Malta, a former British colony known as the Crown Colony of Malta, is a Mediterranean country that lies in between the southern part of Italy and Northern African coasts. The Arab and Mediterranean influences are manifested in the Maltese language and architectures while the British impacts are prominent in lifestyle, food, language, and use of left-hand traffic in this country. If your family plan or will go to Malta, you’ll surely discover this during your Malta family trip.
While being considered as one of the cheapest country to travel to Europe, Malta is a treasure trove for tourists. This country showcases many prehistoric civilizations that built world-renowned heritages and megalithic structures. Malta also plays a pivotal point in history by having a strategic role in the crusades or war between the Catholics and Muslim Ottomans empire in Europe and World War II. It is definitely an attractive place to be included in the bucket lists of people who seek value for money and for those who like to travel back in the old times.
Recommended activities on your Malta family trip:
Malta is a good destination for family holiday, honeymoon, or even a solo trip. In my case, my first visit was in summer (2013) together with my husband while my second visit was in winter (2017), this time together with our older son who was then nearly 2 years old. Having a kid in our travel is definitely not a hindrance to enjoy Malta and instead, my husband and I were able to share the beauty of this country to our child. In case you visit Malta, here are some of the recommended activities for your Malta family trip:
1. Explore the playgrounds of Maltese island.
Playgrounds can be found in every corner of Maltese island, thus entertaining your toddlers are easy and accessible. In the winter, however, it is very windy and cold therefore be sure to pack your kids with some good winter clothing.
2. Visit the Malta National Aquarium.
Malta National Aquarium features different sea species, which your kids will surely enjoy. There is also an outdoor playground outside the museum for kids and a relaxing island view for parents to enjoy too.
3. Visit temples during your Malta family trip.
Malta features different megalithic temples considered as the oldest free standing in the world and as part of UNESCO World Heritage. The excursion to old temples is more suitable for kids of at least five years old. It could give them a feeling of being part of adventure movies, such as Indiana Jones. No wonder why famous ancient movies like Game of Thrones, Gladiator, and Troy were shoot in this country. Temples located in the nature area, however, are definitely worth the visit as compared to those that are inside the city.
4. Visit the Popeye village for a unique family experience in Malta.
Yes, the famous show Popeye the Sailor Man is also shoot in Malta. A visit to Popeye village features shows, boat rides, and museums suitable for a little bit older kids. Kids could also have the chance to meet the main characters of the show such as Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, and Wimpy.
5. Visit the island of Comino and Blue Lagoon.
A visit to Comino and Blue Lagoon via boat tour could be a very romantic experience for couples as I can testify myself. The boat tour for half- or whole day includes cruising the Mediterranean sea, island hopping and swimming in the island, and exploring the breath-taking island cliffs. How lovely to share this beautiful experience with your love ones!
6. Do city walks in Malta.
Explore the old streets in cities like Valletta and Mdina by foot to experience how it is exactly to live in this place. Aside from the health benefits, you might also discover some hidden gems and experiences less known to other travellers.
How to save on your Malta family trip?
In case you plan to book a trip to Malta, here are some tips on how to save on your trip:
1. Book your own Malta family trip.
It may sound difficult but booking your own trip is cheaper, easier, and faster than doing it via travel agents. I encountered the trips to Malta via the discount website Groupon. The deal, which include flight (via Ryan Air or Air Malta), accommodation, and transfer (Malta Transfer), is already an attractive package. Since the details of the flight and hotels are stated in the package, I directly went to the website of these package details. The Groupon deal offers €200 per person (also applies for baby) for 7nights/8days, which means our family package will cost €600. Since I did directly my own booking online using the same information in the package deal, I only paid a total of €350 since the baby is actually for free (except for the flight, which also cost little)!
2. Use public busses in visiting itineraries especially if you will stay for longer period of time in few destinations.
Public busses cost only €1.5 per ticket, which is valid for two hours. Booking tour busses, such as either the red busses going on the South or blue busses going to the North of Malta from the travel agents, costs €20 for the whole day. In our experience, we booked the red bus to tour the Southern part of Malta. However, our whole day was already spent in visiting and enjoying three temples, while there were still seven itineraries remaining in the bus tour. Therefore, only take the tour busses if you plan an intense day visiting many sites or if you specifically want to visit an itinerary that is difficult to visit via the public transport, such as the Hagar Qim Temples & Mnajdra Temples.
3. Choose a cheaper location in the island of Malta.
The prices of hotels and restaurants vary depending on whether you are based on the north, south or center of the island. Places such as Valleta and St. Julian are definitely more expensive as compared to places going North such as Buggiba or Cirkewwa. Regardless of where you are based, it is possible to travel Malta from North to South in one day since it is one of the smallest country in the world.
4. Walk a little bit farther from the tourist area to find cheaper establishments.
This applies to every place you travel. Local businesses such as hotels, restaurants or souvenir shops near famous tourists’ destinations are definitely more expensive as compared to businesses located off-roads. Sometimes, the quality of foods or services of local businesses located off-roads are much better at lower prices than those nearby the tourists’ destinations.