Explore Malta: Four Fantastic Day Trips from Valletta

Make the most of your time in Malta with day trips from Valletta!

Day trips from Valletta Malta cover

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Organizing day trips from Valletta is easy. Public transportation is reliable, Uber & taxis are reasonably priced, and the island is small enough to make day trips the easiest way to see most of the country.

Malta day trips by boat from Valletta

Blue Lagoon by Boat

Of all the day trips from Valletta, the best is to take a catamaran to the Blue Lagoon! It’s a great way to see a ton and enjoy time on the water even if you only have a weekend.

The Blue Lagoon is exactly what it sounds like: a stunning coastline with turquoise water. It sits between Malta and Comino, the tiniest island of Malta.

Doing the Blue Lagoon by boat tour is best because the lagoon doesn’t really have a beach – it’s a great spot for snorkeling and swimming, but not necessarily laying in the sun all day.

I did this tour and loved it! It’s a big boat, so there are lots of other people, but even at the height of tourist season it wasn’t uncomfortably full. We were able to stretch out without feeling like the people next to us were too close, and they offered lunch onboard. Do arrive 30 minutes early to get one of the best spots on the boat though! 

It also stops at a few swim spots along the way, including the old Popeye Village film set. I felt like that one was silly/not that interesting, but if you’re a big Popeye fan, cool to see I guess?

Blue Lagoon boat day trip from valletta Malta

If you’re here for a week, I’d encourage you to consider renting a car to explore slowly. It will make checking out secluded beaches a little easier, and give you the freedom to go at your own pace. Don’t forget they drive on the left side of the road like the UK!

Another option is a hop on hop off bus ticket. These give you the freedom to explore in a route that covers most of the popular spots with travelers!

Alternatively, you can always taxi or Uber around as needed. Ubers were pretty inexpensive when compared to the cost of living generally in Malta, so that’s probably easiest for a long weekend if you’re doing only a few day trips from Valletta.

Blue Lagoon Comino Malta day trips from Valletta

Explore History: Mdina day trip from Valletta

Mdina was the ancient capital of Malta before the Knights of St. John (later Knights of Malta) arrived. There have been people living here for over 4,000 years! Its nickname is The Silent City, mostly because after the capital was moved to Birgu and then Valletta, causing the bustling Mdina to slow down in traffic and importance.

The gated city doesn’t allow most cars in, so it’s so nice to meander without a set plan. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, there are several spots used for filming in Mdina: the city gates and Mesquita Square are two from the first season.

While you’re here, also check out St. Paul’s Cathedral – it’s said that Paul was shipwrecked on Malta, so the church is dedicated to him. If you’re more interested in a free church, try the Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady.

Exploring Malta day trips from Valletta

If you’ve come to Mdina, it’s an easy walk over to the neighboring town of Rabat. The name comes from the Arabic word for suburb, so you know it’s always been closely associated with Mdina. The main things to see here are catacombs! The Wignacourt Museum, St. Paul’s Catacombs, and St. Agatha Catacombs are historic subterranean burial grounds that date back centuries. If you only see one, pick the Wignacourt Museum – it also has parts used during WWII and a few other museum exhibitions.

Ħaġar Qim is an archeological park made up of a 5000-year-old community. It’s fascinating to see these ancient buildings. Along with the neighboring site Mnajdra, it’s reminiscent of Stonehenge but with a much more complete sense of the structure!

If you don’t have a car, you’ll need to taxi over to the next area. Otherwise, you’ll need to take the bus back into Valletta and then back out, which may not be the best use of your time. But the bus stops less than five minutes from the entrance, so it’s possible!

Malta boat trips

The Northern Beaches

Another great day trip from Valletta is to head up to the beaches on the northwestern part of the island! There are several great ones to choose from.

Mellieha Bay and Paradise Bay are both popular areas that are pretty easy to get to by bus. They sit near the tip of the island that’s closest to Gozo and Camino, the other two islands that make up the nation of Malta. Both are pretty family-friendly and have good snorkeling options as well. Bonus: they’re both sandy beaches – not a guarantee in this part of the world.

If you find yourself nearby, check out St. Agatha’s Tower. It served as the main Knights of Malta fortress for the western half of the island for centuries and is still used partially as a military radar station. It’s not worth a special trip, but if you’re nearby, take a look.

If you’re willing to go a bit further away from the major areas, some of the best beaches are reachable. Golden Bay and Għajn Tuffieħa are considered some of the best on the island and beloved by both locals and tourists. Golden Bay is a bit more developed, which means more options when it comes to facilities, parking, and such. Għajn Tuffieħa is a bit more natural but still has a few options when it comes to amenities. It also makes for a great spot to watch the sunset!

Best coastline day trips from Valletta Malta

Visit Gozo

While a bit further away, Gozo is still a great day trip from Valletta! Gozo is the other major island that makes up Malta. It’s less crowded in summer, making it a great spot to get away a little.

To get to Gozo, head to Ċirkewwa. From there you can catch the 30-minute ferry across, which runs regularly all day. There is also charter ferries offered from Valletta straight to Gozo, which are more expensive but make the process simpler. These only take 45 minutes, so with worth checking out.

From the ferry station it’s easy to take the bus into Victoria (also called ir-Rabat), where all the bus lines start and end. The Citadel is here, which is the historic island fortress and now houses the Cathedral, the Prison Museum and the Archeology Museum.

The best Malta day trips from Valletta

You can also jump on a hop on hop off bus tour to explore Gozo at your own pace.

If you’re interested in archeology, its worth checking out the Ġgantija Temple. These are some of the oldest freestanding buildings in the world, predating the pyramids and Stonehenge.

One of the best beaches is Ramla Beach on the northern coast. You’ll also find Tal-Mixta Cave here, which is a stunning natural cave with views overlooking the beach below. It’s a steep walk up or you can drive nearby and have a shorter walk.

The Azure Window is another incredible coastal area. It’s a bit of a misnomer nowadays; unfortunately, the natural arch that’s been here for centuries collapsed in 2017. However, it’s still a gorgeous natural area with stunning water and worth a visit to swim and take in the views!

Comino, Malta day trip

If you’re interested in spending a night or two out here, it’s a quieter area to get away and soak in some of sea! Here are a few hotel options:

In Victora (best for car-free):

Near the coast:

day trips from Valletta to explore Malta!

Thinking of heading to Malta? You can get all this and more specifics for each spot on my Thatch guide to day trips in Valletta! Or check out my other posts covering what to do and where to eat in Valletta itself.

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