We booked Malta without knowing too much about the island – all we were armed with was a great deal on flights and a hotel in Mellieha. This is one of the happiest holidays we’ve gone on purely due to finding a great deal. We did sooo many activities here including kayaking through caves and the sea, segwaying around an island and adventuring around for different events and festivals. Since visiting Malta we have wanted to go back a million times over, and will definitely go again one day! Depending on when you go around the year you can end up in so many places all by yourself, which is really stunning. Whilst the weather can be a little cold outside of summer (we went at the end of April to early May,) there is still so much to do, and some of the perks make going outside of peak season even more desirable.
As you’ll know if you’ve read enough of Explorersaur, we never really get to fly at sexy times of day. Flying mid afternoon is probably my favourite as you can get up slowly, chill out, get to the airport and do some shopping and mooching around, eat some food and then set off with no rush. Although I feel like this, I never get to live it out as we usually score the best deals with the most unsociable and painfully early flights. We actually didn’t get the luxury of sleeping the night before as we had an early AM flight. Safe to say we were bloody shattered by the end of our ten hour journey! When we arrived in Malta we picked up our hire car, (have a read of our Tips to get the most out of Malta post on the Malta tab of the blog to see if hiring a car would benefit your holiday!) headed across the island to our hotel in Mellieha, ordered room service and zonked out for a few hours before exploring. We stayed in the hotel Maritim Antonine Hotel and Spa – as it’s set in Mellieha it’s quite high up the island and a little further away from some of the main bar areas, (if that’s your jam,) but in terms of exploring all the natural beauty Malta has to offer it’s a fab location (especially if you have a car!) The hotel was huge, and we were allocated a room with a balcony looking down to the seaside and the biggest, comfiest bed. There are so many little village regions to stay in Malta so check out our post all about where to stay in Malta in you’re curious where will be best for you!
Our first say was very windy and cloudy, so we decided to hop in the car and explore some of the local areas, after checking out some more of our hotel. We went to the rooftop pool to see the pretty views – even on the cloudiest of days the pool looked so inviting! On our drive we found an entertainment complex with bowling and bars, and a nearby beach – Ghadira Beach. This beach has a long stretch of sand and some bars on either side. It was soo windy when we arrived and so we got to watch people windsurfing along the waves, before deciding we had well and truly frozen and went back in to warm up. This was a slightly worrying start to the weather as we definitely hadn’t packed well enough for this much freeze. Luckily all the next days were far more bearable.
I always use TripAdvisor to find good places to eat whilst on holiday. I’ve had one too many holidays where I walk into the nearest restaurant I see when I’m hungry, and doing this leads often leads to mediocre food and missing out on some real gems. Thanks to TripAdvisor though, I have now eaten in some seriously epic places whilst being away – asking friendly locals and taxi drivers is also a great way to get some good food tips! We ended up in a great seaside restaurant after some research and headed to the hotel bar for a hundred million cocktails. (Check out our where to eat in Malta post for a full round up.) We made it a challenge to try all the different cocktails on the menu, but after realising how insanely delicious pomegranate collins are, I ended up sticking to those. We found a little pool bar opposite our hotel so ended the night here.
The next day we ordered a room service breakfast to fuel our first full adventures – I had a selection of yoghurt, muesli and fruit and Jack went for a fry up. Both were so tasty and well needed, and allowed the start of the day to just be completely relaxing and chilled. There’s nothing more en than tasty food in a holiday hotel. The sun was beaming on this day and miles away from the wind and freeze before! Our hotel was only a short drive away from Popeye village – regardless of never seeing the film we had heard good things about the set-turned-attraction so wanted to give it a go. It didn’t disappoint at all as it was set in the most beautiful cove with the bluest water I’d ever seen by this point, and so many fun little nooks and things to do. In the peak of summer there’s a little water park playground for little ones, but even just paddling in that clear sea was so refreshing and fun!
We played a free game of mini golf in a permanently Christmas themed mini golf course. (I mean, this is exactly what I signed up for and I was truly vibing!) We walked around the sets, attractions and walkways and ate at the restaurant on the grounds. This food was pretty standard, but the view whilst eating was right next to the cove so even if you’re saving yourself for better food, I would still stop here for a drink to take in the views! Our ticket also came with a free ticket on a boat ride across all the little nearby caves, so we used this up and really enjoyed the journey.
As the sun was still shining down on us we decided to visit another of Malta’s famous beaches. Jack decided to unleash his inner madman and jump completely in, it was nice and warm outside but those waters were icy cold! We sat on the beach and made X-rated sand sculptures before heading off to a castle on a hill, the Red Tower. Sadly the tower was shut to explore inside when we arrived, but the views from outside were worth the trip alone. As it was all closed it meant we got the whole area to ourselves too which was a real perk and something you wouldn’t get in the peak of summer. The Red Tower, also known as St Agatha’s Tower is a fort from the 1600’s made to look over all the surrounding areas (as it’s right on top of the hill!) to see if anyone was coming to invade. There’s a huge amount of history with places like this in Malta – as it’s such a small island surrounded by water there was a huge amount of places to invade from! We heard that most of these places never had to be properly used.
After admiring the views and taking in the sights, we headed back to the hotel to shower and relax, and then went out for dinner, walked around the cathedral grounds near our hotel – called Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha on Google Maps – and nestled into bed for the next day. The grounds of the cathedral were really beautiful and, whilst we wouldn’t say it needs to be top of your Malta bucket list – if you’re staying in the area it is definitely worth a wander!
We decided to spend the third day in the island of Comino – home to the famous Blue Lagoon. We’ve visited Iceland’s answer to the Blue Lagoon in the past – a natural heated hot springs filled with Silica and vitamin rich waters, surrounded by mountains and pure gorgeousness, so the name already had big boots to fill! I was actually surprised by how many places have a Blue Lagoon after doing some research haha. Still, Malta’s blue lagoon was beautiful. The waters were completely clear, and even though the sea hadn’t warmed to anywhere near summer temperatures, there were loads of people in the water – which definitely gave me the push I needed to get in.
But before getting crazy and wet, we attempted off-road Segways. (For a full two hours!) We picked a tour that took us round the whole of the Island, so we saw so many hidden caves, beautiful beaches, a fort-type thing (no idea what it’s called!) and cliffs. There were virtually zero people anywhere off the blue lagoon as there is no road traffic on the island – as it’s so small. It’s still super hilly to walk around so it means most tourists just spend their day sitting by the blue lagoon, and it felt like the whole entire island was ours to play in! There are actually only four full time residents on this island which I think is so cute – all pretty elderly. Our tour guide Sam was so very lovely and had so much banter and energy. It was our first time ever segwaying too and he was really helpful in getting to know everything. The first time I hopped on it I felt so wobbly! But after a few minutes was a fully fledged professional hahaha. You can check out the Segway tour company of Comino here if you’re interested – I would 100% recommend it and actually I think this was the highlight of my whole trip to Malta!
We had a bite to eat back at the Blue Lagoon, and sat trying to muster courage to jump in the water. The lagoon has the main island of Comino, and a tiny little island not too far across the water, where a scene of Troy was filmed. Jack really wanted to check it out so we decided to swim across – it’s not too far at all, but as it’s deeper than standing and a boat route you should definitely only attempt it if you are a very strong swimmer. I would say I was strong enough to do this however, it just kept making me laugh sooo much when boats would drive across and all wave at us! So I kept having to stop myself laughing to be able to swim properly hahaa. It was also so chilly in the water which kept the laughter coming; as soon as you jumped back out it felt gorgeously warm though! You can get little boats over to this island if you’d like to visit and not swim the distance. We were the only people on this little beach by the time we got across and it was so special seeing it all for ourselves.
We had an amazingly pinterest pineapple cocktail and headed back for the night. The boats that take you over to this island stop running at a certain time so you have to make sure you jump on the last one as they do not wait for anyone. You can actually camp on this island though and it would be so gorgeous having practically the whole beach to yourself as everyone leaves, so I would definitely do this in the future. The next day was spent kayaking, (sometimes through swarms of jellyfish! Heart attack city!) exploring and seeing more of Malta. Have a read of the Malta tab to see what else we would do here and what we would recommend!!