Things to do in Malta: 3 Days Itinerary

You have only 3 days for a round trip on Malta, Gozo & Comino and you don’t want to miss any sights and the best things to do during your vacations? No problem with this travel guide and the tips from JOURNICATION. On the Mediterranean island you can expect highlights like Valletta, Mdina and the Blue Lagoon with countless photo spots, delicious regional cuisine and unique hotels. You’ll be surprised how many great places you can discover in 72 hours on a tour of Malta, either by yourself or by local transport.

What do you learn in this article?

3 days Malta Round trip – Historical sights & picturesque coast

Malta in 72 hours: The route at a glance

  • Day 1 – Old town of Valletta
  • Day 2 – Round trip to Malta
  • Day 3 – Gozo & Comino

Of course you can take the route in any order.

Before you start: Check here if you need a visa for Malta with your passport.

What are the BIG5 things to do in Malta Route?

  • The special atmosphere at St. Peter’s Pool – welcome cooling included
  • Stroll through the old town of Valletta to the Grand Harbour
  • Listen to the sound of the waves on Gozo’s rugged cliffs
  • Let your gaze wander over the island from the former capital Mdina
  • Enjoy the view of the Blue Grotto and the deep blue sea

 

Summary of the best sights and things to do in Malta

Valletta

  • Republic Street
  • St. John’s Co-Cathedral
  • Magnificent Palaces: Casa Rocca Piccola & the Grand Master Palace
  • Lower & Upper Barrakka Gardens
  • Boat tour / Ferry across the Grand Harbour
  • Trip to the “Three Cities” Vittorosia, Senglea & Cospicua

Main island Malta

  • Port of Marsaxlokk
  • St. Peter’s Pool
  • Blue Grotto
  • Old town Mdina
  • Golden Bay & Ghajn Tuffeiha
  • Popeye Village
  • Dingli Cliffs

Gozo & Comino

  • Blue Lagoon
  • Citadel of Victoria
  • Blue Hole & former Azure Window
  • Again Il-Mielaħ
  • Ghasri Valley
  • Old salt pans
  • Ramla Bay & Calypso Cave

Malta round trip day 1: Valletta

On the way on historical paths

Go to the old town of Valletta and take a dive into Maltese culture and history, an exotic mix of European and Arabic origins. Spend an exciting day in Valletta, the smallest capital of the European Union.

From the airport you can easily reach the gates of Valletta’s old town by bus (2 Euro per trip), cab or rental car.
Start at the Triton Fountain, from where you can go directly to Republic Street. Most streets in Valletta’s old town are straight, so not only Republic Street runs across the entire peninsula.

Explore the streets and narrow alleys, there is a lot to discover. The entire old town of Valetta has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980, with sights on almost every corner.

Don’t miss St. John’s Co-Cathedral and magnificent palaces such as Casa Rocca Piccola and the Grandmaster Palace!

 

 

An unbeatable view of the Grand Harbour, i.e. the big port of Valltetta, the “Three Cities” and the Fort St. Angelo you have from the Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens. A special elevator ride awaits you here: For one Euro you can take the 58 meter high outside elevator from the high gardens and salute cannons (firing daily at 12 o’clock) down to sea level and save yourself long flights of stairs along the high fortress walls.

Are you looking for a special photo spot with many colorful oriels and balconies typical for Malta? Have a look in the alley Triq Sant’ Orsla!

Visit the three cities beyond the Grand Harbour

In the afternoon, you will see the mighty walls of Valletta from a different perspective: Cross the Grand Harbour by ferry or comfortably by a traditional Maltese boat. On the other side of the harbor you will be welcomed by the “Three Cities” Vittorosia, Senglea and Cospicua. This is a little less touristy than Valletta’s old town, so explore the narrow streets, mighty fortifications and port facilities.

For dinner you can go to one of the fish restaurants in the Three Cities or return to Valletta. There are some great alleys where the many steps turn into cosy restaurant places at night. Relaxed dinner under the stars and the warm light of the lamp chains – that’s vacation!

In the evening the alleys in the old town of Valletta turn into cozy terraces

Tip for your accommodation in Malta: At least for the first day a hotel, hostel or vacation apartment in Valletta’s old town is unbeatable, because then everything is within walking distance. You can keep this accommodation for the entire stay on the Mediterranean island and save yourself the trouble of having to change your clothes. The biggest bus terminal of the island is located directly at the city gate of Valletta’s old town, you won’t get a better connection.

Here you can find suitable accommodation in the old town of Valletta.

Malta round trip day 2: Discover the main island of Malta

Let’s go, an exciting day on Malta is coming up!

Luzzus in the port of Marsaxlokk

First of all we will visit the picturesque fishing village Marsaxlokk in the southeast of the island. Here there are no famous sights in the classical sense, but a special atmosphere. Watch the local traders, market stalls and fishermen taking care of their boats after the early morning drive. In the harbour you will also find one of the most famous photo motives on Malta: In the harbour “Luzzus” or “Dgħajsas“, the colorful boats with the blue eyes are floating. The eyes go back to Egyptian gods and should protect the fishermen from danger.

Take a seat at the port or go to the many stands in search of suitable souvenirs.
Would you like to enjoy fresh fish or seafood for lunch directly at the port? Then it is a good idea to first go to St. Peter’s Pool and take the tour of Marsaxlokk over the “lunch break“.

Malta Itinerary Route Things to do travel tips highlights must-see photo spots: In the port of Marsaxlokk you will find many luzzus, the traditional Maltese boats

You are not travelling with a rental car? No problem! Marsaxlokk is a great starting point for boat trips to St. Peter’s Pool and the nearby bays. Some boats also function as water cabs. Walking is possible in principle, but you will need about 20-30 minutes one way and will lose some time on the dusty roads of Malta.

Things to do in Malta: Dive into St. Peter’s Pool

What can I say, one of my personal highlights on Malta. Not because there is so much to discover, more because of the atmosphere.
Here locals, students and tourists cavort around to enjoy the sun or to cool down after a jump from the cliffs in the turquoise blue sea.

Do you dare to dive from 4-5 meters? Local celebrities are Pele and the dog “Titti”, who can be found there almost every day and who inspire with spectacular jumps into the cool water. Check out Titti’s daring jumps on Youtube.

Important to know when preparing for St. Peter’s Pool:

  • There is no real beach here, you lie on the rocky plateau, where it can quickly get very crowded
  • On the plateau there are hardly any shady places and no toilets
  • You are also looking for a sales booth in vain, so bring enough provisions and drinks (!) with you. Meanwhile there is a temporary “bar” further up

This should not sound deterrent, you should only be able to prepare yourself accordingly!

You find it too crowded at St. Peter’s Pool? Run over to the bay Il-Ħofra ż-Żgħira. With a little luck you are almost alone on the small pebble beach.

Huge photo motif on Malta: The Blue Grotto

On today’s tour through Malta, one highlight chases the next. One of the most impressive sights on Malta is certainly the Blue Grotto, a rock complex consisting of seven caves.

Don’t miss the viewpoint of the Blue Grotto at the top of the road, from here you really have a great view.
Unfortunately, some parts of the viewing platform have been closed off in the meantime: There is a danger that parts of the cliffs could fall into the sea.

If you have enough time and want to see the grotto up close, take a boat tour.

For this I have three tips for you:

#1: Apply enough sun protection on everyone, especially on the boat it will thank your skin
#2: There are usually enough boats and places available, you don’t have to book anything in advance and can decide spontaneously on the spot
#3: There is also the possibility to go swimming, if you still haven’t had enough after St. Peter’s Pool

Stroll through the alleys of Mdina

Welcome to Mdina, one of the old capitals of Malta. Does the entrance gate to the fortified old town look familiar to you? No wonder, it served as a film set for the city gate of King’s Landing in the TV series “Game of Thrones“.

With many day tourists it is hard to imagine why Mdina is also called the “silent city“. Towards evening it becomes more obvious when most of them have left. Stroll through the alleys of the old town, past the impressive churches and palaces made of limestone. As in Valletta, the entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you are interested in antique armor and weapons, the medieval Palazzo Falson is the right place for you.

What are the best photo spots in Mdina? Of course the gate to the old town, the view from the bastion, the famous door with the great bougainvillea / triple flower (turn left at the bastion, then on the right side), St. Paul Cathedral and of course the view over the island from the bastion. In addition, you will find many picturesque alleys in Medina, so take your time to look around!

You feel like taking a break with a refreshing drink and the best cake of Malta? Then I can recommend the restaurant Fontanella! Take a seat, relax and enjoy the view!

Fairytale theme park: Popeye Village

The place was built in 1980 for the Popeye Musical and has been used as a theme and leisure park ever since. For more information and current ticket prices, please visit the official website. You have a particularly good view of the area from the viewpoint opposite.

Malta Itinerary Route Things to do travel tips highlights must-see photo spots: The film set and today's Popeye Village theme park is a popular photo opportunity

Things to do in Malta: Golden Bay & Ghajn Tuffeiha

My tip for a relaxing afternoon on the beach after a strenuous day of sightseeing: Golden Bay and Ghajn Tuffeiha. The two bays are only separated by a cliff. The places around the tower are wonderful for the sunset. On both beaches you will find toilets and stalls.

High waves are everywhere, but Ghajn Tuffeiha is especially popular with surfers.

Malta Itinerary Route Things to do travel tips highlights must-see photo spots: From the Għajn Tuffieħa tower you have a fantastic panorama of the Għajn Tuffieħa bay

Nice panoramic view of Għajn Tuffieħa

Tip for couples: The restaurant Riviera Martinique offers great four-poster beds for a relaxing afternoon and sunset.

After an intense round of swimming, splashing, sunbathing or surfing, we will go up to Ghajn Tuffieha Tower in the evening for the sunset. The trail is short, but for climbing through the rocks you should wear sturdier shoes than flip flops.

If you don’t have time for the beach, the Dingli Cliffs (see day 3) are a good alternative for the sunset.

If you are travelling by rental car, the distance today is about 82 kilometers and takes about 2:30 hours (from Valletta and back). If you take the bus, you will have to plan much more time due to waiting times and the often star-shaped route via Valletta. For the routes in the middle of the day cabs or bolts / E-Cabs are a reasonable alternative

Malta round trip day 3: Gozo & Comino

Today the day trip to Gozo and Comino, two other Mediterranean islands belonging to Malta, is on the program. The trip to the ferry terminal in Cirkewwa takes about 45 minutes (30 kilometers) from Valletta.

Please check the official website for departure times and prices in advance.

Things to do in Malta: Explore the glamorous capital Victoria

The first stop on Gozo is the mighty citadel of the capital Victoria. From here you have a great view in all directions! During the last years a lot of restoration has been done and a great exhibition shows you the impressive history of the region.

You can park directly at the citadel (1,50 Euro) or you have some luck in the busy city center.

In Victoria you will find cozy side streets and cafes, souvenirs and large supermarkets (e.g. in the Duke Shopping Mall) to refill your provisions for the day at a reasonable price. Take a look around and stroll through the bustling city center.

Malta Itinerary Route Things to do travel tips highlights must-see photo spots: The Citadel of Victoria is a grandiose vantage point with a wide view over Gozo

Blue Hole & former Azure Window

We continue along the coast, passing the remains of a Roman aqueduct at the gates of Victoria.

The first stop is the fascinating Blue Hole (Ghar iż-Żerqa), a natural pool about 15 meters deep and about 10 meters in diameter. From here the famous Azure Window could be seen, which collapsed in a storm in 2017. But the coastal scenery is also simply impressive in other ways: rugged cliffs, the roar of the waves and the mighty Fungus Rock, literally a rock in the surf.

Nearby you will find another of Gozo’s attractions, the “Inland Sea“. This is a lagoon with a narrow cave as the only breakthrough to the open sea.

The Blue Hole and its surroundings are perfect for an unforgettable dive. For more information please visit the Dive Smart Gozo website.

Impressive natural window: Wied Il-Mielaħ

Unlike the Azure Window, this natural window is rather unknown. Via narrow roads you can get from the village Għarb to this scenic highlight, which is especially popular with climbers and divers. Admission is not required here either.

On the way you can make a detour to the church Ta’ Pinu, one of the biggest sacral buildings on the island.

Things to do in Malta: Go swimming in Ghasri Valley

Ghasri Valley is a natural gorge into the sea, near Reqqa Point, the northernmost point of Malta.

For bathing fans the bay is rather an insider tip because of the difficult accessibility, for divers the nearby underwater cave “Cathedral Cave” is especially famous.

Caution: If the sea is too rough the waves shoot through the valley, which can make swimming difficult and sometimes very dangerous.

Discover old salt pans along the coast

We continue along the northern coast of Gozo. Here you will find everywhere old salt pans, which were hewn into the rocks for the natural extraction of sea salt.

In many places you will have great views of the rugged Gozo coast.

Malta Itinerary Route Things to do travel tips highlights must-see photo spots: On the north coast of Gozo you will find countless old salt pans for natural salt production

Things to do in Malta: Relax at Ramla Bay & Calypso Cave

But now it is high time for a cooling off!

Ramla Bay is the most beautiful beach on Gozo, flanked by two table mountains. There are many small stands, restaurants, toilets and even lifeguards.

Above the beach is Calypso Cave, where the Greek hero Odysseus is said to have lived with the nymph Calypso. Unfortunately, the direct way from the beach to the cave is private property, so you have to take the road to enter the cave.

 

 

Hotspot of Malta: The Blue Lagoon

You still haven’t had enough of water and turquoise blue sea? Then let’s go to Comino, a basically uninhabited island between Gozo and Malta. Only in the summer season you can stay in the only hotel on the island.

From Malta or Gozo small ferry boats leave for Comino, from Malta the route is a bit longer.

The lagoon is just fantastic – at least on the pictures. What the camera usually doesn’t catch are the crowded beach and the many tourists that can make your stay a little bit unstressful. But don’t be put off and see for yourself.

 

 

Sunset from the Dingli Cliffs

Back on Malta my second recommendation for the sunset is the Dingli Cliffs. From the cliffs near the research tower you have a clear view of Malta’s coast and the sun setting in the sea.

The coastal section is called Triq (= road) Panoramika, absolutely right in my opinion.

 

For a cosy dinner we return to the old town of Valletta.

 

With a rental car you will cover a distance of about 115 kilometers on the proposed route, the pure driving time is 3:30 hours (of which 45 kilometers in 1:40 hours on Gozo)

Conclusion for 3 days Malta round trip

What, only 3 days for all of Malta? Granted, 3 days is a tight program and more time on vacation would always be nice.

But: As you can see from the suggested itinerary, you don’t have to miss any of the sights and with 72 hours in Malta, besides sightseeing on historical paths and a day trip to Gozo, you will have enough time for a refreshing dip in St. Peter’s pool or relaxing hours on one of the many beaches.

Malta Rundreise Route Sehenswürdigkeiten Reisetipps Urlaub Foto Spots: Traust du dich den Kopfsprung von den Klippen in St. Peter's Pool?

 

Accommodation in Malta – from simple to luxurious

Are you looking for the best accommodation in Malta? For the 3 days round trip I recommend you to take an accommodation in Valletta, which you don’t have to change because of the short distances on the Mediterranean island.

In the capital of Malta you will find …

What are the costs for 3 days in Malta without missing the best things to do?

Here you can see a summary of the costs for your round trip to Malta:

Costs for the rental car

The rental car cost about 25 Euro per day

Cost of gasoline

If you are travelling by rental car: For this proposal you will travel the following distances in Malta:

  • Day 1: Airport Luqa – Valletta: ~ 9 kilometers
  • Day 2: Valletta – Marsaxlokk – St. Peter’s Pool – Blue Grotto – Mdina – Popeye Village – Golden Bay – Valletta: ~ 80 kilometers
  • Day 3: Valletta – Cirkewwa (ferry terminal to Gozo) – Victoria – round trip on Gozo – Mgarr (ferry to Malta) – Dingli Cliffs – Valletta: ~ 115 kilometers

All in all, that makes a distance of just over 200 kilometers. During the 3 days we filled up with gasoline for 15 Euro (no joke!).

Costs for public transport

A single trip by bus costs 2.00 euros in the summer season, 1.50 euros in winter and 3.00 euros at night.

Beyond that there are favorable offers for saving like the Explore Card (7 days unlimited use, 21 euro).

For more information on public transport in Malta, please visit the official website.

Accommodation

Calculate an average of about 70 euros per night in a double room (depending on comfort and location)

Catering

You should plan on about 35 Euro per day for food and drinks.

Entrance fees for sightseeing

It depends on your personal preference, 10 Euro per day is a good average

Shopping & Souvenirs

… are of course completely in your hands. There are many exotic and special

Conclusion: Total costs 3 days Malta round trip

With the average cost, you will have to reckon with a total of around 400 euros for the 3 days round trip in Malta, excluding travel to and from the airport.

The prices for transport, internet etc. change quickly, so I can only give a rough indication here, but the effort is too great to keep every price up to date every day. Be lenient with me 🙂

Malta Itinerary Route Things to do travel tips highlights must-see photo spots: Over the cannons of the Upper Barakka Gardens you have a great view of the Grand Harbor and the "Three Cities"

Alternative routes for a round trip of Malta

You would like to suggest your own route, further sights in Malta or alternatives? Feel free to write me at [email protected] or in the comments.

Now you are well prepared for a round trip without missing out the best things to do in Malta, Gozo & Comino. You know the most beautiful places, sights and activities for 3-4 great days! Il-vjagg it-tajjjeb! (Good trip in Maltese) 🇲🇹

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Round trip on Malta, Gozo & Comino - Route for 3 days with all highlights and things to do photo spots

3 Comments

  1. jaz

    it’s a nice article. it can be my reference if i will be going to that place.

    Reply
  2. Roshunda

    This is such a great post. You have covered everything to do in Malta. I love the itinerary. I could just go by this for my plan to Malta bc you’ve laid out everything. Packed full of content. Thanks for the info, I will go to Malta as soon as the Coast is clear 😃..

    Reply
    • Phil

      Thank you very much Roshunda, great to hear!
      Fingers crossed it works out soon 🙂

      Reply

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