Forget Glastonbury. Swap muddy boots and badly put up tents for sun, sea and festival fever in Malta. There’s more than just music on offer, too. The small but mighty island has a calendar crammed with carnivals, arts and culture. So what’s on? And where? Here’s our guide to partying on the up-and-coming island.
Isle of MTV (23rd-28th June), Floriana
Look forward to a line-up of beach parties, club nights and DJ sets at Isle of MTV which is held in Floriana, just a ten-minute drive from capital city, Valletta. You’ll be entertained by a pretty special guest list, too. This year, Jason Derulo, Snoop Dogg and Rita Ora are just a few of the names on the bill. Grab a cocktail, see your favourites perform, and when the sun goes down, relax in the luxury of a hotel.
International Arts Festival (29th June -15th July), Valletta
If you’re a culture vulture, you’ll magpie for Valletta’s International Arts Festival. Artists, actors and musicians create a programme full of talent and variety – and you’ll find entertainment at every corner. The buzzing atmosphere is infectious, and, in between shows, you can check out the city’s Medieval architecture, or grab a refresher beside one of two harbours. If you’ve got an extra day or two, it’s worth getting an added dose of culture in Mdina, Malta’s ancient walled city. It’s a 20-minute bus ride from Valletta and is best enjoyed at sunset when it’s quiet and cooler.
Malta Summer Carnival (25th-27th August), Marasaskala
Mix the jerk chicken and parades of Notting Hill with Venice’s famous mask festival, and you’ll end up with Malta’s Summer Carnival. Costumed revellers parade through the main streets, making it an absolute dream for your Instagram feed. And, if you want to get your groove on, follow the beats down to Marasaskala’s promenade. Wondering where to stay to be close to the action? Marasaskala’s just half an hour away from Valletta, or a 40-minute bus ride from lively Bugibba – a perfect place if you want the dancing to continue when you get home.
Hit the clubs in St Julian
If you’re planning a holiday to Malta outside the dates of these festivals, there’s always a party happening in St Julian. The town is buzzing with waterside restaurants and bars, and wins the trophy for Malta’s best nightlife spot. Line your stomach in Spinola Bay first – its menu includes famous dishes like sea urchin spaghetti and rabbit casserole. Then, head over to the clubs in Paceville and dance the night away. There are plenty of beaches to recover on the next day, too. Grab your towel, and a bottle of water for that hangover, and head down to St George’s Bay. It’s a 10-minute taxi away from Spinola Bay, and proudly waves a Blue Flag for quality.
Fancy it for summer? We don’t blame you – click here and see what we’ve got on offer.