A few weeks back we found an email from Thomas Cook in our inbox, asking if we’d like to visit Malta and document our adventure, we jumped at the opportunity.
Malta isn’t a destination we’ve ever considered before but we were really surprised and impressed with the culture and experiences on offer, especially for young couples.
Thomas Cook offers many flights from the UK to Malta and with the flight being just over three hours it’s the perfect short-haul break.
There are 8 flights a week operated by Thomas Cook in the summer from Newcastle, London Gatwick, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester and they continue flying four times a week throughout the winter from Manchester, London Gatwick and Bristol.
Where to stay
Thomas Cook have a range of hotels on the island, we’ve listed some below. We stayed at the DB San Antonio, located on the coast in the northern region. Malta is quite a small island which makes it easy to navigate around, it’s only 17 miles from one side to the other, meaning we could hop around the island with ease.
Information on Thomas Cook hotels can be found here.
Our 3 Day Malta Itinerary
We started our trip in Malta’s capital city, Valletta.
Valletta is Malta’s compact capital walled city known mainly for its historical museums, grand palaces and beautiful churches. There is so much to see and do in Valletta, a long weekend is the perfect way to discover the island.
It’s a spectacular city with so many pretty side streets, each adorned with lots of quaint cafes where you can sit with a glass of Maltese wine and watch the world go by.
Some of our must-see sights in Valletta are:
- Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens
- St. John’s Co-Cathedral
- Casa Rocca Piccola
In the afternoon we caught a traditional Maltese Luzzo boat from Custom House to the Three Cities.
Before arriving in the Three Cities the boat captain took us on a tour of the waterfront, stopping at multiple points of interest to educate us on Valletta and the Three Cities fascinating history.
The Three Cities are known as Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, and are situated around the Grand Harbour and give you a glimpse of traditional Maltese life.
Once the boat moored at Vittoriosa we picked up a Rolling Geeks Tour buggy; if you ever visit The Three Cities this is a must-do as it’s such a fun and unique experience.
The concept is a buggy with GPS, which guides you around the Three Cities as you take control of the wheel. The tour can take anywhere from an hour to three hours and you can stop at any point to take some photographs or grab a quick drink.
We found the buggy super easy to drive and the other drivers on the road were really patient with us too.
The following day we caught a ferry from Cirkewwa to Mgarr Gozo. The ferry ride only takes 25 minutes and it’s a really pleasant boat ride.
Gozo is one of 3 small islands that make up the Maltese archipelago. Packed-full of rich history the island is known for its temple ruins, rustic hiking paths, beautiful beaches and scuba-diving sites.
Once we’d anchored up on Gozo our first adventure of the day was to pick up a private boat from Mgarr Terminal to Comino.
The boat driver took us on a guided tour showing us the beautiful coastal caves and allowing us to jump off the boat and snorkel in the Blue Lagoon.
Thomas Cook had kindly provided a private car, but we also noticed the hop-on hop-off buses being used by tourists too, it’s really down to preference. Next on the agenda was a trip around the rest of Gozo Island, it’s such a charming island with lots of culture and heritage to uncover.
Our first stop was Ta Mixta cave with views over pretty Ramla Bay, known in Maltese as Ramla il-Hamra, because of its red sand..
The wonderful thing about the Maltese Islands is the vast array of beautiful landscapes perfect for taking photographs (an Instagrammers dream!); from ocean views and cliff faces to temples and quaint back streets, there is something for everyone.
One of our favourite spots was Ta Mena, where you can explore the vineyards and taste the delicious, crisp wines.
Ta’ Mena Estate is owned by the Spiteri family and comprises twenty-five hectares of fruit, vegetables, vineyards and adorable farm animals. The family welcome you in and immerse you in local traditions and culture.
On their website they state: “we want our guests to go around and be taught about crops, trees and food processing in the traditional way. We want to provide an educational experience to all, with a Gozitan Green Touch!” – this is exactly the experience we had and we’d highly recommend it.
Not only is the wine delicious, the antipasti lunch is made up of fresh produce all grown and picked from the farm, so it truly is a unique and authentic experience.
Our favourite part was exploring the vineyards and making friends with the farm animals. We also learnt a lot about wine; how it’s harvested, how to taste it, even how to hold a wine glass properly (we’ve been doing it wrong for years!).
Following the wine tasting, with full bellies and fuzzy heads, we headed to the ferry port to make our way back across to mainland Malta.
For our third and final day (we were catching our flight around 3pm, so only really had the morning to explore) we made our way to Dingli and took part in a Segway tour with Malta Segway Tours.
This was a fun and exciting way to see another part of the island. The company don’t just operate in Dingli so be sure to check out the other areas you can book onto a tour.
We also uncovered a gorgeous little restaurant in Dingli that you must visit if you are in the area.
Diar il-Bniet prides itself on only using homegrown produce, freshly picked from the family-run farm only 200 meters away. With over 600 acres of land they are able to bring delicious fruits and vegetables straight from farm to plate.
We only had time for a quick drink (homemade and home picked strawberry smoothie) and piece of cake, both were delicious so we had high hopes for the main meals too.
Definitely check this place out if you are ever in the area and let us know what you liked the most!
This marked the end of our three-day trip to Malta, this really is only scratching the surface and there is so much more to see and do.
Malta is a great destination for couples and groups of friends looking to explore and discover something new on a short haul break.
A huge thank you to Thomas Cook for inviting us to Malta for three days!