A visit to Malta this holiday season is the ideal time to explore the Islands’ rich cultural offerings and magnificent cuisine. From Cirque du Soleil’s newest show to the very best in Michelin-starred dining, the holiday season has something for everyone to indulge – and enjoy.
Being home to an abundance of outstanding produce, a sea brimming with delicious seafood, and recipes dating back centuries, food and drink are the very essence of Maltese Culture. Hence, it’s hardly surprising that the Islands have some of the world’s very best cuisine.
Five restaurants have been awarded a Michelin Star, three restaurants have a Bib Gourmand award and twenty-three restaurants have received the Michelin Plate Award.
Whatever type of dining experience you’re craving, be it a quick snack, a culinary extravaganza at a Michelin-starred restaurant, or a hearty dig into some awesome local cuisine, there’s always something to sink your teeth into in Malta.
Wineries & Vineyards
And with good food you’ll always need good wine – and Malta has you covered. Whether it is a full-bodied red, a crisp white, or a ravishing rosé, tantalise your tastebuds, in Malta’s wineries and vineyards! Rich soil, light sea breeze and 300 days of sun make for the perfect wine-making combo.
You can visit a range of local wineries and vineyards, including the likes of Emmanuel Delicata, Malta’s most internationally awarded family winemaker spanning four generations; the 100-year-old Marnisi Estate; and the Marsovin Cellars, which has 90 years’ experience producing fine, Maltese wines.
Bustling Events Scene
The Maltese Islands are the backdrop for some of the region’s coolest and most popular events, so getting your hands on your tickets early and in time should be your priority.
Some of the major highlights include Cirque du Soleil’s new show, FIERI, the first European show by Cirque du Soleil since the end of lockdown. The new show will feature the same signature style acrobatics and visual artistry that fans worldwide have come to expect and appreciate, and will be tailored exclusively for Malta, celebrating the country’s singular cultural diversity and history.
Homer’s Odyssey is the driving force behind Weaving Chaos at the Teatru Manoel in Valletta, which summons its dancers to interpret the stubbornness, the pain, and the will of the epic hero returning home. Between the show of individuality of a character and their presence or dissolution in a collective, the tireless search for movement remains, and they fall, in order to rise again.
Teatru Manoel also presents David Wood’s mischievous adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story The Twits. Ian Moore turns the story upside down in this production bringing this revolting revolution to the Teatru Manoel stage this Christmas.
Rich and Colourful Traditions
With so many rich and colourful traditions which have withstood the test of time, the amount of pride the Maltese have for their culture is highly understandable. With elaborate fireworks displays, rowdy village festas, and outstanding hospitality, not to mention the mind-blowingly delicious food, the sheer magnetism of Maltese culture is apparent everywhere you go, making it almost impossible not to be drawn in.
One of the islands’ major highlights are the crafts villages at Ta’ Dbeigi on Gozo and Ta’ Qali, located on a former RAF airfield. In both you can watch craftsmen blowing glass, visit a filigree goldsmith, as well as purchase beautiful jewellery, sculptures, and lace.
In the Auberge d’Italie in Valletta, MUŻA is a community art project established in 2018 and boasts a stunning collection of art spanning from the 16th century to the present day.
With its splendidly laid out exhibits juxtaposing works of the old masters with contemporary artworks, it’s easy to see why this gallery was named one of Europe’s ‘Must-See New Museums.’
Innovatively presenting stories through its displays, associated with the geography and history of Malta, a trip to MUŻA is not just a trip to a gallery but rather a fascinating journey through time and place.
And no exploration of Maltese culture is complete without a visit to Malta’s ancient capital Mdina. Embarking on this journey back in time, you will discover an astonishing mix of baroque and medieval architecture in its ever-winding streets, wonderfully adorned and preserved churches, majestic palaces and fortified walls that turn this silent city into an outdoor museum.
Perched on top of a plateau, Mdina is also host to a Cathedral that suffered extensive damage through a devastating earthquake in 1693 and rebuilt by Lorenzo Gafa’ in 1702. The Cathedral’s floor is paved and decorated with marble tombstones that display details such as the coat of arms of the bishops of Mdina and other significant members of the Cathedral.
COVID 19 Guidelines
All passengers are required to present a completed Public Health Travel Declaration, Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and a valid vaccination certificate recognised by the Superintendent of Public Health (age 12+) for a full course of vaccination (2 doses or 1 dose of a single dose vaccine) with EMA approved vaccines (Comirnaty [Pfizer], Jannsen [Johnson & Johnson], Spikevax [Moderna], Vaxzevria [AstraZeneca]), with batches that are authorized by the national regulatory authority of the administering country, with 14 days after the last dose.
For the latest information, see here.