November is the month in which the locals in Malta might experience the first few cold days after the warm season. As is typical with the weather in the Maltese islands, the sun will likely still be shining but temperatures will start to drop.
At the same time, students and workers will be working hard before the Christmas period rolls around, with few visitors coming to the island due to similar reasons. This means visiting in November is likely to mean you experience quiet and uncrowded sites and locales, with pleasant sunshine although slightly colder temperatures.
While November is far from being considered a “cold” month of the year, it’s normal for temperatures to start dropping around this time. Usually, early November is characterised with some hot days that locals refer to as ‘the summer of St Martin’ (after the Saint whose feast is celebrated at the start of the month). This essentially means that the first few weeks of November will be those of an Indian summer.
The weather typically starts to cool down from mid-month onwards, with certain days being uncharacteristically wet, windy, and cold. Don’t worry though. The temperatures are far from settling down and it’s very normal to have a cold spell with rain, followed by days that are sunny and warm.
The most important thing when visiting Malta in November, is that you’re prepared for extremes of weather, expecting both sunshine and rain. Furthermore, strong winds blowing from over the Sahara desert are frequent, bringing with them dust and sand, covering streets, cars, and buildings in a coating of brown dust.
On average, temperatures tend to range between 14-20o C (57-68o F) with sea temperatures being around 22o C (71.6o F) and rainfall around 75.7mm. Days also tend to be quite short with around 6.5 hours of sunshine expected.
Somewhat. Early November brings with it an ‘Indian summer’, meaning that the warm temperatures and hot sunshine will probably be the case. However, the weather can suddenly change without warning. These colder spells usually hit towards the end of the month but can be followed with more days of warmth.
Evenings tend to be much cooler than the daylight hours, with cool breezes being rather a common phenomenon. On the other hand, humidity levels are high, as tends to be the case in Malta. This makes for the relatively cooler temperatures to feel much colder than you would expect them to feel.
While the sea is not yet freezing cold, the temperature of the water is definitely much colder and only the bravest venture in for a swim during this time. If you intend to do so, be aware that underwater currents might make for a very strong sea. In fact, locals tend to avoid swimming during this time of year. It’s usually wise to follow the local’s examples as they are well accustomed to the temperamental weather.
It’s important to also be aware that rainfall in Malta is quite different than that in typically wet countries. Here, rain tends to come down in torrents, not drizzles, flooding low-lying areas. It’s common for strong rainfall to complicate, or completely stop, some activities.
Keep this in mind if your plans are going to take you through easily-flooded areas, such as Birkirkara, Balzan, Msida and Qormi. These areas lie in valleys, through which nature has always channelled rainwater into the sea. Tarmacked roads make the flow of rainwater a lot more dangerous than a natural landscape would and the local authorities have not yet managed to improve the situation much over the past decades.
Yes, the sun typically shines in November. Of course, its strength is a lot less than that of the summer months, however, it can get rather warm. You’ll likely get a good number of warm and sunny days.
However, do keep in mind that the weather in November is particularly temperamental and can suddenly change to being cold, grey, windy, and very wet.
November is a pretty quiet month in Malta. Locals are busy with day-to-day activities such as work, school, and evening activities. This leaves very little time for them to be enjoying themselves during the week. However, from Friday evening to Sunday, many places fill up with revellers.
You’re more likely to come across groups of school children at historical sites and museums. On the other hand, restaurants, bars, and shops will be filled with people on their lunch break or running errands on their day off.
Of course, you also won’t have to worry much about facing crowds of visitors to the island as the number of tourists is greatly decreased during this time. Nonetheless, social and cultural activities are still held throughout the month, so you’ll be able to enjoy a number of fun events.
Furthermore, thanks to the more frequent rain showers and milder sunshine, the countryside will become greener again, offering a lovely background for walks and hikes.
Yes, November is a great time to visit the island, as long as you don’t mind the possibility of sudden changes in weather and the unlikelihood you’ll be able to enjoy too many outdoor activities.
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The Maltese social calendar is never empty, whatever the month. You can expect to find something going on in November, most often some annual event or other that locals await eagerly. However, if you’re more into smaller activities, you can always look into going on a guided tour. Alternatively, you’ll also find many fun activities to do around the island.
If you’re considering going on sightseeing tours while you’re visiting, there are a couple that are well suited for this time of year:
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Sudden changes in weather and temperature mean that swimming in November isn’t guaranteed. While the temperature of the water is far from freezing, cool winds, grey skies, and strong undercurrents may make a time at the beach difficult.
However, on beautiful sunny days, many locals venture out for a quick dip, some fishing, or even gentle sunbathing. Activities really depend on the weather of the day. Nonetheless, it’s unlikely you will find large crowds at the beach during this time, and no lifeguards, umbrellas, deckchairs, or water sports activities are available.
Fortunately, less than stellar beach conditions can be worked around by going to specific bays, depending on the wind direction. Keep in mind that beaches in the North of the island tend to be sandy, while those in the South are rockier.
If you’re looking for a change in activities from guided tours and organised events, you can always look into having some quiet fun on your own. Here’s a shortlist with some ideas:
Finding a place to stay on your visit to Malta in November should be pretty easy. This month falls directly between the summer season and the Christmas season, meaning very few people will be coming over for a visit. Due to this, many places of accommodation should be available.
The silver lining of fewer tourists is also that many hotels, bed and breakfasts, and AirBnBs offer special deals during this time.
The main concern with finding where to stay in Malta in November depends on how you want to spend your time here. If you’re looking to visit many historical sites, cultural venues, and museums, I suggest staying in the capital, Valletta. The city is the hub of culture and history and also offers the convenience of the main bus terminus with public transport leading to every other spot on the island. You’ll also have the benefit of various shops, restaurants, pubs, bars, and other entertainment venues.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for more shopping opportunities, delicious upper-scale food, and interesting cocktail fusions, the best places to stay would be around Sliema, St Julian’s, Msida, Ta’ Xbiex, and Gżira. These spots are the most popular with tourists and expats alike, making them popular commercial and entertainment centres.
Quieter options to experience a more local way of life would be villages like Mellieħa, Buġibba, St Paul’s Bay, and Qawra in the North, or Marsascala, Birżebbuġa, Xgħajra, and Marsaxlokk in the South. Here, you’ll also have more options of AirBnBs and boutique hotels, oftentimes close to a more rural setting.
Apart from that, staying in Malta’s sister island, Gozo is always a great option. If you’re especially looking for a quiet, traditional Mediterranean lifestyle for your break, then this is the place for you. Several people, including locals, choose to make a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life by renting a private farmhouse to ensure maximum quiet relaxation.
You can find more info on this topic here: Where to Stay in Malta.
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