At the heart of the Mediterranean, the compact and easily-navigated island of Malta is a year-round destination.

Visit at the height of summer for consistently warm and dry weather and some of Europe’s biggest music festivals, or explore the better-value shoulder and low seasons to experience a wealth of historic and cultural attractions and a diverse schedule of arts, music and sports events. Here's our guide to the best times to come to Malta.

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The high season (June–August) is the best time for brilliant beaches and big summer festivals

With castle raves, big concerts, and boat parties, four massive music festivals lure legions of music fans and some of the planet’s biggest DJs. Meanwhile, there’s a focus on relaxation and watersports on the beaches of Malta and Gozo. Jazz, the arts and a popular beer festival also attract revelers after days spent enjoying the warmest Mediterranean sea, sun and sand.

Beachgoers gather in the sun at Golden Bay in Malta
Beachgoers gather in the sun at Golden Bay throughout the summer © telesniuk / Shutterstock

The shoulder season (March–May & September–October) is the best time for active adventures and sporty events

Visitor numbers are more moderate outside of the summer high season, and it should be warm enough to squeeze in a swim after hiking, running or mountain biking. A brace of exciting events showcase motor racing and aerial thrills, and Easter is celebrated with passion and tradition across the island.

Low season (November–February) is the best time for accommodation bargains and seeing cultural sites 

Cooler temperatures mean swimming is definitely off the cards for most visitors, but it’s easier to visit churches, galleries and museums with the lack of crowds. Festival highlights include the energy and vibrancy of Carnival in February and Mdina’s superb arts biennale in November.

Narrow street in Valletta, the capital of Malta
Winter is cooler, but the streets of historic cities such as Valletta are ripe for exploration © liseykina / Getty Images

Enjoy Baroque sounds in January

A cooler month with occasional rain, but accommodation prices are lower across Malta and Gozo. Don't plan on swimming in the Med, but look forward to sharing the shorter queues at the islands' cultural highlights with British travelers escaping even cooler weather in the UK. Valletta's annual Baroque Festival showcases opera and concerts in the city's most historic churches and theaters.
Key events: Valletta Baroque Festival

Carnival's color lights up February

It's definitely still too cold to swim, so join the locals in celebrating Il-Karnival ta' Malta (Carnival), a week-long celebration in the lead-up to Ash Wednesday. Maltese-style carnivals have been celebrated for at least five centuries, and the festival fills the streets with colorful floats and fancy costumes. Masks are essential for attending late-night events and parties incognito – the Carnival spirit is particularly strong in Valletta, and in Victoria and Nadur on Gozo.
Key events: Carnival

Get active in March

The early days of spring see less rain and more settled weather, making March a good month to set out on coastal hikes in Malta's Park tal-Majjistral. It's also a good time to enjoy mountain biking or rock-climbing on more rugged Gozo. Held early in the month, the Malta Marathon includes sections winding around the Valletta shoreline and the hilltop walled city of Mdina.
Key events: Malta Marathon

Celebrate Holy Week in April

In the build-up to Easter, Holy Week is one of Malta's most spectacular and important celebrations. Life-size statues depicting scenes from the Passion of the Christ are carried in processions through the narrow streets and lanes of towns and villages on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, there are more processions, this time of the Risen Christ, an event celebrated joyfully in Malta's harbor towns of Birgu and Senglea where statue-bearers run (!) with the statues. Fireworks light up both Malta and Gozo from the middle of the month, and wildflowers and the warmer days of spring in the Mediterranean are definitely on their way.
Key events: Easter, Malta Fireworks Festival

Dracula themed Carnival float in Valletta, Malta
Carnival brings wacky floats to the streets of Valletta © Matt Munro / Lonely Planet

Spring into action in May

Welcome to one of Malta's sweet spots for travel, with warm and sunny spring weather that's just right for taking a dip in the Mediterranean. Expect lower visitor numbers at galleries and museums, and at ancient sites including the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum and Ġgantija Temples. Orchestras and marching bands kick off a series of music festivals that run through the summer.
Key events: Malta International Spring Music Festival

Get the festival feeling in June

Early summer combines blue skies and (relatively) quiet beaches, as a duo of music festivals draw DJs and dance, house, and techno fans. Boat parties and secret castle raves are the highlights of Lost & Found, centered on St Paul's Bay, while London-based clubbers ABODE bring a similar vibe to Gozo later in the month for ABODE on the Rock. Music, dance and literature all feature at the Malta International Arts Festival, held in a diverse range of venues in Valletta.
Key events: Malta Arts Festival, Lost & Found, ABODE on the Rock

Hit the beach in July

The hottest and busiest time of the year sees locals and visitors heading to the beach in droves, but there are also two essential musical highlights. Held in Floriana's Il-Fosos Square, Isle of MTV is Europe's biggest free summer festival; the headline act for 2022 was Grammy-winning DJ and producer Marshmello. Cool jazz also fills venues across Valletta for the Malta Jazz Festival.
Key events: Isle of MTV, Malta Jazz Festival

Come for watersports, raves and cold beer in August

Watersports and swimming in the Med are top of the bill during another hot and rain-free month, while village and community festa (feasts) showcase Maltese traditions and culture. Frosty beers and the house- and techno-inspired energy of the Glitch festival further reinforce Malta's status as Europe's EDM summer capital.
Key events: Feast of the Assumption, Farsons Beer Festival, Glitch

Mother and kids on a scenic road in Malta
The spring and fall shoulder seasons are good times to explore inland areas of Malta © Nadezhda1906 / Getty Images

Seek sky-high thrills in September

Water temperatures remain high as the sea has been warmed throughout summer, but daytime temperatures cool a little, and occasional rain showers arrive to bring relief to farmers and winemakers. Visitor numbers ebb, but there's a big event this month – a world-class air show featuring spectacular aerobatics.
Key event: Malta International Air Show

Enjoy motorsports action in October

As fall arrives in Malta, a green tinge enlivens landscapes that have been sunbaked over summer, but the weather is still mostly warm and sunny. Event highlights include classic cars racing on winding roads around Mdina for the Malta Classic (Mdina Grand Prix), the after-dark excitement of the Notte Bianca arts festival in Valletta, and three days of music and dance in the village of Birgu.
Key events: Malta Classic, Notte Bianca, BirguFest

The arts are the focus in November

You'll see rain on one day in four in the fall, but temperatures remain warm, and there are fewer crowds and lower accommodation prices. The Malta Book Festival descends on Valletta, and every two years, the historic walled city of Mdina hosts the important Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale (the next Mdina biennale will take place in 2023).
Key events: Malta Book Festival, Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale

Celebrate Christmas the Maltese way in December

Temperatures cool and rain becomes more frequent, but the Maltese focus on family and tradition at Christmas makes this an enchanting time to visit. Maltese expat communities from Australia, Canada and the UK often return to Malta to share Christmas with extended families.
Key events: Christmas and New Year celebrations

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