Famed for its hot climate, spectacular sea views, choice of picture-perfect sandy beaches, and signature crystal clear blue waters, Malta remains one of the most popular summer destinations.
However, when the season changes and winter beckons, Malta still offers plenty to attract holiday-makers once the summer crowds have flown home. Here’s five reasons why your next winter holiday should be in Malta.
1. The Climate
With around 300 days of sunshine every year, winter in Malta can often enjoy warm and mild weather.
Although temperatures may not soar as high as they do in the summer months, it is not unusual to need to wear a sunhat come Christmas Day in Malta.
This balmy winter weather means that you can still enjoy the plethora of attractions and outdoor activities available across the Maltese islands, whilst avoiding the traditional tourist queues of summer.
2. The Museums and Historic Sites
Malta and Gozo are home to one of the most diverse selection of museums and sites of historic interest in Europe, if not the world, and they are best experienced during winter.
To explore Malta’s vast history, you might visit some of the many outdoor ancient megalithic temples, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital city of Valletta, or the National War Museum.
Arts enthusiasts may prefer instead to soak up the culture inside the National War Museum, National Museum of Fine Arts or National Museum of Archaeology.
3. The Christmas Season
Malta’s winter traditions and legendary Christmas theatre season are reasons enough to finish your year in style there.
Throughout the Christmas period each Maltese town is adorned with spectacular decorations and colourful light displays – and nowhere more so than capital city Valletta, where the wide pedestrianised streets are festooned in brilliant lights in a variety of styles and Christmas carols can be heard echoing through the streets to complete this authentic festive atmosphere.
The country’s cultural calendar also lights up from October to May, with a theatre season that includes classical concerts, theatrical productions and operas, and which peaks over Christmas and the New Year with several professional-standard pantomimes produced by local theatre companies.
4. The Carnival
Although the Maltese are famed for their ‘festa’ celebrations in summer, this talent for hosting the ultimate street party is repeated every February for the traditional Malta Carnival in Valletta, Floriana and the town of Nadur in Gozo.
This annual mega-party features a parade of huge, intricately-decorated floats, a wide variety of traditional street food stalls, as well as a nation of revellers all dressed in weird and wonderful costumes.
Be sure not to miss one of the main attractions held as part of the Malta Carnival, the ‘kukkanja’. In this medieval game, competitors must climb as far as they can along a greased pole to win the prizes placed upon it.
5. The Food
Visit Malta at any time of year and you’ll be treated to a unique selection of local traditional cuisine available only at that time. The winter months are no exception, so make sure your holiday includes sampling some of these quintessentially Maltese flavours, especially those found only during the cold snap.
For example, with pumpkin at its peak harvest, most households will include it as a key ingredient in Malta’s winter warmer, the ‘minestra’. This local dish is essentially a vegetable stew, which showcases the best of Maltese produce. Plus, Malta is also known to be a fabulous destination for those who like to dine out – with excellent restaurants on every corner, all with their own delicious specialities.
Bonus: Special Offer on Accommodation!
If you’re looking for the best way to get the most out of your stay in Malta, look no further than the Radisson Blu Resort, St. Julian’s. Besides being centrally located and offering gorgeous Mediterranean views, they’re offering a 35% discount on their rooms as well as free super breakfast!