Gay Guide • MALTA | Itineraries, Tips and What to See | Practical Complete LGBT Friendly
GAY FRIENDLY MALTA & GOZO
Travel solutions with itineraries to discover all the wonders of this destination, places not to be missed, tips about where to sleep and what to eat, and above all many small special tips to enjoy your journey !
Welcome to Malta, in the heart of the Mediterranean, where history and intersection of cultures have given this archipelago a charm of yesteryear
Visiting this destination at its best depends essentially on how long you have to fully enjoy it. Here is a solution based on the number of days available to you:
Day 2 - Dingli Cliffs, Rabat, Mdina, Mosta & Ta'Qali - Google Maps
Day 3 - Gozo, Blue Lagoon & Comino - Google Maps GOZO
Day 4 - Hagar Qim, Mnajdra Temples, Blue Grotto, Ghar Dalam & Marsaxlokk - Google Maps
Day 5 - Popeye Village, Mellieha, Golden Bay Beach, Bugibba & Qawra - Google Maps
Day 6 - Sliema, St Julian's & Relax
(By opening the Maps with Google, you can easily follow our itinerary)
Click'n'Go - Click on the places to find them on the Map
WHAT TO SEE in MALTA?
10 THINGS TO SEE in MALTA
The capital. Years of history and traditions can be breathed between the streets of the historic center and the port area, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Fort San Telmo, at the entrance to the harbor, is the most famous testimony of Malta's military past. Don't miss the City Gate, the Parliament, the Grand Master's Palace, seat of the Presidency of Malta, the Barrakka Gardens, George Square and the Bastion of St. Peter and Paul.
Mdina & Rabat
These cities, just half an hour from Valletta, are home to some of the oldest treasures to be seen in Malta and are important pilgrimage centers for Christianity. Walking through Mdina, the ancient capital of the island, is like taking a dip in the past. Also known as the "City of Silence" due to the fact that only residents' cars can circulate here. Just outside Mdina is Rabat (from the Arabic suburb) famous for the cave and catacombs of St Paul.
Senglea, Vittoriosa & Copiscua
The three cities also known as La Cottonera, named after the fortifications outside the cities. These three cities were central to Maltese history. The main attraction of Senglea is the San Miguel Fort and the waterfront, from where you can take great photos of Valletta. In Vittoriosa, the ancient capital of Malta, don't miss the Malta Maritime Museum, the Inquisitor's Palace and Forte Sant'Angelo. In Copiscua, the largest of the three cities, get lost in the labyrinthine alleys and visit the Collegiate Church of the Immaculate Conception, the fortifications of Firenzuola and the Lines of Santa Margherita. The Three Cities are located opposite Valletta, are easily accessible by public transport (bus or ferry) and all very close to each other.
About 13 kilometers south of Valletta, it is the island's most important fishing port and a great place to enjoy Maltese gastronomy. Here you can see the luzzi, the traditional Maltese fishing boats recognizable by their bright colors (blue, green, red and yellow). In Marsaxlokk, every Sunday, in the harbor area there is an open market not to be missed.
Dingli Cliffs & Buskett
In the south-east of the island, the cliffs of Dingli offer one of the most beautiful and scenic scenery visible in Malta: rocks up to 250 meters high overlooking the sea with a wonderful view of the Mediterranean. Buskett, on the other hand, is one of the few wooded areas in Malta. Just 30 minutes by road from Mdina, this forest is ideal for walking and immersing yourself in the greenery.
Hagar Qim & Mnajdra
Continuing along the coast, about nine kilometers away, you will find the largest megalithic remains to be seen in Malta: the temples of Hagar Qim and, just 500 meters away, the three temples of Mnajdra.
Hal Saflieni & Tarxien
At 15 minutes from the capital, there are two places that testify to the frequentation of Malta already in prehistoric times. the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, in Triq ic-Cimiteriju in the city of Paola, is an underground temple, the only one of its kind in the whole island and dating back to 4000 BC. (Places to access the hypogeum are very limited, so I advise you to buy tickets well in advance!) A short distance from Hal Saflieni, is the small complex of Tarxien Temples which are worth a visit because they are recognized as some of the structures. best preserved prehistoric monuments in Europe.
The smallest island of the archipelago that deserves a visit for the crystal clear waters that bathe its coasts. Among the beaches, the famous Blue Lagoon stands out, on the east coast of the island (always very crowded in summer).
It is the second largest island in the country, interesting for its promontories and inlets, as well as for its small towns full of charm. In the capital, Victoria, the Baroque-style Gozo Cathedral and the Natural Science Museum are must-sees. To the east are the temples of Ggantija and the heavenly beach of San Blas. To the west, the Blue Window, a promontory whose main structure resembled a window in the middle of the sea, collapsed due to a strong storm in 2017.
See also below the 10 THINGS TO SEE in GOZO
Blue Cave. In reality there are about six sea caves at the foot of the cliffs. The name derives from the splendid blue tones of the water that is reflected on the walls of the caves. The only way to visit them is on board the boats, the ticket can be purchased at the foot of the caves and the average price is 8 euros.
WHAT TO SEE in GOZO?
10 THINGS TO SEE in GOZO
Victoria (Rabat) & the Citadel
We start the trip to Gozo from Victoria (also called Rabat in Maltese), the capital of the island. The Citadel is definitely Victoria's main attraction and the stunning 360 ° views of the surrounding countryside and villages, the sea and Malta will not disappoint. Furthermore, in the Citadel there are several museums such as the Cathedral Museum, the Archaeological Museum or the Old Prison. Do not miss Piazza Indipendenza and the daily market and admire the Basilica of San Giorgio entirely covered in marble.
Dwejra Bay, Fungus Rock and the former Blue Window
In the northwestern part of Gozo is Dwejra, home to the famous Azure Window which collapsed in 2017. But in Dwejra Bay there is much more to see. The more adventurous cannot miss the Blue Hole, one of the best dive sites in Gozo: you dive into the cavity to then reach the sea through an underwater arch of 7 meters. The Fungus Rock, a rock that was once guarded because a mushroom that was believed to have beneficial properties grew there. Some scenes from the first season of Game of Thrones were shot in the Dwejra Bay area.
Not far from Dwejra Bay, there is another must-see attraction in Gozo: the Ta'Pinu Basilica. An imposing construction that is located in the middle of expanses of fields, with only the sea as a background.
Xwjeni Saltpans / Marsalforn
A few kilometers from the town of Marsalforn are these saltpans. A spectacular chessboard that extends for a few kilometers a few steps from the sea.
A valley rich in flora and fauna that turns yellow from spring to autumn thanks to millions of small flowers. In this area is the Wied Il-Mielah Window, a natural arch considered the heir of the Azure Window.
On the southwestern coast of Gozo is Ix-Xlendi Bay, the ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. A small sandy beach leads into shallow waters perfect for young and old. Xlendi is a typical fishing village with restaurants, bars and hotels.
The red sand beach on the north coast of the island. A wonderful place to swim, snorkel and relax in the sun. It is a part of the coast that is still largely unspoiled, except for the presence of some bars.
L-Għar Tal-Mixta (Mixta Cave)
This cave is one of Gozo's "hidden beauties". It is a cavity inhabited since ancient times that overlooks the beautiful red sands of Ramla l-Ħamra, on the opposite side of the iconic Calypso Cave, and the terraced fields behind it. Perfect for watching the sunset.
The Ggantija megalithic temple complex is located in Xaghra, east of Victoria. This Unesco World Heritage Site is thought to be older than the Egyptian pyramids and Stonehenge! "Ggantija" means "giant" in Maltese as the Gozitans were convinced that only giants would be able to carry and lift rocks of this size. The site is made up of 2 temples: the southern one and the northern one, together they form the largest megalithic complex in the Maltese archipelago.
They are located south of Victoria, in Sannat, overlooking the sea. Access to the cliffs is not easy to find: from the Sannat square, follow the signs for the Ta'Cenc Hotel. From here, take the road to the left of the hotel entrance which will lead you up to the cliffs. In our opinion, a place not to be missed.
WHAT TO DO IN MALTA and GOZO
Sunbathe in one of the many beaches of Malta
Here are the ones not to be missed:
Golden Bay - A wide expanse of golden sand known to the Maltese as "Ir-Ramla tal-Mixquqa" in the north of the island. Fine sand, crystal clear sea and bathing services make this beach one of the busiest in Malta. Easily accessible both by car and by public transport (from Sliema or Bugibba).
Ghajn Tuffieha Bay - Another beautiful unspoiled beach just off Golden Bay. It is accessed by going down 200 steps directly from the parking (free) where you can leave your car.
Ghadira Bay - The largest beach in Malta, located in the north of the island (east coast). Easily accessible also by bus (from Valletta, Sliema and St, Julians).
Paradise Bay - One of the most beautiful beaches in Malta, at the northernmost point of the island, near Mellieha Bay. You are dazzled by the beauty of the water in this stretch of coast. Very beautiful but also very small. If you want to find a place you have to arrive very early.
Gnejna Bay - Two kilometers from the village of Mgarr, in the western part of the island and just south of Golden Bay. Surrounded by two promontories, it is accessed by going down the steps near the Riviera bus stop.
Prendere il Sole in una delle tante Spiagge di Gozo
Ecco quelle da non perdere:
Ramla Bay - The best beach in Gozo and probably in the whole Maltese archipelago (in our opinion the best beaches are in fact in Gozo and Comino). A wide expanse of red sand, known by locals as "Ramla il-Ħamra" (the red sand beach), on the north coast of the island.
Baia di San Blas - A small bay near the village of Nadur on the north-east coast. Sand, rocks and shallow, crystal clear water make this beach the most beautiful in Gozo. It can only be accessed on foot and the last part is quite steep. The only bus that arrives in this area is the 303 (don't get off at Blas, but at Weraq).
Dahlet Qorrot - If you are not a sand lover, this pebble beach is perfect for you. It is located near Nadur.
Hondoq Ir Rummien - A small and beautiful cove with crystal clear waters in front of the island of Comino, in the south of Gozo, protected by rocks on both sides.
Visit the island of Comino
Enjoy some sun and sea with one of the many boat trips that will make you discover Comino and the Blue Lagoon.
Take a trip to the Ta'Qali Craft Village
A traditional village to see in Malta and perfect for looking for a souvenir to take home. The city of Ta'Qali is known, in fact, for the production of handicrafts of all kinds: ceramics, glass objects, costume jewelery and much more.
Have fun at Popeye Village & Anchor Bay
Did you know that the 1980 Popeye movie starring Robin Williams was shot in Malta? In the north of the island a colorful film set has been set up, now converted into a theme park with paid admission. For those who do not want to enter, the village can be admired from the vantage point exactly on the other side of the bay in an elevated position.
Visit the National Aquarium of Malta
Another of the must-see places in Malta, with more than 200 species of fish, coming from the waters surrounding the island. Experience the thrill of walking under the sea admiring a myriad of fish around you.
See the Malta Aviation Museum
In the Second World War Malta played a fundamental role thanks to its strategic geographical position, becoming an important air base for the Allies. For fans of these themes the Malta Aviation Museum can be very interesting.
Watch a Sunset at Dwejra Bay
One of the best things to do in Malta. It is said that the best sunsets to see in Malta are seen from one of Gozo's jewels, Dwejra Bay. Although the famous Azure Window no longer exists, this area still remains a very fascinating place.
Visit the Palazzo Parisio, the "Versailles Maltese"
A beautiful noble palace in the city of Naxxar, in the north of Malta. Dating back to 1700, it boasts beautiful Italian-style gardens that will leave you speechless (Think that they are the only gardens outside Italy to have been included in the network of the Great Italian Gardens). Inside you can relax in the restaurant or in the tea room.
Gozo Scuba Diving
This island offers optimal diving conditions all year round, crystal clear water and a great variety of underwater life. Among the best dive sites in Gozo are the Blue Hole, Crocodile Rock, Fungus Rock, Reqqa Point and Double Arch Reef.
Go for a Jet Ski Tour
Have you ever experienced the thrill of a jet ski ride? In Malta you can take a one hour guided tour in one of the most beautiful places in Malta: the south of the island of Gozo, near Comino.
BEST EVENTS of MALTA & GOZO
Carnival in Malta is certainly the most colorful event of the year and Valletta and the city of Floriana are the protagonists in this period, with large parades of allegorical floats, masks of all kinds, music and parties. In Paceville, however, the nightlife of Malta is unleashed, with parties that last all night. While if you are looking for a slightly more bizarre version, go to the village of Nadur in Gozo.
Malta Pride (September)
Malta Gay Pride, held annually in September, is one of the most celebrated gay pride events in Europe. Malta is consistently ranked as one of the most LGBTQ + friendly countries in Europe according to the ILGA Rainbow Index. Malta Gay Pride is made up of is a series of cultural events, parties, festivals, conferences, fashion nights and other activities that culminate in a weekend parade through the streets of the capital.
Shipwreck of San Paolo (February)
On 10 February, the feast of the shipwreck of St Paul (the patron saint of Malta) is the first "holiday" in Malta's annual calendar of events. For the Maltese tradition it was a very important day because the Saint, following the shipwreck in the Maltese archipelago, brought Christianity to the island. St Paul's Street, in Valletta, is the centerpiece of the celebrations in honor of the saint, with a procession carrying the statue of St. Paul through the streets of the center to the Grand Harbor, in a shower of confetti thrown from the balconies, ending with fireworks.
Holy Week (April)
Those lucky enough to visit Malta in this period can fully grasp the flavor of the Maltese tradition. All the cities of the archipelago organize processions and numerous rites that continue until Easter. The most popular procession is that of Valletta, where penitents walk barefoot or with chains around their ankles. in this period you can taste the Figolli, the typical Easter almond biscuits.
Malta International Fireworks Festival (April)
The best fireworks factories in the world come together to create a wonderful and fascinating light and sound show. The show is held in Valletta's Grand Harbor and the best place to see the fireworks display at its best is Ta 'Liesse / Lascaris Wharf or on the ramparts overlooking the harbor.
Malta Jazz Festival (July)
On the waterfront of Valletta's Grand Harbor, the Malta Jazz Festival brings together the best Maltese and international jazz players who perform for a few evenings. An event that for thirty years has become a must on the Maltese cultural scene.
Isle of MTV (July)
Malta has been home to MTV's music festival since 2007, with big names on stage such as Lady Gaga, Enrique Iglesias, The Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta and many more.
Malta International Air Show (September)
If you are a fan of airplanes you will love this aerobatic flight show held at Malta International Airport. Every year the four most famous acrobatic teams in the world perform in this show (including Italian Freccie Tricolori).
Rolex Middle Sea Race (October)
A nautical show organized by the Royal Malta Yacht Club, which sees the participating boats depart from the Grand Harbor of Malta, circumnavigate Sicily and return to Malta for a total of 606 nautical miles.
One of the most fascinating and romantic events on the calendar in Malta. The town of Vittoriosa (also known as Birgu) lights up with thousands of candles and lanterns, a truly unique sight. On this occasion, cultural events, concerts and historical reinterpretations are organized.
White Night (October)
Another big party, this time in Valletta. Exhibitions, shows, music and much more enliven the capital for a night of culture (all events and museums are free) and fun.
WHERE TO STAY in MALTA & GOZO?
BEST LGBT FRIENDLY HOTELS & APARTMENTS in MALTA & GOZO
Valletta - Palazzo Consiglia ****
- Read here below Map'Hotel • PALAZZO CONSIGLIA
St Julian's - HOLM Boutique & Spa ****
- Read here below Map'Hotel • HOLM BOUTIQUE & SPA
St Julian's - H Hotel & Spa - Adults Only ****
St Julian's - Number 11, Urban Hotel
St Julian's - InterContinental Malta *****
St Julian's - Cavalieri Art Hotel ****
Sliema - The Waterfront Hotel ****
Sliema - Sliema Marina Hotel ****
Sliema - Ax The Palace *****
Sliema - Two Pillows Boutique Hostel **
Marsaxlokk - Port View Guest House ***
Victoria (Gozo) - The Duke Boutique Hotel ***
Xlendi (Gozo) - View Point Boutique Living Xlendi Gozo
Map'Hotel • PALAZZO CONSIGLIA
A magnificent Boutique Hotel in the heart of Valletta belonging to the Ikonika Hotels group. Upon entering, one immediately perceives the beauty of the historic building that houses this hotel: sand-colored walls (typically Maltese), soft lighting, works of art and a beautiful internal courtyard. Recently opened, the hotel has 13 rooms, each with its own name and their own thematic decor. Sirena, Nautica, Amante, Traveler are just some of the suites. We had the pleasure of staying in the Religiosa, a room embellished with vintage furniture, rich chandeliers and a very large bathroom.
Here at Palazzo Consiglio do not miss the Roof Terrace with swimming pool directly on the roofs of Malta and the beautiful Spa, the ancient cellar of the building converted into a luxurious Wellness area.
Map'Hotel • HOLM BOUTIQUE & SPA
The Boutique & Spa Hotel, belonging to the Ikonika Hotels group, is located in a quiet street in St. Julians. An "outside the box" Boutique Hotel with designer furnishings and themed rooms. Each room transports the customer into a sort of colorful and imaginative parallel world. Infinity pool overlooking Balluta Bay, indoor pool, Spa & Wellness area complete the range of services offered by this beautiful hotel.
WHERE TO EAT in MALTA & GOZO?
BEST TYPICAL RESTAURANTS of MALTA & GOZO Quality / Price
Valletta (Malta) - €€€ - Capo Crudo (RistoLounge)
Valletta (Malta) - € - San Paolo Naufrago (Italian Restaurant)
Valletta (Malta) - €€ - Margo's Restaurant (Italian Restaurant)
Valletta (Malta) - €€ - Sicilia Restaurant Tony's (Sicilian Restaurant)
Marsaxlokk - €€ - T'Annamari Restaurant (Sicilian Restaurant)
Marsaxlokk - €€ - Capo Mulini Ristorante
Senglea (Malta) - €€€ - Hammett's Maċina Restaurant
Xlendi (Gozo) - €€€ - Ta' Karolina Restaurant
Mgaar (Malta) - €€ - Il-Barri (Maltese Restaurant)
St Julian's (Malta) - € - D Burgers (Delicious burgers!)
St Julian's (Malta) - € - Hermanos Burguer y Badass
Valletta (Malta) - €€ - Ortygia (Sicilian Restaurant)
Mellieha (Malta) - €€€ - Commando Restaurant (French Restaurant)
Vittoriosa/Birgu (Malta) - €€ - Tal-Petut
Mdina/Rabat (Malta) - €€ - Don Mesquita Restaurant
Mdina/Rabat (Malta) - €€€ - Grotto Tavern
Mdina/Rabat (Malta) - € - Is-Serkin - Crystal Palace Bar (the Best Pastizzi in Malta!)
Ta'Xbiex (Malta) - €€ - Mamma Mia (Maltese and Italian Restaurant)
In-Nadur (Gozo) - € - Maxokk Bakery (Typical Pizzeria in Gozo)
WHAT TO EAT in MALTA & GOZO?
BEST TYPICAL DISHES of MALTA & GOZO
You can't visit Malta and not try the local sourdough bread. With a crunchy exterior and an irresistibly soft interior, it resembles our ciabatta and can be seasoned as you prefer it is often eaten with tuna, olives, tomatoes and onions).
Perhaps the most popular Maltese snack, pastizzi are a puff pastry filled with ricotta or peas. They can be found all over the island, so you can't leave without tasting one (also because they cost an average of 50 cents each!). They are definitely our favorite Maltese food.
A traditional rabbit stew, considered Malta's national dish. The rabbit is cooked slowly in a delicious tomato sauce, red wine and garlic.
Bean or broad bean sauce perfect for an aperitif, usually accompanied by cockerels or croutons.
Lampuki is a common fish caught all over the island that is cooked as a filling for a delicious fish pie, containing potatoes, spinach, capers, mint and olive oil.
Octopus stew used as a condiment for a nice plate of spaghetti.
The Maltese version of ratatouille, made with fresh tomatoes, capers, aubergines and green peppers.
Involtini di melanzane di Gozo alla griglia
Gozitan aubergines combined with one of the local cheeses and cherry tomatoes make for a simple and tasty snack.
A baked macaroni pie. Macaroni are seasoned with meat sauce, covered with puff pastry and baked.
A spicy and typical delight of the Christmas period. Qagħaq tal-għasel literally means "honey rings", even if there is no trace of honey.
TRAVEL TIPS about MALTA & GOZO by World Mappers
Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus - The Hop-on Hop-off Tourist Bus is a good solution for those who don't have much time or don't want to drive (in Malta you drive on the right). These buses stop at all the main attractions of the island and you can get off the bus (and get back on it) whenever you want. 1 Day or 2 Day Option (more advantageous). There are two main lines:
North Route (tra le fermate: Bugibba, Qawra, Sliema, Valletta, Ta'Qali Crafts Village, Mosta Church, St Julian's, Ta'Qali Aviation museum, Mdina, Golden Bay)
South Route (tra le fermate: St Julian's, Sliema, Valletta, Vittoriosa, Marsaxlokk, Blue Grotto, Ghar Dalam, Hagar Qim Temples & Mnajdra Temples)
Extra Gozo Tour (tra le fermate: Nadur, Mgarr, Fontana, Ggantija, Dwejra, Ta'Pinu)
Enjoy the region from one of Malta's Best Viewpoints. Our favorites are:
Tigné Point - The view from Sliema over Valletta is like a postcard. Of all the honey-colored buildings, the huge dome of St Paul's Cathedral stands out and for us it is one of the most beautiful views in Malta. But be careful, just go down the ramp that leads to the quay and you will have an even more beautiful view of Valletta but above all with much less people!
Red Tower of Santa Agata - To the north of Malta there is a 17th century defensive tower from the top of which you have a beautiful view of the islands of Gozo and Comino. If you like walking, there are also beautiful trails with great views in the surroundings.
Grand Harbor from Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens, Valletta - The Upper Gardens offer stunning views across Grand Harbor, the Three Cities and Fort Sant'Angelo. Just below these Gardens is the Saluting Battery, from which cannon shots resound every day (at 12.00 and 16.00). From the Lower Gradens, however, the view is lost towards the infinite horizon.
Dingli Cliffs- From the top of the cliffs on the east coast of Malta, overlooking the sea at more than 200 meters above sea level, the view is something really exciting: the blue of the sea that mixes with the blue of the sky really leaves without words. Not to mention the spectacle that this place offers at sunset.
Mgarr Harbour, Gozo - Pass the Grand Hotel and take the road to Nadur / Qala. From here you can see both Comino and Malta in the distance. Even from this point, the spectacle at sunset is guaranteed.
A must-see church in Malta is the Rotunda of Mosta, also known as the Rotonda di Santa Maria Assunta. Inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, it was built in the mid-1800s and during the Second World War, what the Maltese consider a miracle happened: The German air force dropped a bomb that pierced the dome but never exploded.
Don't miss St Peter's Pool, a beautiful natural pool very close to Marsaxlok, with crystal clear water and surrounding flat rocks, perfect for sunbathing. It can be reached by car by parking just before a downhill road that will lead you to the cliff. Or by bus, getting off at Abdosir stop and walking for about half an hour.
A very special place to see in Malta is the "fjord" of Wied Il-Ghasri, a small and narrow fjord that ends in a very small pebble beach. Along the cliff there are several rocky areas where you can spread out your towel for sunbathing.
One of the most popular places to see in Malta is the natural window of the Tal-Mixta Cave, north of Gozo. A "window" overlooking the beautiful Ramla beach. The red of the sand in contrast with the blue of the sea and the green of the fields create a wonderful effect.
Also discover other wonderful islands such as