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Snorkelling, mountain biking, scuba diving, quad biking… there are all sorts of activities in Malta to keep an energetic family busy, as well as plenty of opportunities to unwind at luxury spa resorts.
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Five activities the whole family can enjoy together
The Rolling Geeks tour
The kids will be amazed by the Rolling Geeks – self-driving electric cars that will take the family on a pre-programmed tour of the Maltese capital of Valletta. The tour whisks you along past the famous Grand Harbour marina and Rinella Bay, then dives into the narrow medieval streets of The Three Cities, past beautiful churches and historical buildings – and the car will even explain what you’re looking at while you zip along.
Quad bike tours
Exploring Gozo on a quad bike is a fun way to get to know the island, and there are several operators who offer tours. These take in beautiful spots like the Calypso Caves and Ramla Valley, and provide spectacular views along the island’s cliffs and golden beaches. Drivers must have a driving license, but children can ride as passengers.
Malta and Gozo are some of the best places in the Mediterranean to go diving, thanks to the clear, blue waters and abundant marine life. Children can take a PADI diving course from age 10, and there are plenty of sheltered spots around the islands where they practise safely. And for more experienced divers, Malta has oodles of fascinating caves and shipwrecks to explore.
The relatively small size of Malta makes it ideal for leisurely exploring by bike. But if you’re looking for something more adventurous, there are also numerous challenging downhill routes. Plenty of cycle-hire companies can be found across the islands, like Gozo Adventures, who will also provide a guide to show you the best spots for biking.
Malta and Gozo’s sandy beaches and reefs are perfect for snorkelling. Ta’ Fra Ben beach in Qawra is great for sunbathers and snorkellers alike, while the sheltered, rocky beach at Bugibba is great for paddling. And quiet Mellieha in the north is home to Malta’s longest white-sand beach.
Five of the best family resorts in Malta
Urban Valley Resort and Spa
This luxurious resort is located in the beautiful Wied Għollieqa Nature Reserve, and its family rooms include separate sleeping and living areas, as well as a kitchen and outdoor area for evening sits under the stars. The resort also has two outdoor pools and an indoor one, plus sauna, Jacuzzi and extensive gardens.
The Westin Dragonara Resort
Located in St Julian’s on a 74,000 square metre private peninsula, the Westin Dragonara Resort provides two private-beach lidos and spectacular views across the sea. With 340 rooms on offer, there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from, and the hotel has two outdoor pools in addition to direct access to the sea.
Maritim Antonine Hotel and Spa
The Marion Mizzi Wellbeing facility at this resort provides an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness room, and various beauty and spa treatments, while for dinner there are four restaurants to choose from. The family suites have separate living and sleeping areas with marble and wood floors, or you could opt for a bigger suite with its own whirlpool and outdoor terrace.
Labranda Riviera Hotel and Spa
The Labranda Riviera overlooks Marfa Bay in northern Malta, with views across to Gozo and Comino. On site, you can indulge in various beauty and spa treatments at the Thalasso Spa Centre and take a dip in one of the three swimming pools, but the hotel also organises water sports activities and scuba diving.
The Hilton Malta
Set on the seafront in Saint Julian’s, the Hilton Malta is a luxury 5-star hotel offering panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and a modern décor. On site you will find a spa with indoor swimming pool, 4 outdoor pools, 2 paddling pools for children, a selection of restaurants and access to a dive school, casino and tennis court. The famous nightlife area of Paceville is just a 5 minutes’ walk away.
Five fantastic family-friendly attractions
Malta National Aquarium
Located on a peninsula in northern Malta, the National Aquarium is divided into zones that showcase the marine life to be found off Malta’s shores, as well as exotic creatures from further afield, like batfish and unicorn tangs. And the aquarium also has a reptile and amphibian area with all sorts of fascinating animals, such as Madagascar giant day geckos, poison dart frogs and Mexican axolotls.
The Playmobil FunPark is a great day out for young children, with various zones representing the Playmobil themes of City Life, Rescue, Aquarium, Pirates, Police, Knights and Fairy Tale. And as well as clambering over pirate ships and exploring castles, the kids can take part in activities such as craft workshops and face painting.
Esplora Interactive Science Centre
This new science centre in Kalkara opened in 2016, and features more than 200 exhibits in addition to hands-on workshops, science shows and a planetarium.
Dreams of Horses Farm
Visitors to this farm on Gozo can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, take the ponies for a walk through the countryside, or learn how to care for and ride the animals. Many of the horses have been rescued, and visitors can find out how they can offer therapeutic help for children with special needs.
This theatre experience tells the history of Malta through a 3D film along with moving seats, water sprays, air blasts and leg ticklers. Find out about the Knights of St John and the role that Malta played in World War Two through this exciting 3D journey into Malta’s past.