Many countries have had an exceptional year for tourism this summer, especially in Europe.
One of these countries was Malta which has had a record year for tourism beating their pre-pandemic record by welcoming 2.6 million tourists in the first 10 months of 2023.
But you don’t have to wait until next summer to join the crowds and experience Malta for yourself.
Here’s why winter is a great time to visit this record-breaking European destination:
Malta is one of the best European destinations in winter if you want to escape the cold and snow that is common in many northern European countries.
Malta has mild daytime winter temperatures in Malta ranging from 15°C to 20°C. Some days in Malta during the winter are even warmer than summer days in some European countries!
Because Malta boasts more than 300 days of sunshine every year it's the perfect place to escape to for some winter sun.
While these temperatures might not be warm enough for swimming in the sea, they are perfect for sightseeing. And given that Malta boasts the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites per capita of any country in the world, sightseeing is an incredible pastime here.
A Rich Cultural Heritage
Culture is a real buzzword in travel trends right now. People are traveling to see the world and explore new things, not just to relax on beaches or soak up the sun.
Malta has a rich and fascinating cultural heritage. It boasts a unique mix of Mediterranean and Arabic culture which means that you get a real East meets West feel when you explore its cities.
Explore the ancient walled city of Mdina which is almost 4,000 years old. It feels like time has stood still here and the narrow winding streets are completely pedestrianized which adds to the ancient feel.
No visit to Malta would be complete without a trip to Valetta. The city itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was founded in the 1500s. Perhaps the most beautiful attraction here is St Johns Co-Cathedral which is an incredibly ornate church that is considered one of the grandest Baroque churches in Europe.
From here walk to the Upper Barrakka Gardens which is the best viewpoint on the island over the harbor. These gardens are an attraction in their own right and the structures here date back to the 17th century.
If you’re interested in military history, then Fort Elmo is a must-visit attraction. This impressive fortress is home to Malta’s war history artifacts ranging from the 16th century to WWII. The fort itself is an incredible, imposing structure.
I know we said it's not quite warm enough to swim in Malta in the winter months, and that’s true for most people. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the island’s beautiful beaches.
You’ll find that many people still choose to sunbathe at this time of year thanks to the sunny weather too.
Sliema and Marsaskala are the best beaches to explore in the winter months, and you may even spot a few brave locals enjoying a swim. Scuba diving and snorkelling can be enjoyed year-round here too as long as you wear a wetsuit.
Most of the island’s paddle boarding schools remain open during the winter months and you can take a paddle boarding tour which is a great way to explore Malta’s hidden coves and majestic rock formations.
An Affordable Option
Like many European destinations, winter is the off-season in Malta, which means that accommodation is much more affordable during the winter months than during the summer months.
Even in central locations like St. Julian’s, Sliema, and Valletta, high-end and luxurious hotels are available at affordable prices in the winter months. This is great news for budget travelers.
But it isn’t just the prices that make Malta so appealing in the winter: There’s a more relaxed atmosphere in the country at this time of year.
Because Malta is such a popular vacation destination, the summer months can be hectic due to the influx of visitors. The mid-30 °C heat can make those visitors tired and short-tempered, which isn’t a recipe for the best travel experience.
Avoid the crowds, avoid the extreme heat, and save some money by visiting Malta during the winter months instead.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.