from a different perspective without crowds. You just drive the boat on your own and see everything you want to see. You don’t need to have any experience with driving a boat. All safety instructions are provided to you. The price starts at 50€ per hour and it’s worth every penny! Don’t forget a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water!
Once you’ve explored the area of Fort Tigne and taken some cool pictures, you can visit the Point Shopping Mall with a good selection of shops and international brands. It’s only 3 minutes away, and if you enjoy shopping, you won’t want to miss it.
From the shopping mall, you’ll continue your stroll on the promenade to find a nice spot to enjoy some sun and swim in the sea. If you’re hot, you can basically jump in the water from most of the places on the promenade, so just choose one spot you like and enjoy the water.
If you want to enjoy a nice place for swimming and sunbathing, you’ll keep walking to Balluta Bay Beach in St. Julian’s. It's a small beach located in the middle of the city, so you’ll have bars and cafes to enjoy straight out of the water! If you don’t want to swim, you can also read a book and chill on the sun.
On your way there, you’ll see many bars, cafes, and restaurants along the promenade, so you can enjoy some good food and drinks. You can stop at Il-Fortizza Bar & Restaurant and try some of Malta’s most traditional dishes.
From II-Fortizza you’ll keep walking for 10 minutes and you’ll see the Independence garden, which is a charming public garden and an ideal spot to watch cruise ships. From here it’s only a couple of minutes to Balluta Bay Beach.
Once you arrive at Balluta Bay Beach, find the best spot and enjoy it here as long as you want. But don’t forget! You still need some time for shopping before coming back to Valletta!
From Balluta Bay Beach you can take a bus back to the ferry terminal or you can walk. The area in front of the terminal is full of shops and boutiques. You might also like to check out the Plaza Shopping Centre and its surrounding shopping area right in the heart of Sliema (Triq Bisazza). It’s straight away from the ferry terminal.
Once you’re done with shopping, it’s time for dinner and your way back to Valletta! It’s your last day here. Tomorrow you’ll start exploring more of Malta.
Parish church in St. Julian's - Malta
Day 3: Hagar Qim/ Dingli Cliffs/Mdina and Rabat/ Mosta/Mellieha
Today it’s time to go pick up your rental car at the airport and move to a new destination. Don’t forget that in Malta, you’ll drive on the left side of the road. If you want to feel safer, you should rent a car with an automatic transmission. Especially when driving in roundabouts or exiting a parking lot, you can easily make a mistake.
Your final destination today will be Mellieha, which is on the Northern part of the island. You’ll spend here 2 nights, but before you get there, you’ll see many beautiful places on the way.
Your first stop will be an archaeological site Hagar Qim, which is only 15 minutes away from the airport. It’s a megalithic temple complex found on the Mediterranean island of Malta. There are seven temples on the islands of Malta and Gozo and they’re among the most ancient religious sites on Earth, as described by the World Heritage Sites.
Hagar Qim opens every day at 10 a.m. except Wednesday, and the entrance fee is €10 for adults. You can park your car at the visitor center directly. You might spend 1-2 hours visiting the site.
Once you’re done visiting Hagar Qim, you’ll continue your trip to Mdina with a stop at Dingli Cliffs. It’s a place only 15 minutes away from Hagar Qim. Located 250 meters above sea level, these cliffs are Malta’s highest point. You can go for a walk and enjoy the beautiful view.
After taking some pictures at Dingli Cliffs, you can go back to your car and continue to Mdina, which is only 10 minutes away.
Mdina and Rabat
Before the Knights arrived in Malta, Mdina was the capital. It’s a great place to explore by foot. Just walk around the streets to explore the main attractions. You can park your car at a large public parking area by the entrance to the old town Mdina. It’s free.
When you exit Mdina via Mdina Gate you’ll be directly in Rabat, the neighboring town.
Top places to visit in Mdina and Rabat:
Mdina Gate (Main Gate/Vilhena Gate)
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Mdina Cathedral Museum
St Paul’s Catacombs (Rabat)
Your last stop before arriving at your hotel at Mellieha is Mosta with its monumental catholic church inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. It’s one of the largest unsupported domes in the world and Malta's largest and most famous church! During the World War II a German bomb pierced the dome and fell into the church, but failed to explode, which was a miracle as nobody was hurt and the church was not destroyed. The replica of the bomb is still in the church.
Mosta dome - Malta
The church opens every day from 9:30 a.m. except Sunday. On Sunday it opens at 12 p.m. There is a small entrance fee you need to pay before visiting. You can leave your car in front of the church as there is a public parking available.
When you’re ready to leave Mosta, it’s time to continue to you final destination in Mellieha and enjoy the rest of your day with swimming and sunbathing.
Best beaches in Mellieha:
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay
Day 4: Beach Day/Popeye Village/Gozo
You always have a lazy day on your vacation, so this is the one! Just enjoy the day sunbathing, reading a book, and swimming in the sea. Either on a private beach at your hotel or at one of the beaches mentioned above.
If you want to enjoy a half day full of fun, you can also head to Popeye Village.
By the end of the day you’ll head to Gozo, your next destination where you’ll stay for 2 nights.
Who wouldn’t like to meet Popeye the sailor and his beloved Olive Oyl, right? Now you have the opportunity. Popeye Village with its colored houses is one of Malta's major tourist attractions. The film set was constructed in Anchor Bay in 1979 and converted into a primary tourist attraction for all young at heart.
You can visit Popeye’s own house and check out the sailor’s private nook, with hammock hanging over his bed. There are also other places waiting for you like the school, the firehouse, the dentist shop, the baker or the Popeye Comics Museum.
The Popeye Village opens every day at 9:30 a.m. and the entrance fee is €15 for adults.
Late afternoon it’s the best time to head to Gozo Island, your next destination. From Mellieha, go to the Cirkewwa ferry terminal. On the way to Gozon Island you won’t pay anything. You just pay on the way back. The ticket for a car and driver costs €15.70 and for one passanger €4.65. The crossing time is around 25 minutes and the ferry runs all day long.
Day 5: Comino Island and Blue Lagoon / (Gozo - Azure Window optional)
You first day on Gozo Island will start with a trip to Comino Island and Blue Lagoon, but no worries, you’ll still have a whole day tomorrow to explore Gozo Island.
You’ll need to take a small boat to Comino from Gozo. The trip lasts around 25 minutes and costs €10. The boat departure point is close to the Mgarr ferry terminal.
Blue Lagoon is a frequently visited place, so it’s worth visiting in the morning before it gets really crowded. It’s an awesome spot to take a dip, relax, and enjoy some sun. You can even rent deckchairs and an umbrella.
You can spend a half day or a full day in Comino. If you prefer a quieter place for swimming than the Blue Lagoon, there are two small beaches on the island next to the Comino Hotel. If you want to explore the island instead, you can take a walk around. Just don’t forget sturdy shoes to walk on the rocky, moon-like surface.
If you decide to stay for a half day in Comino, it’s then time to take the boat back to Gozo.
Gozo - Azure Window
In the afternoon you can visit Dwejra and the famous Azure Window that you probably know from the pictures! Unfortunately, this beautiful limestone arch collapsed in 2017 after being battered by a storm. Nevertheless, this place is still worth visiting. Other attractions are located there as well: the Inland Sea, the Deep Blue Hole, and the Fungus Rock.
You should also visit Ta’Pinu Basilica, which is an architectural masterpiece built on a hill and an important pilgrimage site for Maltese people. It’s a really impressive church from the outside, and is also very photogenic.
This will be your last station for today, so now it’s time to relax and get ready for the next day.
Day 6: Gozo Island and its beauty
Today you’ll have the whole day for exploring Gozo. There are many activities you can do and many places you can see, but you should start in Victoria, the capital city of Gozo. After that, it’s up to you what you like the most. Just check out the list below and get inspired.
The most important sightseeing here is the Citadel with panoramic views of the Gozo countryside from its bastions. There is no entrance fee to the Citadel and you will love the views.
There are many places you can visit inside of the Citadel like the Cathedral of the Assumption and the Old Prison. If you like museums, there are plenty of them like the Folklore Museum or the Museum of Archaeology.
Outside of the citadel is the Independence Square with many street vendors and shops. Nearby is Saint George's Basilica, also known as the “Marble Basilica,” because its interior is covered in marble. If you’re thinking about a good place to eat or shop, then you should head to the Republic street and enjoy walking through the city center’s narrow streets full of gift shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Xwejni Salt Pans
Another popular place in Gozo are the 350 years old Xwejni salt pans. To reach them, you’ll need to pass by Marsalforn, a favorite beach town for locals and tourists. The salt pans are incredibly picturesque, so don’t forget your camera at home. Walk along and take many pictures! It’s a wonderful promenade area spreading over 3 kilometers.
This area is great for salt harvesting because of the quality of the sea water, climate, and the position of salt pans and rocks. Salt is usually harvested between May and September. During high season, you can purchase some salt from vendors on the side of the road.
If you like archaeological sites, you’ll enjoy this megalithic complex a lot. This World Heritage Site is located in Xaghra, East of Victoria, and contains the ruins of two temples, which are more than 5,500 years old! These two temples are notable for their gigantic Bronze Age structures and are part of a group of the seven megalithic temples found on the islands of Malta and Gozo.
Dwejra and the Azure Window
If you didn’t make it to Dwejra yesterday, you can do it today! Its famous for the Azure Window that you probably know from the pictures! Unfortunately, this beautiful limestone arch collapsed in 2017 after being battered by a storm. Nevertheless, this place is still worth visiting. Other attractions are located there as well: the Inland Sea, the Deep Blue Hole, and the Fungus Rock.
Ta’Pinu Basilica is an architectural masterpiece built on a hill and an important pilgrimage site for Maltese people. It’s a really impressive church from the outside, and is also very photogenic. Worth checking it out!
Diving in Gozo
Gozo is a perfect place for diving due to many caves, reefs, calm seas, and crystal clear water. No matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, Gozo offers many diving opportunities for everyone.
Best places for diving in Gozo:
The Blue Hole
Inland Sea Tunnel
Wreck of the MV Karwela
Wied Il Gashri
Hiking in Gozo
Gozo is a nice place for hiking lovers! Especially in spring and fall. It’s better to avoid the summer season due to hot weather. There are nice hiking trails suitable even for those who are not experienced hikers. Just don’t forget your hiking shoes as many trails might be pretty rocky.
Some of the hikes you might like:
Gebel Ben Gorg Cliffs and Dwejra Bay
Valley of Nadur and Ramla Bay
Xlendi Tower to the Ta’ Ċenċ Cliffs
Countryside of Zebbug to Wied Il-Ghasri
Beaches and swimming in Gozo
The largest and most beautiful red-colored sandy beach on Gozo Island is the Ramla Bay. It’s very easy to get there and you can park your car for free next to the beach. It’s a guarded beach, so if you’re not an experienced swimmer, you’ll feel safe here. Ramla Bay is a Blue Flag certified beach.
You’ll find plenty of amenities on the beach like a restaurant, ice-cream vendors, and public bathrooms for sure. You can also rent sunbeds and umbrellas, which makes this place a perfect spot for a long day of relaxation.
Other beaches you might like in Gozo:
Hondoq Ir Rummien
San Blas Bay
I hope you’ve got a plenty of inspiration here to enjoy your last day on this beautiful island.
Marsaxlokk fishing village - Malta
Day 7: Blue Grotto and Marsaxlokk
Today you’re going to leave Gozo and head to Marsaxlokk, which will be your final destination to explore before the end of your trip in Malta. It’s a good place to spend your last night in Malta because it’s only 15 minutes away from the international airport. Before you get to Marsaxlokk, you’ll stop at Blue Grotto to take a scenic boat ride through beautiful caves.
Blue Grotto is a cave complex famous for its blue crystal clear water and it’s accessible by boat only. Before you opt for a boat tour that takes you inside the caves, you should check out a viewpoint located near Zurrieq town. From here you’ll get a perfect view of the gigantic natural arch of the grotto and can take some amazing pictures.
Your boat departs from the village Zurrieq and the ride takes around 20 minutes. Tickets for a boat trip can only be purchased from the ticket office at Blue Grotto and boat tours operate every day from 9 a.m. Swimming is not allowed when taking a boat tour as it can be quite dangerous.
The best time to visit Blue Grotto is from early morning to midday during the summer season.
Marsaxlokk fishing village
From Blue Grotto you’ll continue to your accommodation in Marsaxlokk, the largest fishing village in Malta, with colored traditional fishing boats called luzzu. You’ll have the rest of the day to explore this village, try some traditional Maltese dishes, and buy souvenirs from your trip.
Marsaxlokk is a popular tourist destination mainly due to its open-air market, peaceful walks around the coast, harbor, and many fish restaurants. On Sundays, many Maltese visit the Marsaxlokk fish market, so if you’re visiting on this day, don’t miss it!
You can also visit St Peter’s Pool to enjoy some swimming. St Peter’s Pool is a natural pool very close to Marsaxlokk. It takes only a couple of minutes by car. Be aware that you can only go in the water by jumping or going down a ladder among rocks. So it might be convenient for everyone! If you don’t want to swim, you can also take a nice stroll along the coast.
Enjoy your last day in Malta as tomorrow is already your departure day!
Today you’re leaving Malta, but don’t be sad, there are many memories you made during your trip and you can keep them all in your Travel Challenge Book. You have two empty pages dedicated to Malta where you can write down your notes or stick photos from this unforgettable trip. You can also mark off all the places in the book related to Malta as you visited! Isn’t it cool? You made it!