When you are recommending a holiday for the whole family, keeping everyone happy might seem a daunting task, especially if they have got older children. Long gone are the days of buckets and spades: it’s time to find a getaway that will keep teenagers entertained, without losing the feeling of a traditional family holiday. The English-speaking Maltese Islands boast over 300 days of sunshine each year and are just a 3h40m flight away from Dublin.
Where to Stay
The sheltered waters off Bugibba’s rocky beach are ideal for basking in the sunshine and enjoying water sports. Bugibba has an idyllic promenade lined with delightful restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops. The Malta National Aquarium can also be found here.
Located in St. Paul’s Bay, Qawra is a lively resort home to a bustling promenade lined with cafés, restaurants and bars. Take a walk to the historic 17th century Qawra Point watch tower, which overlooks a small bay popular with sunbathers, or visit Ta’ Fra Ben beach, perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
St. Julian’s and Sliema
Built around the beautiful Spinola Bay, St. Julian’s is the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to the action. Relax on the popular sandy beach St. George’s Bay or go shopping for the day in neighbouring Sliema.
This quiet area in the north of the island is ideal if you’re looking for a relaxed atmosphere. Home to Malta’s longest white sandy beach with great views over the Mediterranean Sea, this is one of the most peaceful resorts on the island.
With its rich heritage and bustling centre, Valletta is ideal for families wanting to spend their time in Malta’s thriving cultural centre. The Baroque capital offers stunning boutique hotels and waterfront alfresco dining overlooking the spectacular Grand Harbour.
Gozo is just a 25-minute ferry crossing from its sister island Malta, and has a picturesque rural landscape teamed with tranquil sea views. If it’s relaxation your family is after, why not stay in a Gozitan farmhouse? There is also an abundance of adventure activities to experience here – you won’t run out of ways to keep the children amused.
The Maltese Islands are perfect for an Easter getaway during the childrens’ holidays. Easter is widely celebrated in Malta: unmissable processions, Easter vigils and other spectacular traditions take place during the Holy Week. Be sure to try figolla, an almond-filled pastry in the traditional shape of a rabbit, lamb, fish or heart, covered in icing sugar, for a Maltese Easter treat.
Earth Garden is an art, music and culture festival held annually in the summer holidays. Presenting a number of stages, a musical playground, food court, enchanted forest, ethnic market and fun park, the festival appeals to the whole family. The festival showcases both local and international musicians playing eclectic genres including blues, reggae, jazz, funk and alternative rock.
The Malta Carnival is a five-day celebration featuring colourful floats, extravagant costumes and parties into the early hours. The heart of the action takes place in Bugibba, where hundreds of people gather during the parade wearing flamboyant costumes, masks and heavy make-up, creating a great party atmosphere. If you’re travelling during the winter months check out the winter carnival held in Malta’s capital city Valletta, and sister island Gozo.
International Fireworks Festival
The annual Malta International Fireworks Festival, held in Valletta’s Grand Harbour and various other locations, takes place at the end of April to commemorate Malta’s accession into the European Union on 1st May 2004. Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy each evening free of charge.
Pageant of the Seas
Set against the majestic backdrop of Valletta’s Grand Harbour, the Pageant of the Seas hosts a programme offering daytime activities including competitive races, visual demonstrations and water acts in June each year. The nights are particularly spectacular, offering a colourful celebration on the water.
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