Thanks to its subtropical location, Malta experiences incredibly mild winters compared to most European nations. The winter temperatures regularly stay between the 10℃ to 15℃ range. This makes Malta quite an enticing option to escape the bitterness of winter. Despite being known as a summer paradise, Malta has a lot to offer to its winter guests.
The months between December to March represent the winter season in Malta, similar to other Northern Hemisphere countries. The temperature starts to fall from December. The lowest months are January and February. These months see the highest number of rainy and windy days on the islands. March signals the arrival of summer with slightly higher temperatures.
Snow is a rarity in Malta. Despite the occasional rain, you can expect sunny clear skies most of the time during winter. Besides the weather, a great reason to visit Malta in winter is the opportunity to explore the beautiful archipelago without the commotion of peak tourist season. Here are some of the activities that will make your winter trip to Malta truly enjoyable.
What to do in Malta
Only one-fifth of the Maltese area has been urbanised. Winter can be the perfect time to navigate the rural landscape of Malta as the temperatures are pleasantly soothing. If you want to explore the natural marvels of Malta on foot, you won’t find a better time to do it than in the winter.
From rugged, windy shores to ancient landmarks and boundless countryside, Malta has an abundance of spectacular sceneries. The trails throw various levels of challenges at you. It could be as easy and fun as the Zurrieq Loop. A challenging one yet rewarding is the Dingli Cliffs.
The Marfa Watchtowers Route, which leads you up the scenic Marfa Ridge through historic sites and olive groves, offers the best sights.
Alternatively, if you like to venture off the usual path, visit the little island of Comino, which lies between Malta and Gozo, and take a stroll along the Comino Loop.
Valletta is the smallest capital city within the EU territory as it is home to only 6000 people. The city, however, compensated for its small size with its unmatched charisma, heritage, and elegance.
Valletta is a lovely place to visit on a cold or mild winter day. Its inner streets and narrow cobblestone alleys are delightful to meander through, and there are numerous museums, churches, and cafés to go to if you need a dose of interior cosiness.
The Royal Opera House, St John’s Co-Cathedral, Manoel Theatre, and the Upper Barrakka Gardens are among the sights to see when you are strolling through Valletta. The National Museum of Archaeology and the Museum of Fine Arts are two museums worth visiting. You can trek around the whole city in three hours or less.
Visit The Museums
Speaking of museums, Malta has no less than 30 of them celebrating its 7000 years of history and culture. The artefacts of Malta’s glorious past can be found all around the Maltese Islands, but the National War Museum in Valletta is a good place to start. Its gates are located within Fort St Elmo on the top of the Sciberras Peninsula, with views of both Marsamxett Harbour and the Grand Harbour on both sides.
If you are a car lover, you would love a trip to the Malta Classic Car Collection Museum where you can see more than a hundred restored vintage automobiles. For kids, Esplora Science Centre could be a great destination. The museum has many fascinating displays that will educate children about Malta’s history since the Neolithic period.
The Lascaris War Rooms, Fort Rinella, and the Grandmaster’s Palace, with its remarkable exhibit of armaments, are also popular with tourists.
Take A Harbour Cruise
Since Malta is a network of islands, a great way to explore the country is to navigate its waterways. Cruises are a year-round tourist attraction in Malta, and you will find a lot of cruise options during winter as well.
It’s always safe to book one in advance, but since winter sees lower tourist traffic in Malta, you can expect to go to the harbour and book a cruise right on the spot. Most cruise tours last a couple of hours, but there are also some day-long offerings.
Go Scuba Diving
Scuba diving is another activity that you can enjoy in Malta, no matter when you come. The pristine Mediterranean waters that enclose the Maltese land makes the country one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world.
Upon taking a dive, you will get to see a wide range of marine life, beautiful corals, and wreckages of century-old ships. The water stays warm in winter as the region experiences plenty of sunlight. So, you would not be needing to wear a bodysuit to protect you from shivering cold water.
Hit The Christmas Markets
Malta loves celebrating Christmas and if you want to see a proper festive atmosphere, you must schedule a visit to Malta during the Holiday season. The Christmas markets are one of the features that make the Maltese Christmas special.
Throughout December, there are Christmas markets all across Malta, some selling general merchandise and others offering specially themed products.
The highlight spots are the Natalis Notabilis, which you can find in the iconic centre of Rabat. The Sliema Christmas Market on Bisazza Street is another one. The Malta Artisan Christmas Market, which sits right beneath the outworks of Valletta, also deserves a shout-out.
Savour The Local Cuisine
With its rich assortment of delicacies, Malta is a wonderland for those with epicurean taste buds. Posh dining or everyday street food, whatever your jam is, Malta has you covered. The local cuisine has drawn influence from many neighbouring countries.
Not feeling much of a hunger? Try out a fish soup or Mediterranean salad to soothe your mouth. If you are on the lookout for a heavy meal, don’t miss out on the famous rabbit stew and lampuki pie.
Pastizzi, a delectable pastry dish filled with peas and onion or ricotta cheese and parsley, and Ftira, a classic Maltese bread, are two other local favourites we urge you to include in your must-have list.