The Beauty of Malta in April: Photo Diary & 4 Day Itinerary Inspiration

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Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

It’s a common Maltese tradition that once a child turns one, they’re made to choose from an array of symbolic objects that will supposedly determine their future path.

Pens for writers, calculators for accountants, rolling pins for bakers…

If I had taken part of this il-quċċija when I turned one, there’s no doubt about it: I would have raced straight past all these objects, and instead thrown myself on top of the snack table… because MY future (if I can help it) will be spent forever consuming Maltese snacks like imqarets and pastizzis.

The reason for my obsession? Earlier this month, I visited Malta for the first time as a guest of the Malta Tourism Authority, as many of you may have seen on Instagram.

While plenty of helpful guides and informational posts are on their way, for now: I’d like keep things simple and show you Malta through my eyes. Here’s a photo diary recapping my four days hopping around the Maltese archipelago, one of the most unique destinations I’ve seen in a very long time.

When my boyfriend and I arrived late Thursday evening, fresh off our Air Malta flight, my demeanour mirrored that of an excited puppy.

My nose was pressed against the glass throughout our entire taxi ride to the hotel, trying in vain to absorb all the details of our new destination.

Our home base for this trip was the Fortina Spa Resort in Sliema, a former fishing village turned ‘party central’ that is today a hub for shops, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. In the dark, there was absolutely no way to anticipate the view we’d see the next day.

… because sunrise the next morning brought us THIS:

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
Like a screengrab from Assassin’s Creed :O

I have to say: at first glance, Malta is a confusing little place. Found halfway between Europe and Africa, their language sounds Arabic, but makes use of Latin letters; their greetings are very French “bonġu for good morning and bonswa for good evening”, yet the streets are dotted with bright red phone booths and British-style electrical plugs.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

Here’s why: Malta is an archipelago that has been under rule until 1964. The unique identity we see today is therefore thanks to the combined influence of the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Byzantines, the French and the English. How’s that for a mix?

Of course, this unique identity manifests itself in a pretty ahh-worthy diversity of sights, crammed into a tiny total area of only 316 km².

Before even having lunch on our first day, we had delved into an ancient world of megalithic temples at Ħaġar Qim (which dates back to 3600 BC), breezed through the impossibly vibrant waters of the Blue Lagoon and enjoyed the picturesque colours of Marsaxlokk, Malta’s main fishing harbour.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
The megalithic temples of Ħaġar Qim
Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
The impossibly blue waters of the Blue Grotto
Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
Colourful boats at Marsaxlokk

At lunch, with a view of the colourful fishing boats of Marsaxlokk, I learned the most crucial fact of my entire trip: that Maltese food is a force to be reckoned with.

After stuffing myself with courses of delicious antipasto, seafood and dessert, I quickly realized that generous portions and delectable diversity would be a recurring theme of the trip…

RIP, willpower.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
The greatest of feasts.

After that stomach-expanding binge, we rolled our way to Fort St. Angelo, found in Birgu (Vittoriosa, in Maltese), one of Malta’s ‘Three Cities’.

It was very lucky timing that we arrived in the city just before Freedom Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the British troops leaving Malta in 1979.

One of the main celebrations is a regatta among several Maltese towns/cities, complete with colourful flags and proud fans bringing out the loudest in their sassy shouting.

The buzzing atmosphere was contagious, with Cospicua (Bormla in Maltese), our driver’s hometown, being crowned the ultimate winner, apparently a very big deal indeed. Congrats George!

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
Fort Saint Angelo
Admiring those views 😮

Exploring the Three Cities (Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua) is a dramatically different experience than the busier stops of Sliema or Valetta.

These lesser visited Maltese gems offer a quieter, more authentic glimpse into daily Maltese life, complete with tranquil streets dotted with colourful balconies and confused residents wondering why you’re photographing their home.

PS: if you get the time, hop on ‘dghajsa’, a gondola-esque Maltese water taxi to get amazing views from the water. It may not be one of the superyachts you’ll find docked nearby, but dayum if the views aren’t wonderful:

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

We spent our evening eating exploring Valetta, and the next day too, a painfully short time for a capital so rich in history.

Bragging rights include being named the European Capital of Culture for 2018, which is why much of the city is being restored, with gorgeous boutique hotels taking residence in the baroque buildings so typical of the city.

Like a scene from Inception, the steep hills of Valetta can at times make it look like the streets are about to fold into you.

There are only 8 flat streets in the entire capital, which means while your calves will get their workout, it’s all worth it.

As you climb up the steep steps of Valetta (which are 450 years old in fact!), you’ll be charmed by painted wooden balconies (a new obsession of mine) alongside vintage shop signs and storefronts that invite a nosy perusal.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

Most impressive though is that most of the treasures of Valetta are hidden from plain sight.

The beautiful baroque facades of Valetta’s streets mask even cooler wonders, like the Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, which drips in gold and opulent art or the Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th century palace crammed with impressive paintings and antique collections.

The magic continues even below street level, where you’ll find an underground series of tunnels constructed by the Knights of St John when Valetta was first built, open to the public only for select occasions.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
Inside St John’s Co-Cathedral
Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
Casa Rocca Piccola

But guess what? That’s not where the surprises end.

What if I told you in the Northwest corner of Malta, there was a film set turned theme park, where the flat rooftops typical of the Maltese skyline gave way to coloured houses with pointy roofs and a Disney-esque whimsy?

Yes, Malta has that too, and it’s called Popeye Village.

Our third day brought us to this wonderfully random theme park, which has taken residence by the turquoise waters of Anchor Bay since the 70s.

Here, even in the off-season, colourfully dressed characters roam the small park, messing with guests (no joke – hiding in dark corners and jumping out!) while bringing you into the heart of the Robin Williams Popeye film which shot here decades ago. This is one of many awesome spots to visit in Malta if you love movies.

Malta travel inspiration at its finest - let these mindblowing photos show you all the amazing things to do and things to see in Malta.

Ditching Disney for Game of Thrones, our afternoon brought us to Mdina, Malta’s former capital, a walled city perched atop a hill, making for some of the best views in the country.

Known as the “Silent City” due to the fact that it doesn’t allow cars, stepping into Mdina can feel like a step back in time (once you’ve ditched the main streets). The honey limestone facades are inviting but dangerous, because heading into the back alleys is like entering a maze.

Still, not to worry – Mdina is so small that even the directionally challenged like myself are able to find their way with ease… eventually. It’s worth noting of course (for my fellow nerds) that several scenes from Game of Thrones Season 1 were filmed here.

Our last day was spent in Gozo and Comino, the other two main islands that complete the Maltese archipelago. Gozo recently made headlines when it lost its key attraction, the Azure Window, to a heavy storm that caused the total collapse of the arch. In classic ‘silver linings’ fashion, I was determined to dig deeper and discover what else Gozo had to offer.

… and the truth is, there’s a lot.

After all, Gozo is where the Maltese go on vacation, and despite the short 20 minute ferry ride that will bring you to Gozo’s shores, the two islands march to dramatically different rhythms.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

The pace of life is simply different in Gozo. Slower, less chaotic. With a reputation as Malta’s greener island, it offers plenty of opportunities to relax and, if desired, indulge one’s adventure junkie. In fact, Malta offers some of the best scuba diving opportunities in Europe, the Blue Hole in Gozo being among the most popular.

But if you’re a less adventurous soul simply craving beautiful sights, Gozo is loaded with them. Among our stops for the day were Dwerja Bay (former home of the Azure Window), the Ggantija Temples and the Cittadella, all of which felt relatively untouched by tourists.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!
Gozo’s famous saltpans

But beyond the ‘must-sees’, there was something truly captivating about the island’s atmosphere… Whether it was the toothy old man proudly selling salt by his family’s salt pans, or the chatty woman making lace down a hidden alley in Victoria, there was a subtle charm to Gozo (and its people) that melted my big city heart.

Or, at the very least, convinced me to buy some salt and lace (neither of which I really needed).

Still, how could you ever say no to this face? (Yes, that’s her on the cover of a magazine).

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

Our day capped off with a quick visit to Comino, whose bright blue waters had taunted us since that morning’s ferry ride. With a grand population of four, Comino’s main draw is its impossibly Blue Lagoon, which appears dramatically Photoshopped, but is of course, the real deal.

The windy waves of April didn’t allow for a safe swim, but it was great fun exploring this tiny island anyways, which becomes a magnet for swimmers and sunbathers in the summer.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!

And now, even weeks after my visit, sometimes, when I close my eyes, I still imagine the irresistible smell of a freshly fried imqaret, soon to be devoured with a cool scoop of creamy Maltese ice cream. After four full days of exploration, I boasted not only a fuller waistline, but a fuller understanding of what exactly it is that makes Malta so special. Even so, it feels like I’ve barely scratched the surface.

It was a great visit, but it certainly won’t be my last.

Visiting Malta and looking for the best things to see, do and experience in Malta? Check out this gorgeous photo diary packed with inspiration for how to spend 4 days in Malta. Take this as the ultimate itinerary inspiration for your next Malta visit!


A huge thanks to the Malta Tourism Authority for hosting me during this trip! All experiences, words and opinions are my own.

My Go-To Travel Favourites:

🧳 Eagle Creek: My favourite packing cubes

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🍯 Honey: For finding coupons automatically

🏨 Booking.com: For searching hotels

📷 Sony A7IV: My (amazing) camera

✈️ Google Flights: For finding flight deals

🌎 WorldNomads: For travel insurance

🎉 GetYourGuide: For booking activities

84 thoughts on “The Beauty of Malta in April: Photo Diary & 4 Day Itinerary Inspiration”

  1. Ahh I’ve been wanting to go to Malta for aaages. It just looks so damn gorgeous! Everywhere looks like the perfect postcard picture. And that food! I’m so with you on the snack table front haha!

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    • There are so many cool places to see on such a small island. You should go!! And yes, the food was a real (great) surprise haha. Everything was sooo good!

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    • Ahh I know 🙁 It’s so crazy to think that it disappeared literally within the span of a few minutes. So heartbreaking! Still, there’s SO much else that Gozo has to offer, and I really hope that people continue to visit in spite of the collapse. I plan to write a separate post on Gozo soon. It really is a beautiful island!

      Reply
  2. Ah this is perfect timing – I am going to Malta in the morning! Just booking my taxi to the airport (for 4am :-() and saw this pop up. Fate! We’ve already got a list of places to go but good to hear that you loved them all – Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua look v interesting! Your photos are so gorgeous. Can’t wait to see it all in real life!

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  3. How absolutely gorgeous!! Malta really wasn’t on my radar (ok, I’d never heard of it) but recently I’ve been seeing posts about it… still, yours was the first that made me want to book a trip and get out there! Your photos are just breath taking. Can’t wait to see the rest of your Malta posts!

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    • Ahh thanks so much Lia. It’s honestly such a gorgeous (and unique) place to visit. I hope you make it out there soon!

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  4. I am officially so excited for my trip to Malta. Which part of the island would you recommend staying? I’ll probably be traveling solo, so I’ll be looking into fun, social places.

    On a side note, the Polish also have a similar tradition that a baby participates in on his/her baptism. I remember my brother doing it. I forget what the third object was, but one object was a book (being an academic – I guess) and the other was money (business – I guess). My brother ignored all three objects and crawled for the kitchen.

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    • How exciting, Ania!! When are you going? I think where you stay depends on what you’re looking for (e.g. a beach escape, culture/history, etc.) I was very happy being based in Sliema because there were a lot of shops/restaurants, but I’ve heard St Julian’s/Paceville are good for nightlife/social vibes. Otherwise, staying in the capital Valetta would put you in arm’s reach of SO many cool cultural spots and attractions. There are other more resort-y type spots, but it doesn’t sound like that’s what you’re looking for.

      Also I love that your brother made a beeline for the kitchen. That’s definitely me!

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    • Awesome! Thanks for passing the article along 🙂 Malta really is amazing. You should try to go with Thomas’ mom if you get a chance 😉

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  5. I have been 5 times and absolutely adore Malta! I need an invite too hint hint tourism board lol!! I am so glad you loved it – it is one of my favourite destinations and we have stayed all over the island but love Mellieha in the north for great access to the blue lagoon and Gozo. Valletta and it’s natural harbour are stunning! Will look forward to the rest of your posts!!

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    • 5 times! That’s amazing haha. I can see why you keep going back though. I’d love to head back again to see everything more in-depth. Thanks for reading, Tracy 🙂

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    • What I love is that there’s the combination of paradise vibes (e.g. beaches and sun) AND history/culture, which makes it the perfect spot for a holiday. Hope you get to visit soon, Lindsay!

      Reply
  6. Malta is so small, but it looks lovely! The landscapes look like a form of nature, and the buildings like a part of the nature. It’s on my bucket list 🙂

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    • Tiny country, but packed so densely with awesome things to see and do. The tiny size of Malta makes it pretty easy to get around, which is a huge bonus. Thanks for reading, Lana!

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  7. I’m dying to go to Malta and so I’m excited to see how beautiful it looks in April! That means I can consider going April 2018 for our 5 year anniversary!! whoop whoop! #blogpostsaturday

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    • Malta would be such an amazing place for an anniversary trip!! I feel like 2018 would be an awesome year to go since they’re gearing up for Valetta to be the European Capital of Culture in 2018, so a lot of the restorations/new hotels will be done by then! Hope you get to go 🙂 <3

      Reply
  8. Wow, this is really selling Malta for me! I have a friend who’s currently in Gozo, so I’ve seen from her pictures how beautiful it is. But other than that, I had no idea how much there is to see in Malta! I love how unique its cultural identity is and the amount of history it has. I should probably make my way there before the crowds discover it haha 🙂

    Reply
    • Yeah I was really surprised by how interesting the culture was (given all the different influences throughout the years). Really cool to observe in person! Going in April was awesome because there weren’t too many crowds yet (and the temperatures were perfect). Hope you get to see for yourself soon, Ella!

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  9. I love your photos! I need to go to Valetta and Malta because we’re trying to visit all the EU capitals and of course Valetta is one of them. After reading this I’m really looking forward to it!

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    • That’s awesome, Helen! What’s great about Malta is that it’s really small, so if you’re coming to see Valletta, you can easily make stops in the other places I mentioned as well. Best of luck with your capitals goal!

      Reply
  10. What! Malta look absolutely amazing. My mum is from Croatia and it reminds me a little bit of that. I love the culture of Europe, it’s unmatched anywhere in the world I think, though it is very unique. Your photos are stunning and the layout just makes me want to keep scrolling. Adding Malta to the wish list! Thanks.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the kind words, Alexa!! Malta definitely has some similarities to Croatia (those Mediterranean vibes haha) but it infuses it with influence from so many other cultures too. Such a fascinating place to be. Hope you get to see for yourself what I mean! 😀

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  11. The photos look stunning! What camera do you use? Not gonna lie, Malta wasn’t high on my list of places to see but it is now!! Will have a look at flights later… thanks for the inspiration!

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    • Hey Chloe, I use a Nikon D3200, so a super beginner level DSLR – nothing fancy! Thanks so much for your comment & for reading 🙂

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  12. Your photos are incredible! I always love a view from the water so I’d definitely be getting on a dghajsa to see Malta that way. I’d have to learn how to pronounce it first though 🙂

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    • Thanks Cherene! I was really surprised too that such a small country was packed with so much interesting history. I guess you never really ‘know’ a place until you visit! I hope you get to see for yourself soon 🙂

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  13. Wow, it’s so beautiful!!!
    The story at the beginning awestruck: they exactly do the same in China. My Chinese brother told me his parents showed him different things when he was a kid and he chose the book on Nature… and today he’s an environmentalist!

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    • aw what a sweet story! My parents are from China and they never had me do anything like that. Such a shame! I wish they had haha. I probably would have gone for the food anyway.

      Reply
  14. Malta is such a special country to us. We explored it and Gozo soon after we were married. The way you describe your experience is so similar to ours. Our best food experience was in Gozo. We took a private food tour, and discovered some amazing delights. We hope to return this year. There is still much to discover about that magical country. Thank you for sharing this!

    Reply
    • What an amazing place to explore as newlyweds!! Ahh I agree – Gozo has so much to offer in terms of gastronomy. I remember going to a little food shop and sampling all the different pastes, coffees, etc. It was divine. That food tour sounds beyond amazing though. I hope you get the chance to go back soon! 🙂

      Reply
  15. What GORGEOUS photos you have here! Your post definitely makes me want to put Malta way higher on my list of places I need to visit! And those snacks just sound uh-mazing! haha

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    • thanks, Helene!! Easy to take nice photos when the country’s so darn photogenic 😉 Hope you get to see for yourself sometime soon!

      Reply
  16. Ooooh, it seems such a long time ago I visited Malta, I miss it now seeing your pics. It is such a interesting mix 🙂 But I think what I loved the most were the megalithic temples 😀

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    • Yess those were the first things I saw when I arrived haha. SO interesting because I never even knew they were there. Hope this post brought back some nice memories! 🙂

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  17. I love the way you said that your excitement mirrored that of an excited puppy. In fact I love it because I can connect with it. It doesn’t matter where I am going or whether I’m getting back home. My nose is perpetually pressed to window when the flight takes off or lands. It is just one of those things that I do. I will look out till I can’t see land. So no guesses. My favorite spot is the window seat.

    Malta looks so beautiful through your camera lens. I haven’t been there and quiet honestly it wasn’t on my list. I should probably think about it more seriously.

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    • hahah I always go for the window seat too 🙂 Malta is even more beautiful in person than through my camera lens 😉 Definitely worth a stop if you’re in Europe!

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  18. Taking my daughter in May to show her where I grew up. We will celebrate her birthday and her wish to swim with the dolphins in the very same neighborhood I grew up in. Can’t wait to be back again, this time with my daughter; my dream come true.

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    • Gosh I know 🙁 I really wish I could have seen it in person, but Gozo has loads more to offer than just that. The food for instance… mmm!!

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  19. Ah, i loved Malta too when i was there earlier this year! I only had chance to explore Valletta and Mdina as i only had effectively 2 and a half days, but it was one of the best trips I’ve been on recently and i cant wait to go back! Similarly, i have so many posts to write about the place even from such a short time, but that’s Malta for you. It gets under your skin and is such a beauty of a place! Will look forward to your further posts!

    Reply
    • Ahh so happy to hear you loved Malta as much as I did 🙂 You’re right – 2.5 days is definitely not enough haha. I hope you get the chance to go back soon!

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    • We went on our own – sorry!! We had a driver take us to the ferry, and then from Gozo it wasn’t tough at all to hire a boat to visit Comino… it wasn’t cheap though (I think they sensed our desperation and gouged us a little haha).

      Reply
  20. These photos are beautiful! What was the weather like in April? I’m trying to decide if I want to book a ticket for April, May, or June, but I’m leaning toward April and trying to figure out what to pack. Also, just wanted to say I LOVE the layout of your posts! It’s the perfect mix of pictures and text, and the bold names work really well as place markers. Can’t wait to read more!

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    • Hi Rebecca, sorry for the late response but April was perfect weather in my opinion!! A little windy and breezy but otherwise super pleasant. Hope you have a great time in Malta 🙂

      Reply
  21. Hey, love the post. I cannot wait for my trip.
    I’m going in April too and saw that you wore dresses. Would you say it was hot enough for dresses or more of a jean and tshirt type of weather because of the wind.

    Reply
    • Hi Haja, just a disclaimer: I’m super Canadian and never get cold hahaha. In fact, being too hot is my worst nightmare. Often, people will be totally freezing when I’m fine, so if you get cold easily, do bring some warmer clothes as I’m not a great benchmark! I personally thought the weather was quite warm and in the sun, a dress was perfect… BUT when the wind hit, it got quite chilly so I did have a coat with me as well. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  22. Hi, I’m going to Malta in July and planning on staying in sliema but I want to visit everywhere. What’s the best way to get around?.

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    • Hi Lacey, we had a car with us and that would be ideal I think but there’s loads of public transport around (i.e. buses) that you could take too 🙂

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  23. Lovely post & photos! Thanks for your tips 🙂 Planning a trip to Malta for this summer. May I know where was the last photo with the iconic Valletta view taken? Thanks!!

    Reply
  24. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOUR BLOG! I am a blogger and travel alot, The Punk Rock Princess, but recently started a job here in Malta

    I also run the Edinburgh Blogger conferences now being Braw Blogger Events, long story short I would love to discuss some fun opportunities with you 😀

    Reply

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