How to Spend your Summer Nights in Malta & Gozo
by Teresa Borg
It's 7pm. Shops are closing off for the day. You've completed all the necessary errands, and the good news is, it's still light outside! With days getting longer, and temperatures getting higher, the Maltese Islands become more alive in summer, consistent with other Mediterranean countries. The bitter cold temperatures of last winter may have forced you to hibernate inside your home, but summer brings with it the urge to go out and enjoy the nice weather, before winter comes knocking on the door again.
The Maltese Islands are buzzing with life and brimming with activities, every night of the week, and not just during the weekend. The summer vibe can be felt Monday to Sunday, and deciding what to do and where to go may prove to be quite challenging, due to the vast array of entertainment options the country has to offer throughout the hot summer season. In between the summer weddings you'll be invited to (here's a guide on what to wear as a wedding guest), and between your summer work shifts, your event calendar will be swarming with concerts, festivals, BBQs, al fresco dinners, and village feasts.
On the other hand dear tourists, after a busy day exploring the alleys of Mdina, learning about Valletta's architectural heritage, discovering temples, forts and museums, sunbathing on one of the spectacular beaches around Malta or Gozo, church hopping, diving at one of the best diving spots in Malta, exploring the island of Comino, or visiting Maltese and Gozitan villages, it's still not time to go to bed. A quick wash, and off you go immersing yourself into Malta's bustling nightlife.
While the scorching temperatures during the day have become quite unbearable, the agreeable temperatures during night-time gives locals and tourists the chance to head out for a memorable summer night every evening. Regardless of your age, and the mood you're in, you'll definitely find something to keep your summer nights in Malta busy.
Discover Yellow's top 12 picks and make this year's summer nights unforgettable.
If you're up for a culinary treat...
1. Fire up your BBQ
The aroma of char-grilled steaks, the smell of sizzling sausages, and the taste of freshly-grilled meat run parallel to summer. If you haven't removed the cover from your BBQ yet, it's about time you do so while we still have several weeks of summer to go. Still contemplating which BBQ to buy? Explore Yellow's ultimate BBQ buying guide and head down to the local stores, to start hosting BBQs for your friends and family on your roof or backyard this summer. Visit the local butcher shops for the freshest meat steaks and home-made burgers.
Is your outdoor area limited in size? Worry not! Buy a portable BBQ or a disposable one, and head down to your favourite beach. Do note that particular beaches and outdoor spaces may not permit any BBQs, or may have restricted use related to the number of people and the BBQ type. To steer clear of any fines, best to check with the respective local council where you intend to host the BBQ.
Need to organise a BBQ for a large number of guests? No time to plan it as you desire? Local catering companies, such as Neriku, offer BBQ catering packages, providing all the necessary equipment, utensils, cutlery, chefs, waitering staff, and food supplies, which are required for a successful BBQ at home or in any public or private space.
Otherwise, keep your eyes open for fundraising BBQs organised by NGOs in Malta (check out upcoming BBQ in aid of CSAF- Carers for Stray and Abandoned Felines), or book your table at one of the weekly BBQ nights organised by a number of hotels. Check out the BBQ Nights & Late night swimming events organised every Friday at the db Seabank Resort. Another option is to hire a farmhouse offering an all-inclusive BBQ buffet and use of pool for the whole evening.
2. Go for Dinner & Drinks
This is a classic which never gets old. If a relaxing evening is your cup of tea, check out the vast range of restaurants and cafeterias on Yellow, and choose from a number of cuisines and localities. For breathtaking summer sea views and sunset skies, best opt for a waterfront restaurant. Summer is also the time to taste fresh fish dishes, especially in the southernmost village of Marsaxlokk. Satisfy your palate with a mouth-watering ice-cream from one of the ice-cream parlours around Malta and Gozo.
After a scrumptious dinner, explore the range of bars and pubs scattered across the islands, and savour tangy cocktails and tasty beers. Organised pub tours can also be booked by tourists.
Looking for a distinct dining or drinking experience with live gigs? Check out these weekly tantalising events:
We recommend you always book a table beforehand, as the summer season tends to attract locals and tourists every day of the week. Visit tablein.mt to book restaurants online within a few seconds.
If you want to sing and dance the night away...
3. Attend a Summer Party
Malta's title as a 'party haven' fits so perfectly, especially in the summer months, when the entertainment options and the number of events are endless. Forget Paceville, give the standard winter clubs a break, and explore the vast array of night clubs, entertainment places, and open-air venues which attract crowds of partygoers in summer. Local and international guest DJs collaborate to provide sensational parties at renowned venues, such as Gianpula Village, Numero Uno and Cafe del Mar. From pool parties, to beach, foam and boat parties, and themed events, you'd better grab some comfortable dancing shoes if you intend to dance all night long until the early hours of the morning.
Here are some popular weekly parties organised by renowned entertainment companies:
On Thursdays: Cafe del Mar Thursday Pool Parties
On Fridays: Sound Salon & G7 Fridays at Gianpula Village
On Sundays: CDM Sundays
What better way to welcome and wrap up each summer weekend, than with a great party starring a renowned DJ?
August shutdown coming up? If partying is what you have in mind, book your tickets to Glitch Festival, being held at Gianpula Village between the 14th and 16th of August. It is one of the festivals which attracts the most foreigners, and has retained its reputation year after year. The Santa Maria week will also see David Guetta, James Arthur, Paul Kalkbrenner, and other stars performing at ta Qali National Park, with these parties organised by Summer Daze Malta. G7 events will also bring other DJs, such as the renowned Robin Shulz at Cafe del Mar.
Interested? Visit ticketarena.com.mt and showshappening.com to book your tickets and learn about upcoming events. Try to grab early bird tickets where possible, as this will help you save so much money, especially if your plan is to attend every party and festival there is.
4. Visit a Festival
Food, drinks, and good music… what better way to make the most of a summer night? A lot of festivals in summer boast a free entrance, and you'd just need to pay for any food or drinks you buy. Here are some upcoming festivals which deserve to be jotted down on your calendar:
- 25 July-3 August: Farsons Beer Festival
- 26-28 July: Mellieha Nights
- 6 August: Coldplay at Ghaxaq Music Festival
- 7 August: Smokie Live in Concert at Ghaxaq Music Festival
- 10 August: Queen at Ghaxaq Music Festival
- 8-10 August: Delicata Classic Wine Festival
- 9-10 August: Gozo edition: Malta International Food Festival
- 23- 24 August: Gozo Beer & Music Festival
- 23-25 August: Delicata Classic Wine festival- Gozo
- 30 August- 2 September: Malta Craft Beer Festival
- 7 September: Qormi Cheese & Wine Festival
- 16-22 September: The Bubble
- 20-22 September: Oktoberfest Malta
Apart from music and food festivals, you can also find several artisan markets providing you with the opportunity to explore handmade and homemade items related to home decor, fashion, and much more. These markets are an opportunity for local artists, craftspeople, and entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative work to locals and tourists alike. Maltese folklore nights are also organised from May till October on a weekly basis, so make sure you check these out as well.
5. Attend a Music Concert or an Outdoor Theatrical Show
Want to hear some local and international talent? Summer sees live concerts and theatrical shows being held under the stars at open-air venues. Local artists and performers from across the world will entertain people with their musical and theatrical talents, making each of your summer nights in Malta and Gozo as memorable as they can get. The open-air theatre in Valletta- 'Pjazza Teatru Rjal', is a popular venue for summer performances, together with St George's Square in Valletta and 'Il-Fosos' in Floriana.
Upcoming concerts you should consider attending include:
- 24 August: Joseph Calleja in collaboration with Andrea Bocelli
- 4 September: Versatile & Friends for ALS 2019
- 14 September: Malta Pride March and Concert
Apart from shows by renowned artists, summer sees a surge in performances carried out by emerging artists in low-key bars and pubs. These small live gigs are more suitable for a romantic night out, as they create a more intimate atmosphere, and introduce people to alternative music.
Interested in a mix of music, drama, dance, film, talks and discussions? Check out the Evenings on Campus organised at the University of Malta during the summer season.
If you take joy in nature...
6. Go for a late-night swim or a sunset boat trip
If crowded beaches are not your thing, consider going for a late-night swim at one of the stupendous beaches around Malta and Gozo. The sea temperature will be ideal and you may even have the whole bay to yourself if you're lucky. If a distinctive experience is what you're looking for, book a sunset boat trip. Watch the sun setting on the horizon of the Mediterranean Sea, and enjoy a pleasant and relaxing swim when all other boats and swimmers have called it a day. You may even decide to charter a private boat, and try out some night fishing.
Not the beach type? We've got you covered! A number of hotels and beach clubs offer late-night swimming, together with dinner and drinks at their very own swimming pools. The Palace is one such hotel which also offers cocktail happy hours every Tuesday.
Go grab your swimsuit and plunge into the water now!
7. Go Camping
An option which may not come to mind during this time of year, but one you should consider if you're into nature, is going camping. Go to a campsite just before it gets dark, and set your tent up in the evening. This way your tent won't absorb the heat of the day, and you won't get sweaty setting it up. The next morning you can make your way back home, just before the sun starts sweltering again.
Check out our ultimate guide on how to survive camping in summer, and make sure you invest in the necessary camping equipment to keep you cool and mosquito-free at night for a more enjoyable experience.
8. Opt for an evening stroll
The Maltese Islands boast several picturesque promenades, coastal, and cliff-edge walks which offer spectacular views in the evenings. Go for a walk along the coastal shores of Sliema, Ta' Xbiex, St Paul's Bay, Bugibba, B'Bugia, Marsaskala, Marsaxlokk, and the Three Cities, where you can expect to enjoy a refreshing summer breeze at night. Dingli Cliffs, Selmun, Wied iz-Zurrieq, Mdina, and Valletta also offer sensational views.
Moreover, you can buy a good bottle of wine, a few tasty nibbles, and find a spot where you can have a relaxing night with breathtaking views. If you're more inclined towards peace and quiet, this is a serene option you really should consider. Make sure you have a flashlight handy as certain places are dimly lit at night.
Otherwise, why not book an evening horse riding session and enjoy the evening breeze and a spectacular sunset on horseback? It will definitely be an experience to remember!
If you want to get into a festive mood...
9. Visit a Village Feast & Watch the Fireworks
Heading down to a village feast is always alluring. From brass band parades, processions, concerts, air and ground fireworks, your evening will be sorted. The months of May till September see every village and town in Malta and Gozo celebrate their respective patron saint week after week (Check out the annual feast calendar here). You'd be able to visit a different locality every weekend, and revel in their celebrations. You can appreciate the decorative statues, festoons, banners and flags which are put up on the roads, and which decorate the facades of private buildings.
Air and ground fireworks are an integral part of these village feasts, with fireworks enthusiasts making every effort to enhance their work and showcase new and innovative pyrotechnic ensembles every year. Fireworks synchronised with music are especially gaining popularity, as they create a more enjoyable performance. If you're in a festive mood, this is the place to be.
These feasts also provide you with the opportunity to taste typical Maltese delicacies, such as the nougat. However, fast food kiosks are unfortunately taking over in most villages.
If you don't feel like going out…
10. Create an Outdoor Cinema
Has it been a long day? Don't feel like going out? Why not create an outdoor cinema in your backyard? All you need is a projector and a DIY sofa to get you started. Check out these 5 summer drinks, refreshing summer cocktails, and ice-cream recipes you can try out from before, to create the perfect accompaniment to the movie.
Make sure you invest in a reliable insect repellent, or you won't be watching much of the movie, in between the groaning and the scratching. Check out these homemade insect repellents to repel all possible bugs.
If you want to get on the move...
11. Get active at a Sport event
Let's face it: Malta's sweltering hot temperatures make it impossible to carry out any form of physical activity during the day. Sport events are, hence, organised in the evenings, when temperatures would be more bearable. Get active and register for one of these races, and others:
- 2 August: The House of Sport 10K Night Run
- 9 August: Rock & Run 5K
- 13 August: Eurosport 5K Road Running series
If you're still not quite at the competing level, you can still go for a night hike around quiet villages in Malta and Gozo with your friends.
If your time in Malta is limited...
12. Book a Night Tour
This one is especially dedicated for tourists. Book a night tour on one of the sightseeing buses around Malta and Gozo and discover Malta by night. You get to experience a number of breathtaking views from strategic points at Valletta, Mdina and Birgu, and see the Maltese Islands in a different light. Otherwise, you may book a cab, and the driver will take you around the areas of your choice.
So… we've given you our top recommendations and now it's your turn. While you're scrolling down your Facebook newsfeed, take the opportunity to explore upcoming events, follow top clubs and entertainment companies, listen out to radio ads, and see what your friends are up to in the coming summer days. Start sorting out your night outs, and don't miss out on popular performers, bands and artists. Your calendar will be looking full in no time.
Crucial tip: make sure you never mix drinking and driving together! Book a cab, taxi, or a mini-bus if you're a large group, and enjoy your evening from beginning to end without worrying on how to return back home safe and sound.
Explore 6 places where you can enjoy a summer holiday in Malta and create a summer bucket list for yourself and your friends.
Keep on discovering local with Yellow.