From diving, walking, cycling, swimming, snorkeling, rock climbing, horse-riding sailing, paragliding, playing a round of golf or simply lounging in the sun, a holiday in the Maltese Islands can be as active as you want it to be. And with such an agreeable climate, it is possible to indulge in activities even off-season.
Visitors looking for land-based activities are spoilt for choice with options ranging from gentle walks through spectacular scenery and historic sites to off-road cycling.
Sea-faring visitors can charter a yacht bare-boat or skippered for the ultimate Mediterranean experience.
The Maltese Islands have a full calendar of sporting events including triathlons, marathons, sailing and cycling, attracting international competitors and spectators. Apart from annual and one-off events, there are the regular football and horse racing seasons, tennis competitions and world-class snooker championships.
The best way to experience the islands’ awe inspiring, rugged coastline is by taking to the water.
Malta’s climate and central location make the Islands an excellent base for a sailing holiday for young sailors getting started as well as experienced, qualified mariners alike. Malta is already a popular wintering destination for yacht owners but sailing enthusiasts can combine a land-based holiday with a spot of sea-faring by chartering a yacht, either bare-boat or skippered.The Islands naturally have plenty of excellent facilities for sailing enthusiasts and boat owners.
Annual sailing regattas and races are held regularly, including the Comino Regatta in June and the Malta-Syracuse race for keelboats in July.
The highlight on the competition calendar is the annual Rolex Middle Sea Race in October. The race is a highly rated offshore classic attracting around 80 of the best international boats who have to sail from Malta to Sicily and back through changeable and demanding conditions past spectacular scenery. Further information here.
Left: horse-riding by Gnejna Tower
Right: walking in the fields by St. John the Baptist Church, Xewkija
Beaches offer a wide range of watersports from windsurfing to sea-kayaking and jet-ski hire. The more adventurous can try water-skiing, wakeboarding, kiteboarding or parakiting.
The best time of the year for windsurfing is during the winter months, between November and March, when North-West winds prevail and beaches are not crowded, offering a relaxing atmosphere. The favourable summer conditions are perfect for beginners to learn.
The mild months between mid-November and March are ideal for hiking and walking as the landscape comes alive after the scorching summer with a sea of colourful flowers and scented wild herbs.
The Islands offer walkers some of the most stunning views anywhere in the Mediterranean, from dramatic cliffs plunging into waves, to rocky garrigue or hidden, lush valleys. En route, hikers come across mysterious, prehistoric sites, cave chapels and secluded palaces of the Knights.
Areas that make excellent hikes in Malta are Mellieħa, Dingli, Għar Lapsi, Fawwara, Wardija, all the North and the various bays, and the southern coast with its fishing villages and Delimara Point.
Gozo is a fabulous walking destination due to its varied geographical terrain. Ta’ Dbieġi, near San Lawrenz, the Ġurdan Lighthouse near Għasri, Ħondoq ir-Rummien near Qala and San Blas Valley near Nadur are also all exciting walking areas.
The tiny island of Comino is also ideal for a good day’s hiking with ultimate views. For more information
Rock Climbing and Abseiling. For more information on walks, clear here
With their long stretches of cliffs, some dropping more than 100m into the sea, the Maltese Islands are a great choice for rock climbing, abseiling, bouldering in winter and deep-water soloing and sea traverses in summer.
There are over 1300 rock climbing spots on the Maltese islands in about 30 different climbing areas. The various climbing crags and cliffs are easily accessible. Any crag is no further than half an hour’s drive, followed by a couple of minutes’ walk which will bring one to the bottom, or top, of the intended climb or abseil.
There are no seasonal restrictions so climbing is possible all year round.
Further information is available here.
The small islands of Malta and Gozo can easily be explored by bicycle. The landscape offers spectacular views from spots that are more easily reached by bike than by a car.
Mountain bikes and helmets can be hired from a number of cycle shops in the main towns. Some outlets also organise group bike tours whilst bike hotels offer facilities for cyclists.
For more information is available here.
Malta’s temperate climate makes Malta an idea venue for off-season golfing breaks both for individuals and groups.
The Royal Malta Golf Club dates back to 1888 when golf was first played in the ditches formed by the fortification walls of Valletta. One of the founding members was the then Duke of Edinburgh who was serving in Malta at the time and from whom the club received royal patronage. The club moved to its present location in Marsa in 1904 and the tight and challenging 18 hole parkland course boasts a brand new Clubhouse with all the latest facilities expected of a modern twenty-first century golf club – including an irrigation system that helps keep the course evergreen.
Today at par 68, the course is a good test of golf without being unkind to the novice. There are some very interesting par 3s, the most memorable of which, although not the most difficult, is the 6th – nicknamed “The Maids’ Bedroom” by the members. The two par 5s present a daunting challenge in the prevailing winds, as do some of the longer par 4s. Altogether a very pleasant golfing experience. A PGA qualified teaching professional is always on call for those who wish to learn the game or improve their handicap. Learn more about the golf club here.
The Maltese Islands offer the perfect backdrop for family al fresco activities. On dry land families can explore the stunning landscapes by bicycle or foot whilst older children can enjoy horse riding, rock climbing or abseiling.
Water enthusiasts can learn to sail and explore the Mediterranean waters with their flippers and snorkel or learn to dive, windsurf, sea kayak, fish, kite surf and an array of water sports.
Children over 11 years that feel the need for speed can spend the day go-karting at Ta’ Qali Raceway situated within Ta’Qali national park.
Malta offers a number of theme parks, entertainment and attractions to keep the children entertained:
To find out when Malta’s annual sporting events are taking place, take a look at our Calendar.