January is the perfect time for a quick weekend getaway to beat the post-Christmas blues and freezing temperatures. Malta doesn’t get that extreme cold weather that our northern European cousins endure, though it does get a bit too cold to sit on the beach. So, why should you visit Malta in January?
Low-cost flights to Malta in January
Thanks to the very many low-cost airlines that operate in and out of Malta such as RyanAir and AirMalta, getting to the island now is not only easy but during winter it is super affordable. Numerous direct flights from many of our European neighbours such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain to name but a few means that Malta is an ideal location of a weekend break. Add to this that winter is the low-season for many hotels so you will undoubtedly find accommodation rates much lower during January.
Malta’s Clement January Weather
Malta’s location means that it enjoys some of the best weather in Europe. Winter is mild with pleasant temperatures throughout; January is probably the wettest month of the year, but rainfall often comes in short, heavy bursts rather than all day long, so it’s still easy to get out and about. With an average high temperature during January of 16oC too, there’s no worry about catching a chill and it’s the perfect temperature for taking a stroll.
Top places worth visiting in Malta
Apart from Malta’s stunning beaches, one of the most beautiful and popular attractions in Malta is Mdina, Malta’s former capital. There really is no place like it. Rich in history, it sits proudly on a hill and overlooks large parts of Malta so you can get some great views and photos. Mdina is filled with buildings that are hundreds of years old and have been maintained by the generations. In fact today medieval Mdina is recognised internationally on UNESCO’s World Heritage “tentative” list.
Another must see is the Cittadella, an ancient fortified city that stands out as Gozo’s major landmark. The Cittadella is particularly rich in buildings of architectural, military and historical importance. Finally, in our brief roundup we must mention the majestic capital city Valletta. A UNESCO World Heritage recognised as such because of the beautiful baroque architecture throughout the city; military buildings and deep moats around the edge of the city, the stunning church domes and spires that grace the skyline and the beautifully embellished palazzos that sit among the townhouses. Valletta’s baroque must-sees include the Auberge due Provence, the Grand Master’s Palace, St. John’s Co-Cathedral and Upper Barrakka Gardens, from which you can view a most spectacular sunset.
January Sales in Valletta and Sliema
There’s nothing like a bit of retail therapy to soothe the post-Christmas blues especially if you can grab a bargain. Valletta and Sliema offer fantastic opportunities for those that love to shop till they drop. In Valletta on Republic Street and Merchants’ Street you will find shops galore. In Sliema there is Tigne Point mall with plenty of branded shops, plus a wonderful mix of other shops on the Sliema ferries (and a fabulous view of Valletta too). Fashionista’s however will be hotfooting it to the new Zara Alhambra outlet in Sliema that was recently refurbished into the largest Zara store in Europe.
Valletta at Night
Valletta keeps its buzz during the evenings too. It may just be warm enough to sit outside and soak up the atmosphere at the Waterfront, or if there’s a little rain you can take shelter and enjoy a drink or two with locals in any of the welcoming nightspots in the city centre. There are so many different bars to try, from English pubs to cocktail bars and jazz spots. Check out Strait Street for the lively venues – this used to be Malta’s red-light district!
Risette – A meal to remember
With a variety of restaurants to choose from in Valletta, Risette on Old Theatre Street offers casual fine dining with a highly innovative menu. Chef Andrew Borg leads his highly-acclaimed team at Risette to produce a menu that has been applauded as being “Michelin star standard”. There is a strong emphasis on using the highest quality produce sourced from boutique producers. Risette’s menu changes weekly and always manages to fuse cultures and methods into truly unique tantalising dishes such as Limousin beef tartar with smoked eel, and Barbary duck breast with caramelised gem lettuce & confit of root vegetables. Risette is also becoming known for desserts to die for and its signature Mille Feuille is not to be missed. Combine this with a fantastic fine wine and champagne menu and the relaxed yet stylish modern interior, and you will understand why there is a real buzz about Risette.