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Family fun in Malta

Don't be fooled by its small size - Malta is bursting with family-friendly activities, from magical forts and castles to enchanting palaces and picturesque parks.

Aside from historical attractions, this Mediterranean hotspot offers idyllic shelves of golden sand packed with watersports along its northern coast and a handful of theme parks dotted throughout the island.

Whether you're staying in the vibrant St Julian's or the quaint Mellieha Bay resort, it only takes around half an hour to travel coast to coast, giving you plenty of time to explore when you get there.

Enjoy the beach life

Malta has a wide diversity of beaches, from rocky shores on the east coast to long stretches of golden sand in the north.

Mellieha Bay is the largest sand-covered beach on the island and its Blue Flag status means the clean sand and pristine water make it a top choice for those with little ones.

Gently sloping into the transparent water, smaller children will enjoy splashing in the shallows while more confident adventurers can take advantage of the extensive watersports on offer, including sea kayaking, windsurfing and banana boats.

On the northwest coast, Golden Bay is another popular sandy beach with similar facilities and fewer crowds than its northern neighbour.

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.

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