With over 300 days of sunshine, you could easily say that it’s spring time in Malta almost all year round, barring a short parky winter stint and a long, hot summer, when you’ll be warding off the heat with daily dips in the blue sea. Despite this, Malta has an actual spring and as far as climate and ambience go, it’s arguably the best time to be around on the rock.
The winter’s come and gone, the White Walkers from Game of Thrones have receded back to somewhere beyond the wall, and droves of people in Malta start appearing outdoors for longer stretches of the day in lighter and more colorful attire. That is, unless you come from somewhere up north in Europe, you brush off winter in Malta as a joke, and you’re scantily clad all year round during your stay here.
So, now that spring is in full bloom and you’re not succumbing to hay fever, what are some fun activities the AUM community suggests? Let’s take a look at some of the tops!
OK, the first one’s a bit of a no-brainer. The best way to dust off the mold accumulated during your winter hibernation is to stretch your legs and head on out for a healthy dose of sunlight in the Maltese countryside. Make sure you’ve got sunblock handy because sunrays may be more potent than the first impression gives.
Satisfy your wanderlust as you make your way through fields with rugged terrain, narrow winding cobblestone passageways in rustic villages with colorful house facades, and steep cragged cliffs jutting out over Maltese waters. This way, you’ll be getting a taste of Maltese country life in its purest form. And staying on the note of taste a while longer, you’d do well to stop by at a local eatery for a breather and some traditional Maltese flavors cooked with genuine ingredients and following time-tested recipes.
Amongst the treks more often beaten on the main island of Malta, there are the Mtarfa Ridge, the National Park and the Roman Trail, Dingli Cliffs, Blue Grotto area, and Mellieha up in the north. That being said, Malta’s smaller sister island – Gozo – takes the cake in terms of rustic charm. The short ferry ride connecting islands is well worth it if you’re an outdoor enthusiast, as the entire island is dotted with adventure hotspots.
On a note related to trekking and outdoor activities, Malta offers a selection of adventure sports. These ones are for all those bitten by the adventure bug, who like to traverse terrain in more unorthodox and daring ways than simply hiking. You can choose to tackle Maltese rocky cliffs with some rock climbing, sea level traversing, abseiling, or even zip lining. Otherwise, you can hit the waters for some kayaking, canoeing, or snorkeling. There’s also the option to mix it up by scaling uneven terrain and swimming for short bursts in what is known as coasteering.
One particular activity that has really caught on in the last few years is off road biking. The rocky Maltese paths that are available for trekkers are also very popular with cyclists wanting that little extra dose of adrenaline.
The quaint yet beautiful little village of Mgarr attracts many people from all over for its Strawberry Festival held in April. It’s an agricultural festival with strawberries as central theme, which are particularly known in that region for their sweet taste. Besides buying boxes of strawberries freshly picked, delivered, and sold during the event, you can dig into all sorts of other strawberry-flavored delicacies such as ice-cream, cakes, smoothies, jams, and more. A real treat for sweet-teeth and natural food lovers alike.
Swimming with Dolphins
The Mediterraneo Marine Park, right next door to the Splash and Fun Water Park, gives visitors a choice of quite some interesting programs. The highlight is an interactive program that gets you to dive in and swim with the dolphins. Other marine and tropical creatures you can interact with include sea lions, parrots, coati, turtles and a variety of reptiles and birds. The facility offers a range of different programs and packages for you to choose from. And once you’re done there, you can always head next door to the fun water park for some water slide action.
Malta World Music Festival
The Malta World Music Festival is an eclectic music show that brings together both local Maltese musicians and other ones from all over the world. This is a two-day outdoor event held right outside Malta’s historical Fort St. Elmo, Valletta. There are three highlights on each of the two days. The dates for this year’s chapter of the event are 18th and 19th May.
The MWMF is just one in a series of cultural events that have been gracing Valletta, especially since it’s been chosen as the European Capital of Culture. It’s advisable to keep an eye on the program (found here) as you’re sure to find quite a few things that will whet your curiosity and interest.
Lost and Found Dance Music Festival
This one’s a little bonus. And while Lost and Found is also a music festival like MWMF, it’s a far cry from it. This big dance music gathering travels from one location to the next, punctuated with stops in the form of rave parties held in castles, by pool sides, and on boats. And since 2015, it’s included Malta in its itinerary.