Usually when I visit a country I prefer spending as much time as possible and discover as much as I can from its culture, food and vibes. You will probably notice that most of my travel posts will refer to a country than a specific city. I like to take tours and road trips through a country or region. I think it’s my favorite way of traveling. This is why the trip on the islands of Malta was absolutely great! In a relatively short time I got to discover the beautiful Maltese sites.
If you are like me and you love to explore as much as you can and you want to spend a relaxing holiday week in a country which offers fun, history and amazing landscapes, then please scroll down. I will share with you our 7 days route, tips about car renting, holiday schedule, personal photos and our beautiful memories on the islands of Malta.
It was hard to decide if we should rent a car or not. Many friends have been to Malta and the opinions were divided. I heard a lot that Malta has a very good public transport, that you can travel freely even without renting a car but I also heard that with a car is even better because you can stop wherever you want. And guess what? Both of the “teams” are right. So, we made a combination: the first days we used the bus and then we rented a car. This way we saved some money too. And honestly, I am glad we rented a car. I prefer stopping and taking photos if I see something on the way and I did. We stopped in some places which honestly I am not even sure you can reach them by bus.
I will leave this at your choice but my advice is to rent a car and if you want to save some money then rent a car just for a part of the trip. We rented through Goldcar and it was a very good experience. They requested a 200 euros deposit and they returned during 30 days.
1. Valletta, Malta Island (Day 1-3)
The first city that we visited was the beautiful capital of Malta, Valletta. Our plane landed around 2pm and from the airport we took the specific bus (X4) to the city. It’s a ride of 25-30 minutes so we arrived pretty fast at the accommodation. We had the full evening to enjoy the beautiful streets of the city and to eat some delicious Maltese food.
We scheduled two nights for Valletta and it was perfect. Even if it’s not a big city, it has an amazing vibe and we made nice memories there.
2. Mdina, Malta Island (Day 2)
As I said, in the first days we didn’t have a car, so we travelled to Mdina by bus. We didn’t spend any nights here. Actually we visited Mdina as a day trip from Valletta. We woke up in the morning, we travelled 30 minutes by bus and there we were: in the beautiful fortified city. We really enjoyed our walks through their history and I am sure you would enjoy it too. The narrow streets and the views are too beautiful not to like.
It was easy to get back to Valletta too: just get into a bus and that’s all. The bus stations are tourist friendly and they have the routes well explained. You cannot get lost and even if you are, the local people will definitely help you get back on track.
3. Gzira and Sliema, Malta Island (Day 2)
On our way back to Valletta from Mdina, we decided to make a detour and visit Sliema too. We heard it’s nice and we gave it a try but by accident we took off from the bus with 1 station earlier (Gzira). To be honest I am happy we did. We got to visit Manoel Island and its 18 century fort on water and to have an amazing view over Valletta from across the harbor. And not to say about the duck village! Yes, you read well: a duck village; where you get to see… ducks – in a village. What can I say? The name says it all.
I don’t have too many good things to say about Gzira and Sliema and to be honest I don’t want to lie either. These are some areas full of hotels and they don’t have a specific feeling at all. We didn’t spend too much time here so we returned to Valletta by ferry. Between Sliema and Valletta there’s a ferry route which costs only 2 euros and it gives you an amazing view over the capital city. I totally recommend you to use it as a transport method too.
4. Marsaxlokk, Malta Island (Day 3)
Marsaxlokk is a small, traditional fishing village in the South Eastern Region of Malta. It’s mostly known for its very colorful fishermen boats called “Luzzi”. The harbor it’s filled with these beautiful boats and a walk on the sea side is always a pleasure.
We spent one night there but unfortunately we arrived on a Sunday afternoon and the fish market was already closed. The village is not very dynamic during a Sunday evening and there is not much to do around besides visiting it’s harbor and talking with the locals.
5. St. Peters Pool, Malta Island (Day 4)
Next morning we packed our bags to travel across the island but not before stopping at the famous St. Peters pool. We arrived there around 8.30 in the morning and we had to share with 4 other people but keep in mind that is a very touristic point and as nice as it looks in my photos, if you get there later… you will find it full with people.
6. Blue Grotto, Malta Island (Day 4)
After Marsaxlokk, our next accommodation was on Gozo Island, so on our way to Victoria (main city on Gozo Island) we stopped as much as we could to visit pretty places.
Blue Grotto is stunning and it’s located in the south of the island. I saw hundreds of photos on social media before visiting it and I had different expectations about the access to its visibility or possibility to take a nice photo with it. As I notice, you can buy a ticket for a boat tour and visit it closely but if not, the only visibility you can get is from the hills, close to the road. I wish it would be an easier way to take a nice “Instagram” photo of it but it’s not… If you want that pretty photo, then you will have to get away from the official path and even if I did it, I don’t recommend it (I am a hypocrite… I know). It can be dangerous and I truly regret that I did it. I am not even an instagramer.
7. Popeye’s Village, Malta Island (Day 4)
This place it’s one of the most known tourist places from the islands of Malta. It’s the Film Set of the 1980 Musical Production ‘Popeye’ and it’s very catchy and colorful.
None of use were fans of Popeye and when we saw the price on the entrance ticket (15 euros per person) it was very easy to decide to just check it from outside. We changed our program in order to visit something else at that time without any regrets.
8. Salt Pans and Wied il-Għasri, Gozo Island (Day 5)
As I said, our next accomodation after Marsaxlokk was in Gozo, in the main city Victoria. We spent there 2 nights and we took the chance to visit this beautiful island as well.
On the first day on Gozo Island we took the chance to visit the North part of the island and we were pleasantly surprised by what we discovered. The northern coast is characterized by a chequerboard of rock-cut saltpans, named the Xwejni Salt Pans, protruding out into the sea. It is absolutely amazing and I strongly recommend you to visit it. You can also buy some salt from the locals and have a chat with them.
Wied il-Għasri is an amazing place too but unfortunately we got there in the late afternoon and it was filled with people. We enjoyed our time there even if it wasn’t long enough. I strongly recommend you to visit first Wied il-Għasr and later the Salt Pans. You will get the chance to have amazing photos as well. We decide to leave the camera for this to enjoy the moment more.
9. Dwejra Bay and the “ex” Azure Window, Gozo Island (Day 5)
This was one of my favorite sites from the islands of Malta. We arrived here close to the sunset moment and we had a nice time. The views are amazing and you can enjoy an ice cream too while you are surrounded by this beautiful landscape. It was a special moment for me. I love sunsets and it merged just perfectly with these surroundings. I will let the photos speak for themselves.
10. Blue lagoon, Comino Island (Day 6)
To arrive here we travel from Victoria until Mgarr by car. We parked the car close to the point where you can pick up a boat to Comino and that was all.
Comino Island is the most advertised island from Malta and it has a reason for it too. It’s absolutely beautiful and the water is perfectly blue and clear. I don’t want to be hater but I probably will be. Even if the place is beautiful I couldn’t really enjoy it due to the big amount of people. Maybe it wasn’t the people but the yachts, ships and boats which are bringing the tourists are totally covering the shore and the views. I have to be honest and say that I was pretty disappointed. We prepared to be there for 9 am but even like this, it was already filled with boats and ships… I think they should consider a rule for the boats to return after they leave the tourists there. It’s a real pity for such a beautiful place to be destroyed by over-tourism.
Leaving these aside, when you take a boat to Comino Island or when you leave it, you can have the possibility to take an extra tour and visit the beautiful caves which the island is providing. If you are there, it’s a must to see the caves too, they are beautiful.
At the end of the day, we returned to our car on Gozo Island and picked a ferry back to the main island, Malta.
11. Birgu, Malta Island (Day 7)
After a full day on Comino Island we returned to Malta Island just for dinner and a sleep. We had our accommodation booked in advance but unfortunately when we got there, they let us know our booking got cancelled a few days before and we have to search for another accomodation. We finally got another accommodation in Bugibba. Nothing to see there but as I said, we just needed dinner and a sleep.
In the morning we left to visit Birgu, close to Valetta (and the airport since we had the flight in the early afternoon). After all these places that we visited, I can say honestly that Birgu has the cutest streets from Malta. They are full of the maltese window galleries, even more than Valletta in my opinion. We also had lunch there and after a nice and long walk we headed to the airport to return the rented car.
All in all it was an amazing trip in which we had the chance to visit plenty of sites in such a short time. I hope our route will inspire you and help you plan your trip on the islands of Malta. Please feel free to ask questions or write your experience in the comments.