As the summer season in Malta draws to a close and travelers look ahead to autumn, the archipelago offers a season full of wonderful weather and an abundance of activities. There is something for everyone, ranging from historical ruins, relaxing beach getaways, exploring an incredible underwater world, and a jam-packed schedule of events. Following is a roundup of the latest news from Malta and the best dates for the diary.
Second Gatwick flight added by Air Malta launching Winter 2019
In need of some winter sun? Air Malta is increasing the frequency of its flights from 27th October with a second weekly flight departure from Gatwick Airport. This will result in 14 flights a week from the airport. Combined with flights from Heathrow, there will be four daily flights to the stunning archipelago. The new flight times will allow tourists travelling to Malta to maximise their time on the island as departures from Gatwick will start from 5.55 AM and return flights from Malta will leave between 21.50 PM and 23.00 PM.
Malta has identified and gained access to 12 historical wreck sites. Consistently named the second-best diving destination in the world, diving enthusiasts will be able to visit these sites by appointment with The Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit (UCHU). Divers will now be able to explore these incredible locations that range from a 2,700-year-old Phoenician shipwreck, to WWI battleships and dozens of aircraft crash sites.
Enjoy a three-day freediving workshop with Freediving champion, Umberto Pelizzari. The workshop is dedicated to passionate and certified free divers from all over the world who are looking to enhance their skills and knowledge. As the only workshop to be taught in English in 2019, this is a unique opportunity for freedivers to learn first-hand about Umberto Pelizzari’s theoretical and practical expertise. The workshop will take place from 27-29 September 2019 at Divebase Malta.
A 2000-year-old floor, dating back to pre-historic times was recently uncovered at a farmhouse during an ongoing excavation in Tas-Silġ. The floor belonged to the Temple of Ashtart, which was made famous by Roman senator Cicero. This discovery forms part of a wider, long-term project by Heritage Malta, which will eventually be transformed into a visitor centre.
Latest tourism figures from Malta
Malta has seen a significant increase in its tourism figures, with the number of people visiting the island more than doubling since 2010. The largest number of tourists comes from the UK with more than 280,000 visiting in 2019 alone.
DATES FOR THE DIARY
There is no better place to celebrate Pride than at the number one LGBTQ+ European destination. Malta has retained the top spot for the fourth consecutive year, awarded by the IGLA index in recognition of its laws, policies and lifestyles of its LGBTQ+ community. Starting on 6 September 2019, Malta Pride offers an abundance of activities across the island; from fashion shows, concerts and parties to human rights conferences and discussion groups. The celebrations will finish in style, with the main Pride March on 14 September in the capital, Valletta.
Birgufest is a true celebration of culture and art in one of Malta’s most historic towns: Birgu. With events taking place throughout the weekend, visitors can enjoy a variety of experiences including historical re-enactments, local art exhibitions, concerts and discounted tickets to museums and historical sites. Candles and flowers line the streets and music plays throughout the town creating a magical atmosphere.
The Super League Triathlon will return to Malta this October combining a glamorous location with the very best in swim, bike and run action. As ideal location for the sporting event, the historical Mediterranean island is surrounded by hundreds of miles of water and is home to historical forts, ancient temples, towering City Gates, and magnificent scenery as well as Super League’s most notorious hills; last year’s racing saw the top triathletes of the world battle it out in some of the most exciting sprint finishes of the entire season.
Named as the most beautiful racecourse in the world, The Rolex Middle Sea Race returns this October. This nautical spectacle is a true highlight of the sailing calendar, bringing together the very best the sailing world has to offer. Competitors will race around the challenging and changeable circumnavigation of Sicily, before returning to the archipelago’s waters. Spectators can watch the start of the adrenaline packed course against the backdrop of Valletta’s impressive Grand Harbour.
The annual Valletta Baroque Festival is returning for its eighth consecutive year in January 2020. Treating audiences to unique, cultural classical performances, this upcoming prestigious two-week festival will showcase the very best musical talent in some of Valletta’s wonderful historical venues.
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean. Comprising three main islands – Malta, Comino and Gozo – Malta is known for its history, culture and temples dating back over 7,000 years. In addition to its fortresses, megalithic temples and burial chambers, Malta is blessed with nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine every year. Capital city Valletta was named European Capital of Culture 2018. Malta is part of the EU and 100% English speaking. The archipelago is famous for its diving, which attracts aficionados from around the world, whilst the nightlife and music festival scene attract a younger demographic of traveller. Malta is a short three and a quarter hour flight from the UK, with daily departures from all major airports across the country.
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