Forget everything you thought you knew about Malta. This unsung gem in the Mediterranean is one of the hottest destinations in Europe and it’s time to put it on your bucket list. Especially if exploring new places is one of your favourite things to do.
While it’s warm all year round in Malta (300 days of sun, anyone?), during the summer it really comes into its own. Electrifying festivals, breathtaking sun-kissed cities and golden beaches are just a taster of what you can expect from this outstanding island.
Make 2020 the year you stray from the norm and give magical Malta a whirl. Here are five reasons why…
1. Viva Valletta
Get ready for knockout views aplenty! Malta’s capital is a total stunner and will charm you as soon as you step foot into its fortified centre. The tangle of golden streets, studded with Instagram-worthy architecture, boast everything you could ever want from a city – incredible foodie joints, baroque sights, epic sea views and a buzzing nightlife scene included.
Summer’s is a fantastic time to visit, when the atmosphere is at its finest and city at its prettiest. Think lush gardens in full bloom, a boat-filled harbour twinkling in the sun and elegant streets cast in a golden glow. You’ll also have your pick of chic wine bars, al fresco watering holes, craft beer spots and live music venues. Our favourite? Bridge Bar. You can sit out under the stars, sipping a glass of red wine while listening to jazz.
Speaking of jazz, if you’re in town during July, you’ll be able to experience Malta Jazz Festival. Artists from around the world will be entertaining the crowds for six days in atmospheric spots all around the city. Don’t miss the Malta International Arts Festival either, with dance and musical performances to enjoy between 28 June – 14 July!
2. Annie Mac presents Lost & Found Festival
Eager for an early summer stint? From 30 Apr – 3 May 2020, Annie Mac’s Lost & Found Festival takes over the island for a four-day party you’ll never forget. For its sixth year, the acts will include Aitch, Alisha and Prospa among those gracing the stages.
You can rave from dusk until dawn during this festival, with parties taking place at spots along the coast and in open-air venues. Café del Mar’s terrace is where the festivities begin on Thursday evening, then you’ll find the action at the night-time festival arena across the Palace, Pyramid and Tropicana stages.
Love a pool party? Spend your days at Café del Mar, where you can dance your heart out and enjoy cocktails with sea views. Or take to the high seas with a boat party, hosted by some of your favourite DJs! And to cap it all off, you can experience a castle rave inside an ancient Maltese stronghold. How’s that for a weekend to remember?
3. Dive right in
The island is peppered with diving schools. From architecture to historic cities, Malta sure is a beauty. Beneath the shimmering sea around the island, there’s whole other world of spectacular scenery – Malta’s underwater landscape is a treasure trove.
The reefs here are beautiful and vibrant, and the most adventurous divers choose to explore the many shipwrecks resting beneath the surface.
Cathedral Cave surfaces in a cavernous dome, twinkling with the reflection of the water, while a sunken Blenheim bomber sits on the sea floor.
The fantastic diving conditions make this a favourite among families too. Kids over the age of 10 years old can also get their PADI qualification here.
4. Beautiful beaches
Every day’s a beach day in Malta! You’ll find Blue Flag patches ringing the island, varying from secluded bays to long swathes blanketed in golden sand. Settle down on a lounger and dose in the sun or get stuck into a good book. Golden Bay, Xlendi Beach and Mellieha Beach are just three of our favourites.
If you’re up for something more than just relaxing, take to the incredible waters this island is famed for. Oh-so-clear and deeply blue, the Med’s always been a draw for those looking to discover a stunning underwater world.
Head for the Blue Lagoon at Comino for a swim in striking turquoise waters. St Peter’s Pool is another favourite, a remote spot on Malta’s southern coast where you can snorkel to your heart’s content.
5. Summer Daze
Another month, another music festival! From 9 – 16 August 2020, Summer Daze arrives on the island for a week-long party. This hot dance music event, now in its third year, is brought to you by Creamfields, with BBC R1 Dance. So you can expect big-name acts from EDM, pop and house entertaining the crowds.
For 2020, Summer Daze is back and bigger than ever, with venues peppered all around Malta throughout August. This year’s line-up hasn’t been announced quite yet but Rita Ora, David Guetta and Tyga have all performed in the past. This festival isn’t one to be missed, so keep an eye out for tickets and line-up announcements!