In this article, I’ve reviewed and listed different types of day trips, boat trips, excursions and activities to help you decide and book the best options for you and your travel companion(s). I’ll be covering:
If there’s anything that you’d like more info about, please leave a comment at the bottom of this page and let me know!
Malta being an archipelago surrounded by beautiful crystal clear waters could never exist without boats. That means that day trips and excursions on sea are very popular, especially during the long summer season.
With the below Malta day trips, you can spend a day at sea, enjoying the comfort of a larger boat with onboard catering in the form of a buffet lunch. You also get an open bar (basics – water, soft drinks, beer and wine) included in the price for the full duration of the tour.
If you’re taking this type of tour during the warmer part of the year (May-Oct), always remember to go dressed for swimming because you usually have the opportunity to go for a swim at one of the many spots along the route.
Transfers to/from accommodation can be included so it’ll be a hassle-free Malta day trip.
The two options I recommend are:
1) Beaches and Bays Cruise by Sea Adventure Excursions – Sail on a big (but not crowded!) catamaran to drop anchor at some of the most beautiful bays in Malta, including Għajn Tuffieħa and the Blue Lagoon on this boat trip
2) Round Malta cruise (also includes Comino) – Departure from Sliema (Malta) for a full day trip around the islands of Malta and Comino.
Although you can take a simple ferry to get to Comino itself, getting the most out of a trip to the Blue Lagoon is best when going there with a boat tour. Having limited space onshore at Comino, several boat tour operators offer day trips there, some with stops on the way and others combining a boat tour with a few hours’ excursion on land at Gozo.
Here are the best options to consider. (All highly rated/reviewed!):
The Grand Harbour and Marxamxett Harbour contain an incredible wealth of places to see that are best admired from the sea. Being among the larger natural harbours in Europe, there’s a lot of history to this area, not least because it’s located near Malta’s capital city of Valletta.
So if you want to take a boat tour that doesn’t take up a full day, this is a great option to consider if you want to learn a bit more about the history of Valletta and the harbour area.
There are two options I suggest:
If you’ve never heard of underwater safaris before, you’re in for a treat. The underwater world around the Maltese islands is beautiful, full of marine life and interesting sights. It’s also the reason why Malta and Gozo are top scuba diving destinations worldwide.
If you prefer staying dry but still want to have a look underwater, you can take an underwater safari around St. Paul’s Island, which departs from St. Paul’s Bay (which is close to Buġibba and Qawra and easy to reach from other parts of Malta using public transport).
During each trip, passengers have a minimum viewing time of 20 minutes in the observation keel.
The safari lasts for about an hour and a half aboard a purpose-built Underwater Safari Boat. The cost is €18 for adults and €13 for children.
The Blue Grotto, near the village of Żurrieq in the South West of Malta, is a stunning place where you can take some unique selfies. Apart from the many cafeterias and restaurants that line up the road going down to the sea, you can take a boat ride around the caves to see the sparkling blue of the water from where the place takes its name.
It is said that that blue is also the reason why the nearby village is called Żurrieq, which in old Maltese means ‘Blue’.
Although you can get a 30-minute boat ride from near the Blue Grotto itself, for most tourists it’s not an easy spot to reach and it may be more worthwhile visiting the location as part of a bigger tour.
For that reason, I’d suggest combining the Blue Grotto visit with a tour of the fishing village of Marsaxlokk.
Are you an avid angler?
The deep blue Mediterranean offers a great opportunity to take a fishing trip and it’s a real treat if you’re a morning person.
You can either join a group or organise a fishing tour with a group yourself, for a 4-5 hour trip. An experienced captain will sail to the best spots around the Maltese islands, transportation to/from your location of stay is included and you don’t have to worry about drinks and snacks either (also included in the price).
High-quality equipment and bait are also provided and if you’re not an experienced deep-sea fisherman, don’t worry: You’ll be hosted by experienced anglers who will teach you the tricks to catch a few beautiful specimens of fish. Don’t forget your camera!
Prices vary depending on how many in your group will actually be fishing (€95 p.p.) and those who join as a spectator (€50 p.p. for adults, €30 p.p. for children)
Click here for more info and bookings. Book early – these trips are popular and there aren’t many providers around!
If you’re looking for a full tour holiday package that includes tours/excursions, accommodation and meals for a set period of time, there are a few great hassle-free options to choose from.
This is basically a “book and go” type of option where you can participate in well-organised tours of the Maltese islands where flights, accommodation and transport are taken care of. You also get an experienced guide providing you with rich insight into the different stops and destinations as part of your chosen itinerary.
Most of these tours are considered “small group tours” where you’ll have a maximum of 6-12 participants that you’ll be travelling with during your stay in Malta.
These are the options I’ve reviewed and recommend that you consider. I’ve found the best itineraries and deals with Tourradar.com and the below recommendations will take you to their site for more detail and prices.
The Maltese Islands Tour is a 5-day tour that covers the most popular areas across Malta, Gozo and Comino.
Although the itinerary is solid in terms of covering the major highlights, this is a good option for those on a time budget really. To put things into perspective: If you’re a curious traveller, there’s enough to see and do in Valletta itself to fill 3 full days.
If you have a few more days I’d consider either taking a longer package tour or (since flights need to be booked separately anyway) adding a few extra days to stay in Gozo, for example.
If you want to get a little more out of your tour to Malta, the Malta and Gozo Discovery package offers you a little more value, with a total of 8 days of travel.
Here’s what the itinerary with this tour package looks like:
The Malta Highlights tour package may be a little pricier but these are the upgrades you get:
This is an outline of the stops you’ll be making on this tour:
The Malta the Heart of the Mediterranean is a slightly shorter and more economical alternative to the Highlights tour.
It’s a tour that’s more focused on the cultural highlights and where you spend one day in Gozo rather than two (which, for a short weeks’ holiday works just fine).
Here are the stops as part of this Malta tour package:
With so much to see and learn about Malta and Gozo, taking a private tour is ideal to give your trip a kickstart. A private tour makes it easy to get to know different locations in Malta better, with an experienced guide who can provide deep insight, personalise your experience and answer any questions you may have along the way.
Private tours usually last around 2-3 hours and cost between €100 and €130 for 1-4 people, depending on the tour.
There are a number of providers of private tours but these are the tried and tested ones that I’d recommend.
If you’re looking to tour a number of highlights of Malta with a private guide, this Malta private tour is a great way to do so, especially when you’re on a time budget (e.g. cruise passengers).
Your private tour will take you to a wide variety of locations:
You can also opt for an alternative (also cheaper) private tour that’s focused around three World Heritage Sites and a few other popular locations:
Valletta itself holds enough interest to keep you entertained for three full days (cheeky plug – my travel guide to Valletta can show you how ? ) but if you’d like to get a head start and explore some of the stories the city has to tell before you visit the actual points of interest, these are a few good options:
Mdina is a location that almost takes you back in time and which breathes history inside and out. If you’d like to get insight into its past and some of its key landmarks, this 2-hour private tour is a great way to go: Mdina Private Walking Tour.
You’ll be walking through the Silent City’s narrow winding streets to explore some of the influences of Malta’s past that can still be found there. Detail on architecture, stories of battles and uprising and rich information about landmarks like the St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Gozo is a popular destination to actually stay in, but most first-time visitors will prefer to base themselves in Malta, taking a day trip to Gozo to get a taste of what the island is like.
Taking a guided full-day trip to Gozo is pretty easy and relatively inexpensive. You’ll be taking the ferry and stopping at various popular sightseeing locations around Gozo with organised transport.
These are a few options to consider:
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A popular phenomenon in most tourist destinations, hop-on-hop-off buses also provide easily accessible tours in Malta and Gozo. If you’re looking for an easy way to get around and reach the best sights to see around the Maltese islands, this is a very flexible option.
Having said that, don’t expect much in terms of onboard audio guide and time your visits well to avoid waiting for long at the different stops.
The tours come with a choice of nine multi-lingual commentary channels. Along the routes, there are over 30 stops and 40 points of interest and you can hop on and hop off as much as you like.
The Blue and Red routes start from Valletta and visit sites such as San Anton Presidential Gardens, the Historic City of Mdina, Ta Qali Crafts Village, Mosta, the Three fortified cities of Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea, the fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the Blue Grotto at Wied iz-Zurrieq (April – October) and Valletta city centre. The Green route leaves Buġibba centre every 30 minutes passing by St Julian’s and Sliema before linking up with the Blue and Red routes in Valletta.
The main provider is iSeeMalta (who offer different types of tours and passes) and the options are:
Buy your tickets in advance to save time on your holiday!
There’s a hop-on / hop-off route there as well and you can buy a combo with boat and bus with the Gozo Pass (also by iSeeMalta)
You can stop at several stops at the popular highlights of Gozo, including Victoria and its Citadel, Marsalforn, Ta Pinu Basilica, Nadur, Ġgantija Temples, Xlendi and more.
You can catch one of these buses at the ferry port in Mġarr Harbour and make your way around the island at your own pace.
Sicily being so close, you’ll find it really easy to hop between the islands. There’s much to see in Sicily, an island that has at least as much history as Malta does.
To be honest, a 1-day trip would offer you just a taster of the island and is definitely not the best way to experience Sicily.
Having said that, this is a great option if you just want to see some of the best highlights of Sicily for a day:
You’ll be taking a high-speed ferry catamaran from the Valletta Waterfront in Malta to Pozzallo, a small fishing village in the South of Sicily. After arrival, you’ll be taking a tour by air-conditioned coach to a few of the most popular locations that the island has to offer: Mount Etna and the city of Modica.
You’ll be accompanied by an experienced guide who will be providing a running commentary along the way. There will also be an opportunity to sample some of the local flavours of food along the way.
The first stop takes you up to the Sylvester Craters of Mount Etna, after which you’ll be visiting the baroque city of Modica. It’s a gentle pace with free time at both locations.
Keep in mind that this will be a full day excursion with a ferry departure at 6:30h in the morning and the return trip departing at 19:30h from Pozzallo.
Prices are €139 for adults and €109 for children from 4-13 years old. Infants travel for free.
If you’re looking for a fun way to explore some of Malta’s most interesting places, taking a segway tour might be the right option for you. Segways are easy to ride and never go faster than 20 km/h.
These tours are organised to take you around the more rural area of Dingli and its surroundings and cost between €49 and €79 per person. You can get a taxi transfer from your hotel for around €10 per person.
Tour prices include segway rental and safety gear, and you get guided by a professional tour guide along the route.
There are two options:
Jeep tours are fun and tend to explore the remote areas of the islands. A whole day (9 am to 5 pm) costs around €50-60 per adult and €40-50for children and would include lunch, visits to several places of interest and a guide. The following options are available:
These trains, popular in many European cities, operate in several locations around Malta. There is one in Rabat that departs from a parking area outside the Domus Romana and takes passengers on a tour outside of Mdina and all the way around the outskirts of Rabat. Another similar train operates daily in Valletta, departing from St. John’s Square.
Marsaxlokk and Buġibba have their train tours as well. A tour typically takes around 45 minutes, costs around €5 per person and you can get tickets on the trains directly.
If you’re looking for a tour with a difference, then the ones I selected for this section might just be what you’re looking for. Malta is known not only for its history, sun-kissed beaches and crystal clear seas, but also for a great number of movies shot on the islands, for the local food and, why not, its ghost stories. Take your pick.
A taste of the local wine and cuisine is a must and these kinds of tours offer an experience that is different from what you can enjoy in a normal restaurant. Blessed by sunshine for most of the year, Malta and Gozo produce very good wines and tasting it right at the source where wine is pressed, aged and bottled is probably the best way to experience the wine.
What better place to sample some of Malta’s best wines than in a 400-year old wine cellar built by the Knights of St. John?
Local producer Marsovin invites you into their cellars accompanied by a professional wine taster who will first give you a tour around how the wine is produced. You’ll then be tasting a variety of wines accompanied by a few typical local snacks from bread to olives and cheese.
The tour and wine tasting session takes approximately 60-90 minutes and costs €39 p.p.
No trip to Malta is complete without sampling the local food. With typically Mediterranean, homegrown flavours from olives, cheeses and tomato paste, having a taste of Maltese food in the setting in which they’re produced is a special experience not easily forgotten.
This food and wine tour at a local farm is a shared tour with a small group of fellow travellers. A guide will tell you all about the historical and cultural importance of local produce and take you on an eco-tour at a local farm.
The tour will take you to the Northwestern region of Malta and enjoy lunch with locally grown wine out in the fields that grew the delicacies on your plate.
This is a fully organised tour with pick up from your place of stay and limited to a small number of people, while all food is covered by the ticket purchase of €120 per person.
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