Malta – a dot with a lot. Fun in the Sun!

 

As promised in my post describing Malta’s seasons, here is the category of what we think enters the fun in the sun type of holiday.

Which Beach?

The best sandy beaches for families are Ghadira (ah-di-ra), Golden Bay, Armier and Ramla bay (in Gozo) so if you are here for just that, make sure your hotel is close enough to one of them. Still, this does not mean that other places are not nice to stay but it’s easier to just walk to the beach instead of getting your car.

Parking is a nightmare especially in the weekend, in fact we as a family, do not like to go to the beach on a Sunday as all Malta is there and parking is impossible after 9/10am. If you don’t mind staying in your hotel’s pool instead of actually swimming in the sea during the weekend then that’s the best sollution. There are many hotels around the island with beautiful pools and some are right on the sea’s edge like in the Sliema/St.Julian’s area or the Bugibba area. Below is a picture of a hotel in Ghadira, just opposite the beach – we had gone for a weekend break.

Water Parks?

We have one Water Park in Malta – Splash and Fun park, if you must visit it then go ahead but it is not one of my favourite places to go. Still, it is a fun place to spend a day and if your kids are teenagers then it can get their adrenaline rush going. Right next to Splash and Fun is the Mediterranean marine park with dolphin shows, sea lion shows as well as parrot shows. This park is not a place to spend all day at, 2 – 3 hours would be enough. We do not have a lot of animal parks in Malta due to our size so if your kids want to see animals this is one.

Mediterranean nightlife?

If your fun is also eating out and living the Mediterranean night life then Sliema or Bugibba are the best areas. Other places that might be interesting are Marsaxlokk and M’Scala, the latter 2 places are more visited by the locals and in fact much cheaper to find an accommodation, unfortunately I do not know of a good hotel in this location so I recommend finding a good rentable place. The most expensive place, not only as accommodation but also eating out and shops is Sliema/St. Julian’s. If you can’t afford staying here it would be a nice place to go for an evening stroll as there are 2 good play grounds for the kids to enjoy. Bugibba is another interesting place to visit as it is home to our one and only Aquarium.

The Aquarium is not big but it helps you appreciate our Maltese waters and also many rescuing activities that many Maltese NGOs do. For more information on the aquarium read here. Just outside the Aquarium there is a nice playground and the view there is just perfect especially in the evening.

Places of interest?

There are many places you can visit one that is fun in the sun for the whole family is Popeye village, they have a beach and also in summer a splash pool for the kids but what makes this place fascinating is the film set that still stands to this day. The film Popeye was a 1980’s production and the set was built here in Malta and has remained an attraction ever since. The elements have had its toll but it is still fascinating walking through it and seeing a re-enactment of it by the animators. There is a steep hill to get to the actual park so for those with walking difficulties it would be hard.

If you have enough time spend at least one day in Gozo – take a hop on hop off bus to see as many things as you can in our sister island. If you you want a layed back holiday, relaxed is Gozo’s second name – we Maltese like heading to Gozo for relaxing weekends and our suggestion is to either hire a farmhouse with a nice pool or make sure the hotel you stay at has a lovely pool area.

Hiring a farmhouse in Gozo is ideal if staying a few nights here.

There is a lot to see in Gozo and some people prefer this island to Malta for its more relaxed feeling. Top places to see in Gozo are the Citadella, Ggantija temples and if possible Ramla Hamra beach. Two seaside villages to eat well are Marsalforn and Xlendi. Unfortunately just last year the Blue Window collapsed but it is still a nice place to visit and see.

Eating Lunch by the sea in Xlendi – photo taken by my 4yr old

Blue Grotto is a little seaside place with little boat houses and small restaurants and cafes. It’s a suburb of the fishing village of Zurrieq on the South West side of the Island. It is very famous for the clear blue sea and for the rock formations. Many divers are taken here to experience the beauty of the world under the sea of this part of the Island.

For those that do not dive, little boat rides are worth taking to go into the caves to see the clear sea inside the caves. The water is always freezing here and swimming is not normally allowed but sometimes they make exceptions 😉 You can swim in another part of the area but not inside the caves.

Anyone for adventure?

Adventure, water sports and boat rides are so common in Malta and if you are here to enjoy the sun and the beaches the sea is the best way to enjoy them. If it’s getting on a private boat ride that takes you around the island or to visit Comino or if it’s a more adventurous kayaking tour around some beautiful coastlines, there is a variety of fun activities to do. Drop us a message if you are looking for something specific we might know someone who knows someone who can help ;)-

After all this what are our recommendations?

The ideal fun and sun holiday would be:

Stay in a hotel right on the beach edge (one of those mentioned above). During the day enjoy the hotel and/or the sea. Evening go to Bugibba or Sliema. If you have 1 week spare one day for Gozo. To change view during the day, spend one day at Splash and fun, another at Popeye Village or Blue Grotto. Yet, if you want a bit of culture or history about the place that is hosting you, read here. Need more information or help get in touch!

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