Slowdown in Malta: Tips for Embracing a Relaxing Holiday

Every year, holidaymakers from around the world flock to Malta, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea. Consisting of the main island, Malta, and the smaller sister island, Gozo, this small island paradise is perfectly designed to help you unwind.

From the sunny year-round weather to the historical sites, there’s so many reasons to choose Malta as your next holiday destination. So, no matter whether you want to soak up the sun with the latest bestseller, or try your hand at snorkelling, Malta will have something for you.

Mdina, Malta, credit David Alfons

But for those of us who usually live in the fast lane, the temptation can be to charge through your holiday at this same breath-taking pace. So how can you slow down, and really unwind on your Malta holiday? We share our top tips for a slow-travel experience.

Don’t overpack your itinerary

True, there is so much to see and do whilst you’re in Malta. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Valletta, to the sea caverns of the Blue Grotto, you could easily fill up your itinerary with day trips. But the beauty of going slow is that you can really experience a place like a local, rather than simply ticking it off your list.

Valleta, Malta, credit Ferenc Horvath

Choose a few key locations, and allow yourself plenty of time to explore. Cittadella, on the island of Gozo, is a perfect example – this walled fortress is ideal for taking a leisurely stroll. Discover markets, craft shops and local restaurants, and sip a coffee as you watch the world go by. 

Enjoy some local delicacies

No holiday is complete without sampling some local food, and for the adults, perhaps a glass or two of local wine. Of course, you can easily get hold of many products that you’ll recognise in supermarkets, but why not be a bit more adventurous?

Marsaxlokk, Malta, Credit Norbert S

Head down a side street and pick the restaurant where all the locals are sitting. You might have to take a leap of faith when it comes to ordering, but the result will be as authentic as it comes. The cuisine in Malta is a mix of Scilian, Arabic, British, French and Italian, so you’re sure to get something new.

Malta, credit Aman Saxena

Top dishes to try include:

  • Pastizzi, a handheld pastry traditionally filled with peas and ricotta
  • Ftira biż-Żejt, an open sandwich that is perfect for a picnic
  • Stuffat tal-Fenek, a rabbit stew that is the national dish of Malta
  • Imqaret, tiny, deep-fried pastry rolls with a date filling 

Explore on foot

Malta’s beautiful sandy beaches and gentle terrain makes it perfect for exploring by foot. You won’t need any extreme hiking supplies here – instead, make sure to pack some water, snacks, sun cream and your camera. There are plenty of photo-worthy spots on the islands and walking there can help you appreciate the natural beauty of the landscape around you, rather than purely seeing it through the lens.

The Zurrieq Loop is known as one of the easiest trails in Malta, but still gives you a hearty 8.8km of nature to explore. It starts in Zurrieq, and loops through the charming villages of Anton and Safi, before ending back at your start point. Make sure you don’t miss the sighting of some traditional Maltese windmills on the way, and you’re sure to come back feeling relaxed.

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