The 25+ Best Sightseeing Tours in Malta and Gozo
I’ve reviewed and listed the best tours in Malta and Gozo in this article, so that you have everything you need for your sightseeing excursions around the Maltese islands.
Sightseeing tours around Malta and Gozo and tour operators
Sightseeing tours by (Hop On Hop Off) bus
A popular phenomenon in most tourist destinations, Hop On Hop Off buses also provide easily accessible tours in Malta and Gozo. If you want a quick tour around to see the highlights it can be a reasonably priced option, however, there are better ways of sightseeing across the Maltese islands.
Why? Here’s my disclaimer:
- Although reasonably priced, the buses used are pretty old and unreliable
- Audio isn’t great and it’s not always easy to understand where exactly you’ve arrived
- Buses don’t drive around frequently enough sometimes, leaving you waiting on busy stops.
For completeness’ sake, these are the two options that are available:
CitySightseeing is an open-top bus operator offering a Hop On Hop Off service with bus stops on three main routes going around the North and South of Malta as well as Gozo.
Cost (day tickets): €20 for adults and €12 per child (5 – 14 years) but only travels along two main routes. You can also buy the affordable 2 day ticket which costs €37 for adults and €20 for children between 5 and 14 years old.
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.
MaltaSightseeing offers 4 different routes, similar to CitySightseeing although offering a Malta by Night tour, which could be an interesting option to go for.
The Malta by Night Tour is organised from March to Mid-November on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. The tour leaves from Bugibba and passes through various areas.
Cost (day tickets): €20 for adults and €13 for children between 5 and 15 years.
All tours have a detailed audio commentary in 16 languages and the service is offered in open top double decker buses.
The South and North buses depart from Sliema Ferries every 30 minutes starting from 9 am. From Monday to Saturday the last tour leaves Sliema at 1500 hrs while on Sundays the last tour leaves at 1400 hrs. The complete tour takes around 3 hours but you can hop on and off at any of the stops along the routes.
The Gozo/Green Tour leaves from Mgarr Gozo Terminus every 45 minutes starting from 0940 hrs and is available everyday. Transport from Sliema to the ferry in Ċirkewwa is at en extra charge.
Private Tours and Tour Guides
With so much to see and learn about Malta and Gozo, taking a private tour is ideal, giving you a kickstart into the history of the islands.
With a private tour, you may also get a chance to go off the beaten track and get more detailed info as you go.
There are many private tours in Malta, but here I have selected those with the best reviews here.
Guided Tours Malta & Gozo
Amy Pace is a guide and tour operator who has been delivering tours in Malta for the past 25 years. She has various full and half-day tours available, but you can easily decide to create your own tour based on Amy’s suggestions.
Malta Private Guide
Malta Private Guide is a family enterprise run by the couple Clive and Victoria Cortis. They offer a selection of 10 standard tours as well as customized private tours on request. People who attended their tours were all very satisfied with the quality of the tours.
Malta Private Tours
Private tours with Ms. Rita Fsadni, a guide with extensive experience speaking three languages, English, Italian and German. She has excellent reviews on Tripadvisor and many recommendations. Her 4.5 hour Valletta city tour starts from €134 per group and takes you around the main attractions of the city on foot. The Malta’s Best Attractions in a Tour is a whole day tour that starts from €375 per group and includes transport to various locations.
Malta Professional Guide
The Malta Professional Guide organises a selection of 7 private tours in Malta: Valletta tour, Valletta and Mdina tour, Highlights of Malta tour, Gozo tour, South of Malta tour, Grand Harbour, Valletta, Malta prehistory and Temple tour. All the tours are provided by Marthese, a professional Maltese guide with over 12 years experience.
Malta Tour Guide
Joan Sheridan has over 30 years guiding experience in Malta. Her portfolio includes a wide selection of pre-planned private tours, but you can customize any way you like.
Private Tours Malta
Private Tours Malta is an organisation of professional licensed guides offering standard and customised tours. A 4-hour Valletta walking tour costs around €150 per group. The maximum number of persons per group is 8.
Segway Malta offer 7 different segway tours for riders over 14 years. A typical ride lasts for 90 minutes and costs €45, but you can also opt for a 2 hour tour at €50 or a 3 hour tour at €75.
Segway tours in Malta are available in Selmun, Valletta, Dingli Cliffs, Golden Sands, Popeye Village, Mdina and Mellieħa.
Comino is a small island but with many secrets. Outdoor Explorers offer a segway tour around the island with local guides that provide you with information on the history and locations of this little gem. They have 5 different tours starting from €15 per person.
Malta Segway Tours
Malta Segway Tours offer 3 tours with different scopes. Their Dingli Funtastic is a 105 minute fun tour for all the family and costs €49 per person. The Dingli Adventure is a 3 hour tour for those who love adventure, fun, nature and culture, costing €79. The Valletta Tour is a 2 hour tour that focuses on Valletta’s heritage and costs €55 per person. They offer also Team Building tours on request.
Jeep safari tours
Jeep tours are fun and tend to explore the remote areas of the islands. A whole day (9am to 5pm) would cost around €50.00 per adult and €40.00 for children and would include lunch, visits to several places of interest and a guide. The following companies provide popular jeep tours:
Ferries and Water taxis
Getting around in Malta with a water taxi is a faster way to travel between the cities around the Grand Harbour. It is also a much nicer way to experience the historical harbour than by bus. Water taxis are also a fun way of getting around especially when travelling with children.
Water taxis are also used by locals to get across between Sliema and Valletta, a trip that takes less than 10 minutes – apart from being quick it is also cheap at €1.00 one way. A boat leaves every 15 minutes between 08:00-17:45 in winter and 07:30-18:15 in summer.
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 on the 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 and costs around €5 per person.
Helifly Malta offer 3 different tours of the Maltese islands by helicopter, all departing from Malta International Airport. The maximum number of persons per flight is 3, and price varies depending the size of your group. A guide in English is available during the flight. The tours take between 20 and 45 minutes.
Karozzin – Horse-drawn carriages
Easily spotted around Valletta and outside Mdina, these traditional horse-drawn carriages (called karozzin in Maltese) can carry up to four passengers. Trips are usually short at around 30 minutes. The drivers are very friendly and helpful and can give you a guided tour of the places visited. There is no standard fare for these tours so use your best judgment when dealing with the carriage driver.
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.
Film aficionados should know that Malta hosted major filming productions such as Gladiator, Troy, Assassin’s Creed, Game of Thrones, 13 Hours, The Count of Monte Cristo, World War Z, The Devil’s Double and many others. Malta Film Tours organises visits to locations that appeared in some of these movies, including Valletta, Marsa, The Three Cities and Fort Ricasoli.
Tour duration is approximately 4 hours, generally held between 2.00pm and 6.00pm.
The company also offers exclusive private film tours held on Sundays for small groups of up to 4 persons. This tour costs €295 for 4.
Game of Thrones Filming Locations Tour
Game of Thrones fans will love this full-day tour that takes you around all the Game of Thrones filming locations in Malta, also organised by Malta Film Tours. The guides are two actors who appeared on the show and they will provide also behind the scenes information on the production that took the world by dragon fire.
Cost: €59 per adult and €29.50 for children aged 5 – 12 years. Definitely not cheap, but many say it’s worth it and reviews are good, although I can’t speak from personal experience.
Maltese love their ghost stories. With so many ancient buildings around it would be impossible not to have an arsenal of haunted-house tales and creepy mysteries. Colour My Travel offer a number of free ghost walking tours around the ancient cities of Malta such as Valletta, Floriana, Mdina and Birgu.
It is advisable to book in advance even though these are free tours, as these kind of tours are highly popular. You can check out upcoming events on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/MaltaGhostTours/
Wine Tasting and Food Tours in Malta
A taste of the local wine and cuisine is a must and these kind of tours offer an experience that is different than 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.
A 2 hour tour that takes you around the Marsovin Cellars in Marsa. The tour gives a historical introduction of original artefacts, followed by an explanation about the process of how the locally grown grapes are pressed, fermented and eventually transformed into Wine.
The Meridiana Wine Estate consists of 19 hectares of land in the heart of Ta’ Qali, with Mdina as its backdrop.
The tour includes a visit to the fermentation hall and underground cellar, both set within a picturesque Maltese farmhouse and a tasting session of the winery’s premium wines.
Ta’ Mena Estate
Ta’ Mena are a family-run business in the centre of Gozo who organise wine and food tastings with their own fields as a setting. It’s a unique opportunity to taste the flavours of the land right from the source and the owners will show off their best produce and provides you with insightful knowledge about the production process. Highly recommended from personal experience!
Best walking tours
Donation based tours have become quite a trend in Malta. Of course, the traditional paid walking tours remain, but many prefer to go on the free ones and then tip the guide if they think the tour was worth it.
Colour My Travel
Colour My Travel offer a number of donation-based and paid tours in different historical locations including Valletta, Mdina and Birgu. Their free tours in Valletta have become very popular. Over 250 reviewers on Tripadvisor thought the tours were excellent and many commented that they were more than happy to offer a tip at the end of the walking tour.
Dingli Free Eco-Tours
Discover Dingli Cliffs is a walking tour that explores the scenic beauty of Dingli Cliffs with its flora and fauna, offering a stimulating experience.
Boat tours and trips
Malta being an archipelago surrounded by beautiful crystal clear waters could never exist without boats. And boat tours are very popular especially during the long summer season. These are some of the best operators in this space.
Boat tours around Malta, Gozo and Comino
Luzzu Cruises operate a variety of cruises around Malta, Gozo and Comino. All their boat trips depart from Sliema Strand and use safe and secure traditional Maltese boats. These are the tours they offer:
- 2 harbours cruise which costs €16 for adults and €13 for children
- Gozo, Comino and Blue Lagoon which costs €35 for adults and €20.00 for children
- Comino, Blue Lagoon and caves costing €20 for adults and €15.00 for children
- Marsaxlokk Market at €17.50 per adult and €12.50 per child.
Grand Harbour Boat trips
The Grand Harbour contains an incredible wealth of things to see that can only be seen from the sea. That is why a boat trip around the harbour is a very good idea.
There are a number of companies that offer harbour cruises and some of these you can hire without need of booking. Just go to Vittoriosa or Valletta waterfront and look for the water taxis – small boats you can hire for an hour tour of the Grand Harbour. This will typically cost €8 per person.
For a more detailed tour, you can check the following companies:
- Luzzu Cruises offer a cruise that takes you around Marsamxett and Valletta harbours. This costs €16 for adults and €13 for children.
- iMalta harbour cruise offer a 90 minute tour around Marsamxett and Valletta harbours with commentary. The boats are also stocked with drinks and have free wifi. Adults pay €17 and children under 12 years pay €14.
- Captain Morgan Cruises offer a 5 hour cruise that includes a tour around the Grand Harbour plus an entertaining audio-visual presentation spanning Malta’s 7000 year history and including the turbulent and triumphant episodes associated with the Grand Harbour area. It costs €25 for adults and €17 for children.
Malta Underwater Safaris
iMalta offer an underwater safari around St. Paul’s Islands and around the scenic Sliema Coast. The safari lasts for about an hour and a half aboard a purpose-built Underwater Safari Boat. Cost is €16 for adults and €12 for children.
During each trip, passengers have a minimum viewing time of 20 minutes in the observation keel.
Blue Grotto Boat Trips
The Blue Grotto, in Żurrieq on 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 village is called Żurrieq, which in old Maltese means ‘Blue’. The 30 minute boat rides usually cost around €8 and there is no need for booking in advance.
Malta Sport fishing charters offer a selection of fishing excursions available all year round. These fishing trips are ideal for both individuals and groups. The trip includes experienced guides and high quality fishing equipment.
The provider, Aquatica, have two boats, a 30ft traditional Maltese wooden fishing boat, called Luzzu in Maltese and a modern 26ft fiberglass fishing boat equipped with state of the art electronics and fishing tackle.
Enjoy a day on our Traditional Maltese Luzzu, Neptune, with your friends and family. Whether you opt for our Exclusive Charters or a pre-planned trip it’s the ideal way to visit the most beautiful, crystal clear waters around Malta, Comino and Gozo.
Strand Boat Hire
Strand Boat Hire offer 2 boats for rent: a traditional Maltese luzzu that can be hired for self drive or accompanied excursions or a 37′ Fast Sailing Cruiser Available to charter with Skipper. Both are capable of carrying 15 or more persons. One day (7 hours) costs around €280.
Day trips to Sicily from Malta
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 much history as Malta, and even more. 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.
Virtu Ferries have a daily ferry that crosses between the two islands and they also offer a number of different 1 day excursions between 1st May and 30th September:
- Quadbike Excursion for 1st May 2017 – 30th Sep 2017
- Sicily Sightseeing – Culture, History & Gastronomic Tour for 1st May 2017 – 30th Sep 2017
- Taormina & Mount Etna Excursion for 1st May 2017 – 30th Sep 2017
Malta TravelNet have 2 popular 1 day coach tours for Sicily. Both tours are accompanied by a local guide:
- Pozzallo, Etna & Modica Tour – From 06:30 to 21:15 every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between October 1st and April 30th. The cost is €127 per person.
- Pozzallo, Etna & Taormina Tour – Tour the stunning east coast of Sicily, the mega Mt. Etna and the beautiful Taormina. From 06:30 to 23:15 every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from May 1st to September 30th. The cost is €127 per person.