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The tiny island of Malta and its little sisters Comino and Gozo have been a popular holiday destination for us Brits for decades, and with the introduction of low-cost airlines, cheap holidays in Malta have become even more accessible.
Malta sure has everything you could want from a holiday. There's a great mix of sun, beaches and warm waters along with plenty of cheap hotels, as well as more expensive and luxury properties if you're looking to splash out. Plus, there's plenty of history and cultural attractions, mainly in the capital Valletta, as well as geographical attractions too.
Package holidays to Malta have become more and more accessible over the past few years, mainly thanks to falling prices of flights to Malta from the UK - but you could also take advantage of these cheap Malta flights from London or Manchester yourself, and tailor make your own trip by booking hotels and flights separately.
All flights to Malta arrive into Malta International Airport, which is only 10 minutes away from the island's capital of Valletta.
If you're on your own adventure, then you could consider car hire from the airport, but there are also a range of public transport options that can take you onwards once your flight to Malta arrives. There are four local bus routes that call into the airport, and can take you to any of the major resorts, as well as a shuttle bus company that can arrange private or group transfers. Taxis are another option, although remember to always agree a price before embarking.
Since Malta only has one international airport, this is where you will be flying in to, and you'll have a few options to choose from in terms of Airlines. Ryanair boasts the largest amount of direct flights from the UK, with departures across England and in Scotland too. If you're flying from London, choose from either Air Malta, British Airways or easyJet.
A direct flight to Malta will take around three hours and 20 minutes from London, and prices are reasonably low, especially in winter, which is still a popular time to visit. If you're flying from Manchester, it will take slightly longer, at just over three and a half hours.
Book a direct flight to Malta and you'll save a lot of time, and often money. Due to competition between airlines, cheap flights are not difficult to find. This makes the island a highly popular destination throughout the year, especially for all inclusive holidays.
When it comes to exploring Malta, if you want to head off the beaten track then hiring your own car from the airport when you arrive on your flight to Malta is a great way to do it. The landscape is stunning, and having your own car really means you can explore to your heart's content. You can even take the car over to Gozo on the ferry, although not to Comino.
If you're just after one or two expeditions, then you could consider taking the ferry from your resort, or hopping on one of the local buses, both of which will take you to Valletta as well as a range of other destinations. Taxis are also available if you want to be taken to your destination as directly as possible!
A trip to Malta's capital of Valetta makes for a great day out. This city is tiny, definitely compact enough for you to see all the main sights in one day - leaving you free to perhaps take another day trip too, if you can be persuaded to leave your sunlounger that is! Here's our quick guide to the must-sees in Valletta and beyond.
St John's Co-Cathedral - whilst it's definitely worth strolling the pretty streets of Valletta in an aimless fashion, just soaking up the sights, you must go into St John's Co-Cathedral. Its very severe exterior makes it look much like a fort from the outside, but venture in to uncover a world of art, beauty and opulence. In particular look out for The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist by Caravaggio, considered one of his finest pieces.
Upper Barrakka Gardens - these gardens are a fantastic place to stop for a break during your sightseeing, as well as a picturesque lunch spot! The gardens offer a panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and stone structures and sculptures are used to great effect to create a stunning garden. You can also see to the old towns of Senglea and Vittoriosa, as well as down to the Lower Barrakka Gardens, also well worth a look - they don't quite have the same sweeping vistas though.
Mdina - this former capital of Malta is a Medieval walled city, rich in sights such as former palaces, many of which are now private residences. Vilhena Palace and St. Paul's Cathedral are the must-see sights here. The streets show hardly any signs of the modern world, and if you head here for the evening to dine and have a walk you'll find the setting pretty magical when lit by the streetlamps.
Gozo - is about half an hour away from Malta by ferry and it's like stepping back in time to when Malta was almost undiscovered as a holiday destination. Sleepy villages, rugged coastline and pretty countryside are dotted with things to see and do - so it's definitely worth hiring a car or bike for the day. Some of the things you could do are visit the Citadella, see the Ggantija Temples, spend time at the ta' Pinu Sanctuary and explore the Dwejra, a coastal nature park.
Blue Grotto - as featured in Troy, the film with Brad Pitt, these rock formations on the island of Comino are best seen by boat. Beware, they are very popular in peak season, so think about getting up early! You'll find six interlinked caves that have been hollowed out by the sea, creating spectacular blue hues in the deep water. Try to go in the morning to experience the sunlight shining into the caves too, which adds to the effect of the blue shades.
Hagar Qim - this standalone temple dates back to around 3600-3200 BC! It's around two kilometres from the village of Qrendi and is well worth taking the time to visit. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it's been described as a "unique architectural masterpiece", as the limestone pillars and domes are unlike anything elsewhere.