There are a number of options available to those seeking to escape harsh European winters. Without crossing continents, one option is Malta. However travelling to Malta in the winter still requires some preparation. Here we share five tips for things to pack when planning a winter escape to Malta.

Having lived most my life in places that either get plenty of snow, or loads of rain, I’m always looking forward to the quintessential “warm holiday.”  Now, I say warm for a reason. I’m not overly fond of burning hot, wipe-the-sweat-off-your-forehead-every-two-seconds, places. My ideal climate would be balmy, Mediterranean, and with a lovely breezy feel.

Luckily, my husband and I share similar tastes in climates. So, when I began planning his surprise birthday trip, I knew we could only go away for a maximum of three to four days; which meant holidaying somewhere in Europe. I poured over forums about warm places in southern Europe in January. I focused on the Mediterranean region, and the island of Malta kept popping up.

Most Tripadvisor forums, and travel blogs advised that the weather was pretty reasonable for that time of year in Europe. Seriously, 17°C/63°F is much preferable to the brisk 5°C we typically get here in London. I was pretty convinced, so I booked the trip.

Fast forward four months to our weekend in Malta and it wasn’t exactly warm, but it wasn’t freezing cold either. We were greeted with rain…lot’s of it! However, years of braving strong British gales prepared us well. In fact, something about the fleeting combination of rain, sun, and wind, made it quite a magical experience.

However, before we go into all the beautiful discoveries we made in Malta, first the basic essentials. Here are our top things to bring on a winter holiday to Malta!

 

#1: Raincoat

Travelling to Malta in the Winter | Walking in Gozo

Bring a raincoat or water proof jacket! January and February are typically rainy months in Malta.  The rain comes quickly, in between fleeting appearances of the sun. While we were there, it rained for 75% of our trip. Umbrellas are pointless, unless you have a super sturdy one that can survive the strong winds that can sometimes knock you off balance. My husband’s hat went flying in the air, and landed 500ft below us in a construction site in Cittadella. Luckily, a friendly worker (with a very stern face) retrieved it for us.

HDYTI Tip: Travelling to Malta in the winter? Be prepared for rain and wind; your head and hair will thank you for it!

 

#2: Proper foot wear 

Travelling to Malta in the Winter | Walking in Gozo

Ladies, yes, it’s Europe, but open toed heels are just not a good look this time of year. Every Maltese woman I encountered, donned flat-mid heeled boots…except for the one who looked like a Kim K. impersonator wearing 6 inch stiletto heels who swayed by our dinner table at the Peristyles restaurant in Rabat.

For those who are moderately adventurous you should definitely come prepared with boots, or waterproof slip-on shoes, preferably one with a sturdy sole for gripping the hilly cobblestone streets and rockier areas. I brought three pairs of shoes (lace up boots, slip on western style boots, and fancy heels for a celebration dinner), and only wore my lace up boots, except for the hubby’s birthday dinner.

HDYTI Tip: Plan your top activities ahead of time, and bring the appropriate footwear you need.

 

#3: Warm clothing

Travelling to Malta in the Winter | Walking in Gozo

Bring layers. Although the weather may still be between 14-17 degrees, temperatures drop at night. So, remember that pair of leggings you left at home (because you let visions of sun bathed beaches fool you)? Well, they’ll be calling your name. Be prepared, and layer up. Additionally, Maltese flooring is cold (seeing as they are made up of marble or limestone)!

HDYTI Tip: Failing to wrap up earlier in the night may see you seeking warmth…including body to body heat. This isn’t such a bad thing on a couples getaway to a wistful, romantic island like Malta.

 

 #4: Moisturiser

Travelling to Malta in the Winter | Walking on the Salt Flats in Gozo

One might think, “Malta is an island. Surely there must be loads of moisture in the air?” However at this time of year, not so much. In fact, we both couldn’t believe how dry our skin became. I was gently reminded of this fact when I discovered a salty flavour on my lips,  upon having a cup of tea on our ferry ride back to the main island (after a day trip to Gozo).

I was glad I’d brought a few choices with me, since I’m “blessed” with dry skin already. Even if you have skin that mimics dew from heaven, your moist skin might be challenged in this weather. So please, come prepared.

HDYTI Tip:  Lip gloss, body butter, chapstick, lotion, coconut oil…whatever you need to help protect your extremities from the drying wind.

 

#5: A sense of adventure

Travelling to Malta in the Winter | Walking in Gozo

Be flexible with your itinerary. In Malta, many things are closed, or close early during the winter months, so be ready to adapt. Even the most researched and planned of itineraries might bump into some unexpected issues. Have some ideas of places you want to go, sites you might like to see, and cities you want to visit. From there, try to freestyle a bit, and take in the relaxed, Maltese way of life.

HDYTI Tip:  Our best day on the island was spent with a private tour guide (Karl), who took us completely away from the popular sites, and off the beaten track to explore and eat the way the locals do it! Definitely worth checking out!

 

Travelling to Malta in the Winter

We loved our visit to Malta and are already planning to go back! I could seriously get lost in writing about all our incredible discoveries! However, If you want to read more about specifics, make sure to check out our feature on our private tour with Karl on Day #2, or read more about our first day in the silent city of Mdina, and our last day in the fortress city of Valletta.

Let us know if you’ve ever visited Malta in the comments below!

Eulanda is a London-based freelance writer/photographer and award-winning social influencer who runs the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).