With its 300 days of sunshine a year and its stable temperatures, Malta is a sensational destination for a getaway at any time of year. The proximity between the main islands that make up the archipelago and the characteristics of the country's geography allow you to discover its main attractions in an express visit. This brief guide explains what to do in Malta in 3 days so that you don't miss any of the main attractions.
It's a good idea to start off strong on this express tour of Malta, so the first day will begin with one of the main tourist attractions in Malta: the megalithic temples. These constructions are scattered throughout the island and, although they are not far apart, you will have to travel to several points on the main island.
However, you can get an idea of the magnificence of these sanctuaries by visiting the two most impressive and best preserved: the Tarxien temple, with its original stone decorations, and the Ħaġar Qim temple, with a megalith weighing more than 57 tonnes. Places shrouded in mystery that take the traveller back almost 7,000 years in the history of mankind.
Back to the present, you can visit one of the most popular villages in the south of the island: Marsaxlokk. This colourful, seafaring village is famous for its traditional boats, the luzzu, whose hulls never lack the Eyes of Osiris, a symbol of protection introduced into Maltese culture by the Phoenicians. This is also a good place to take a break and sample some of the best fresh fish dishes in the country before heading to St. Peter's Pool to end the day with a swim and a splendid sunset.
The second day will be more dedicated to the Mediterranean and all the charms it has in store for you during you trip to Malta. The starting point will be the town of St. Julian's, a great place to stay during a holiday in Malta. The Mercure St. Julian's Malta hotel is very close to the first stop of the day: the Dragonara Cave (Coral Lagoon) or Harq Hamiem Cave.
This rock formation in the bowels of the earth is said to have been home to a feared snake-like sea creature that long terrorised the island's inhabitants. From here it's easy to head north along Malta's main road to visit the neighbouring island of Gozo, before stopping off at Popeye's Village, the original fishing village that was used as a location for the 1980 film of the same name, and the Blue Lagoon on the island of Comino, a natural swimming pool with captivating turquoise waters.
The island of Gozo is much smaller than Malta and its main natural charms are to be found in the inland sea of Dwejra, just a few metres from where the legendary Blue Window was located, which disappeared after a storm in 2017; the Ghasri Valley, a narrow arm of the sea that resembles the Norwegian fjords; and the stone salt pans of Qbajjar, in the north of the island. On the way back south, a stop in the island's capital, Victoria, is a must, to explore its iconic citadel and enjoy the culinary delights of its street stalls.
A final day of city sightseeing will allow you to return home with a comprehensive knowledge of Maltese history, traditions, and cuisine. Valletta is a small capital city with great artistic and cultural attractions. A visit to the Co-cathedral of St John and the Grand Master's Palace, two buildings that symbolise the important presence of the Order of the Knights of Malta in these lands, is a must.
Although this part of the bay also has its own fort, it is more interesting to visit those at the other end of the Grand Harbour: St. Michael's Fort, with original eyes and ears carved into its structure, and Ricasoli Fort, one of the great defensive bastions during the Ottoman siege in the mid-16th century. It is also the perfect excuse for a tour of "The Three Cities of Malta": Senglea, Vittoriosa and Cospicua.
The day can end on a relaxing note with a visit to the elegant town of Medina, the former capital of the country, famous for its historic cafes and tea rooms such as the Fontanella Tea Garden at the top of the city wall. The end the tour on a high will be to watch the sunset at the Dingli cliffs, which at 250 m high offer some of the most spectacular views over the Mediterranean Sea.