Family Holidays in Malta With Babies, Toddlers and Kids
The Maltese archipelago lies virtually at the centre of the Mediterranean and consists of three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta is an ideal family holiday destination and some of its best known resorts such as Mellieha Bay, Sliema and St Julian’s cater well to parents travelling with babies and toddlers. There are also plenty of smaller, quieter resorts offering plenty of accommodation options for families. See ‘Where to Stay’ for more information. There is plenty to do on the island and kids will love the water parks and beaches and for adults, there is an abundance of historical sites and monuments. See ‘Top Attractions’.You will also be able to buy all of your baby and toddler essentials on the islands.
Valletta is the capital and is a lively city located on the Eastern side of Malta. The Maltese countryside is dotted with medieval towers, chapels and the Islands have rightly been described as an open-air museum due to the amount of archaeological ruins. Popular beach resorts which lie to the North of Malta are Mellieha, Buġibba and St. Paul’s Bay. Sliema and St. Julian’s are Malta’s busiest coastal resort towns.
Flying from the UK and Ireland to Malta
Flight time from the UK and Ireland is between 3.5 and 4 hours. This can be tricky with toddlers but is very manageable with a younger child. If you are travelling with a toddler be sure to bring plenty of snacks and other distractions for the plane and make sure they have a good run around at the airport to expend as much energy as possible before being cooped up for a few hours. Click here for more tips on getting through the airport and flight with babies and toddlers.
When to go
Malta is very busy during the summer months and it can also be quite hot and dry, with temperatures occasionally reaching as high as 40 degrees. Regular sea breezes in coastal areas makes can make it feel a bit cooler. Spring and autumn are very pleasant with reasonably warm temperatures and lots of sunshine as well as pleasantly warm sea temperatures allowing bathing in the sea from as early as April until the start of October. It tends to rain sporadically between the months of November and February although the winter is generally sunny with temperatures of around 15 degrees Celsius. For an annual temperature chart click here.
Malta International Airport is located 10kms from Valletta.. Taxis are available at the terminal and there are fixed rates to the various towns and resorts. Most taxis will not be equipped with car safety seats but you can pre-book one from www.malta-taxi.co.uk/. You can also arrange to rent a car at the arrivals area. If you decide to drive in Malta remember to book ahead in order to prearrange a car safety seat as availability may be limited in the summer months. Airport shuttles depart regularly from the arrivals hall. Malta Transfer is the official Airport Shuttle Service offering airport to hotel shuttle service throughout Malta and Gozo. There are many bus routes departing from the airport to nearby towns and Valletta. For information on tickets and timetables you can ask at the information booth in the welcome hall.
Malta is only one hour ahead of Ireland and the UK so your baby should have no trouble acclimatising to the change. If you are staying for a short time you could keep your baby or toddler on home time to help him or her adjust.
If you have booked your holiday with a tour operator, your travel representative will be able to arrange tours for you on arrival.
You can also ask about guided tours at your hotel or apartment complex. Taxis are not obliged to ask you to use a car seat for your baby and you can carry him or her on your lap however this is extremely dangerous in case of an accident. There are many cab companies that allow you to pre-book a taxi with a car seat but ensure that you give advance notice or you can bring your own car seat from home. You can book car seats from http://malta-taxi.co.uk/.
Bus services on the Maltese islands generally operate daily between 05:30 and 23:00hrs. Public buses serve 80 different routes around the islands of Malta and Gozo. For timetables see: http://www.publictransport.com.mt/bus-timetable-library. Many buses are fully accessible for buggies and are air-conditioned. There are announcements to tell you what stop is coming up. There is also a special area allocated for pregnant women and parents holding young children. Some of the older vintage buses are still in use on the island and you will not be able to roll your stroller straight on. In saying that, kids will be excited by the novelty of these buses and they are rare today.
Melita Trains operates a trackless novelty tourist train tour of Rabat, Mdina, Mtarfa and the neighbouring areas. Tours start and finish in front of the Domus Romana in Rabat, just outside Mdina. The train tour is approximately 8 kilometres long and takes between 25 and 30 minutes to complete, travelling at a maximum speed of 25km/hr.
Ferries and Water Taxis
A regular ferry service carries passengers and cars between Malta and Gozo. The trip takes about 20 minutes. You can also visit the quieter island of Comino which is smallest of the three main islands, with no traffic and one hotel.. Ebsons Comino Ferries provides round trip service from Mġarr Harbour Gozo and from Ċirkewwa Malta (near ferry) or Marfa (near Riviera Hotel) to Comino Island / Blue Lagoon. Boats leave every hour (full hour) on a daily basis, depending on the demand. The trip take approximately 15 minutes; on return it is also possible to visit the natural caves of Comino. See:
Driving in Malta
Travelling around Malta by car is undoubtedly the easiest way to experience all the islands have to offer. There are plenty of car rental companies in the airport terminal with a number of companies also having offices in the main resorts. Be aware that some of the roads away from the resorts are older and not well maintained and a smaller car is easier to maneuver. The island itself is small and is only 50 km long. All the road signs are in English and driving is on the left. In Malta and Gozo, there are speed limits of 80 km/h on the open road and 50 km/h in built-up areas, unless otherwise indicated on relevant road signs.
Most restaurants in Malta are family friendly. Toddler friendly restaurants include:
Jungle Restaurant Seabank Hotel, Mellieha
This restaurant offers American style food, you can enjoy lunch or dinner while your kids go wild in the designated play area that is supervised by trained animators.
Sportsfans Diner Malta International Airport, Luqa
Whether or not you or one of your kids is a fan of aviation, the Sports fans Diner is likely to go down a treat as you can enjoy a variety of food while watching planes land and take off from your table. The diner also has a complete play area for kids aged between two and ten.
Funland Piazza Cascata St Julians
Piazza Cascata is an entertainment complex that holds a nightclub, bar, restaurant and mega kids and teens’ area under one roof . Parts of the restaurant and bar are outdoor.