The elegantly charming capital of Malta is a great place to start. The city is bounded by two harbours (Grand Harbour & Marsamxett) and is easy to navigate along the cobbled streets. The 16th Century St. John's Cathedral is in the centre of the city and has a very impressive interior. The Grand Master's Palace is worth a visit too for the impressive artwork inside. If you're into history, this is a great city to explore!
Hagar Qim Temples
A megalithic site that's listed on UNESCO. Located on the south coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This is an extremely old site that dates back over 5,000 years to approximately 3600-3200 BC and the entire site was buried underground until it was discovered in 1839. There's also plenty of artefacts in the on site museum. It's one for the history nerds, but offers pleasant views across the ocean too. The site is similar to Stonehenge in some ways, but without the masses of tourists.
This place is definitely for the young and young at heart. This is actually the original film set of the 1980 movie "Popeye" starring Robin Williams. There's fun activities, restaurants, and some great movie set locations to check out. The drive to Popeye Village is also a picturesque one as get a great view of the coast when you're heading towards the location.
Day Trip to Gozo
In my opinion, no trip to Malta is complete without a visit to the neighbouring island of Gozo. Ferries leave the main island every 45 minutes and you can check the schedule HERE. Gozo is small in size with regular buses running across the island between the attractions. The top spots to check out are Azure Window Ruins (collapsed in 2017), The Salt Pans, the Citadel in Victoria, and Ta' Kola Windmill. I'd recommend kayaking the coast line of the island. If you prefer the hand held route, then there's Gozo tours available from the ferry terminal on arrival.
The Mosta Dome
The town of Mosta is a 20 minute drive from Valletta and holds significant importance into the history of the country. The Mosta Dome is a Basilica with a unique past. During World War II, a German aerial bomb pierced the dome in the middle of a mass landing on the church floor, but failed to explode. Many Maltese regard this as a miracle. A replica of the bomb is inside the church.
As for the design, it's based on The Pantheon in Rome and also has the third largest unsupported dome in the world.
Malta do have a national football team, albeit not a very successful one. The National Stadium is located in Ta' Qali and has a capacity if 16,997. The stadium was inaugurated in 1981 on a site that was a former military airport. The national team play here, but there's also a number of local teams that use the facilities. The location is close to the city of Mdina, so you can combine a visit here. If you want to book a stadium tour or tickets to a match, click here.
Sicily Day Trip
Another simple day trip is a visit to Sicily, which is easily reached via ferry. You can see the current schedule here. This trip will give you the opportunity to see the beautiful hilltop town of Taormina. There's an ancient Greco-Roman theatre that you can check out, which is still used for events today. The cliffs drop to the sea with small cove beaches along the coastline. If you're the active type, you can visit Mount Etna with ease from here and enjoy a hike to the crater. You'll see many interesting sites en route, including former houses now covered in lava flow.
I stayed in quite a few different hotels dotted around the island, but Osborne Hotel in Valletta really stood out. It's set within the ancient fortifications and is within walking distance of so many attractions. If the weather is nice, there's a great rooftop pool. If the weather is bad, you'll get great views across the city. Roof are a decent standard and it's very affordable. Best price was direct, which you can find here.
There's a great selection of restaurants in Malta with a big Italian influence throughout. When you're in Valletta, I'd recommend checking out La Cave Restaurant. The pizzas here are superb! The location of the restaurant is in an underground cellar beneath Castille Hotel. The menu prices are good and the location means it's a great stop off point in between exploring the city.