With only four days to spend in one of the world’s most spectacular and diverse countries, it is not surprising at all that you are very confused about where to go. Planning your Malta itinerary is not simple, with so many great places to see. You are overwhelmed with the anticipation of yet another adventure. But limited with time and many choices. We have been there!
In that case, let us help you and let us take you on an amazing four-day trip to one of the pearls of the Mediterranean, Malta. To help you sail easily through these funny, busy, and exciting days, we have for you the ultimate 4-day itinerary for Malta with everything you need to see. There you go!
What Facts to Know about Malta?
It is easily accessible by air from all major airports in Europe. Malta offers so much to see and do with extraordinarily sunny weather, attractive beaches, more than 7,000 years of intriguing history, great nightlife, and numerous outdoor activities.
Our main goal is to give the four days of the best Malta can offer.
Where is Malta located?
Okay, this could be obvious for people living in Africa or in Europe, but it is something with knowing for other people around the globe. Located in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta is home to about half a million people on only 316 square km.
At the same time, it is also one of the most densely populated European countries. It consists of several islands and islets only 93 km away from Sicily and 360 km from the African coast.
At this amazing azure archipelago, only the three of the largest islands are inhabited; Malta, Gozo, and Comino.
Malta Has Such a Rich History!
You should note that Malta is primarily a historical place delighting visitors with its appearance. With every step you make, you can see and feel the traces of past times and lives.
If you like medieval castles, some of the oldest buildings in the entire world, numerous chapels standing along the road, then Malta, often called an open-air museum, is the right place for you!
Malta has a rich history dating back to the Stone Age. History lovers will for sure have a blast in Malta and the opportunity to visit the preserved temples, of which some are older even than the Egyptian pyramids. Some historical studies have a strong proof for this statement.
Malta is a Rare Place for Several Civilizations Succession
Over the centuries, Malta was conquered several times for different causes and by different people who all loved to call the tiny island their own. The first of them was the Phoenicians, who brought their own customs and habits. The amazing colorful “luzzu” boats that you can still see today in Malta are a legacy of the Phoenician period too.
They were followed by the Carthaginians, Romans, and finally, the Arabs, who remained on the island for more than 300 years, exerting power. Nowadays, you can still strongly feel the influence on the formation of the Maltese language and culture.
In the middle ages, Malta became a safe home for the Knights of Jerusalem, better known as the Order of the Knights of Malta. On his way to Egypt, Napoleon was the next conqueror, annexing Malta to France, after whose very short reign, Malta voluntarily became a British colony.
Despite so many different influences throughout history, the people of Malta managed to maintain their own customs, language, and, more than anything else, a very distinctive temperament.
How to Get to Malta
Malta is easily accessible by air and has an excellent international airport. The state-owned Air Malta flies to more than 65 major airports in Europe and North Africa and the Middle East. Other airlines also have frequent scheduled flights to Malta.
The island of Malta is very often a part of the cruise trips itineraries serving as the transfer base for Mediterranean cruising. With only about a 2-hour ride, you can reach Malta by a direct ferry line from Sicily.
This option is great you can combine your Malta trip with a rich Sicily itinerary.
The Best Way to Get Around in Malta
For your 4-day trip to Malta, we definitely recommend renting a car. You will not really need it in Valetta as pretty much everything is within walking distance, but the car will be very convenient and useful on other days. With a car, you will save yourself a lot of time and be able to see a lot more things.
Our Malta 4-Day Itinerary
To help you get the most of your four days there, we have divided this ultimate 4-day itinerary into the best Malta has to offer.
Day 1: Valetta
Plan your first day for Valetta, the capital of Malta! With only about 7,000 inhabitants, it may be one of the smallest European capitals, but it is certainly one of the most interesting ones too. Valetta will delight you with its imposing walls, scouts, buildings, and beautiful palaces.
The entire city is protected by a series of ramparts and fortifications dating back to the 16th century when they were built with one purpose only – a defense system against Turkish invaders. Valetta offers an impressive number of historic sites for lovers of architecture, especially the sacral one.
There are so many churches in Malta. They are 365, one for each day of the year. It is not surprising as the country is almost entirely Catholic and religious.
The entire town is under the protection of UNESCO.
Hang Out with a Dghajsi
We would like to recommend you start the day with a ride in “Dghajsi,” a very traditional Maltese taxi-boat. It is certainly the best way to see the city from the former conquerors’ exact perspective and get the best view of the great city walls. But, unfortunately, there are not too many boats left nowadays; those still riding are located in Valetta and Birg.
This interesting half-hour tour of the Grand harbor will bring you closer to the cruisers and the local fishermen.
Explore the Barracks Gardens
Upon return to the mainland, the next place we recommend is the Barracks Gardens offering stunning views of the city and the sea, but the three cities too: Sengle, Vittorious (or Birgu), and Cospicu. All three of these towns have been the center of trade, migration, and cultural goods exchange for centuries.
Enjoy the Amazing Cathedral of St. John
The next step is the Cathedral of St. John, today one of the unavoidable tourist destinations. The interior of the church is one of the finest examples of High Baroque architecture, and the cathedral is home to one of the most famous Caravaggio’s pieces of art.
Inside the church, in the oratory, to be exact, you will be able to see a brutally realistic depiction of St. John the Baptist’s decapitation, which is occupying the majority of the inner wall.
Numerous small chapels within are each a reflection of the different “langues” of the Maltese knights who came from many European countries, with the most prominent one being the chapel of Aragon region, Italy and France.
We strongly recommend visiting the cathedral first thing in the morning to avoid crowds and waiting in lines. You will have to cover your legs and shoulder with a shawl provided at the entrance. For the ladies, no high heels are allowed! We are serious; they can damage the floor tiles. More info on your visit to the cathedral can be found on their official page.
Have a Walk on Republic Street and Palace Square
After the Co-cathedral, take a walk down Republic Street to explore the area around Palace Square and the Grand Master’s Palace. Those are certainly the most magnificent buildings in Valetta, accompanied by numerous shops, restaurants, and cafes.
Part of that building is today used as one of the Government’s seats and the Presidential Office. The rest of the building is turned into a museum and is open to the public.
After sightseeing, we recommend you take a break at Caffe Cordina, a famous café opened way back in 1837 serving the typical “Kwareimal,” a traditional Maltese pastry eaten mainly during Lent. A street food tour in Valletta is also worth it if you are a foodie (me too!)
Where to stay in Valetta
Tano’s Boutique guest house: this hotel located in the very heart of Valetta is definitely the best value for the money. It is very close to all of the best sights to visit. The rooms are bright and spacious, starting at affordable 100 euro per night for a double room.
Grand Harbor Hotel: located in the heart of downtown Valetta and just a few steps away from the Barraka Gardens, this is a great hotel with beautiful traditional architecture. Standard double room starts at 90 euro per night and is worth every cent; the view of Three Cities and the sea is magnificent.
Day 2: Mdina, Mellieha and the Popeye Village
There we go with day 2!
Get Lost in Mdina
4000 years of history in a small hilltop village that is exactly what Mdina is. Located only about 20 km from Valetta, Mdina is the former capital of Malta. Also known as the Citadel, the city’s greatest influence comes from the Arab culture and can mostly be seen from a city plan made in the shape of a labyrinth.
When you walk through the main baroque city door built-in 1724, be prepared to leave the modern 21st century behind you. Keep in mind that the only cars allowed there are those of Mdina residents, and even the street signs are engraved on porcelain plates.
Must visit are the bastions of St.John and St. Martin for an amazing view of the fairytale-like surroundings of Mdina.
Mellieha and Popeye Village
We didn’t forget some souvenir shopping for you and Mellieha village is just the true shopping oasis. There you will find a large selection of glass and silver products of which the Maltese are masters, and this is certainly the place where you need to get that special piece of jewelry to remind you of your fabulous Maltese odyssey.
Only 3 km away from the village in Anchor bay awaits yet another adventure. All the movie lovers among you have probably already heard of Popeye Village. A visit to this Maltese attraction is an absolute “must,” especially for families with children who can meet their favorite cartoon characters here.
It is also known under the names of Sweethaven Village or the Danish village. In reality, it is a village built for a movie set, now turned into an open-air museum and a small amusement park.
One of the most important attractions is the popular “Take 2 filming”, an event where you can participate in the daily shooting and become an actor in a live-action film.
In Sweethaven, in addition to meeting characters such as Popeye, Oliva, and Badjo, you can also enjoy rides, participate in a puppet show, face painting, balloon modeling, play mini-golf, taste wine, visit the museum, and much more.
Depending on the season, Sweethaven offers other attractive activities such as water trampolines and boat rides in Anchor bay during the warm summer nights. In addition, the “Toy city” and Christmas parade are popular in the winter months and during the holiday season.
We recommend you to spend the night in Mellieha as it will be easier to reach Gozo, your next step in the itinerary, rather than going back to Valetta.
Where to stay in Mellieha
Radisson Blue Resort & Spa: a great hotel located only a 2-minute walk from the sandy beach, with great double rooms with a balcony overlooking the beach.
Pergola Hotel and Spa: this small hotel located in Mellieha is great for those wishing to prepare their own meals as the rooms are equipped with kitchen amenities, starting at 80 euro per night. The views are great, stretching over the bay, the village, and both Gozo and Comino islands.
Day 4: Gozo and Comino
After the two very busy days, you certainly deserve a day to relax, contemplate and absorb all of the Maltese beauty seen so far. Easily combined and visited in one day, Gozo and Comino islands are the next destinations we are sending you to explore. We recommend a morning in Gozo and a relaxing afternoon on Comino.
Gozo is the second-largest island in Malta and is often called Malta’s little sister. This Magnificent Island you can easily reach by ferry departing from Cirkewwe in Malta. The most impressive fact is that despite being only 15 km long and 6 km wide, the island is full of the influence of other cultures.
Fresh Start in Gozo!
Gozo Island is filled with idyllic Mediterranean fishing villages and numerous coves. Its pastoral landscape has numerous small hills with small farms leading down to the sandy beaches and coves. This charming destination feels much further from busy Malta, much further than the 8 km of canals separating the two islands.
In Gozo, you will love its calm and sleepy ambiance, but it comes back to life in the summer months and during the holidays and festivity seasons. Stunning places of nature attract many visitors to wild and rugged landscapes and the crystal clear waters ideal for swimming and scuba diving.
Feel the History in the Old Town
Old Town Victoria, a medieval hilltop town or Citadel, is truly one of the most supreme tourist attractions. Surrounded by a sunny Mediterranean landscape of rolling hills and ancient sandstones, this small hilltop town really does look like a miniature version of Jerusalem.
Walk the city walls, semicircular fortification with three bastions each serving stunning views of the landscape, including the dome of the Xewki Rotonda. If you carry a long-lasting secret wish, we would like to send you to the Ta Pina Basilica, very much known for fulfilling wishes with wreaths.
Check Out Gganti Temples
Gganti Temples from the Late Stone Age, estimated to be more than 5800 years old, are considered to be the oldest existing structure in the world built by man. The entire temple is under UNSECO protection and has only recently been opened to visitors who can wander the nice trails and explore this magnificent construction of megalithic monuments.
After the Citadella and wandering these lovely streets, you can continue to Fortunati Mizzi streets filled with gift shops, coffee shops, and restaurants. That might be a perfect place to have your lunch break and taste some of the famous Maltese meals.
Where and What to eat on Gozo
Even though it is believed that Malta is one of the rare countries that does not have national cuisine, it cannot be less true. Instead, Maltese cuisine is a combination of traditional islands specialties and cuisines of different numerous conquerors throughout history, each of whom left “one special plate” for the generations to come.
Rizzles Caffe, located at the St. Francis square, is a good choice with a wide selection of traditional meals at very affordable prices.
Ramla Beach and Calypso Cave
Ramla beach is one of the most famous beaches in Malta. It is known for its really unusual reddish color of the sand and spaciousness providing a real top-notch ambiance.
The disadvantage to some, a huge advantage to others may be the approach to the water due to the long shallows and huge rock overgrown with grass. If, in the end, you wish more from the place than spending the time on the beach alone, we have more!
In the vicinity of the beach is a small cave named Calypso cave and believed to have been a place where Calypso imprisoned Odysseus for seven years. Although only a few can access the cave, you can easily see it from a landscaped viewpoint on which the whole story from Homer’s Odyssey was written.
The nearby village of Gharb has a worth visiting Museum of Folk Art, which houses some of the most fascinating objects found on this small island.
Wied Il Ghaasri
If you are a snorkeling lover, you will find your own paradise in Wied Il Ghasri, probably the best snorkeling site in the entire archipelago, where the deep notch in the shore allows the observation of an amazing underwater world at relatively shallow depths.
This is the true heaven for observing seahorses, fish, and numerous other organisms characteristic for underwater cuts and caves.
On your way to Comino
Comino has only four permanent residents who truly enjoy their isolation and total peace and quiet. Yet, they are able to meet all of their needs as everything they need is easily acquired from a neighboring Gozo.
As the name alone suggests, the island was named after the cumin that grew all over the island. However, Comino today is known mostly for its unique nature, clear waters and recognizable bird sanctuary, and protected area of nature.
Comino is truly a place where nature has taken the lead, completely relaxed, showing all those who have an interest the best of its natural beauty.
The Blue Lagoon is certainly the most visited part of the island and a very attractive spot for tourists. Located between Comino and the small islet of Cominotto, Blue Lagoon is a cove between these archipelagos, forming a stunning picture of nature’s fine art.
Comino is also a diving paradise; the coast consists mostly of cliffs. However, there are numerous deep caves used by pirates in the Middle Ages to attack ships sailing between Malta and Gozo.
Comino Island has put its entire emphasis on mystical feeling and total isolation, meaning that it is also known what exact types of tourists are wanted in the area.
Those who are fans of cafes, bars, and restaurants will not be too happy, while those who want their own peace and opportunity to be in complete harmony with nature will find their own little heaven here.
Where to stay in Comino
Comino Hotel and Bungalows: the location, the views, quality of sleep, and affordable rooms are all the benefits of this nice hotel. Prices start from 75 euro per night, bungalows are equipped with kitchen amenities.
Ferrieha Farmhouse B&B: large and spacious farmhouse with typical Maltese charm and hospitality and fine cuisine. An excellent spot to navigate around the island. Room prices start from 80 euro per night.
The last, fourth day of this amazing trip is ahead of you; the easiest and fastest way to reach Marsaxlokk from Comino is by car in only about 45 minutes or by ferry.
Day 4: Birzebbugia, Marsaxlokk, Dingi and Blue Grotto
For your last day, you should get back to Valetta. We recommend a combination of archeology, relaxation, and a touch of hedonism.
About only 13 km from Valetta is the small town of Birzebbugia, a pretty seaside town, popular for great and important archeological sites, such as Ghar Dalam and Borg in Nadur. The best beaches are here too, and the Pretty Bay is very popular among both locals and visitors.
Even if you have difficulties pronouncing the name of the village as we did, it is not a reason to skip it from your itinerary! Marsaxlokk it is!
Pass by the Beautiful Marsaxlokk
The tiny village of Marsaxlokk is probably the only village in Malta that has survived globalization and managed to maintain a very traditional and indigenous Maltese way of life.
Marsaxlokk has one thing making it world-famous; its special and colorful boat called “luzzu,” which fishermen still use on their daily fishing trips today.
There are, in fact, more boats than ships, in most cases with very specific blue, yellow and green colors. Some of them have drawn eyes on the front for one reason only; a bit superstitious Maltese people believe it will keep them safe from spells on the sea.
If you are keen on fish specialties, then this is the place for you. The fish is always fresh and much more affordable than in Valetta.
Where to eat in Marsaxlokk for Lunch?
Tartarun: on the upmarket and loved among the locals, probably one of the best fish restaurants in town.
Terrone: local and seasonal is the philosophy of this restaurant. The interior is very chic with colorful tiles, outside terrace with a great view of the boats. Fish dishes, tuna, kingfish Carpaccio, or grilled octopus are just some of their specialties.
A fresh Swim in St. Peter’s Pool
You may choose to go to St. Peter’s pool in the afternoon, located only about a 10-minute drive from Marsaxlokk. It is yet another natural attraction, a natural pool you can jump in from the rocks.
This is a very famous spot among young people, however not recommended for families with children as the only access to the water is by jumping.
Malta is an amazingly beautiful country packed full of beautiful landscapes. That includes stunning panoramic coastal views, so make sure to head to the Dingli Cliffs. Located on Malta’s western coast, this 253 meters above sea-level wonder of nature is also the highest part of the Island.
The cliffs became a very popular attraction for tourists visiting Malta, especially those heading there for a peaceful walk with breathtaking views of Filfa and the Mediterranean Sea, but the stretches of the countryside beneath the cliffs and terraced fields too.
The main attraction of the Dingli Cliffs is, of course, the cliffs themselves, but there is also a tiny and charming chapel perched on the very edge, dedicated to St Mary Magdalene.
Things to Know About Malta Before You Go
Malta, for sure, is one of those destinations offering you an escape to winter swimming. Yet, it is ideal as an autumn destination. The sea is still warm, but the crowds are fewer.
The only crowds you can actually meet at this time are the cars in the cities, and we mean a lot of cars! It is believed that there are as many cars as there are inhabitants! So to follow our Ultimate 4-day itinerary, you can rent a car. But keep in mind that it means potential parking problems too.
In addition, from the British, besides the official language, Malta has also inherited driving on the left side of the road, which may be challenging (at least the first hours of driving) for those experiencing it for the first time. However, we have a solution for this too; the Maltese public transport is excellent and cheap and will get you easily to all of the island’s gems.
There will be a lot of noise! The famous Lord Byron himself is said to have called Malta the island of yells, bells, and smells. Yet, the sound plays an important role on the island, and you will for sure get used to it in no time. The mix of local fiestas, village band marches, and fireworks will transform your evenings into special and lasting memories.
Final Thought about Our 4-Day Malta Itinerary
We have hopefully helped you realize that Malta is truly a destination that everyone should visit with this itinerary. However, this journey could be a little too fast for some travelers, especially for those chasing Malta Instagram spots! We recommend adding a day in Malta than jumping directly into the most interesting spots.
Although very small, Malta is full of tradition and culture, and almost the entire history of Europe is reflected here. However, globalization, so many newcomers, and a very liberalized economy made Malta the financial hub, all of which makes it difficult to reach the authentic Maltese soul.
Still, you are there just because Malta promises to offer you an adventurous and festive holiday with a true feeling of satisfaction, delicate, fine joy, and lifetime lasting memorable (un)bearable lightness of being of amazing Malta.
Disclosure: Please note that this post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend companies and products that I trust and the income goes to keeping this website running. Thanks!