Choose Malta for a memorable family holiday
Fly to Malta from the UK in around three hours to the promise of delicious cuisine, sunshine and more.
With summer temperatures of around 27°C in July, beach holidays are definitely on the cards, with the option of sightseeing both in the summer months and in the mild winters with January the coolest at 13°C.
Mellieha Bay is ideal for beach holidays, but there’s also plenty of scope for exploration with a pretty hillside village and historic churches. Restaurants serve authentic Maltese dishes such as Timpana, a delicious macaroni and pastry meal with rich tomato sauce and minced meat. For an unusual and child-friendly day out take the short bus ride from Mellieha Bay to Popeye Village – once the set of the live action Popeye film, it’s now a fun park with rides, shows and activities.
Situated on the eastern coast, St Julian’s is a popular year-round destination with an upmarket waterfront area lined with cafes and brasseries. To earn major brownie points, treat the kids to an exciting day at The World of Playmobil. Just 20-minutes south in the town of Birzebbugia, this awesome fun park offers a tour of the Playmobil factory, themed areas and meet and greets with favourite characters. For an educational day out, the UNESCO rated City of Valletta is another option, and houses an impressive cathedral and medieval harbour.
Best family friendly beaches
Mellieha Bay has the longest beach on the island with spots for shallow bathing and an array of watersports, such as snorkelling and canoeing available. There are numerous bars and cafes along the waterfront area and nearby is Golden Bay, a Blue Flag beach with a sprinkling of nearby hotels.
Near St Julian’s, beach options expand further with St George’s Bay, a small sandy Blue Flag beach backed by cliffs. Surfside, in Sliema, is great for families with toddlers and Pretty Bay, close to the Playmobil Fun Park, is also worth a look for its small sandy beach and easy access to nearby shops and cafes.
Cool off in the caves
Escape the midday heat while exploring Malta’s mysterious network of caves. From the grottos of Gozo to the World War II air raid shelters near Mellieha, little ones can wander through the stunning underground rock formations while older kids learn about their interesting history.
The largest cave, located on the south coast near Birzebbuga, is over 500,000 years old and a great starting spot. In nearby Rabat, you’ll find an extensive labyrinth of rock-cut tombs, stairs and passages at St Paul’s Catacombs.
Wander through glorious gardens
A 20-minute drive inland from St Julian’s, the picturesque town of Attard is home to one of the most beautiful parks in Malta – San Anton Gardens.
Surrounded by rustic walls and brimming with flora, the whole family will enjoy exploring the winding pathways, hidden fountains, and lovely ponds under the shade of the ancient trees.
The capital city of Valletta also has its fair share of green space. Its Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens offer uncompromising views across the landscaped park of the Grand Harbour as well as a series of historical monuments and ancient buildings.
On the west coast near Dingli, Buskett Gardens make up the largest wooded area on the island. Planted by the Knights of St John, you can enjoy an imaginative picnic as Verdala Palace towers over you, before exploring groves of orange and cypress trees.
Spend a day in thrilling theme parks
Despite its small size, Malta has assembled an interesting selection of theme parks offering fun for the entire family.
On the south coast just outside the seaside town of Birzebbugia, the Playmobil Fun Park brings little ones face-to-face with their favourite characters. From indoor play areas and climbing walls to car chases at the police station and voyages on pirate ships, you’ll have an action-packed day out.
Just 10 minutes south along the main coast road from St Julian’s, Splash and Fun Waterpark promises more adventures. Whether you prefer to drift along the Lazy River or rocket down the 120-metre Black Hole, the fun-focused staff offer entertainment and activities throughout the day.
And then on the north coast sits Popeye Village, an old fashioned theme park previously used as the set for the 1980 Hollywood musical Popeye, starring Robin Williams. Located just outside Mellieha Bay, kids can take part in animated shows, cool off in the splash pools, join boat rides and make their own movies.
Other family holiday destinations
When it comes to affordable family breaks Malta is by no means the only choice. With its superb beaches and waterparks, Portugal is a popular choice. Spain and it’s sun soaked Costas are also worth checking out or, for a family trip of a lifetime, consider fun packed Florida with its world class theme parks, dining and entertainment.
If, however, Malta is the place for you check out our handy travel guide to find out more. Here are a few family-friendly hotels to get you planning.
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The modern and stylish Seabank Hotel is set right on the beachfront and has two large pools and six restaurants. One pool is indoors for cooler days and there's also a children's splash pool with slides. The programme of daytime activities is varied and includes Tai Chi, guided walks and workshops between November to April and water games, table tennis and Zumba™ from May to October. There's a kids' club for ages four to 12 and a mini-disco too. The gym, for ages 16 and over, is good for active types, while those in search of relaxation can enjoy the sauna and steam room.
It's 5* family luxury all the way at the Intercontinental Malta, which has a hotel-run kids' club and range of excellent facilities. The two outdoor pools provide the ideal spot for relaxation and water-based fun with a pool bar and grill on hand. There are a selection of restaurants available, so foodies will be in their element. The Carissa lounge offers healthy breakfast options and kids' activities, internet points and a TV. Over 16s can enjoy a workout in the gym and the spa with treatments are available for an additional fee.