When is the perfect time to visit the beautiful Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo, bearing in mind their gorgeous rugged coastlines, azure seas, and beautiful sandy beaches? You’d think the best time to visit would be sometime in summer, when the warm weather is at its finest. Well, whilst it is true that Malta is summer is an absolute paradise, you’d be wrong to assume that it is not a wonderland in winter!
Winter is one of the best times for trips to Malta. The famous Maltese weather might be a few degrees cooler, but Malta has plenty of other attractions. Besides, how does the balmy 13 degrees of Malta in January compare to British weather in the depths of winter?
But Maltese winters aren’t only celebrated for mild weather and an absence of dreadful blizzards. There are also plenty of great places to visit in Malta and things to do come the colder season. Here are a few things you cannot miss out on when travelling to Malta this winter:
Go Trekking around Malta
Malta is renowned for its beautiful landscape, but at the height of sweaty summer, it’s hard to hike anywhere without risking a heat stroke.
The mild, dry winter months are therefore perfect for a bit of exploring. Trekking in Gozo, Comino, or Malta is a fantastic way to become acquainted with the wild rock formations, the beautiful fauna, and the dazzling landscapes that make the Maltese islands such a hot spot for nature lovers.
There are a variety of trekking companies that can organise a tour for you, and any tourist agency in Malta will be able to help you out with maps and advice. There are a range of hikes on offer, from easy saunters, to rigorous hikes.
If you have any interest at all in photography, make sure that you bring your camera along with you. Malta’s beautiful scenery will make for some of the best photos you’ll take in your lifetime.
Watch the Sunset at Dingli Cliffs
The Dingli Cliffs are included here as a reminder that Malta’s beauty doesn’t pack up and leave with the warm weather at the end of summer. It stays, and if anything, it becomes less crowded and more accessible in the off season winter months.
Winter is therefore the perfect time to enjoy Malta in your own time and with breathing room for reflection. However, the hot pinks and fading orange glow of the winter sun over Malta might leave you breathless. The Dingli cliffs are probably the best place in Malta to witness the spectacular Maltese sunset, preferably in the company of a loved one.
Attend the Valletta International Baroque Festival
Malta in winter isn’t just about nature. It’s also about culture. The Valletta International Baroque Festival is a long looked forward to treat of stately music and impressive grandeur. It arrives towards the end of January and provides a much needed pick me up after the lull following Christmas festivities.
The festival boasts an impressive line up of local and international talent, and for anyone with an interest in classical music, it’s a must.
The busy 15 day line up ends with a spectacular Baroque-themed costume ball, which it would also be a travesty to miss.
Celebrate the Carnival in Malta!
If you thought Malta in January is worth a trip, you should hear about Malta in February!
February is carnival season, meaning colourful parades, wacky costumes, delicious treats and non-stop music dispelling your winter woes and showing you a rather spectacular part of Maltese culture.
Carnival is celebrated over a raucous five days prior to the beginning of Lent, a much longer forty day period of fasting and religious devotion. Some form of carnival is celebrated throughout Christian culture as a form of release and last minute celebration before the long weeks of Lent. But whilst in the UK, they make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, in Malta they hold street processions, throw massive parties, and generally have an all round great time.
Carnival is a time for all the family in Malta, but if you want to see a wilder and more grown up version of Carnival, you should head to Nadur in Gozo, where the party really lets loose.
The Feast of St. Paul’s shipwreck also falls in February. This day celebrates the shipwrecking of St. Paul on the Maltese islands, an event that brought Catholicism to Malta. The Feast of St. Paul kicks off the busy calendar of religious festivals in Malta and is usually celebrated with processions, feast stalls, and lots of fireworks.