Malta is a perfect place for a short break, its tiny size means that you can do much of it in just a few days. When my backpacking adventures took me to this little group of islands in the Mediterranean I was not expecting to have so many outdoorsy things to do in Malta!
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My days backpacking in Malta were on winter time, which is pretty mild on that part of the world. As it was low season, it meant there was not a lot of people and I loved this. I can only imagine that this place may get pretty crowded in spring-summer.
How to get there
Malta seems to me to be kind of a hub for Ryanair so you can get extremely cheap tickets from so many countries all over Europe! if you prefer a longer and more scenic journey you can get a ferry from Sicily in Italy.
Where to stay
As tourism is an important part of the economy on the islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino, you will find plenty of accommodation to tailor any of your needs. I spent a few days at Hostel Malti and loved it there!
In Gozo I found an AirBnb that was cheaper than a hostel, so make sure to look around different sites!
If you plan to do some wild camping, beware that Malta is one of the most densely populated countries in the world so it’s not easy to find a decent (read: scenic) spot without bothering the locals. I saw a few places in the island of Gozo though, so make sure to head there as it’s stunning! you will also find awesome hikes to do in Gozo! (more on this below)
These are my best outdoorsy things to do in Malta:
Go Hiking the Great Wall of Malta!
The Victoria Lines are a perfect walk when in Malta, is not easy to find the start but once you spot the wall is easy enough to follow.
Even that I had a super rainy day when I went, I loved it! this hike will take you anything between 2-4 hours and you will get some of the best views around Malta!
Check out my post about Hiking the Victoria Lines where I wrote all the details you need to know for this awesome thing to do in Malta!
Also known as the Silent City, Mdina was the capital of Malta until the arrival of the order of St. John in the middle ages.
This is definitely one of my favourite places to go in Malta and it’s just a short bus ride away from Valletta!
Founded in 8 BC by the Phoenicians, it was later Roman, Byzantine and Arab. There’s plenty of history to discover wandering the narrow stone streets. Find a cozy coffee place in one of the little squares and feel like you have travelled in time!
Hike between Marsaskala to Marsaxlokk
This hike is pretty urban as you don’t get too far from roads (remember, this is a densely populated country) but you get some incredible views just a short bus ride from Valletta.
MY HIKING ESSENTIALS
Here you will find yourself hiking next to stunning cliffs and will spot a few natural arches carved by nature on the rocks.
If the weather is good take a dip at St. Peter’s Pool which is a beautiful natural pool that features those incredible blue waters of Malta!
This is a short hike that will take between 1.5 and 3 hours to complete, mostly flat and easy to follow. When you arrive to the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk you will find plenty of places for eating or having a drink.
This is one of the best things to do in Malta if you want to stretch your legs after a long flight or have little time as it’s not physically demanding.
Take the ferry to Valletta!
Most hostels are by Sliema and St. Julian’s, these are within walking distance to the ferries that depart to Valletta every 20min or so.
Valletta is tiny! this is Europe’s smallest capital so it’s perfect to just wander around all over without a destination in mind.
Make sure to go to the Upper Barrakka Gardens for some great views of the bay! if you’re there at noon or at 4pm you will be able to see the saluting battery canon being fired!
Valletta was designed by an assistant of Michelangelo himself! so expect it to be beautiful! its city gates, squares and narrow streets are perfectly complemented with lots of restaurants and gelaterias!
The city has was named Unesco World Heritage Site in 1980.
Walk along the Dingli Cliffs!
This is one of the first places that people recommend to visit in Malta.
You will see stunning cliffs, but if you want the real deal with the best views you must go to Gozo island!
I hiked from Dingli Cliffs south to Ghar Lapsi and found really beautiful places in between.
Arriving to the little village of Ghar Lapsi is a wonderful lunch stop as there are a handful of little restaurants and a stunning little bay where you can swim!
This is definitely a top option if you’re only visiting Malta for a couple of days.
Things to do in Gozo: Go Hiking!
OK, so this is a sub-segment of the best things to do in Malta as Hiking in Gozo was for sure my favourite thing by far on my days backpacking in Malta!
If you stay in Malta for a few days, do not make the mistake of visiting Gozo for only one day as many people does. If you’re into hiking this is the place to be in Malta!
Hiking the Ta Cenc Cliffs and the south coast of Gozo
This was my favourite hike in Malta, the cliffs are simply impressive. And as it was low season when I went there, there was no one at all!
I saw on this hike a couple of places where it could be ok to stay wild camping.
As you can hike pretty much the entire perimeter of Gozo, you can make this hike as long as you can!
Check out this post about Hiking the Ta Cenc Cliffs for all the details!
Hike the North Shore of Gozo
Another favourite of mine! the scenic hike between Dwejra and the Salt Pans of Malsarform will take you through changing landscapes, mind-blowing cliffs, alien like rock formations and historical man-made salt pans, some of which dating back to Roman times. What else can you ask of a hike!
This 14Km hike is not difficult as it’s mainly flat so anyone could do it!
At the start you can also take a short tour around the natural oddity of the Inland Sea. The tour only cost €4 and you will go through natural caves and will see the stunning cliffs from a different perspective.
This hike is a must!
You can read on this post everything you need to know to go hiking from Dwejra to the Salt Pans.
Hike from Ta Sopu to Ramla Bay
This was my first hike in Gozo, it takes just about 3 hours and will take you through some famous spots on the island.
From the point where Napoleon’s troops invaded Malta to a Cave which is thought to be referred by Homer in the epic Greek poem The Odyssey, you cannot get more historical than this on a Gozo Hike!
This coastal walk has some up and downs but I consider it doable for anyone with a minimum level of fitness.
On the post about hiking the north east coast of Gozo you will find all the route and a special tip on a wonderful bakery to eat the best pizzas in Gozo!
Ready to go outdoors!
Feel free to ask anything or drop a comment below if you’re planning some backpacking adventures in Malta! I had a wonderful time there and can highly recommend to visit this little country.
Happy adventures! 🙂