Malta sure knows how to do romance. With sunset views over the Dingli Cliffs and St George’s Bay, quiet strolls around the beautiful Barrakka Gardens, and the romance of Malta’s many secluded beaches and bays, it’s incredibly difficult not to be swept away by Malta’s charms. Whether you’re planning a romantic minibreak, a honeymoon, or a memorable proposal, take a look at our guide to romantic Malta for the ultimate couples’ itinerary.
An area of the island as old and chequered as the history of Malta itself, the charming citadel of Mdina has been fortified since as far back as 1000 BC. Once the grand capital of Malta, when rule over the island was taken by the Knights of St John – a sea-based force who favoured Valletta and the Grand Harbour as their base – Mdina became the playground of the Maltese nobility instead. Perched atop a rocky hill, and remaining relatively untouched by modernity (no pesky cars or bikes to disturb your romantic reverie), Mdina has preserved its medieval aristocratic ambiance with towering walls and peaceful shady streets. The city’s lofty position affords stunning views over the island and, on a good day, across to Sicily, providing a romantic aura quite unlike any other.
Kick-start a romantic day out in Malta with a private tour in a traditional brightly painted fishing boat known as a luzzu. A key spot to look out for is the Blue Grotto, a spectacular 30m high natural limestone cave formation. According to mythology, it was here that sea nymphs captivated sailors with their charms – perfect if you’re planning to do some wooing yourself.
One of Malta’s most underrated sites, Fomm ir-Riħ, is an isolated beach alcove with unbeatable views over the cliffs and valleys. Take a dip in the calm crystal clear waters of the ocean or stroll along the pebble beach. The secluded spot is only reachable by foot via a steep path near the village of Baħrija, and while it’s hard to get to, this only makes it more rewarding. With no other visitors to spoil the views or interrupt a special moment (…or proposal?) it’s well worth the effort.
Set on the coastline of the historic town of Valletta, Barrakka Gardens is a slice of peace and quiet in the capital city. With Roman-style arches and captivating views over the Grand Harbour, the upper section of the gardens is particularly picturesque, while the lower part makes for a charming walk through lush vegetation. As you explore, make sure to stop by the garden’s many classical statues for a window into Maltese history.
If you’re staying at Corinthia St George’s Bay, then you’re already smack bang in the middle of one of Malta’s most beautiful areas. Overlooking the picturesque bay, with its narrow golden sandy beach and harboured multi-coloured boats, our hotel is a prime spot for dinner with a view. Gaze over the bay as you feast on flavoursome Italian cuisine at Da Marina, or head inside to fine dining restaurant Caviar & Bull for a gastronomic exploration through the Mediterranean.
A trip to Malta just isn’t complete without a sunset viewing. For the ultimate vistas, hike to the highest point in the Maltese islands, the Dingli Cliffs. Take a perch near the tiny chapel dedicated to St Mary Magdalene and watch as the setting sun transforms the sky into whole spectrum of colours. If that’s not enough to make you fall in love with the place (and each other), then just wait for romantic Malta’s trump card – a full blanket of stars.
If the Dingli Cliffs had you hooked on the Maltese sunset, Għajn Tuffieħa Bay follows close behind it. A small scoop of sand on Malta’s northwest coast, Għajn Tuffieħa Bay is reached by a lengthy, stepped descent, which deters many and safeguards the beach’s secluded, unspoilt atmosphere. Arrive in time for sunset, perhaps a day or two after your visit to Dingli, with a bottle of something special for sundowners with a view.
A romantic retreat away from the crowds, the tranquil shaded pathways ribboning Sa Maison Garden in Floriana are the perfect setting for a quiet stroll à deux. The ideal destination for a tryst, it’s likely you’ll have this peaceful enclave all to yourselves. Sa Maison Garden spills out around former fortifications, whose ramparts afford panoramic views across Marsamxett harbour.
What would a guide to romantic Malta be without a mention of beautiful Gozo? Encircled by secluded beaches, peppered with historic villages and infused with rural charm, Gozo is one of the highlights of a couple’s holiday in Malta. Take a scenic wander through the ancient capital Victoria and its Citadel, stealing glimpses of Gozo’s landscape beyond, before enjoying a fresh seafood lunch, washed down with Gozitan wine, in the sleepy village of Xlendi.
This year has taught us the importance of self-care, so now is the perfect time to experience our newly re-imagined Athenaeum Spa.