Malta is an all year round destination with summers characterised by a hot Mediterranean climate and winters marked by windy and wet conditions. Sun-worshippers can enjoy the beaches at any time from April to October. As a Catholic country, Malta stages notable celebrations for Easter and Christmas, while the island festival of Mnarja at the end of June is an ancient harvest tradition. Villages and towns each have their own festivals to celebrate local saints' days.
The main island includes the capital Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site with fortifications and architecture dating from the 16th-century occupation by the Knights of St. John. There are two other islands in the group. Como is quieter than Malta, with relaxed resorts and beaches, while the tiny island of Comino is predominantly a nature reserve.
Malta is an inexpensive destination with lower prices than much of Europe. Public transport is cheap and a typical restaurant meal will cost around 10EUR.
Malta was formerly part of the British Empire until it attained independence in 1964, and English is widely spoken on the island, alongside Maltese.
Local transport and accommodation information
The airport is located just 5km (around 3 miles) from the centre of Valletta, connected by several bus routes, including night services, with the X4, X5 and X7 buses stopping in the capital. Official white taxis to popular destinations around the island cost around EUR10-EUR30 from the airport, depending on the length of the journey.
Malta's colourful buses offer a cheap way of exploring the island. A ticket on Arriva bus services is valid for 2 hours of travel and costs roughly 1.50 EUR in winter, 2 EUR in summer and 3 EUR for night buses. Tickets can be purchased from the driver. A prepaid bus card valid for 7 days travel is an economical option, costing 21 EUR for adults. A short taxi journey costs around EUR 15. Many visitors find that a hire car can be useful for exploring the island's less-developed villages and beaches.
Malta offers a wide variety of accommodation options. For the budget traveller hostel prices start from around 15 EUR for a bed in a shared room. Average 3 star hotels charge around EUR 70 for a double room. Prices may be higher in the peak season of July and August.