Visiting Malta in January might not be everyone’s first choice but we recently went and it was great. Mid-January of 2018, my boyfriend and I packed our bags and we went on a ‘semi-sunny’, ‘relaxed’, holiday. We just wanted to avoid the slow moving January. In case you’re interested in visiting Malta in January, but unsure whether it’d be the best- maybe this article will help. I’ll list my pros and cons, which can hopefully help make your decision.
To start with – the cheap flights:
The flight in January was relatively cheap and it is because it’s considered to be low season. Your average tourists in January are seniors and there are very few young tourists to be seen. We bought our tickets 2 months before we were supposed to fly out. We paid about € 175,- each to fly with Air Malta and Lufthansa, and this could have been cheaper but we did buy it somewhat ‘last-minute’.
Tip: You can easily find the best price through Skyscanner. We always use this to compare prices and to see which dates would be the best/cheapest – and specific to our flight Malta, we found that deal on Expedia via Skyscanner.
I can’t lie – the plane that I was on, from Air Malta, was not the best of the best. It was super, super, tiny, and the seats look really dated. It could be that we just got unlucky, so don’t take my words and never fly with their airline. Thankfully it was only a 3 hour flight from Amsterdam, and the flight back was with a nicer plane from Lufthansa. Overall, wasn’t a bad deal/journey.
The bonus for flying in the Winter season: you get to fly over the snowy Alps!
The average hotel price in January is, again, relatively cheap. We stayed at Seashells Resort at Suncrest in St. Paul’s Bay, which is a 4-star resort hotel with 2 pools, a spa, and a pretty nice location overlooking the ocean, surrounded by restaurants. St. Paul’s Bay is a pretty quiet area but we didn’t mind so much, the hotel was right in front of the bus stop (which by the way is super useful for intercity trips – the bus goes into all the popular destinations).
For 9 nights, breakfast included, we only paid € 144,- each.
A mini-review: The photos online shows a pretty accurate representation of the actual room but, I would say that it looks a little bit more dated in real life. It wasn’t a spectacular resort but it was pretty good, and I can’t complain for the price that I did pay. I think it’s amazing value-for-money.
Honestly…. IT WAS SO SURPRISINGLY NICE! When we went there it was solid 15-18/19c during the day, and it was about 9/10-12c during the night? The wind was also never too bad (less than expected). I was wearing thin jacket/cardigan, or basically just a normal sweater without any jacket everyday (but funnily enough, locals would dress with a super thick parka as if it was -2).
The above is basically what I would wear day-to-day. And look at this!
The water is so clear and the sun is shining so bright. It drove me crazy.
It’s not the best swimming weather but it’s totally doable. The water is a bit chilly but the sun was warm enough to make up for it. Unfortunately sometimes there was the wind, and then it gets a bit too much.
Still, the weather and the sun is nice enough for long walks around the cities. It’s also the weather to just sit outside in a nice bar/cafe and drink a bottle of wine. This also brings me to my next topic.
Are there really still things to do in Malta in January?
Yes! Of course. As I mentioned, the weather is not horrible and despite it being low season, there were still tourists. Everyday, my boyfriend and I would have always something to-do. Minus the two days we spent just watching movies and chilling in our hotel. Here’s a small list of things to-do:
- There’s the Sunday Fish Market at Marsaxlokk
- The Catacombs in St. Paul’s near to Mdina
- The Pjazza Mesquita in Mdina
- The Ta’ Qali Crafts Village
- Popeye’s Village in Il-Mellieħa
- Malta National Aquarium in St. Paul’s Bay
- A day trip to the Blue Lagoon and Gozo
- Shopping in Valetta and Sliema
There’s so many other things that you can do. The above were just the ones we managed to visit. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to the other temples, the Dingli Cliffs, nor the Blue Grotto (there were no boats available). Regardless, we had so much fun with all of the other attractions and we always kept our days busy.
To conclude, January is definitely not a bad month to go. Some of the attractions are even discounted because it’s January!
What about the Nightlife?
We were encouraged to visit St. Julian’s for the parties, and so we went. From what we experienced, it seemed that Saturday was not as popular as Friday (just comparing the scene that we saw on Instagram). Also, the streets were crowded with mostly (young-very young) locals and only few tourists.
To be expected when you arrive there, are, literal “Gentlemen clubs”, Shisha lounges, and bars that play top 40. Although there was nothing wrong with that, we didn’t click with the party scene (or that’s just maybe because we didn’t know where to go).
Before coming I was scoping out the stories on Instagram and we had quite high expectations from what we saw. The stories showed lots of people going out and there was even one really good techno party (or so it seems) at one of the clubs called Clique. Unfortunately, when we went on Saturday we didn’t have the same experience. The place was deserted that Saturday and techno was playing, but not because a DJ was there in the DJ booth… It was just because a guy was occasionally visiting the computer and changing the music.
Overall it wasn’t bad but it just didn’t work that well for us. Tips for where to go next time are welcomed in the comment section below!
To conclude, would I really recommend someone to go in January?
Yes. Honestly if you can, go! It was a really interesting break for us. The weather was beyond fine, the price was low, and there was still so many things to do without all the crowd. If you can, I suggest that you make that visit 😊.
Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think.