Located right in the middle of the Mediterranean, the Maltese Islands may be compact in size, however, they are crammed with magnificent sights ranging from prehistoric temples that are thought to have been erected around 5000 years ago to fortified cities brimming with culture and history and awe-inspiring natural wonders like crystal clear lagoons and various rock formations. So if you’re thinking of visiting the islands, here are various sightseeing tours that you might take into consideration if you’d like to explore local places of interest and attractions.
Local tour operators and travel agents offer a range of travel solutions that include both corporate and leisure packages. Typically these are carried out via a tour bus or coach, however, some companies also carry out walking excursions. Depending on the package booked, guided tours may also be an option where a guide provides an informative narration. Alternatively, an audio commentary is otherwise available in several languages amongst which include Italian, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Chinese and Greek.
Typically, most land tours are divided by location. Make sure you visit the capital city of Valletta, the silent city of Mdina, the fortified three cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua, the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, the megalithic temple complex of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra, as well as the neighbouring islands of Gozo and Comino.
Similarly to other countries, another popular alternative is the hop on hop off, double-decker open-top buses that features 40 points of interest along its routes. Other companies that also offer a number of full day or half day tours across the island are transport service providers who can also take care of your airport, hotel transfers or cruise liner transfer, while they can also provide VIP tours to corporate clients.
But land excursions do not stop here. As speciality tours have increasingly become popular, a number of operators offer alternative and unique ways of exploring the island. Wondering what this may involve? Get your adrenalin pumping by booking an adventure trip like touring a town or village’s streets riding a quad bike, enjoying a jeep tour in the sister island of Gozo or gliding through fields and narrow side roads on a segway. A more relaxed alternative is getting lost in the unspoilt countryside while riding a horse or touring the various parks like Popeye’s Village that once served as the film set to the 1980 musical Popeye. Additionally, you may want to experience life like the locals do by booking a folklore evening tour offered by the many tour operators and travel agencies. This usually entails visiting a village feast and experiencing the colourful celebrations.
Who says sightseeing tours should be exclusively carried out on land? After all, there’s no better way of appreciating the coastline’s true beauty from the sea. Options for cruising around the island abound, however, amongst the most popular you’ll find the harbour cruise, cruises that will take you to Gozo and Comino, cruises around Malta and sunset cruises. Depending on the operator, most will have an informative commentary, while others may offer a brief stop for swimming and snorkelling. And why not go all out by renting out a yacht all to yourself? Although this is a pricier option, having a private yacht will give you the ultimate flexibility to explore whatever part of the island you wish. A number of operators organise boat parties for those who love partying. Packages vary from company to company and may include an open bar, some light snacks and an onboard DJ. Most are carried out between late afternoons and midnight, yet, others offer afternoon boat parties. Typically, a stop is made at either the Blue Lagoon or some other spot where party-goers can swim in the crystal clear, blue waters.
Looking to experience something out of the ordinary? Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or a complete novice, a fishing trip is a sure way of having fun. These trips are carried out on fully equipped boats that have state of the art fishing equipment, while packages may include things like fuel charges, snacks and drinks, as well as fishing tackle.
How to book a tour
If you’ve booked your holiday to Malta via a local tour operator, in all likelihood sightseeing tours may form part of your package. However, if that’s not the case, worry not. Many sightseeing tours can be booked in advance prior to your departure date either directly via their website or by simply sending the travel agent or tour operator an email. In most cases, you’ll have to pay in full in advance, while you’ll also have the option to select the dates and time, according to availability. Some agents may also accept last minute bookings, however, do note that this might not be an option during peak seasons, typically starting from mid-June right through August.