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7 of the best Malta holidays 2024: Where to stay for luxury retreats and budget breaks

The best deals and destinations on the Mediterranean island

Chris Wilson
Thursday 30 May 2024 13:01 BST
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Boats bobbing in Marsaxlokk harbour, Malta
Boats bobbing in Marsaxlokk harbour, Malta (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A tiny archipelago of just three inhabited islands, Malta may be one of Europe’s smallest countries, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in natural beauty and vibrant towns.

An increasingly popular holiday destination, Malta is situated just 50 miles south of Sicily. From sightseeing in picturesque walled towns to discovering sandy beaches and and enjoying the vibrant nightlife, the island trio of Malta, Gozo and Comino boasts tourist attractions suiting all ages.

The country has been open to outside influence since medieval times, with a colourful history that culminated in independence from Britain in the 1960s. A complicated past – moulded by centuries of foreign rule by a handful of different powers – has made Malta an enigmatic paradise for those with an interest in history and the islands are a wondrous collection of landmarks.

With excellent weather well into autumn, the end of summer can be an ideal time to visit the islands. You’ll find average temperatures around 24C, fewer crowds to contend with and better deals on offer, whether you’re looking for a last-minute family-friendly getaway or a luxury couples retreat. Here are some of the best deals to get you booking that Malta holiday for 2024.

The Phoenicia, Valletta

The area around the Grand Harbour is one to snap with your camera
The area around the Grand Harbour is one to snap with your camera (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Valletta, the Maltese capital, is a Unesco World Heritage Site noted for the 320 monuments that adorn the city streets. A walled city that dates back to the 1500s, it is home to an attractive port area with sweeping sea views and an eclectic mix of honey-hued Baroque and neoclassical buildings. The main sights include the Grandmaster’s Palace, St John’s Co-Cathedral and the impressive Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens.

British Airways Holidays offer exceptional value on packages at The Phoenicia, located just outside of the city (less than 10 minutes away from the Upper Barrakka Gardens). It sits on seven acres of private gardens, with views over the Grand Harbour from its magnificent infinity pool and terrace. While the rooms are fairly minimal in decoration, the hotel interiors are magnificent, and the spa and indoor pool cap off the luxury amenities.

Prices from £1,724.50pp for seven nights’ accommodation, return flights from Gatwick, airport transfers and one checked bag each. Departing 31 August.

Corinthia Palace, San Anton

The Sant’Anton Gardens are the main attraction near the Corinthia Palace Hotel
The Sant’Anton Gardens are the main attraction near the Corinthia Palace Hotel (Getty Images)

If you prefer somewhere away from the sea, choose Mdina, a smaller walled city that served as a filming location for Game of Thrones. The former capital contains its own St Paul’s Cathedral and an impressive city gate, and can make a great base for your stay – Valletta, Sliema, St Julian’s and Mellieha are all less than 30 minutes away by car.

Just 10 minutes away from Mdina and near to the verdant Sant’Anton Gardens, the Corinthia Palace Hotel is an oasis of peace and relaxation in the gardens of a converted 19th-century villa. Centred around a large outdoor swimming pool, the hotel also offers a spa, gym and heated indoor pool, as well as a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves a terrifically British afternoon tea. Several providers offer trips here, but the Jet2holidays package is the best value.

Prices from £1,372pp for seven nights’ accommodation, bed and breakfast, return flights from Stansted, private airport transfers and one piece of checked luggage each. Departing 2 September.

Kempinski Hotel, Gozo

Gozo is a separate island in the Maltese archipelago
Gozo is a separate island in the Maltese archipelago (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

The island of Gozo lies directly northwest of Malta. Slightly smaller than its neighbour, it is similarly rugged but more green and hilly, with an impressive list of things to do. The first should be the Ggantija Temple, a Unesco-listed neolithic complex that outdates Stonehenge and the Egyptian Pyramids; the island is also home to a 15th-century citadel that is extremely well-preserved. Ramla Bay is the only sandy beach on the island, though the azure waters of the Blue Hole – a natural rock formation – and the seas surrounding it are also great for swimming.

For excellent value in your Gozo getaway, plump for Thomas Cook. This package is for a stay at the Kempinski Hotel in San Lawrenz, a five-star spa hotel with several acres of gardens that contain five different swimming pools. The hotel is suitably grand, with elegant facades and a selection of stylishly decorated rooms to add to its three different restaurant offerings.

Prices from £659.27pp for five nights’ accommodation, bed and breakfast and return flights from Gatwick. Departing 1 September.

Westin Dragonara, St Julian’s

St Julian’s Bay is one of the most popular areas of the city for days spent by the water
St Julian’s Bay is one of the most popular areas of the city for days spent by the water (Getty Images)

St Julian’s is a lively, seaside resort slightly north of Valletta. This is the place to come for nightlife, with the Paceville area well-known for its abundance of casinos, bars and clubs. Beach areas, such as St George’s Bay and Balluta Bay, are popular for swimming and a host of water sports, from snorkelling to jet skiing. For a more laid-back time, opt for a walk around Portomaso Marina and Spinola Bay.

British Airways Holidays offers a package staying at the Westin Dragonara. Near the heart of town – and close to Paceville – the hotel offers contemporary elegance with magnificent gardens, as well as two swimming pools, two sections of guest-only beach and three restaurants serving a range of continental cuisine. All rooms come equipped with a balcony or sun terrace, with views of the gardens or the Med.

Price from £1,352pp for seven nights’ accommodation, return flights from Gatwick and airport transfers. Departing 8 September.

The Palace Hotel, Sliema

Sliema sits just across the water from Valletta
Sliema sits just across the water from Valletta (Getty Images)

Sitting between Valletta and St Julian’s, Sliema is a built-up coastal town. The seafront promenade is the best place for views towards both Valletta and St Julian’s, and stretches for around three miles, making it excellent for a spot of exercise or a waterside meal. Though the only sand beaches in the area is Exiles, you can swim, kayak and paddle board using access points at Qui-Si-Sana, Font Ghadir and Sliema Pitch.

The Palace Hotel sits on a hill overlooking part of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, so you can expect sensational views if you book this easyJet package. The rooftop terrace is the focal point of the hotel, with a large infinity pool, bar and plenty of seating from which to enjoy the panorama. There’s also a spa and indoor pool, and the hotel’s central location means a quick excursion into town is easy.

Price from £868pp for five nights’ accommodation, return flights from Gatwick, one checked bag each and private airport transfers. Departing 13 June.

Salini Resort, Qawra

Qawra is part of the town of St Paul’s Bay
Qawra is part of the town of St Paul’s Bay (Getty Images)

Found within the popular St Paul’s Bay area, Qawra is a resort town near the eastern coast of the island. It is sometimes seen as a joint resort along with the nearby area of Bugibba, an upbeat and energetic place with more of a focus on nightlife. Qawra’s nightlife is less raucous – though there are still many bars, pubs and restaurants in the area – and the two spots complement each other well. The town has its own promenade, and though the rocky coastline means that sandy areas are limited, Qawra Point is a popular spot for swimming, snorkelling and diving.

Located just 10 minutes away from Qawra, the Salini Resort sits beside its own section of coastline across from St Paul’s Bay. It features tennis courts, three swimming pools and three restaurants. Inside, the hotel’s modern interiors are accompanied by sweeping sea views; private balconies in every room allow you to enjoy them in peace. For a great early-September deal on Salini, book with Tui.

Price from £550.63pp for five nights’ accommodation with return flights from Heathrow and one piece of checked luggage each. Departing 6 September.

Db Seabank Hotel, Mellieha

Manoel Island, with Sliema’s cityscape in the background
Manoel Island, with Sliema’s cityscape in the background (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Mellieha’s bay is the largest and most popular beach on the island of Malta. A charming, peaceful town surrounded by golden hills, it contains several historic monuments – from the parish church to the Red Tower, a 17th-century watchtower – and natural sites including the Coral Lagoon and Il-Majjistral Nature and History Park.

Thomas Cook’s offers a five-night all-inclusive stay at Db Seabank Hotel. The family-friendly hotel on the northern coast, near Ghadira Bay, sits around a large outdoor pool and terrace area, with an indoor pool, spa and sauna also available. The hotel has cocktail bars, lounges and seven restaurants, with cuisine ranging from Mediterranean buffets to Asian fusion. Staff organise activities such as yoga, aerobics, beach volleyball and football, while the kids’ club puts on activities for those aged four to 11.

Price from £700.89pp for five nights’ accommodation, all-inclusive, with return flights from Luton; only hand luggage included. Departing 8 September.

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