We visited Malta in February, because we wanted to escape the dreary weather of mainland Europe, spend time by the sea, and hike in winter (without snowshoes).
January and February are typically the coldest and wettest months of the year in Malta. While February might be cold by Maltese standards, it’s not very cold if you’re coming from the north. Daytime temperatures hover between 14°C – 17 °C (57.2 °F – 62.6 °F) and nighttime temperatures drop to 8°C – 11°C (46.4 °F – 51.8 °F). Warm layers and a jacket are essential.
During our visit, we experienced brilliant blue skies, vibrant sunsets, some very strong winds, and only one day of light showers. The scenery is astonishingly green and flowers are blooming absolutely everywhere. People dine al fresco. And the cities are lively, without being overcrowded. It feels like quintessential springtime.
Because February is firmly off-season, traffic is manageable (though still congested), parking is readily available, restaurant reservations aren’t necessary, beaches are empty, and the coastal trails are peaceful. It’s a great time of year to prioritize popular destinations like the walled city of Mdina.
There are about 11 hours of daylight in Malta in February. The sun rises around 6:35 am and sets around 5:55 pm.
Visiting Malta in February: Top Things to See & Do
Malta Travel Tips
- Maltese Islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino
- Driving: Left Side
- Power Socket: Type G (like the UK)
- Parking: Only park between white lines. In free public car parks, there may be parking attendants who assist with parking. Tips are voluntary.
- Tap Water: The tap water is desalinated sea water. It’s technically drinkable, but locals mostly drink filtered water or bottled water.
- Emergency Number: 112
- Public Transit: Malta Public Transport is the Maltese bus operator.
- Ferries to Gozo Island: Gozo Channel Line (Cirkewwa – Mgarr) for cars and pedestrians and Gozo Fast Ferry (Valletta – Mgarr) for pedestrians only.
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Places to Visit in Malta in February
Malta Island is the largest island in the Maltese Archipelago, home to Valletta (capital city), Mdina (old fortified medieval city), and the Malta International Airport. Most visitors will stay on Malta Island for the full duration of their trip.
Mdina and Rabat
Mdina (aka Città Vecchia and Città Notabile) and Rabat are two inland towns in southwest Malta, situated next to each other.
- Where: Malta Island
- Entrance Fee: None
- Free Parking: Park outside Mdina in the public parking lot (Google Maps) or along the street, between white lines. We parked along Triq Gheriexem near the Domvs Romana museum. There’s also a small car park in the moat of Mdina, accessible by a narrow tunnel. Only Mdina residents are permitted to drive and park inside the walled city.
- Bus Stop: Mdina
Strategically built on a hill and enclosed by fortified bastion walls, honey-colored Mdina looks impenetrable. The walled city served as the island’s capital from antiquity until the medieval period, when the Knights of Malta arrived in 1530.
Mdina is the most popular day trip destination in Malta. In February, visitors continuously shuffle in and out of the city, but it’s altogether very peaceful.
The whole city is pedestrianized. Only Mdina residents are permitted to drive and park within the city walls.
To enter Mdina, walk across the moat bridge to the Main Gate. Mdina’s main entrance was featured in several Kings Landing scenes in Game of Thrones.
The Mdina Dungeons Museum and National Museum of Natural History are located just beyond the entrance. There’s no right, or wrong way to explore the city. Meander through the narrow, maze-like roads, taking in the high limestone walls, incredible silence (it’s truly a “Silent City”), and various places of interest, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, Chapel of St Roque, Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum.
Where to Stay in Mdina
The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux is a luxury boutique hotel housed in an antique-filled 17th-century palace within the city walls of Mdina. In fact, it’s the only hotel in Mdina. It pays homage to its noble past without ever feeling tired. Xara Palace is celebrated for its highly personal service, 17 uniquely-furnished rooms, Michelin-starred de Mondion restaurant, nextdoor Trattoria AD1530 restaurant, rooftop terrace breakfast (extra charge).
When you exit the main gate of Mdina, cross the road. Now, you’re in Rabat. Stop by Is-Serkin – Crystal Palace Bar for oven-fresh pastizzi. A pastizz is a traditional savory pastry filled with various fillings, like cheese, peas, and meat. Priced at a very friendly .50 EUR per pastry, it’s easy to sample each one.
Continue walking along Triq San Pawl, passing various cafés and eateries. Rabat is charming and full of character. The atmosphere is far livelier than stoic and noble Mdina. We simply loved walking Rabat’s streets without any set goal.
However, Rabat is home to several notable attractions including the St. Paul’s Catacombs (underground Roman cemeteries), Casa Bernard (16th century palazzo), Domus Romana (mosaic pavements of an ancient Roman villa).
To get the most out of your Mdina and Rabat visit, you may want to join a guided excursion:
- Mdina City Walking Tour
- Mdina and Rabat Walking Tour
- From Valletta: Rabat, Mdina, & San Anton Gardens Tour
- Where: Malta Island
- Entrance Fee: None
- Free Parking: There is free parking along the ring road. Note: traffic within the city is restricted and many roads are pedestrian-only. This guide explains where to find parking.
- Bus Stop: Valletta Bus Terminus
Valletta is the vibrant capital city of Malta and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The honey-colored city is perched between two natural harbors, Grand Harbor and Marsamxett harbor, and enclosed by imposing bastion walls. It’s a striking, fortified city brimming with Baroque architecture, narrow streets accented by colorful covered balconies (gallariji), wide-open piazze, and darling cafés.
There’s a lot to see and do in and around Valletta, including visiting St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Lower and Upper Barrakka Gardens, the Three Cities, and the Sliema promenade. Check out these tours:
- Valletta: 3-Hour Walking Tour
- Valletta: Street Food and Culture Walking Tour
- Valletta: Guided Walking Tour with St. John’s Co-Cathedral
- Valletta and 3 Cities Private 4-Hour Shore Excursion
Where to Stay in Valletta
Budget | Casa Asti is a budget-friendly and sparkling-clean guesthouse, located near the Upper Barrakka Gardens. Guests love the location and the staff.
Midrange | Ursulino Valletta is a bed and breakfast set in a modern post-war building on a quiet street in the city center. Guests love the sleek interior design and sea views from the rooftop terrace. A fabulous breakfast is served on the rooftop.
Luxury | The Phoenicia Malta is an elegant art deco hotel, situated just outside Valletta’s City Gate. The Phoenicia dazzles with its airy 1920s-style interiors, large terrace overlooking the city walls, outdoor infinity pool, and Deep Nature Spa facilities (indoor pool, steam room, Finnish sauna), free for hotel guests. Breakfast is served daily in the Phoenix Restaurant.
If you’re looking for a luxury option within the city walls, check out 66 Saint Paul’s Boutique Hotel.
Places to Visit in Gozo in February
Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese Archipelago.
If you’re traveling by car, drive to the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal and take the Gozo Channel Line to Mgarr, Gozo. Note: You don’t pay anything on the outbound journey to Gozo. You only pay on the return journey.
Pedestrians can also take the Gozo Channel Line from Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal, but the pedestrian Gozo Fast Ferry from Valletta might be more convenient. From the Gozo Ferry Terminal in Mgarr, you can hop on the Gozo 1-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Sightseeing Bus Tour.
Alternatively, opt for a guided excursion with a stress-free hotel pick-up.
- Gozo Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of Malta’s Sister Island
- Full-Day Gozo Island Excursion from Malta
- Gozo: Private Full Day Island Tour
Gozo is a gorgeous island, worthy of at least 2-3 nights. The most central place to stay is the island’s capital city: Victoria. Check out The Duke Boutique Hotel.
However, you’ll find some lovely accommodations sprinkled across the island, including Viewpoint Boutique Living Xlendi Gozo and Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz.
- Where: Gozo Island
- Entrance Fee: None
- Free Parking: There’s a free parking area in Xlendi Village, next to the bus stop. Exact location: Google Maps.
- Bus Stop: Xlendi, Bus Lines 306 or 330 connect Victoria to Xlendi Beach.
Xlendi is a small seaside village, huddled around Xlendi Bay in the southwest coast of Gozo. It’s only an 8-minute drive from Victoria.
Though small, this Gozitan village boasts a number of bustling seaside restaurants and a few accommodations.
Xlendi Bay is also a popular destination for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.
The best coastal hike in Gozo starts in Xlendi. The coastal path passes the Xlendi Watch Tower, wraps around several idyllic coves, and then leads to the vertical Sanap Sea Cliffs. Read our Sanap Cliffs Trail Guide for more info.
This is an easy-going, gorgeous trail best walked in the late afternoon. Time your walk with sunset at the salt pans below Xlendi Tower.
Where to Stay in Xlendi
Viewpoint Boutique Living Xlendi Gozo is a top-rated accommodation in Xlendi, 1.1 km inland from Xlendi Beach. With its idyllic surroundings, beautiful furnishings, and private outdoor pool, Viewpoint Boutique Living is the perfect getaway on Gozo Island. Breakfast is excellent. And, the staff is very obliging. This is a perfect place to stay if you want to visit Xlendi Beach, walk to the Sanap Cliffs, and take in the sunset from the Xlendi Tower.
More options: San Antonio Guesthouse – Bed & Breakfast (budget) and Villa Dolman Apartments (midrange).
- Where: Gozo Island
- Entrance Fee: None
- Free Parking: There’s a large parking lot at Dwejra Point. Exact Location: Google Maps
- Bus Stop: Id-Dwejra
Dwejra Bay is located in the western coast of Gozo in San Lawrenz. Defined by striking cliffs, rocks (Fungus Rock), fossil beds, and even a nearby lagoon, Dwejra Bay is a great place to spend a few hours.
It’s also the former site of the Azure Window (Dwejra Window), a natural limestone arch which unfortunately collapsed in 2017 in a storm. The Azure Window was famously featured in the Dothraki wedding scene in the first season of Game of Thrones.
We hiked up and down the coast for a few hours. You’ll find trail details in our Malta Hiking Guide.
Where to Stay near Dwejra Bay
Tucked away on the edge of San Lawrenz village and surrounded by extensive gardens, Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz is a deluxe hotel near Dwejra Bay and the dramatic western coast of Gozo. Guests enjoy air-conditioned rooms, free and plentiful parking, indoor and outdoor pools, an on-site spa, and three restaurants. The breakfast spread is excellent.
More options: Shanti Ghar Gozo B&B (budget) and Soleil B&B Gozo – Adults only (midrange).
Ta’ Cenc Cliffs
- Where: Gozo Island
- Entrance Fee: None
- Free Parking: At the ummarked trailhead on Triq tal-Kalkara Road. Exact Location: Google Maps
- Bus Stop: Cenc in Sannat. Follow the road to Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa. This road quickly divides. Stay left and follow the path behind the hotel and tennis court to Triq tal-Kalkara Road. Turn right here and walk along the paved road for a few minutes until you reach the trailhead.
The Ta’ Cenc Cliffs are the highest sea cliffs on Gozo Island, reaching a soaring height of 138 meters. The dazzling limestone cliffs are located along the southern coast, near the village of Sannat.
From the trailhead, it only takes 6-minutes to walk to the coast. Follow the trail that leads straight to the sea. When you reach the cliffs, continue walking left for another 3-5 minutes to the clifftop plateau, which protrudes out to the sea.
As you follow the cliff edge (at a safe distance!!!), you’ll start to see the Ta’ Cenc Cliffs, unfurling to the west. There’s no single viewpoint to get to. Every point along these cliffs deliver jaw-dropping views.
There are no barriers along the cliff edges. Exercise caution and stay a safe distance away from the brittle edges.
It’s possible to extend your walk to Ras in-Newwiela (headand), Mġarr ix-Xini (bay), and even the Mgarr Ferry Terminal.
Note: near the trailhead, there are ancient cart ruts and the Ta’ Cenc Dolmen (megalithic structures from the Early Bronze Age).
Learn More: How to Get to the Ta’ Cenc Cliffs Viewpoint
Where to Stay Near Ta’ Cenc Cliffs
The most convenient place to stay is Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa. However, this hotel has very mixed reviews. We recommend staying in Victoria instead.
Located in the center of Victoria, The Duke Boutique Hotel pampers guests with its spacious and modern rooms, citadel-gazing terrace, and superb breakfast. Rooms are sound-proofed and have air-conditioning. There’s free parking in the public car park behind the hotel, or hotel parking (10 EUR extra charge).
More options in Victoria: B&b la Fenice by giancarlo (budget) and Maria Townhouse Heart of Victoria B&B (midrange).
Malta February Packing List
- 2 Sweaters
- Pants, or Leggings
- 2-3 Tops
Coastal Hiking Gear
- Hiking Backpack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- Polarized, CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Pants
- Sun Hat and Beanie
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Sony Vario-Tessar 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS ZEISS
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Malta Hiking and Travel Guidebooks
- Cicerone: Walking on Malta
- Lonely Planet: Malta & Gozo
- Rother: Malta & Gozo (German Language Only)
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- Malta Hiking Guide
- Xlendi Bay to Sanap Cliffs Coastal Trail
- How to Get to the Ta’ Cenc Cliffs Viewpoint