Malta Travel Guide: 7 Days Malta Vacation Itinerary with Temples Visit, Gozo Island Trip, and Mediterranean Cuisine

Hey there, fellow wanderlusters! If you’re looking for a solo travel adventure packed with history, stunning landscapes, and mouthwatering food, Malta should be at the top of your list. Here’s my vacation iterinary of a 7-day Malta visit, complete with visits to ancient temples, a day trip to Gozo Island, and indulging in some of the best Mediterranean cuisine. Buckle up for the ride!

Day 1: Arrival and First Impressions (spoiler: Malta is safe to visit!)

Touchdown in Malta! First things first, I had to figure out if this tiny island was as safe as everyone claimed. Spoiler alert: it totally is. After a quick check-in at my cozy Airbnb in Valletta, I hit the streets. Malta’s capital is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s like walking through a living museum. The narrow, cobblestone streets, colorful balconies, and friendly locals had me instantly charmed.

Day 2: Exploring Valletta and The Three Cities (bonus: healthy Mediterranean cousine!)

Valletta, Malta’s pint-sized capital, packs a mighty punch when it comes to history, culture, and charm. Founded in 1566 by the Knights of St. John, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a treasure trove of Baroque architecture, stunning views, and vibrant street life. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just love wandering picturesque streets, Valletta has something for you. Here’s my intimate, funny, and slightly quirky take on exploring this gem of a city.

Recommended: The Valletta Street Food and Culture Walking Tour

Getting Lost in History

Walking through Valletta is like stepping into a living museum. The city is brimming with historical sites that transport you back in time. Start at the St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which is nothing short of spectacular. The plain exterior doesn’t prepare you for the explosion of gold and intricate carvings inside. And don’t miss Caravaggio’s masterpiece, “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist” – it’s the only painting he ever signed!

Next, make your way to the Grandmaster’s Palace. Once the residence of the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John, it’s now the office of the President of Malta and a museum. The armory houses an impressive collection of weapons and armor, perfect for pretending you’re a knight for a day.

Exploring the Streets

Valletta’s streets are a delight to wander. Every corner you turn reveals a new surprise – from quirky shops to charming cafes and beautiful churches. Don’t miss the Upper Barrakka Gardens, offering panoramic views of the Grand Harbour. It’s the perfect spot to relax and take in the scenery. If you time your visit right, you can catch the Saluting Battery, where cannons are fired daily at noon.

Malta travel guide

Culinary Delights

Now, let’s talk food. Valletta is a foodie’s paradise. Head to the Valletta Food Market (Is-Suq tal-Belt), a bustling hub where you can sample a variety of local and international dishes. Try pastizzi (flaky pastries filled with ricotta or mushy peas), ftira (Maltese pizza), and fresh seafood. Wash it all down with a glass of local wine or a cold Cisk lager.

For a sit-down meal, I highly recommend Nenu the Artisan Baker for traditional Maltese ftira, or Rampila for a romantic dinner with a view. And don’t forget to grab a gelato at Amorino – you can thank me later.

Cultural Highlights

Valletta is not just about history and food; it’s also a cultural hotspot. Check out the Manoel Theatre, one of the oldest working theaters in Europe. If you’re lucky, you might catch a live performance. Art enthusiasts should visit the MUŻA (Museum of Fine Arts), showcasing works from Malta and beyond.

Three cities visit

Valletta is great, but don’t miss the Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua. A short ferry ride later, I was strolling through ancient fortifications and soaking in stunning harbor views. Pro tip: hit the food market here. Fresh fish, local cheeses, and pastries that will make you forget your diet. Malta’s food market is an absolute must for any foodie.

Recommended: Exploring Rome: A Solo Female Traveler’s Guide

Day 3: Malta Temples Time – Hagar Qim and Mnajdra

Start your day early and make your way to Ħaġar Qim, one of Malta’s most significant archaeological sites. Dating back to around 3600 BC, these temples are older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza! As you approach, you’ll notice the massive limestone blocks, some weighing over 20 tons, meticulously arranged to form this ancient structure. It’s incredible to think about how these massive stones were transported and erected by our ancestors.

Recommended: A Monumental Maltese Experience

The site is well-preserved, with several chambers and altars to explore. Take your time wandering through the temples, imagining the rituals and daily life of the people who once worshipped here. The sense of history is palpable, and the serene setting adds to the awe-inspiring atmosphere.

Just a short walk down the hill from Ħaġar Qim lies the equally impressive Mnajdra temples. This complex consists of three distinct temples, each built in a different period, showcasing the architectural evolution over millennia. The alignment of the Mnajdra temples with the solstices and equinoxes is particularly fascinating. If you’re lucky enough to visit during one of these celestial events, you’ll witness the sunlight perfectly illuminating specific parts of the temple, a testament to the advanced knowledge of astronomy held by these ancient people.

Don’t miss the visitor center nearby, where interactive displays and informative exhibits provide a deeper understanding of the temples’ significance and the people who built them. It’s a great place to catch a short documentary or join a guided tour for more in-depth insights.

For lunch, pack a picnic or grab a bite from one of the food stalls at the site. There are plenty of scenic spots around the temples where you can sit, relax, and soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the azure sea beyond.

In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll along the nearby trails. The surrounding area is dotted with wildflowers and offers stunning coastal views. If you’re up for more exploring, venture to the nearby village of Qrendi, where you can find charming streets and local eateries.

As the day winds down, reflect on the marvels you’ve seen and the stories you’ve uncovered. The temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra are not just historical sites; they are a connection to our shared human past, a reminder of the ingenuity and spirit of ancient civilizations.

Day 4: Gozo Island Day Trip and things to do

Alright, fellow adventurers, buckle up for my favorite part of the trip: a day on the stunning Gozo Island. If Malta is the main dish, then Gozo is the delightful side that leaves you craving more. A quick and scenic ferry ride from the main island, Gozo is where you’ll find yourself gasping at every turn. Ready? Let’s dive into the fun stuff!

Recommended: Gozo Full-Day Jeep Tour with Private Boat to Gozo & return

Ferry Ride to Gozo

First things first, the ferry ride. Not only is it a pleasant 25-minute jaunt across the Mediterranean, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to snap some envy-inducing photos of the crystal-clear waters and rugged coastline. Trust me, your Go Pro will thank you.

Rent a Scooter and Hit the Road

Once you dock at Mgarr Harbour, do yourself a favor and rent a scooter. Nothing screams “solo traveler” like zipping around an island with the wind in your hair and a goofy grin on your face. Plus, it’s the best way to explore all the hidden gems Gozo has to offer.

Victoria (Rabat): The Heart of Gozo

First stop: Victoria, also known as Rabat. This charming town is the heartbeat of Gozo. Wander through the narrow streets of the old town, visit the Citadel (a historic fortress with panoramic views), and don’t miss the St. George’s Basilica. It’s the perfect place to get lost and find little cafes and shops that make you feel like you’re in a postcard.

Ġgantija Temples: Ancient Wonders

Next up, history buffs, prepare to geek out. The Ġgantija Temples in Xagħra are even older than the pyramids. As I walked among these prehistoric megaliths, I couldn’t help but wonder how ancient Maltese people managed to build such colossal structures. Maybe they had alien help? Who knows, but it’s a fascinating place that will leave you pondering for days.

The Azure Window… or Not

Remember the iconic Azure Window that graced so many postcards? Sadly, it collapsed in 2017. But don’t let that stop you! The site is still breathtaking, with the Azure Window’s remains creating a dramatic, moody landscape. Plus, the nearby Blue Hole is a fantastic spot for diving and snorkeling.

Ramla Bay: Beach Bliss

If you need a beach break (and who doesn’t?), Ramla Bay is the place to be. With its unique red sand and clear waters, it’s a stunning spot to lay down your towel and soak up the sun. Bonus points if you bring a picnic with local goodies from the market.

The Blue Lagoon and Comino beach

If you’re craving a slice of paradise, let me introduce you to the Blue Lagoon and Comino in Malta. Picture this: shimmering turquoise waters so clear you can see your toes, surrounded by rugged limestone cliffs and vibrant marine life. Sounds like a dream, right? That’s the Blue Lagoon for you!

Recommended: Comino Island: including Blue Lagoon, Crystal Lagoon & sea caves

Getting there is part of the adventure. A quick ferry ride from Malta or Gozo takes you to the tiny, enchanting island of Comino. It’s a peaceful haven, perfect for solo travelers seeking a blend of relaxation and exploration. The island itself is mostly uninhabited, which means you can enjoy a serene escape, far from the crowds.

Once you arrive at the Blue Lagoon, you’ll be greeted by its famous crystal-clear waters. Swimming here feels like gliding through liquid glass. For those who love a bit of underwater exploration, grab a snorkel and dive in – the underwater world is just as mesmerizing. Colorful fish dart around the rocks, making it a snorkeling haven.

Calypso’s Cave: Mythical Adventures

Feeling a bit mythical? Check out Calypso’s Cave, said to be the place where the nymph Calypso kept Odysseus captive in Homer’s “Odyssey.” The cave itself is modest, but the views of Ramla Bay from here are worth the visit. Plus, it’s always fun to channel your inner Greek hero.

Xlendi Bay: Sunset and Seafood

As the day winds down, head to Xlendi Bay. This picturesque bay is perfect for an evening swim or a casual stroll along the promenade. Find a seaside restaurant, order some fresh seafood (the fish soup is to die for), and watch the sun dip below the horizon. It’s the kind of moment that makes you fall in love with travel all over again.

Nightlife in Gozo? Yes, Please!

You might think Gozo goes to sleep early, but oh no! Head to the lively village of Marsalforn if you’re in the mood for some nightlife. Grab a drink at a local bar, mingle with both locals and fellow travelers, and enjoy the relaxed, friendly vibe. It’s the perfect end to a day packed with adventure.

Day 5: Nightlife in Malta – Sliema and St. Julian’s

Sliema

Hey night owls! Get ready to experience the vibrant nightlife of Malta as we dive into the lively districts of Sliema and St. Julian’s. After days of exploring ancient temples and soaking up the sun, tonight is all about letting loose and enjoying the island’s buzzing evening scene.

Start your evening in Sliema, a chic waterfront town known for its trendy bars and restaurants. Begin with a leisurely stroll along the promenade, where you can catch stunning views of Valletta across the bay. As the sun sets, the town comes alive with a mix of locals and tourists, creating a lively yet laid-back atmosphere.

For dinner, explore one of the many dining options along the waterfront or tucked into the charming side streets. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, Mediterranean delights, or international cuisine, Sliema has something to satisfy every palate.

Recommended: Pub Crawl Paceville and St Julian’s with Drinks

St. Julian’s

After dinner, head towards St. Julian’s, just a short ride away. This bustling hub is the epicenter of Malta’s nightlife, offering everything from cozy pubs to sleek cocktail bars and pulsating nightclubs. Paceville, the heart of St. Julian’s nightlife, is a must-visit for those looking to dance the night away.

Start your evening at a relaxed wine bar or a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of Spinola Bay. Savor a glass of local wine or a refreshing cocktail while soaking in the lively atmosphere and planning your night ahead.

As the evening progresses, explore Paceville’s vibrant nightlife scene. This area is renowned for its clubs and late-night venues, drawing party-goers from all over the island. Dance to the latest beats at a high-energy nightclub or enjoy live music at a cozy bar – the choice is yours.

For a unique twist, consider joining a pub crawl or a guided nightlife tour to discover hidden gems and meet fellow travelers. Maltese hospitality is legendary, so don’t be surprised if you strike up conversations with friendly locals eager to share their favorite spots and stories.

Remember to pace yourself and stay safe while enjoying the nightlife. Taxis and public transport are readily available for a hassle-free journey back to your accommodation when the night winds down.

Day 6: Marsaxlokk Fish Market and Blue Grotto

Sundays in Malta mean one thing: Marsaxlokk fish market. This picturesque fishing village is the perfect place to enjoy fresh seafood. After stuffing my face with the catch of the day, I hopped on a boat tour to the Blue Grotto. The crystal-clear waters and stunning cave formations are something you have to see to believe.

Recommended: Blue Grotto and Sunday Market at Marsaxlokk Fishing Village Tour

Blue Grotto Malta

Day 7: Relaxing at Golden Bay

After a whirlwind week, I needed a day to unwind. Golden Bay, with its sandy beaches and turquoise waters, was the perfect spot. I spent the day swimming, sunbathing, and reflecting on my trip.

Final Thoughts

Malta has won my heart with its mix of ancient history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty. It’s safe, relatively cheap, and bursting with things to do. Whether you’re a solo traveler or planning a trip with friends, Malta is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories. So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Quick Tips

  • Is Malta safe to visit? Yes, absolutely. The locals are friendly and the crime rate is low.
  • Is Malta cheap? It’s affordable, especially compared to other European destinations.
  • What to do in Malta? Explore ancient temples, visit Gozo, enjoy the nightlife, and don’t miss the local food markets.
  • Malta tourism highlights? The Three Cities, Valletta, Ħaġar Qim, Mnajdra, and the Blue Grotto.
  • Is Malta worth visiting? Absolutely. This island has something for everyone – history buffs, foodies, beach bums, and adventure seekers alike.

Ready to book your Malta adventure? Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Recommended: The Secret World of Bari

Short in time? Check this Private Boat, Blue lagoon, Crystal lagoon Comino, Gozo Malta Ultimate Highlights and don’t miss the visit Malta’s the most important places!

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