Malta – small Mediterranean country, which will easily charm you. We have to admit, we fallen for it instantly. The vibe, architecture, history, weather… we liked everything. To show you, why we liked our Malta travel so much, we have put down our 6 days self-drive travel itinerary, which shows you the most beautiful corners of the country.
Malta self-drive travel itinerary
Day 1 – Malta
Landing at the Malta airport and picking up your rented car. We recommend you to book the car in advance – we have done this at www.economycarrentals.com and were very happy with the price and service.
Use the rest of your day to chill out and getting to know surroundings of your hotel.
Day 2 – Central and northern part of Malta
- Bugibba and Qawa (184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11) – old fishing villages turned into touristic towns, can be nice for a walk along the coast.
- Mistra Bay (18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124) – If you ask us, this was probably one of the nicest bays in Malta. It does not look extraordinary, but it probably charmed us because we were there alone. We had crystal clear water and the hills were in full bloom with yellow flowers – gorgeous. Take the road until its end and enjoy the views.
- A Church (35.55.09.5 / 14.22.00.1) – We stumbled on this church by accident, when driving to our next stop. It was beautiful and we used a quick stop also for a walk around the village.
- Gnejna Bay (126.96.36.199 / 188.8.131.52) – Another beach on Malta – we did not find it anything special though. I guess coming here during the summer, we might enjoyed it more.
- Ghajn Tuffieha (184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11) – To reach this beach, you will need to overcome lots of steps. We decided to just look down on it from above.
- Golden Bay (35.56.03.8 / 18.104.22.168) – One of the bays, which had a bar opened out of the main holidays season – perfect for a quick snack.
- Melliena Bay (22.214.171.124 / 126.96.36.199) – Another bay on the way, where we made a quick stop. But honestly, we were not really impressed.
- L-Ahrox chapel (188.8.131.52 / 184.108.40.206) – You can see the Comino island from here and its turquoise color of the water. You will also enjoy a look down the cliffs.
- The red tower (220.127.116.11 / 18.104.22.168) – The tower was once strategically used for supervision. It is one of a kind, so make sure to stop here. If you drive further on the road, passing the tower, you will be able to enjoy some beautiful views.
- Popeye village (22.214.171.124 / 126.96.36.199) – This Popeye village is actually a theme park. We did not decide to visit it, but we still enjoyed the colorful views from its viewing point. If traveling withs kids, a visit to the theme park should be fun.
- Mosta Dame (188.8.131.52 / 184.108.40.206) – Even though you are not keen on churches, you should see this one. The church has the fourth largest dome in the world and it survived the bomb attack in WW2. Just across the street, is a local bakery to grab a local snack. Just pay attention for the opening hours of the church!
- Mdina (35.53.01.3 / 220.127.116.11) – This gorgeous medieval town was the best attraction of the day and we should have taken more time to explore it. If nothing else, this is the place you must put it on your travel bucket list. Mdina was also put on the list of TOP 15 hidden destinations by Mastercard.
Day 3 – The rest of the island
- Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124) – This megalithic underground temple is under UNESCO world heritage protection. It is so unique that you should book the tickets well in advance. There is a fix number of daily visitors allowed. The temple is special also for its energy. The city of Valetta is built above it, what makes it even more extraordinary.
- Valetta (payable parking 126.96.36.199 / 188.8.131.52) – The capital of Malta does not need any special introduction, as it is one of the must see places when in Malta. The most beautiful part of the city is its old center, which is also under Unesco world heritage protection. The streets are built as a net to allow wind blown through and cooling down the heat. Take time to enjoy a walk around the old streets and make sure to visit the Boracco gardens, from where you see Valetta’s port. Malta was once under British rule, so don’t be too surprised when seeing the well-known phone boots. Don’t even forget to see the cathedral.
- Arab Rabat / St. Pauls catacombs (184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11) – Apart from Mdina town, one of our favorite Malta tourist attractions were these amazing St. Pauls catacombs. Even though you are not thrilled about seeing the attractions, you will definitely enjoy exploring these.
- Dingli Cliffs (18.104.22.168 / 14.22.37. and 35.51.00.1 / 22.214.171.124) – Take a drive along the western side of the island and take a look at these famous cliffs. The best timing is in the afternoon to enjoy them in golden color because of the sun.
- Marsaxlokk (126.96.36.199 / 188.8.131.52) – This is for sure the most beautiful fishing village in Malta, so you should definitely consider visiting. The bay is full of colorful fishing boats, which are often seen on postcards from Malta. Last but not least, take time for a seafood lunch here – 15 EUR for the daily menu doesn’t sounds bad, right?
- Senglea (184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11) – One of the nicest views towards Valetta is from Senglea. This side of the town is also nice for its small marina and lots of restaurants and bars. Just above the marina is the other part with the city museum, fort and a chapel (18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124).
Day 4 – The Gozo Island
Malta is formed from three larger islands and the Gozo Island is known as the greenest and the wildest.
- The port – ferry Cirkewwa-Mgarr (126.96.36.199 / 188.8.131.52) – The ferry to Gozo drives each 45 minutes, starting at 9 am. You buy the tickets after leaving Gozo, so when leaving towards Gozo, just go straight to the ferry line.
- Cittadella in Xlendi (payable parking 36.02.32.9 / 184.108.40.206) – This amazing fortified city was still under construction when we were there, but it is rebuild and amazingly beautiful now. The walls protected people against Turks and different diseases. They even had pastures inside. Take a look at the 3D frescos inside of its cathedral.
- Dwerja national park (36.03.09.7 / 220.127.116.11) – The national park Dwerja was once best known for the famous Azzure Window, which was gone due to heavy storm in March 2017. Nevertheless, you can still see the Blue Hole and Inland Sea here.
- Ta Pinu (36.03.41.6 / 18.104.22.168) – This church is a pilgrim place and its interior is designed from the limestone and shaped in a pattern of a lace.
- Ggantija temple (36.02.54.5 / 14.16.02.2) – If you are mad about history, you should not miss this megalithic temple under Unesco world heritage list. We were not so impressed, but this »stones« do represent a major part of Maltese history.
- Nadur town (36.02.16.5 / 22.214.171.124) – This cute little town has a nice main square, whih is perfect for a coffee stop.
- The Ramla bay / the orange beach (36.03.38.0 / 126.96.36.199) – The beach is known for its orange sand. We stopped here just for few minutes, as January is not really the month for sunbathing and swimming.
Our recommendation for lunch/dinner: The Xerri Il-Bukkett restaurant (36.01.50.2 / 188.8.131.52) does not look inviting from the outside and is also not really popular among tourists, but the food is amazing. Also the prices are lower than in others, more tourists oriented restaurants. Among local / traditional food (rabbit, ravioli, pizza), you will also enjoy the view towards the Comino island.
After one whole day of Gozo island exploration, it is time to go back to the Malta Island.
The coordinates of the Gozo’s harbour: 184.108.40.206 / 220.127.116.11
Day 5 – Free time or a visit to the Comino Island
You can spend your last day on Malta as you wish. We have decided to re-visit Valetta and take a boat ride from Valetta to Sliema, offering beautiful views towards the Valetta’s old town and lively promenade in Sliema, full with cafes and restaurants.
You can also decide to visit the Comino Island, but know, this island is free from cars. During the swimming season, Comino is visited solely because of the famous Blue lagoon. If you are keen on movies, you might want to visit the island also because some movies were shot here (for example Troy, The Count of Monte Cristo).
Day 6 – Flying back home
You will need to say goodbye from Malta and your short holidays.
Coordinates of the Maltese airport: 18.104.22.168 / 22.214.171.124
Renting a car and booking a hotel
The best way to book a car is in advance. This way you get lower price. We have always been renting a car with Economy Car Rentals.
You will need only one hotel when traveling around Malta, so do book it in advance. We have stayed at amazing boutique hotel Valentina, offering private parking, beautiful rooms and delicious and rich breakfast.
We also got a feedback from some other travelers that hotel Santana in St. Pauls bay is great option – also offering free parking, amazing rooftop terrace with the pool and delicious breakfast. Lots of people, who mostly like hustle and bustle, decide for a hotel in Sliema – this area is not popular just because of many bars and restaurants, but also because of its low price accommodations. From Sliema is a direct boat towards Valetta – the old town.
You can read more travel tips about Malta in our Malta travel guide here.
*The given coordinates are in h ddd°mm’ss.s format.”